A whole new world

Hi Twingly supporters! Yesterday was amazing! Project www.mediebevakare.se was an absolute success. As an intern here at Twingly, this has been a fantastic learning experience. And what’s even better is all of you, who helped us make this site come true. Wonderful work, thank you!

My name is Karin Gilje, and while I’m currently doing my internship here at Twingly, I am also a student studying business development, marketing and sales at this business school: http://bit.ly/9xAsSQ in Linköping. I’ll be graduating in June of this year and will be available for lots of cool jobs. 🙂

Why am I here at Twingly? Well, I have a pretty cool idea for a future online shop and blog, and in order to make that successful, I really need to understand how the world of digital and social media works.

My first step into social media was to register on Twitter. I mean, one of the fun things about social media is to be a part of it yourself, right? It took a while to understand the tweet lingo, however, after testing Twitter out for about 10 minutes, I gave up. It’s hard to get started with it! However, now a few weeks later, I am on track and I am living my ambition.

Although I may be a traditional business student, my ways of thinking and seeing things are not quite as traditional. So, digital media should really be the industry for me to be in!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @karingilje

Twingly launches Mediebevakare.se to give an overview of the social media monitoring market

Today we launch the wiki Mediebevakare.se (in Swedish) to give an overview of existing social media monitoring tools.

We felt that it was quite a task to get a comprehensive overview of all the social media monitoring tools available and that there were very few places to connect companies looking for social media monitoring tools with the companies offering these.

So we thought a wiki where everyone can contribute would be the perfect solution. Now every company offering social media monitoring tools has the opportunity to publish details of their social media monitoring services on Mediebevakare.se, as well are their customers able to say what they think about them.

From the start there are seven tools represented in great detail with screenshots and text explaining how these work as well as pricing. We’ve been promised that quite some more will be added in the near future. When you as a company post information, make sure you provide your potential customers with easy to understand and yet detailed information. It will enable them to get a much better initial picture of your tools before contacting you.

The amazing response we got within a short time after the launch just confirms that this was the right thing to do; so we are really glad about having kicked this one off!

Thanks to everyone who already contributed with content and helps building this platform into a success story from day one. We look forward to see Mediebevakare.se developing into the new market-place and information-pool for social media tools. And big thanks to Karin Gilje, our intern who did all the hard work to make this come true!

Some blog & media love:
Cloud Nine
Stefan Krafft
PR 2.0
Disruptive Media
Peter Alsbjer

6 web based tools you really need to know

The cloud is the future. Thanks to faster broadband connections, more powerful web programming techniques, better browsers and cheaper online storage and traffic, the number of web tools that let you do tasks online is increasing at a rapid pace. Here are 6 awesome web applications that could help you to get rid of your old and expensive desktop software.

Presentations: Prezi
Prezi has dusted off the boring concept of static presentations based on PowerPoint. The service lets you create beautiful, dynamic presentations directly within the browser. Upload your own content such as text, images or video files, set the order for the content to be shown, and you’re ready to impress the audience. You can run your presentation in the browser or download it to your hard drive.

Image editing: Pixlr
There are many image editing tools out there, with different feature sets and complexity. One of the nicest ones is Pixlr. Going to www.pixlr.com/editor presents you with an interface that looks pretty much like Photoshop, and that offers you all the basic image editing tools you need. It’s free and really quick. And like Twingly, it’s from Sweden. Alternatives to Pixlr are for instance FotoFlexer, Picnik and Photoshop.com.

Mind mapping: MindMeister
If you are the visual type, you might like creating mind maps for structuring ideas, tasks or lists. In this case you should check out MindMeister, the ultimate web based mind mapping tool. You can create and manage mind maps and you can share them and collaborate with others in real time. MindMeister also offers an iPhone app.

Office: Google Docs
Even though Google Docs has existed for many years, way too many people still don’t know that Google is providing everyone with a free and versatile online office suite to upload, edit and collaborate on text, spreadsheet and presentation files. Although Docs is missing a few of the more advanced functions you find in Microsoft’s Office products, it’s more than sufficient for most of people’s daily office needs. It comes especially handy if you are working with different machines, since you skip transferring files from one computer to the other. Another similar service is Zoho.

Diagrams: Lovely Charts
Do you find yourself creating diagrams occasionally, or you would like to do it but don’t know how? Lovely Charts allows for browser based creation of all kinds of diagrams and charts, like flowcharts, site-maps or organizational charts. Here is a screen cast that shows you how you can use Lovely Charts.

Audio editing: Myna
Aviary are the makers of an awesome suite of browser based creativity tools. One of their apps is called Myna, a basic audio editor in the cloud. With Myna, you can edit audio files in a variety of formats, you can merge and mix samples and you can even record with your computer’s microphone. Myna also has a neat SoundCloud integration. If you are into music, Myna could be a great little helper.

What are your favourite web based tools?

/Martin Weigert

Green is the new blue-yellow

The Swedish national colours are blue and yellow. Thanks to IKEA, one of the worlds biggest and most valuable brands and a company with roots in Sweden, that’s probably a pretty well known fact among most people.

But let’s just assume you don’t know IKEA and you are online quite often: Then you might not associate blue and yellow with the Scandinavian country, but green. How come? There are a hell lot of Swedish web services using green for their logotypes.

Well yes, one of them you might know, that’s our very own Twingly. We probably don’t need to introduce you to our service. The logo looked slightly different when we started Twingly in 2006, but still, it was green.

Then of course, have a look at Spotify, the popular music streaming service that amazes everyone who once had the chance to try it, and that makes people queue for invites. Although Spotify’s application is focusing on greyscale colours, the company is using green for their logotype and as part of their corporate design, for instance in their marketing material or for their mobile apps.

Let’s move on to Bambuser, a video streaming service from the south of Sweden, which not only sports a green logo but is also using green as its default colour for links. Gone are the good old days when a link had to be blue.

But that’s not all: Enter SiteVision, the developers of a portal and content management system used by more than 300 customers in Scandinavia. SiteVision’s logotype is partially green, as is their own website design.

We shouldn’t forget Saplo, a Swedish company that is developing technologies for automatic text analyses so that machines are able to understand the meaning and context of digital texts.

Last but not least there is Binero, a web hosting company from Sweden. Although Binero is using green for their logotype in a rather sparingly way, the green “dot” is actually the first thing you seen when only taking a quick glance. Speaking about Binero: They recently published an interview with Anton Johansson from the Twingly team. Check it out if you understand Swedish.

By the way, if we would want to cheat, we could also mention KaZaA, the notorious peer-to-peer file sharing application that was founded by the Swedish Niklas Zennström and the Danish Janus Friis. They also chose a logotype with the green colour inside. Later they sold the service, founded Skype, and became unfaithful to green.

Still , it’s more than obvious: There has to be a connection between innovation, success and the colour green. So our advise to you: If you are planning on starting a web company, use a green logotype and you will face a bright future. Well, at least you would have been mentioned in this article.

Which Swedish web companies with green logotypes did we forget?

Update: We got two additions! Peter Sunde told us via Twitter that even Flattr, his and Linus Olsson’s upcoming micropayment service for content sites and blogs, does have parts of green in its logo. That of course qualifies Flattr to be part of this list.

And Mats informed us on Twitter that even Daytona has a green logotype. Daytona is a successful Stockholm based agency for website and online advertising campaign creation. So it is not really a web service, but let’s not be too bureaucratic today!

The state of location based services: Gowalla vs Foursquare

There has been a lot of buzz recently surrounding location based services (lbs). The more people carry a smart phone, the more are starting to try out applications that make use of the phones integrated GPS, that present you locations around you, and that let you check in to those locations to show your contacts where you are hanging out.

Although not the first location based services around, Gowalla and Foursquare are the two start-ups that caught most of the social web crowds attention in recent month. Their user numbers are still low compared to huge social networking giants like Facebook or Twitter – Foursquare is said to have 600.000+ users, Gowalla has even less – but the huge media attention they are getting and the loyalty of existing users can be a sign for a bright future for these and other location based services.

The functionality of Gowalla and Fousquare is very similar. You use their mobile apps or sites on iPhone, Android or BlackBerry phones to check in at locations near you. The more often you do that, the higher you are ranked in the leader board, and the more badges you get giving you higher status. You can also see which other users recently did check in at a specific location, and at Foursquare, the one with most check-ins becomes “mayor” of that location.

The more actual friends you add as Gowalla and Foursquare contacts, the more fun it is to use the services, since you can also get notified through push messages when your friends are checking in somewhere. Then, these location based services show their real power by making it easier to meet up spontaneously with a buddy who might sit in a bar just 100 meters from where you are.

In the US where Gowalla and Foursquare have their origin, the companies already have started to partner up with retailers, bars and media companies to offer people with a lot of check-ins discounts, freebies or other incentives. Obviously these location based services open up for a range of new marketing possibilities for vendors, helping them to get new customers and to reward the existing customers loyalty.

In Europe, Swedish grocery chain ICA was one of the first retailers to use Gowalla for promotion purposes, when recently encouraging people to check in at their new store in central Stockholm and promising an iPad for the person with most check-ins.

Overall, the differences between Gowalla and Foursquare are minor ones and mainly regarding the user interface. Except for one major aspect: Gowalla only lets you check in at locations where you actually are, whereas Foursquare doesn’t have this limitation – and thus can be easier gamed. Foursquare says it is working on that.

The similarity of the services has led to a situation where quite many people are using both apps for now, making it necessary to check in twice at each location, one time with Gowalla, and one time with Foursquare. Fortunately, check.in, a new mobile service developed by Brightkite, another location based social network, has come up with a solution for this problem by allowing users to check in at Gowalla, Foursquare and Brightkite simultaneously.

It’s not clear yet which of the two apps eventually will win the location race, or if it will be Brightkite, Loopt, Rummble, or one of the many other competitors in this space. However, location is undoubtedly already one of the biggest web trends this year, and it’s going to become much bigger when the majority of people will swap their basic or feature phones for multifunctional smart phones.

Next time you see people pulling out their phones after arriving at your favourite bar, they could be checking in.

Introducing Martin Weigert as Twingly’s new blogger

Hello Twingly fans!

My name is Martin Weigert, from now on I will write regularly in the Twingly blog. I will introduce you to new features of existing Twingly products, write about launches of totally fresh Twingly services and keep you posted about what’s going on in the exciting social web world where Twingly is an important part of.

Let me tell you a few words about me: I’m originally from Berlin, but moved to Stockholm after finishing my Bachelor studies in Business Communication Management. I have been working as a Project Manager within advertising/print media for three and a half years. Simultaneously I followed my passion of blogging about web topics, like the rise of social networks, the real time web or – in the past month – the young but thriving sector of location based services.

At first I had an own blog in German together with a friend, then I started to write at one of Germany’s leading tech blogs netzwertig.com, and recently I got the chance to take over the role of the editor for netzwertig.com. That is a little bit like if I realized a dream, since I always wanted to blog for living. There is nothing more exciting than covering the web world. A world that is changing rapidly and developing faster than many can imagine. From time to time, I also publish some thoughts in English on martinweigert.com.

At least once a week you will read an update from me here on the Twingly blog, and me and the Twingly team would be happy to hear your feedback in the comments.

Thanks to Twingly, Your Tweets Now Come Slightly From The Future

Unfolding a series of events that astonished scientists worldwide, Twingly today announces that it has been a key figure in researching and aquiring a new kind of technology that will allow Twitter to pass Tweets between their users slightly before they are actually written.

As previously announced, this week the Large Hadron Collider had it’s first scientific breakthrough, producing a record-breaking high energy collision between quantum particles. What is lesser known is that it was no coincidence that Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter, celebrated his birthday this week as well. And that the LHC experiment had side-effects of monumental proportions.

From the high-energy collision, the LHC opened what scientists call a “worm-hole” into the future, where information can pass through. Thanks to Twingly, this worm-hole is now busy at work inside Twitters server farm, receiving tweets from the future which are then sent out to users, just slightly ahead of time.

Twingly have had great success with their Twingly Live service during 2010. Their focus on break-through realtime technology is starting to pay off.

“The realtime web allows people to put more and more of their everyday conversations on to the net”, says Martin Källström, CEO of Twingly. “With the super-realtime technology we helped Twitter integrate, these conversations will now go even faster. Tweets are simply coming from slightly into the future.”

Professor Franz Mannheimer von Trüttfigger Kohlman-Grant, Chief Scientist-guy of the LHC project at CERN, Geneva, said this about Twitter:

Evan Williams was a genius when he designed Twitter to only allow messages of up to 140 characters. It turns out, that this is exactly how much information that according to the laws of quantum physics are allowed to pass through a worm-hole. It is as if Twitter was designed with future-time in mind, not real-time.

Asked what Twingly’s contribution to the worm-hole project exactly consists of, Professor Franz Mannheimer von Trüttfigger Kohlman-Grant answered:

Ich weise sämtliche Anschuldigungen zurück, dass irgendeine Form von Bestechung im Spiel war als Twingly die Wurmloch-Technologie für Twitter erworben hat. Ich würde niemals Bestechungsgelder annehmen, schon gar nicht von Ausländern. Dennoch möchte ich gerne festhalten, dass Martin Källström und Evan Williams wohl die nettesten Menschen überhaupt auf dieser Welt sind. Letztes Wochenende haben wir wie verrückt zusammen gefeiert und sind nun das, was man bei uns in Deutschland Stammtischbrüder nennt. Und die blonden schwedischen Zwillinge, die später in mein Apartment kamen haben wir wirklich verdammt gut gefallen. Ich habe mich entschieden, sie zu behalten und baue nun eigens einen speziellen Keller für sie. Aber wie gesagt, keine Bestechung in irgendeiner Weise ist involviert. Ach ja, hat jemand irgendwo meinen neuen diamantbesetzten pre-release Apple iPad gesehen?

Which roughly translates to:

All I can say is that Martin Källström and Evan Williams are probably the nicest guys on the planet.

The physical limit of sending 140 characters through a wormhole this also has spurred other scientific research projects: How much information can you actually fit into 140 characters? The question arises from the need to sometimes actually communicating more complex information than can fit into 140 characters. Surprisingly, this boils down to finding out which Unicode ranges that are acknowledged by the Universe. The scientists are referring to the research under the name String Theory. Albert Einstein is famously known to deny the existance of String Theory, uttering the often-quoted phrase “God does not do UTF-8”.

Martin Källström, CEO of Twingly, was also asked what the actual implications are for the end user when Tweets now are being published from slightly into the future. He answered:

“There will actually be very little impact on end-user experience. Tweets are now being published from 8 nanoseconds into the future, which is the amount of time it takes for light to travel 140 characters. This is a too small amount of time to be noticeable. But it just feels different.”

Video from the LHC announcement: