social media

Digi.me Version 7.0.4 Is Now Available

Digi.me version 7.0.4 was released yesterday evening and many of you will see the release notes when you are asked to upgrade to it.  In this release we have made some major alterations to how we interact with Facebook due to Facebook no longer supporting Facebook Messages download and Facebook Friends download.  All previously downloaded data will of course still be available.

To ensure peace of mind remember to always back up your social media data as you never quite know when your social media providers are going to change how and what data you have access to.

 

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Curate or Create? Which do you do?

When we talk about our Twitter and Facebook updates we often see patterns to our behavior and the behavior of those we follow and friend. How often do you see the same news from different people on your timelines?  Are you one of those people who shares content from websites or are you someone who takes pictures and shares the more personal aspects of your life on social media?

Content Creators

Statistically there are less people who create content to share on social media than those who consume the content. However with the rise of mobile phones and ease of access to the web whilst on the go we are seeing more and more content being created.  The social networks such as Facebook and Twitter want us to share more as well. You may have heard about Facebook embedding video into your timeline when it is uploaded there and Twitter have also just announced that you can now comment on re-tweets as well. This trend is only going to grow on these social networks. The more you share the more valuable your insights are to others.

Content Curators

Some people don’t like to share their personal thoughts, experiences and feelings online and these people tend to be more interested in sharing things that they find elsewhere on the internet.  They share interesting things that they have read or seen online.  These are the content curators. Everyone should follow a few of these types of people as they bring some interesting insights and news direct to your social media timelines. There is a bit of a content curator in all of us.

Curating content isn’t as hard as you might think, just use the sharing buttons on your favourite websites and add your comments when you share them. The only word of warning here is that you should only share content that you find interesting and that you think your friends and followers will find interesting. There is no point sending things that will offend others as that just damages your own reputation.

What type of social media user are you? A creator or a curator?

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Digi.me Showcase at Digital Catapult on 27th April

DCC-Badge-Final-2Digi.me have been chosen as an exemplar in our field and have been given the opportunity to showcase our technology at Digital Catapult on the 27th April.  The key themes that we will be discussing at this event will be the change in control with regard to sharing as well as the internet of things and interoperability.

We wanted to share this exciting news with you and share a little about Digital Catapult as we know that some of you in our community are also start-ups.  We hope that by sharing this news it inspires some of you to give something new a go and also to start some conversations in the digital space on topics like the internet of things.

What is the Digital Catapult?
The Digital Catapult is a national centre to rapidly accelerate the UK’s best digital ideas to market creating new products, services, jobs and value for the UK economy.

The focus of Digital Catapult is on data and metadata – on the data value chain. This is how we describe the ways in which people and organisations create, collect, transport and analyse data. Specifically, we help UK businesses unlock new value from sharing proprietary data in faster, better and more trusted ways.

Our focus is on four challenge areas:
• Closed Organisational Data: Creating secure environments that allow UK organisations to safely mix their closed data and open it up to innovators.
• Personal Data and Trust: Helping to overcome the challenges of creating trust in the use of personal data.
• Creative Content: Unlocking new value in the creative industries by making the reuse of creative content easier; firstly by working with the Copyright Hub to reduce licensing friction.
• The Internet of Things: Sharing and generating IoT data. Being a convening force in creating large-scale Internet of Things demonstrators.

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Digi.me needs your help!

The team here at digi.me are working out where to take our software in the future and we want you to be part of that.  With digi.me, it’s your life that we are helping you to capture so we really can’t do that with out you and your input. We need your help!

Quite simply you are our inspiration, our super heroes and our future.

How can you help? 

We have created a short 3 minute survey that we would like to ask all our users to complete.  We will of course keep your feedback anonymous and confidential.  We will not share it with third parties but we will share the results with our community so that you can all see where we are going next and why. To thank you for completing our survey and for helping us we will give you a free upgrade for one year!

We Need Your Help!

To thank you for completing our survey and for helping us we will give you
a free upgrade for one year!

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What else?

As we start to develop the next versions of our software we would also like to invite those of you who are interested in getting their hands on the latest and greatest versions of our software before everyone else by joining our early adopter programme.

What is the early adopter programme and what is in it for me…

By joining this programme you will be invited to try out beta (early pre release but stable) versions of our software before it is available to everyone else.  This will give you a great opportunity to guide us and tell us what you like and dislike about the changes and shape the features that are most important to you.

  • We will of course give you access to whichever version of our software that is most relevant to you.
  • You will gain early insights into the product before anyone else.
  • You get to shape the future direction of digi.me
  • There will even be a few goodies and prizes from time to time.
  • We may also invite some of you to our office to meet the team and get behind the scenes to find out even more about us!

If this sounds like it would be of interest to you then please complete the questionnaire and let us know when you claim your free 1 year upgrade that you would also be interested in our early adopter programme.

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Sharing – change in control needed

Sharing today is generally seen as positive, but is also associated with negative aspects around privacy. If the negative aspects are not fixed sharing will slow and cease to the detriment to everyone, but there is a solution that will increase benefits to individuals, businesses and society as a whole IF there is a change in control – from business control to individual control.

Sharing is positive because it creates new services and functions that can help individuals, businesses and society as a whole. Sharing has grown through database marketing in 80s/90s; social media in the mid-00s; wider Software as a Service (SaaS) services since; and will grow exponentially more as individuals embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) – provided the “bad” can be controlled.

The negative is privacy; along with the increased sharing of information has always come concerns with regard to privacy. If we look back to the introduction of what might be termed database marketing in the 80s, increased privacy concerns led to the introduction of check boxes on forms stating whether businesses could use the information for other purposes. Today we have dramatically increased the personal data that is shared, both explicitly and hidden, whether that is social media, other web/SAAS services, monitoring of clicks and the like – and with that has come heightened privacy concerns.

The web related privacy concerns have grown ever more over the last 6 years, with greater numbers of people reducing/changing their social media use (or using more private channels), using Do Not Track, Ad blockers, ’going dark’ and other methods. The concept of the “creepy line” is well embedded now within society. Unconstrained and uncorrected, this will lead to a reduction in sharing, curtailing the positive benefits, and crippling new concepts such as IoT, which depends on greater levels of sharing.

This reduction in sharing leads to a discontinuity with dramatic effects. Not only will the Internet of Things be stillborn, but innovation in providing services based on personal data will stall across all domains (personal communications, commerce, health, etc). This will have a dramatically negative effect on businesses, but also individuals and society as a whole.

A BCG report “The value of our digital identity” states “The quantifiable benefit of personal data applications can reach €1 trillion annually to EU-27 by 2020  – with private and public organisations reaping about a third of the total, and consumers the rest” and then on goes on to say ““BUT much of this potential value will fail to materialise if consumers act to restrict the flow of personal data.”

How do we solve this problem and allow, even encourage, greater sharing? The current trajectory MUST be broken and restarted following a different approach in order for the full promise of personal data, inc. the IoT, to be realised

Change in control

There is a perception that there is so much data that it is currently infeasible for individuals to control it in a meaningful way with the information technologies available today, but our aim must be to provide that much needed control.

There are many suggestions for “personal data stores’ or “personal data lockers” and similar, hosted by third parties, to help individuals gain some control over their data. However, these all suffer from a number of issues: control is still via third party; the stores only hold a subset of data which means there is no overall control, no interoperability between different stores and no single point to access; holders of individual’s personal data (e.g. Facebook et al) often don’t allow access for retention by third parties. At best these systems are a band aid to the control issue and provide limited immediate benefits to individuals, severely limiting take up.

However, there is another approach – one in which the overall architecture is different, but at the same time familiar. By approaching the issue of privacy from an alternate architectural viewpoint, it is our contention that many of the problems are mitigated and contrary to there being an additional cost to privacy, there is in fact the reverse: an additional benefit to everyone involved with the new architecture, individuals, businesses and society alike – and at reduced cost.

The fundamental architectural difference is to return ownership and control of personal data to the individual, rather than the control being held exclusively by business

Personal control – the ultimate solution

Personal control is a simple change in perspective:

– Others don’t own your data – you do.

– Others shouldn’t hold your data – you should hold it yourself

By changing the view, this simple insight solves the privacy issue for individuals and the ability of businesses to access that data through user permissions.  This view, and the understanding that underpins it, has been developed by the company digi.me (formerly SocialSafe) in the UK, in a program of work that was initiated in 2009.

Having first downloaded the digi.me software to your device, the software works by retrieving your data directly to your digi.me library on your device – not touching anything else along the way, not the digi.me servers, not anything. A 100% private library of all your data, fused and normalised – social, financial, utilities, purchases, health, leisure and much more.

The digi.me user interface then allows the user to do more with their data, 100% privately, never losing it, and keeping access forever. It helps them be more engaged, have more fun, and to do more things, better – all locally and immediately, thereby giving that crucial incentive to start the process of regaining control of their data.

So digi.me is your librarian, but also extends to being your postman. The postal service is where digi.me controls a certificate system that allows other apps, web sites, etc. to ask the user for permission to see aspects of their data for a specific and permissioned purpose. If the permission is given by the user based on their perception of the offered value proposition, the digi.me app sends the permissioned portion of the ‘rich data’ to the requesting entity. This is summarised in the diagram below and in more detail in a video at http://digi.me/video

(Note: Whilst this architecture is different in that the individual owns and controls all their data, it was noted above that it was also familiar – that is because it is exactly what businesses do. Businesses hold all their own data – and then use local and remote apps to extract greater value. The individual is like a business with all the data available today – it should therefore not be a surprise that the solution is a familiar one!)

Conclusion

So by holding all their own data, individuals regain control and can do more with their data themselves and importantly can decide who they share that data with, what elements are shared, when, for what purpose – in this way the sharing economy can overcome the discontinuity posited above.

(Note: In my previous post I noted that we should define Privacy in the digital age as the “Ability to control your personal data, including who you share it with, when and for what purpose”. By owning your data you are then in control of your own privacy.)

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Definition of Privacy in the Digital Age

We seem to be caught between two stools of thought on Privacy – either Privacy is dead (aka Mark Zuckerberg and more recent posts such ashttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2015/02/11/privacy-is-following-chivalry-to-the-grave-heres-why-thats-a-good-thing/) or the Go Dark movement. This seems to be looking at issues incorrectly, because we haven’t defined what Privacy is.

Specifically, being private doesn’t mean not sharing anything – it means being in control of what you share, to whom and when. For example, I am a private person, but I share sex with my wife, I share family issues within my family group, I share my finances with my financial advisor, I am happy for my supermarket to know what I buy. The point is that in the physical world I am largely (but never completely) in control of my privacy and that includes what I share and with whom.

So privacy does NOT mean no sharing. This is important as sharing is the grease to the future economy – combining different data sets that I share will enable radically new services and experiences that I have yet to even think of.  Privacy equates to controlled sharing. There is a spectrum of sharing for data items: from items I keep solely to myself, to items I share with one or a few people and ask not to be shared further, to data I may share more widely and allow to be re-shared, to data which I share with the world (either as me or in anonymised form).

We should include “for what purpose” in the above definition of what privacy implies re control and to most people they would. If I disclose to a close friend a secret so I can get feedback for example, I do not expect that secret to be disclosed to others – it was only for the purpose of our conversation. However, I can’t control my friend directly and he may tell others. In which case of course he has lost trust and I probably won’t share with him again – or at least will share more carefully. This is of course the same in the digital world. If I share with you for a purpose and you use for another purpose then I am unlikely to want to share with you again.

So, I propose we define Privacy as “The ability to control your personal data, including who you share it with, when and for what purpose“.

(Note: the dictionary defines Privacy as the “condition of being secret”. In my digital privacy definition we propose this is equivalent to “being in control of who is in on the secret”).

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Friday Fun: The Look Back One

Easter has gone,spring is here,why not take a look back at what you were doing this time last year?

Just like Facebook and Timehop we have a look back feature that you can use to see what you were up to this time last year.  You can schedule your lookback to automatically happen just like we have described in this article. Or alternatively you can just browse to this date last year using the calendar functionality and here’s how to do that:

Look Back Using The Calendar

Step 1.

Open digi.me.

Step 2.

Go to the calendar and select the current date but last year.

Lookback calendar

All the social media updates you now see in your timeline are on that day last year. Feel free to share them with your friends and colleagues.

Download

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Guest Post: Social Media Forever Changes The Way We Explore History

Social media forever changes how we explore history.  That statement, while innocent enough, has profound implications for future generations.

I grew up learning history from textbooks and memorizing the exploits of explorers like Christopher ColumbusVasco Nunez de Balboa and Amerigo Vespucci who I remember writing a paper on. I know that today history is taught with a lot more attention to the every day people who lived rather than the famous ones but we still have so little information on the lives of the masses.  The everyday lives of most people is lost to us.  We see often see their lives through the eyes of those who wrote about them, not in their own words. Social media has changed forever the way we will record and learn history.

With the ability to record, photograph and video our daily lives, social media has given future generations a window into the everyday lives, thoughts and feelings of those that will come before them, “us”. Think of the wealth of information on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others.  For many people these social media sites provide a platform from which to explore their feelings, relationships, beliefs, opinions and the simple nuances of their everyday lives. Future generations will know what we thought about everything simply by having access to social media platforms.

Think of the ability for a family to pass on this type of personal information to future generations.  It will seem as if you were actually listening to your great great grandmother when you didn’t have the opportunity to know her at all. To me this wealth of historical information is an invaluable role that social media will play over the coming decades.  Technology has made it possible to know the everyday lives of generations so that history does not depend on those in power to tell the story.  Nor will history books be able to gloss over events that are “unpopular” or show a negative slant on things.  With everyone a journalist, photographer and videographer, the voices and pictures of the past will speak for themselves.

I did an oral history project many years ago for college and I remember talking to a 90 year old woman about her life in Manchester, Connecticut.  I recorded our meetings and then compiled a paper which fascinated me because of its personal richness.  It was the ancient art of history through storytelling that could now be kept on tape.  How far we have come even in the last 20 years with technology and the emergence of social media.

A platform such as digi.me which allows us to save our social media content provides everyone with the opportunity to pass on a living diary of their life to their family members.  How incredibly powerful the access and control of this personal information will be not only to those using it in their time but to the vast accumulation of personal historical knowledge.

About the Author

PETS picture (3)Debbie Harris is the President of Performance Intermedia, LLC a social media consulting company.  Debbie works with businesses both for profit and not for profit to ensure they are getting the most out of social media and understand best practices.  She has a Master’s Degree in Social Media Compliance and the Law. Performance Intermedia, LLC provides social media strategy, graphic design, training, effective social advertising and posting for their clients. Debbie is a very active Rotarian both on the Club and District level. She sits on the Advisory Board for a local high school.  She has just completed an e-book on 7 Strategic Techniques for Gaining Clients from LinkedIn and writes for several publications.  Debbie does workshops and seminars related to social media and its effective use.  Debbie can be reached at Debbie@PImedia.me.

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How To Get On This Day for All Your Social Networks

Last week Facebook announced at their annual F8 conference that they have just launched their “On This Day” feature.  Now many of you may have used services like TimeHop for the same thing but did you know that digi.me also has this option but across all your social networks?

The difference with using digi.me to do your “On This Day” look back is that you can look back across all your different social networks and not just Facebook.  So if you are a fan of the Facebook feature then why not try out our version and share what you find on your other social networks as a daily notification.

In addition to this you will soon be getting multi-year look back features on digi.me so you can look back at what you were doing 1, 2, 3 or even 4 years ago!  History is fascinating and this digital diary will help you share those interesting insights into your life history!

How to find the On This Day feature in digi.me

Step 1.

Set the time of day when you want your “On This Day” notification by going to Settings/ Settings and Enable Flashback every day and set the time to a time to suit you.

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Step 2.

When the time arrives you will see a popup in the bottom right of your screen that looks something like this:

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Click on the popup to see the expanded view.

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Share your favourite digi.me look back moments with us on our social media accounts!

Backup Computer Key

Useful Backup Tools

You know that you need to backup your computer and your online content but what are the best tools for the job?  This article gives you some suggestions of tools that you can use to do just that.

PC Backup Tools

There are lots of options when it comes to backing up a PC and some of these are free or relatively cheap and some are paid for services.

Online vs Offline Backups… You have two options with your PC.  You can back your content up online or you can back it up to an offline device.  If you have poor internet access then we would suggest you go with doing offline backups to an external hard drive.  This would be your quickest and simplest answer however it is easy to forget to do it so set a reminder in your calendar to do it regularly.

If you have decent internet access then online backups are certainly a quick and painless approach if you don’t have loads of large files to back up. There are a range of services out there that offer this.

This article from PC Pro gives a good comprehensive list of cloud backup services for you to choose from.

Mac Backup Tools

Similarly to backing up a PC you can back up a mac to an external hard drive if you don’t have a good internet connection.

Cloud backup tools are also an option but remember with a mac you also have the option of backing up to iCloud.  You can find the instructions on how to do this here.

Mobile Backup Tools

Mobiles can be one of those things that you just completely forget to back up and yet they are one of the things that we use most and capture a lot of our memories with.  So how exactly can you back up your phone contacts, pictures and more?  If you have an iPhone the answer is easy. Just use iCloud and voila.

If you are on an Android or Windows phone then backup services such as OneDrive and GoogleDrive are great alternative options. This article on the 10 Best Android Backup Apps may come in handy for those looking for a tool to just do it all without any technical know how.  For Windows phone just follow these simple instructions to set where you want your data backed up to.

Social Media Backup Tools

When it comes to our online social media content we often don’t consider backing it up and yet we would be lost without it!  So how do you back up your content from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIN?  The answer here is simple. You can download digi.me for free and back up your four favourite social media accounts for free for a year this World Backup Day!

Make the most of the offer and tell your friends and family!