Somesso Startups [en]

  • Kyte: is kyte still a startup? Nokia are using Kyte as an internal video tool.
  • Amazee: social collaboration platform
  • Cassiber: idea management software, ranking ideas and feedback
  • shiftTHINK: social network data analysis
  • Zemanta: blog assistant, context recommendations when blogging
  • Headshift: (when did Headshift become a startup? I love you guys, but you’ve been around too long to be called that, imho.)
  • Nimbuzz: aggregating VoiP, IM, chat, presence
  • Winkwaves (via skype):
  • Mediaclipping (via skype):

steph-note: no offense, but after Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin, I think I’m sick of hearing about startups. We seem to be going over and over and over the same things again. Of course each one has a unique twist and looks cool, but there are so many of them and none really stand out or jump at me in a “oh my god this is what the world needs” way.

steph-note: good job with the questions, Peter!

Somesso – Thomas Power: Shedding light on social networking for your business [en]

James Moore: The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems (recommended reading)

steph-booth: he just said “web 3.0” — this looks bad


Startups, self-employed, corporate refugees.

History of the social media space: web 1.0: stuff steph-note:, geocities

“Find me!”

The internet is about managing people.

Web 2.0 is all about managing people. “Join me!”

Now, “Web 3.03: “Follow me!” steph-note: I am strongly against using “web 3.0” for this kind of stuff. It’s still web 2.0

Lots of tools emerging to help you manage your “following”. steph-note: I agree, but it’s still web 2.0

Socialmedian — calling it the cleverest thing after Twitter. steph-note: need to find some time to go look at it again; having a thought right now though: reading what your friends are reading is taking us towards homogenous thinking, where’s the diversity? — I agree of course we need those filters and use them myself, but there are implications.

steph-note: I agree with the “Find me, Join me, Follow me” analysis but there is not use trying to stretch parallels with web 1.0, web 2.0, and a bs web 3.0

A definition of network value: how much people talk about you when you’re not there.

Comparisons between networks are kind of pointless — they’re all countries in their own right.

Communication style is what makes us like a platform better than another.

4 colours for people/communication types. Important to take them all into account when communicating.

Thomas views subscription as taxation (“country” metaphor). 80% taxation revenue, 20% ads. The paying users are probably the best users of the network. He can’t wait for MySpace and facebook to introduce taxes/subscriptions.

Somesso: Opening Remarks (Arjen Strijker and Susan Kish) [en]

[fr] Mes notes de la conférence Somesso à Zurich.

I’m at the Somesso conference near Zurich today. Most of the usual suspects are here, and some others — about 50 people in the room at my last count. Wifi has just been made available to us, yay! (And it seems pretty quick, too.)

Somesso 06

I’ll be taking notes as I can during the day. As always, my notes run the risk of being imprecise or even outright wrong at times, but I do my best!

Arjen Strijker

Somesso 02 - Arjen Strijker

how can companies make best use of social media?

2 keynotes, then five companies will tell their story. Plan: 2/3rds speaking, 1/3rd questions.

Conference set up in less than five months.

Susan Kish

Somesso 05 - Susan Kish


Social media is fundamentally transformative (social is human, media has been here for hundreds of years) — some of the technologies we use have been able to transform the way we communicate. “When we change how we communicate, we fundamentally transform society.”


What is social media, and how is it being used? What works, and what doesn’t? What has long-term impact? How do we know it’s not just a fad?


Where will we be in 5-10 years? which technologies will still be there, and which will not?

Somesso – Julie Meyer: Value Creation through Social Media for Companies [en]

[fr] Mes notes de la conférence de Julie Meyer à Somesso.

Somesso 18

From the Digital Island (that’s what it felt like 10 years ago) to Entrepreneur Country (what it feels like today).

Entrepreneurs are not the problem, it’s more the financing.

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steph-note: ouch, lots of text on the slides and talking very fast& taking photos again

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Julie used to work for PR, and used to think that the job of PR was to hold up the mirror to the company, and that the company should have no contact whatsoever with the exterior — completely invalid thinking today.

Marketing trumps technology.

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steph-note: sorry, too many words too fast and too packed on slides, tuned out

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Spinvox: didn’t create the technology, but created the business model (like Skype).

Big problem in the startup sector: founders can’t make it to CEO steph-note: agreed!

Realising what ecosystem you’re in, whether or not it is to disrupt it.

Somesso 34

Somesso – Frans van der Reep: From survival of the fittest to survival of the most cooperative [en]

[fr] Notes de la présentation de Frans van der Reep à la conférence Somesso.

steph-note: oops, he’s speaking German. Phew, switching to English :-) — these are my scribbled notes, inevitably imprecise, of Frans van der Reep’s keynote at the Somesso conference.

We have to invest in our ability to observe, see, understand. Frameworks have shifted.

Geography class, flying over countries with our eyes closed. If we turn the map by 45 degrees, our knowledge disappears. Similar to being invited to the blackboard in front of the classroom. The ego also comes in, not accepting that you don’t have the answer. People try to get an answer, so they don’t ask questions where they don’t have an answer.

This map-shifting is what corporations are going through now regarding the internet.

We need people who are capable of shifting and optimising their viewpoints, and who are willing to experience new viewpoints => we need new frameworks.

These frameworks (some of them) are what Frans will present in this speech.

Somesso 10

We’re going from top-down to bottom-up, and from push to pull.

Change is coming so rapidly.

A year doesn’t have any commercial meaning. It’s long. => we go from marketing to sales. Example of a company who have no marketing, they just put clothes in shops, leave them 3 weeks and see what sells (remove or add).

Social media makes everyone a salesperson, whether you like it or not. => what are you good at? what’s your personal value? what’s your business? It’s always been like that, but the internet is pushing it to the front of the scene.

Old, top-down, push:

  • European Ruling
  • Top-down ICT Planning
  • Marketing
  • Politics
  • Innovation planning

New, bottom-up, pull:

  • private initiatives
  • prototyping
  • sales
  • referendum
  • linux/wiki/csn

We don’t want courts of justice to be bottom right in the box, or it will be lynching in the marketplace. But they’re coming down a bit.

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Next slide: 4 ways of organising a company.

Two axes: simple => complex and dynamic => static environment.

If you look at companies, management and control is not necessarily worse an option, but it should be used where it is a solution to a problem. One way => all ways (top right, where the social media stuff is — complex and dynamic).

9% of companies are one-person companies in the Netherlands.

Different worlds, to be used when it makes sense. eg. journalists are in the “all-ways” world, but printing and distribution in the “one way”. No value in putting a company only in the one-way world.

Somesso 12

If you don’t adopt the internet as a tool to create transparency, it’s far too expensive to& (?)

Accept multiple viewpoints.

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simple/one-way: camouflage (corporations)
complex/dynamic: stand up (what the internet encourages you to do, what the 1-person company forces you to do)

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Seen from another angle: on the left, the maintainer, who focuses on what is known. On the right, the entrepreneur, who focuses on what is not known. Shared practice vs. Next practice, and Right practice (control, hold grip) vs. Best practice (enlarge quantity).

Where companies stand in this graph.

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Teams, clans, clubs&

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Moving from survival of the fittest to survival of the most cooperative => develop the talent to spot talent is the most important thing to do.

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One size fits all doesn’t work.

Be transparent, consequent and clear in your intentions. Cooperation is a personal decision.

Comment from the floor: all this is very relevant to the current US presidential election.

Frans: the Middle Ages are a very good model to understand what is going on. Tribes, guilds, torturing and the plague are back& There is a huge power vacuum, in which the Al Qaedas fit in, that’s the political problem we have.

Charles de Neef: seems quite challenging for corporations to move into that top right square, but some big corporations have shown success in adopting the top right mindset/tools.

steph-note: no wifi (at least not working), and timing seems tight — we’ll see how it goes. I count about 50 people in the room.

Bloggy Friday 7 novembre 2008 [fr]

[en] The next Bloggy Friday in Lausanne is on November 7th!

Eh oui, on y est déjà!

Venez nous rejoindre le 7 novembre dès 20h pour un Bloggy Friday chaleureux et convivial à Lausanne.

Vous connaissez la routine: blogueurs et autres personnes branchées “nouveaux médias”, dans la région Lausannoise et ailleurs, c’est l’occasion de se retrouver “pour de vrai” et de blablater autour d’un petit repas.

On se retrouve Chez Rony en haut de Chenau-de-Bourg à 20h. C’est ouvert à tous (pas besoin de connaître qui que ce soit pour débarquer!) mais merci de vous inscrire, dans les commentaires de ce billet ou simplement sur Facebook.

Thoughts on Conference Endings [en]

[fr] Quelques réflexions sur les fins de conférence (Web 2.0 Expo s'est vraiment fini en queue de poisson, avec démontage avant même la fin des présentations!)

Je pense qu'il a un cercle vicieux en jeu qui fait partir les gens avant la fin car il n'y a plus rien d'intéressant, et puisque les gens partents, les organisateurs ne se "donnent" pas sur la fin.

Je proposerais une dernière session sous forme de keynote "à ne pas rater", suivie d'un apéro qui permettra de finir en douceur.

As I stepped out in the hallway at the end the session discussion on Gender Issues in Web 2.0 Careers that Suw had invited me to participate in, I was quite surprised to find myself amongst booth parts, piles of branding material, and the general noise of things being taken apart.

Gosh, I thought, I hadn’t realised we were the last session!

The thing is& we weren’t.

I tried to get a cup of tea, but that was not possible anymore. Everything was closing down, the sponsors had left, the attendees were scuttling out of the venue like rats off a sinking ship.

After a bit of wandering around, I headed upstairs to the main conference room. A courageous speaker was presenting to a thin crowd amidst the clanging of the workers downstairs.

What a sad ending to what had otherwise been a rather nice conference experience.

I bumped into Jen in a corridor somewhere, and we exchanged a few same-wavelength thoughts on what was going on.

I remember being advised to keep a really good speaker for the last sessions of Going Solo, to discourage attendees from leaving early. It seems to be kind of understood that specially in the case of a multi-day conference, most attendees are going to leave before the end to catch planes and trains to go back to their loved ones (or their pile of work). So speakers don’t want end slots, and conference organisers don’t want to risk putting an important session in the last slot because “everyone” will miss it.

I say it’s a vicious circle, and conference organisers need to have the balls to make things change. Plan drinks after the last session. Make the last session a really good keynote. Announce it in advance. Sell it clearly to attendees when they register to the conference: make it something they will not want to miss. Plan for the keynote to end reasonably early, allow an hour for drinks, networking and saying good-bye, and ensure people can still get an evening flight back to where they came from.

I bet you people will start staying. If you don’t believe in your ending, they certainly won’t.

I think it is important to change this for two main reasons:

  • First, the peak-end phenomenon. We judge an experience by how it was at its best/worst, and how it ended. That’s why firework shows end with a big bang (“bouquet final” in French), speeches end with a smart closing point that sums things up, and the last 5 minutes of a movie can kill it. As conference organisers, we want everybody to go home with the most positive feeling possible about the event. Let’s not act like high-school students who do not know how to end an essay.
  • Second, saying good-bye. I find it incredibly frustrating not to be able to say good-bye to the people I’ve met or connected with during the conference. The absence of real ending makes it near to impossible to do so. Drinks at the conference venue, on the other hand, make it possible: “everyone” will be there, and people will leave little by little, so you actually get a chance to say bye.

Now, I’ve been wondering if there is a cultural streak to the importance of saying good-bye. I know that for me personally, it’s very important. (Maybe a bit too much so, though I’ve loosened up quite a bit over the years.) Are cultures which are a little less formal (I’m thinking of the US in particular) less concerned about saying good-bye?

For fun (mainly), I’ve designed a little poll to try and figure this out. Please take a minute to fill in the form below. Yes, it’s quite binary, isn’t it? If anything interesting comes out of it, I’ll let you know.