Learnings from a Meerkat interview

Last week I did an AMA at the Slack-based UX community Designerhangout as the UX research at Lookback.io with Meerkat. Meerkat, similarly to Periscope allows you to live streaming app that allows you to take questions and re-posts your interview to Youtube later which, very neat and practical. Here is a short description of the experience and the findings.

The founder of Designerhangout Jacob Rogelberg and I scheduled the AMA (Ask me anything) a week in advance so I had time to do a test recording with Meerkat before going live on @designerhangout  with their entire community and not bugging them with tech details etc. I would do this again just out of curtesy, you don’t want people waiting while you get yourself together.

I also emptied my phone for excess materials. For example i synced all my photos externally and then deleted them so I had more than 200 MB to play with, that makes it a nice experience. Mainly I do this at any point in time when you are using video on your camera over 10 minutes of recorded material. My interview was 33 minutes. That takes some overhead, clean out some space on your device.

I signed in to Meerkat with our Lookback Twitter account as I have hade major difficulties with twitter password support after adding SMS verification, that has gone awry and won’t let me back in. Twitter customer service has a lot left to wish for but thats another story.

By tagging the video #katch Meerkat allows it to catch the video on Youtube later, so its documented. I named it appropriately so if people RT it it makes sense if its of for them on not “AMA with @lookbacks UX research @heidiharman”. This way when the tweets from your Twitter and Meerkat happens, it’s clear what the clip is about.

Once you are on Meerkat, people will show up in little round circles on your Meerkat screen, thats filming you if you flip to selfie mode (frontal camera). You will also get questions thru the Meerkat app. I got most of my questions thru our UX forum (designers hangout). My thoughts this, it being a new experience for both the founder and me, was that we could have prepped up with some questions in advance. And the forum could have directed the question to be done via Meerkat, this way I as the interviewee would not have to go between 2 screens.

Things I did in the beginning were:
1. Introduce myself, name, role, company and why I’m here – for the AMA.
2. I spoke briefly about what Lookback does.
3. I started answering questions.

It seemed as if more questions started popping towards the end of the 33 minute conversation in 2 different chat-rooms, Twitter and Meerkat. If advise to keep it one Channel.

I might even set up a tripod, so I don’t have to do handhold the recording at the same time I’m looking for questions on my desktop screen, ultimately i would only be working on the Meerkat screen.

All in all, it was a neat experience with people asking great questions and it was a lot of fun teasing out new stuff. Id definitely do it again and recommend it as a great tool for this type of interviews and makes it simpler to gather the material and publish it. Best of luck with your recording, AMA, Q&A or whatever creative use you find for it. Hope this helps your future Meerkat or Periscope interview in the future.

The actual stream:

Hybrid Conf – a once in a Stockholm event

Every now and then wonderful spaces are created, #hybridconf in Stockholm was one of them. The last event was in Cardiff (UK) hosting this 2-day batch of blissful international code/entrepreneurial startup/leadership/philosophy/organisation talks.

With speakers like Scott Hanselman @shanselman, Natasha Irizarry @NatashaIrizarry on UI/UX+life,  SASS designer Hampton Catlin, Tobias Ahlin from GitHub to NASA’s Tom Söderström speaking on robotics it was two amazing days of JavaScript, Sass, lego robots, hacking stuff together(Andrew Nesbitt) and other shenanigans. Oh, did we mention bowling might be the new (ping-pong) friendly sport of startups?

Related:
UI/UX Podcast by @axbom and @beantin covered several speakers:

Image above by me, of Tom Söderström, NASA. Image below by me, Andrew Nesbitt’s talk. Thnx @zachinglis @teawithlemon for putting this together, who are also working on this wonderful new project for youth employment, “Everyone Welcome – the Book”.

Footnote on Sass:

Sass (Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets) is a style sheet language initially designed by Hampton Catlin and developed by Natalie Weizenbaum. After its initial versions, Weizenbaum and Chris Eppstein continued to extend Sass with SassScript, a simple scripting language used in Sass files. Sass is a scripting language that is interpreted into Cascadi…
Information from Wikipedia/DBpedia, article

Future Perfect – on involment in growth regions

Open Dialogues future perfect
I spent a delightful second weekend of August speaking at Future Perfect, a festival for cross-disciplinary dialogue on sustainable future(s) located at the island of Grinda in the Stockholm archipelago. At the roundtable discussion I was invited to in the pre-dialogue, I was in with Therese Engstöm  (Sime Non-Profit) Shawn Westcott (Impact Invest), Bill Peduto (Mayor of Pittsburgh), and John Manoochehri (Future Perfect’s founder) on how to build a sustainable growth region and thinking on what can be done for Pittsburgh to attract and maintain talent.

My suggestions were as follows in an extended version:

• Coding is the new literacy (enabling).
Adapt code as a language in school from class 1. Everyone should have the chance to learn  the very basic functions of a practical (coding) language, a knowledge need for whatever you pursue later in life. Everything will have elements being built and created by code, just look and think of the internet of things, and of the things you use daily; they all contain tech. Everyone should be given the privilege to have the choice to pursue coding as a language.

Even though there are brilliant initiatives such as Kiddshackday.com it’s still a private initiative that (only) benefits the children with enthusiastic parents. On the national level of every country the government should step in and make sure that every kid has the possibility to learn,  as we don’t know where the next Einstein will come from – a privileged area or not. Conclusion: coding is the new literacy for the decades to come.

The US GeekGirlMeetup is looking froward to do a joint venture GeekGirlMeetup event in Pittsburgh later this year or in the following spring.

• Involving everyone – (diversity involvement on grassroots levels)
To maintain a nation’s innovation strength that leads to growth, we need to have a diverse uptake of ideas. Having women’s ideas being a contributor to the industry is of crucial importance. Increasing the numbers of women working within tech, development and entrepreneurial roles (the STEM area) is first and foremost accomplished by elevating role-models that already exist. There is of course no easy fix, or a single answer on how to go about it, but rather a collaborative effort over boundaries of education leadership, governmental efforts, and non-profit and private actors.

I was once told that a culture takes 30 years to change. It seems clear to me that if we are dependent on this change to happen, and we really want results, we need to commit and take the challenge into a long term perspective.

Why coding is so important that it should be seen as a school subject like a language, is for inclusion of everyone, like stated in the paragraph above, involving kids from all areas of a city, and including women – especially women. 

• The UI of Growth – citizen (user) involvement
As a UI/UX-designer my job is to think about people’s behavior and  about how to make people feel smart. When people ask me what that means I try to describe to people that when they are using their  ____ (insert internet service of choice) and they get angry or confused because they don’t understand what to do, then I have failed in my profession. When a service works seamlessly and makes you feel like it’s a piece of cake, then I’ve done a good job as an interaction designer or user experience designer.

If we are to apply the same thinking to our surroundings: in a society the users are called citizens, and social-innovation is the impact that we’re looking for instead of a fancy new site or app. If the user or citizen is to be empowered, the result is benefits that all citizens can use.

When technology provides an arena (previously less accessible due to cost or availability) to act and create possibilities where feedback loops between government and citizens exist this opens up for an amazing dialogue.

That’s how politicians/governments have the possibility to think too: “How can we make this easier for people to live amazing lives, build growth businesses, and create sustainable and growth regions, and live happy and healthy lives”.

Due to having lived in many countries where systems function differently and with different perks and quirks, I have learned to see that there are no perfect systems. However, there exist smooth ways to including citizens in social innovation, for example Sweden has Vinnova (Sweden’s innovation Agency) similar to the UK’s NESTA who are both governmental organs supporting the nations to include and make it possible for entrepreneurs and organizations to innovate. Spending time in the US, this works a bit differently as the private sector often pushes money into the innovation sector. But we need to remember that the base of Silicon Valley was not built on only private investors’ investment. Silicon Valley was supported by the government in the early 1950s as the US was racing Russia to the moon with great enthusiasm for the future. I’m not quite sure where that went; do we need an enemy to keep up our enthusiasm?  (If you haven’t read Peter Thiel’s excellent book “From Zero to One” that is out in September, pre-order a copy here. Thank you Dinelle for the gift!).

“What we know Silicon Valley to be today, a land of startups didn’t just magically appear out of no where, the region has had so much money pushed in to it, beyond belief.”
– Paula Graham, Flossie. (This quote was picked up at a talk we both did at G.Hack Thursdays Club at Goldsmith University, London)

Setting up an innovation and co-creation process starts with including a wide variety of people representing society and anyone who wants to participate in the value chain. When many have a possibility to participate, we create a society where citizens take responsibility as they know that they can impact their everyday life and surroundings. 

PhD Eric von Hippel describes this well in his book “Democratizing Innovation” even if from a more commercial perspective. It all starts by understanding the user and that starts with  a communication unafraid of being wrong and with out accusation towards any of the parties. It starts with an open dialogue, where both parties are trying to understand the expert user and their aim for making thing better and discovering how to do this together.

What I take with me from the event where Future Perfect set the frame for creating an arena (both in smaller pro-dialogues and open dialogues) for dialogue on future sustainability very well during is that it doesn’t start from one actor in only the environment or the government. It takes strong  leaders unafraid to collaborate who are unafraid of potentially being wrong, looking beyond failures and quick wins for new answers and possibilities who are yet unknown to us. It should be possible, after all, we have sent people to the moon.

(Please note, I’m trilingual if not more, however, Im not a native english speaker. Excuse any blurs.)

Related:

•  Peter Thiel’s excellent book “From Zero to One” that is out in September, pre-order a copy here)
• Eric von Hippel’s book “Democratising Innovation”. A free PDF of it from MIT.

Hello autumn in Stockholm 2014

Stockholm provides a selection of newsworthy tech-fests and crossover festivals/conferences this autumn in Stockholm. The list might be updated.

Future Perfect, 14-17 Augusti 2014 at Grinda, Stockholm Archipelago
Sustainability conference that also incorporates the tech perspective of the future for new creative regions etc. Discount tickets via @heidiharman

Hybrid Conf 21-22nd of August 2014, Rigoletto, Stockholm
Say hello to design and code in a merry combo for two days of bliss. A few tickets left.

Stockholm Tech Fest 4-5 Sept 2014, Waterfront Congress,  Stockholm
Startup and tech conference with some of Sweden’s and international leading names. Come meet the people and companies behind what many are calling ‘The World’s Next Hot Tech City’. 2 stages, 100+ startups, 30+ speakers, in 1 amazing place. Free tickets available via GeekGirlMeetups FB page.

Nordic.JS 18-19th of September 2014, Artipellag, Stockholm Archipelago.
Nordic.js is a two-day conference all about Javascript aiming to inspire and to get inspired, to meet and learn from others and to to bring our community closer together. The conference will take place on an island in the middle of the beautiful archipelago of Stockholm. Tickets have sold out, volunteer tickets might still be available.

 

 

GeekGirlMeetup Stockholm #makeIT

As a founder that has worked with the internationalization of GeekGirlMeetup, one thing that strikes me is strong belief that we need a diverse uptake of ideas (womens ideas) to create the next Skype and Spotify. One way to get more women into the STEM/ ICT area is to elevate the fantastic women that are already out there. If you have ideas of how to help us with our mission please don’t hesitate to contact us to grow the network or to bring new ideas to the organisation and out to the society. And what better way, but to celebrate the wonders of technology by playing with it!

GeekGirlMeetup is themed “Make IT” this year at the Science museum in Stockholm Sweden on May 24-25th.

Sign up now for tickets and speaking and lets co-create an amazing weekend.

This year we will as the theme suggest be geeking-out in maker-culture. Expect 3-printing, hardware, trans-humanism, knitting workshops and manga-creation.
With speakers, maker and creators like Stockholm maker-space, Carin Ism, Robot-Robyn, Johanna Koljonen, Nina von Rüdinger we expect total geekdom-ness at the three threads of ‪#‎creativetechnology ‬‪#‎socialbusiness‬ and ‪#‎justepic‬. After-party at Spotify!

Like what you see? Our previous themes have been:

2008 The architecture of winning
2009 GAME ON
2010 Code is Queen
2011 We love API’s
2012 Beautiful Data
2013 Enter.Space
2014 Make it

GeekGirlMeetup is a un-conference for women in web, code and startups aiming to elevate female role-models, create new networks and active knowledge exchange.

Some articles:
• The Guardian – Four groups bringing women in tech together
 VentureVillage – Diverse groups make better products

Hi-Tempo hackathon lookback


The Hi-Tempo Hackathon with Protothon and Tempo documentary filmfestival took place in Stockholm (Sweden) this week. Given that I have participated at a dosen hackathon’s and arranged half a dosen hackathon’s myself, it was a pleasure to attend. New to me was the approach with film and the transmedial expression, as Protothon previously worked with several different players for different perspectives. I doubt that any of the 20-something participants knew or could predict what was to come out of this we just had to trust the process. Exciting!

We were either hackathon beginners, experienced or just technically curious of what can come out of this. By trade we were developer, design-thinkers, students from Hyperisland and Bergs School of Communication and many more.

The groups introduced themselves to principles of a transmedia approach, soon my group was working with a solid design-driven process developing a concept after trying a few different concepts. We set up goals and elaborated in the universe that Angela presented us with at the same time as we held our autonomous freedom to do what we wanted. It was fantastic to have access to Angela regarding questions and ideas on background and understanding what visuals and thoughts we could work with.

Angela Bravo’s film is her story about being the child of political refugees from a Pinochet tortured Chile. Angela grew up in Sweden hearing of her heritage, her memories are with animated style of the 80’s like heroes, superman, StarWars portraying activist and perpetrators.  A scenario as a child growing up, that has never been to Chile, Chile very easily became a Imaginary Country, what was real and what was a childhood memory and interpretation? In her documentary she follows the activists as well as Pinochets closest bystanders. We quickly identified that it is not a light subject. We wanted to create something that reaches people’s abstract mind by breaking it down to a humans character and characteristics. What makes you a hero, and makes you a perpetrator? Could this situation that happened in Chile happen again if we are comfortably numb here in Sweden and forget to learn from history?

Our group focused on making a mobile first solution for rapid spreading on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter etc. The solution identified the topic of StarWars being a nice hero/villain style to work with and decided to do a questionnaire and meme-like piece on “what real StarWars character are you?”. By answering a few questions on what life choices you make you were lead down to become Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Chewbacka or a Stormtrooper?

At the end of the personality test you became one of them, however, this was also a play on human traits, and what makes you who you are, so if you tested to be a hero like Luke Skywalker you also carried the same traits and characteristics as Silvia, an activist. The test lead to 4 short interviews with characters from Imaginary Country, activating the landscape of character building or/and deconstructing as a perspective of the movie. The solution was built entirely in Java Script, and the team consisted of 5-6 people. bit.ly/imaginarycountry Please note, this is a mobile only piece. feel free to test being both super evil and very good. You will notice that it’s not always what you think nor expect.

The pieces opened the Tempo Film Festival 2014 and have been standing this week at Debaser Strand, hornstull.

This week was also closed down by two heavyweights in the sector Annika Warn and Simon Alexandersson.

I moderated a panel of Ph.D Annika Warn, Upsala University at the Tempofilmfestival Workshops speaking on pervasive gaming showcasing some best cases in history of transmedia projects.

Simon Alexanderson Ph.D student at KTH, showed us some of the works he was making with stopmotiongraphics, 3d works and animation aiming to be able to create animated characters quicker. This methods is highly applicable, especially in Angela Bravos case where the imaginary country is illustrated by rotoscoping as well as animations though out the film. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the future of this documentary film as well as to see how the future of media, games and film blend into what future we will in a decade take for a given contemporary future.

**

Transmedia storytelling (also known as transmedia narrative or multiplatform storytelling, cross-media seriality) is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies, not to be confused with traditional cross-platform media franchises, sequels or adaptations. Henry …
Information from Wikipedia/DBpedia, article

Protothon – the space between code and creativity

HI-TEMPO-WEB_3

Protothon  have teamed up with Tempo Documentary Festival bring you HI-TEMPO: a two day hackathon exploring radical futures of documentary storytelling.

Three film (amongst them, David Herdies) makers have fearlessly agreed to let the participants use their films-in-progress as a starting point for this adventure. Debaser Hornstull will be the canvas. The rest is waiting to be discovered.

Protothon  wants to know what you can bring to these stories and the way that they are told. Programmer, designer, engineer, writer/director – whatever your background we look forward to hacking with you.

Hope to see you there!

Bonnier Accelerator opens up adminssions

The *Bonnier Accelerator program opens up it’s second year of admissions. I would like to as an Alumni of the program to encourage everyone with a business idea or app idea to apply for the program.

Upon acceptance the program allows you to develop you idea with Bonniers corporate team as well as input from startup lecturers is a tailored program.

You can now book a spot at the Bonnier Accelerator kickoff breakfast March 4! First come, first served.

* Bonnier is Sweden’s and Scandinavia’s largest publishing house, and are also behind Toca Boca and many more interesting digital ventures.

Swedish API legends with Berghs Interactive

Screenshot 2014-01-19 18.42.56I am very happy to be holding a API week for the interactive students at Bergs School of Communication this week. (above, image of Ted Valentin, se text below).

As the communication landscape changes rapidly, API’s have become the bread and butter for expanding startups and organisations that wish to reach outside their own sites as a part of creative interactive strategy. The students will have theoretical lessons but I will aslo have them get their hands work together with some of the best profiles from Sweden and abroad. We will look over the monetiszation that API’s support, how to use them, and learn more about when to use, when to build them.  I am looking forward to working with case specific presentations from some of the most interesting startups in Sweden currently to help widen the perspective of the API landscape.

A legend within the field is Ted Valentin, a coder and entrepreneur who has launched more than 40 websites during his career. Currently he runs a network of review websites (Restaurangkartan.seHotellkartan.sePizzakartan.se etc) with more than one million visitors per month in Sweden. He is also the founder of SocialaNyheter.seBoutiquehotel.me, and PopularaBarer.se – just to mention a few of his latest projects.

ellenEllen Sundh who runs Coda Collective is another Swedish legend, also called the Queen of Code due to her internationally recognised interactive installations. With campaigns like “The sound of Football” Creative Technologist Ellen has won a Golden Egg award, as well as serving on their jury, and often expert quoted at Resume. Many speak of interactive events today, but Ellen definitely takes things to new levels like few before her. She is one of the sharpest minds in code and concept today.

The week will aslo include speakers from:
• Rebeca Meritz, Developer at FundedByMe
• Mike Burns, Director and Techie at ThoughtBot
• Ellen Sundh, Creative Technologist at Coda Collective
• Birk Nilsson, Developer at Tictail
• Erik Akterin, Engineer and founder at Qapital
• Ted Valentin, Cafekartan.se and co-workingspace Knackeriet.

 

 

What if, what GeekGirlMeetup IF.

Tekniska museet

Five years ago Andie Nordgren and I both asked “What if” the IT industry sector surrounding us could be altered into being more diverse? By the rate of how we were meeting other women in the industry it would take for ever to have a representative group of ladies to go drink wine and talk web, code and startups with, not to mention role models for ourselves and our future kids.

We needed more female role models, stronger networks and active knowledge exchange to support our own growth all in a participatory driven manner.
Five years down the line we operate internationally in Sweden (Stockholm, Malmö, Göteborg, Umeå, Norrköping), Denmark, Mexico, London, Berlin, Oxford, Hong Kong, Tunisia and we have just ties know its with a sister organisation in Zambia. 4 continents down the line, we have a company in the UK, and an organisation in Sweden, GeekGirlMeetup IF (Ideel Förening similar Nonprofit org) is an organisation form were trying out with an appointed board.

Many of us have become co-founders, speakers, role models, connectors and supporters of each others work making startup life easier and more fun.

As I focus on my startup that goes under project name while in the BonnierAccelerator D2D I am confident that the ladies across the board have all that it takes to keep these this movement and organisation a new thinking and making organisation, promoting tech for young ladies and further the aims we have set up.

On the 19th of November GeekGirlMeetup is having it’s first open board member meeting. Become a member here and participate in making it a bright future for all geek ladies in Sweden, they need one international person keeping all international strings together and one social media manager.

You can also just show up without being a member to listen to their lineup of speakers if you choose not to participate in making future happen, then read more here or sign up here.

Thank you for the past 5 years of joyful co-creation of GeekGirlMeetup:  Andie Nordgren, Maria Söderberg, Miriam Ohlsson Jeffry, Annika Lidne, Therese Göterheim, Anna Oscarsson, Maria Söderberg, Angelica Ohlsson, Matilda Sjunnesson, Louise Wikholm, Mia Strömberg, Olga Stern, Oyuki Matsumoto, Pernilla Lindh, Pernilla Näslund, Henriette Weber, Paulina Modlitba Söderberg, Judit Wolst, Therese Mannheimer, Louise Hamilton, Malin Ströman, Linda “@copylinda” Sandberg, Sanna Wickman, Pernilla Rydmark, Natsha Ehlén, Ebba Kierkegaard, Hanna Metsis, Josefin Hedlund, Emily Green, Magdalena Kron, Robyn Exton, Josephine Goube, Linda Essen-Möller, Kate Sigrist, Javeira Rizvi Kabani, Johanna Nordström, Maria Gustavsson, Ellen Sundh, Jennifer Barba, Jess Eriksson, Michelle Sun, Maryem Nasri, Ella Ethel Mbewe, Karla Gradilla, Irina Delegado, Karina, Thöndevold, Maria Gustafsson, Evelina Johansson, Tilde Mattson, Helena Lindh and you (email me if I have missed to ad you to this list, im not perfect).

Thanks you to all sponsors and connectors that have been exceptionally brilliant to us: Johan Ronnestam, Roman Pixell, Erik Arnberg, Swedish Institute, .SE, Dan Rasumssen, Eze Vidra, Kam Star, Kit Ruparel, Henrik Berggren and many more.

Image, taken by Heidi Harman at Tekniska Museet (The Science museum of Stockholm, Sweden) that has kindly supported our meetups.