Archive for the ‘General’ Category

In London from 25th to 27th

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Hi everyone, I will be in London from 25th to 27th of February. Those who are in London, if you are interested in what I’ve been writing here, please drop me a message and we might have a chance to meet.

Fake blog award 2007: millanblogi.fi

Friday, October 26th, 2007

This had to happen. Fake blogs have landed to Finland. Millan blogi is the worst case I’ve seen so far. It has FAKE written all over it with invisible ink. I can almost imagine how the marketing department at PICNIC (a cafe francise) and some clueless ad-agency got together to envision a new format to reach their customers:

Café PICNIC:
Our marketing is not effective enough. We are not reaching the 25-35 year olds through traditional means. We have heard that 25-35 year olds use the web and find their news online.

Clueless ad-agency:
We have a revolutionary idea: lets use the web as a medium and blogs as a platform to create an effective marketing campaign!

Café PICNIC:
Hooray! How come we didn’t come up with that ourselves, it’s so obvious! Thank you, thank you, thank you… Let’s get right down to details…

Clueless ad-agency:
Hold on, we will send you an exp…eerr innovative offer with all the details by monday. We look forward to work with you on the best viral campaign the world has seen so far!

As if Finland needs more failed viral campaigns… The end result is a blog, run by an imaginary 30-something Milla, an easy going and funny woman living in a buzzling city, probably Helsinki. She is once in a while dropping by at Café PICNIC for a sandwitch or two to fatten the bottom line of the company while going to the gym. She obviously has a blog to report that. Get addicted to her stories by following her for months.

That’s where the whole plan starts to go horribly wrong. A huge marketing budget with high production values meets low-cost social media… a combination that has no taste nor future.

Let me go through a few of the disgraceful mistakes in this “blog”:

  • On the front page you can’t identify right away if the site is a blog written by some girl called Milla, or just a cheesy commercial. This is unforgivingly misguiding for the readers.
  • The front page features 9 fake pictures taken by professional photographers with pro-cameras. The photos scream “I’m fake” right at you.
  • A commercial starts to play immediatly to disrupt you. It scares you to death with its unauthenticity
  • The content is written in first person but the whole story is childish, cheesy and hard to believe. The story and language of Milla looks deliberately crafted. The truth shines through shamelessly: it’s not written by a real person called Milla, but some cheap part-time trainee at the clueless ad-agency
  • The posts appear in a strict schedule every monday (sometimes tuesday, because the trainee was lazy), drifting the story totally out of context
  • The blog refers to PICNIC in about half of the posts without any warning of affilliates

Technically speaking, this site misuses the whole concept of a blog:

  • No permalink to refer to each blog post separately
  • No RSS feed to subscribe to new posts
  • No timestamps
  • No commenting or trackback feature, the site is talking right-at-you rather than with you
  • No “About Milla” page telling who she is, who she represents, what she will write about and how to contact her

The site is everything but authentic. It’s a shame for the whole finnish blogging community, that sites like this exist with the name “blog” written on it. Some companies do it right, some listen to ad-agency drones who don’t know what they are doing. For a better example, see blogger Veloena sponsored by Suomen Kuvalehti. She is doing a great job and probably costs less than this shameful campaign.

I feel sorry for the initiators of this campaign. They obviously didn’t have the best expertise around. In fact, I feel so sorry that I volunteer to lend my copy of “Naked Conversations” (or give a signed copy of the translation “Blogit ja bisnes” with my foreword when it comes out) and provide FREE consultation for them to fix this misdoing with a fraction of the original budget. If you know anyone responsible for this, please ask them to contact me.

Do you have other examples of fake blogs in Finland? Let me know.

My top 10 tools

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

I just came back from a vacation. I’m full of energy and great ideas are waiting to be implemented in the coming months.

To get things done, I use several different tools. Some time ago I created a mindmap of my knowledge working landscape, categorizing various tools I use under labels like gathering, processing, networking, sharing, scheduling and listing various contexts in which the work gets done.

It’s a great exercise to see what tools you are using to complete different tasks and gives a quick overview how your knowledge working flow could be improved. I will share this mindmap later because some people have asked for it.

Until then, here is a link to my list of top 10 tools on the website of Centre fro Learning & Performance Technologies. They are in no particular order and do not include the 100+ other tools, but are some of the most frequently used in my toolbox. If you want to browse and get great new recommendations for experimentation, see what other professionals on the field are listing as their top 10 tools.

Lost contact

Monday, June 18th, 2007

I’m back in Finland from Italy. Great trip, a lot of new friends. The problem is, my luggage disappeared on the way back from Fiumicino Airport to Finland along with my collection of business cards, parmigiano and prosciutto.

If you gave me your business card at EDEN conference and want to keep in touch, please drop me an email (teemu at dicole dot com) as it’s not 100% sure I will get my stuff back.

Now I understand why so many Italians think Fiumicino Aeroporto is a mess. 

Serendipity at EDEN

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

I’m in Rome, Italy and will travel to Naples this week for the EDEN Conference. The theme this year is New Learning 2.0. I quickly calculated that about 50 of the 200 submitted papers have something to do with Web 2.0, tagging, blogs, folksomonies and wikis. On the plane I saw a CNN program called Global Office, dealing with social networking sites and the Web 2.0 phenomena. It looks like we are approaching general awareness of social technologies.

My keynote presentation will open the conference on 14th of June. I will talk about Serendipity 2.0, missing third places of learning. We have to consider five things:

  • the role of physical spaces in relation to social interaction technologies. Especially spaces that exist out of the reach of formal structures
  • the balance between centralization/decentralization and hierarchies/networks
  • importance of lateral ties among people (non-linearity) in linear processes. Many problems in linear processes can be traced back to problems in sense making
  • formal and informal, serendipity and zemblanity, practice and process. What is the right mix?
  • how we shape our tools and how the tools then shape us

Internet is like an electric lamp. When the lamp was invented, it casted light to new spaces for people to be in, to interact with and to work in. In a similar way, the internet is creating new spaces for people to be in that were not previously available. Just as the electric lamp transformed our society and shaped us, so will the internet. The technology does nothing on its own. It’s what people do with the technology that transforms us.

But changes in structure and form are meaningless without corresponding changes in pedagogy. Slow pedagogy (similar to fast and slow food) counters the current culture of acceleration, giving learners time to reflect, to introspect, to argue and to enjoy.