Elektronista

I know I’m not supposed to brag. But I’m going to do it anyway. I’ve been made “Electronista of the Week” by Danish online magazine Elektronista, focusing on the cross-section between women and technology. With the honour comes an interview where I got the unique chance to tell about my favourite gadgets and web-thingies. Here’s the interview in Danish. Below a version in English. *I’m that proud of it*

She’s more connected than her sons and has many more years of media experience than most of her more than 1000 followers on Twitter. We bow to copy-writer and social media consultant Néné La Beet and eat up her digital tips and tricks.

What’s your favourite gadget right now? That would have to be my IPad2. The loveliest toy and also very practical at times. I use the IPad at the breakfast table to read the paper and check Twitter, on the train to continue with the paper, in the sofa for Twitter, reading, silly stuff, Monopoly with my son. Sometimes also in bed for more of the same. I’m looking forward to the holidays where I’ll try it out with games, travel books and novels.

I also have a Flip camera, which makes uploading and editing a piece of cake. I use it for different things, but mostly to help my ten-year-old son make skater-films and fingerboard films and upload them to YouTube. I won’t even mention my Iphone 4 which has become a part of me. I think I might be addicted…

What do you wish for? I’m a very lucky woman who recently got a new Imac, Iphone and IPad, so I don’t really have a long wish list. What I would like though, was for somebody to sync all my devices so we could share music and films and deal with all of it from one computer. I just don’t have the patience to figure it out myself.


What do you consider the most interesting digital tendencies right now? What has caught my attention the most, lately, are all the new social media that address a narrower group than “everybody”. I’m in love with Pinterest, where you share pictures of stuff with each other. A piece of special jewelery, a dress you’ve seen in the street, a marvellous book shelf, etc.

And there’s Goodreads, where we share books we read, the great international network for knitters and crocheters, Ravelry. More work related is “Facebook for business”, Podio, developed in Denmark.

Can you name something that somebody should invent? I think that printers are lagging behind the general technological development. Why must it be so hard to connect to a printer wirelessly? And printer drivers, honestly, why haven’t they been phased out years ago? And, I’d like somebody to invent something that would allow us to roam abroad without getting ruined and without adding to the phone companies’ already padded wallets.

When are gadgets and technology really really cool? I love when gadgets communicate seamlessly with each other. I do not understand how it can be considered a competitive advantage that your device can’t work with other devices.

What website would you like to recommend to others? Zite is an app for IPad, which aggregates news in an incredibly intuitive way. You can see on Twitter who opens Zite first in the morning. They are always first with the news! Other than that it’ll have to be the above mentioned Pinterest. But it eats up my time, I swoon over all the lovely stuff out there!

What are your favourite mobile apps right now? My favourite apps are all those that aid me when I’m mobile. I use IMailG to check mail, InstaGram for posting pictures to Twitter and Facebook, various transport apps that show times, delays, etc. We use Viber to speak with each other for free, particularly smart when you’re abroad. And of course the Wikipedia app, which answers all our questions while we’re out and about. Last, something very basic, the Shopper-app, which is just a digital shopping list. Its advantage is that it’s always in my pocket, never at home on the kitchen table.

Can you recommend some people or pages to follow? On Facebook I’m happy following Slate, TED, Huffington Post and Vanity Fair, as I tend to forget to check these marvellous American news- and trrend media if it’s not fed to me. On Twitter it’s too hard to recommend anyone special, I follow so many intelligent, interesting, funny and helpful people. Check my followers and who I talk to!

Do you have a technology tip for others? I take pictures of stuff I want to remember. It’s low-tech perhaps, but it works. I note stuff in Evernote, so I can always have it with me. I save links with Instapaper and have ALL my files, photographs and music in the cloud on Dropbox. That way I don’t need to remember anything (except the cable to connect my laptop to the projector when I give workshops. I forget that every other time!)

Typical of the incredibly fast development in the digital world, this interview was made on Sunday night. On Monday night, just after it was published, Apple came with the news of the ICloud. So now, very soon, I’ll have what I wished for!

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My favourite Apps

If you don’t have an Iphone and don’t have any plans to buy one, you’ll loathe this post. So I suggest you don’t read it. If you still read it, you know, just to allow yourself to get annoyed, then consider this:

“Yes it was a shocking thing to say, and I knew it was a shocking thing to say.
But no one has the right to live without being shocked.
No one has the right to spend their lives without being offended.
Nobody has to read this book.
Nobody has to pick it up.
Nobody has to open it.

And if they open it and read it, they don’t have to like it.
And if you read it and dislike it, you don’t have to remain silent about it.
You can write to me.
You can complain about it.
You can write to the publishers, to the papers,
You can write your own book.
You can do all those things.

But there your rights stop.
No one has the right to stop me writing this book.
No one has the right to stop it being published, sold, or bought, or read.
And that’s all I have to say on that subject.”

This quote is by the brave and wonderful Philip Pullman, in reply to a person who chastised him for criticising the Christian faith in his new book. It’s about much more important things than whether you can be worked up about other people loving their Iphones, but it really does apply everywhere. Thank you to Richard Whitelock for opening up his new blog with this lovely quote. It was brought to my attention by @rhodri, who never replies to tweets, but who often tweets good stuff.

The Iphone apps are what makes your phone truly yours. Look at a person’s apps and you’ll know a lot about them. Thanks to Twitter I only rarely “hunt” for apps, they sort of present themselves when people tweet ecstatically about them. My other sources are the tech blogs and Wired Magazine. And people, of course. When you get together with other Iphone-lovers, they’ll tell you if they’ve found a new app that they love.

I have two Twitter apps, Tweetdeck and Tweetie (they can do slightly different things) and the Facebook and LinkedIn apps. I think I tweet as much from my phone as I do from my computer. Typically because tweeting is something you sneak in between other things you do and when I’m at the computer I’m usually supposed to be working… Facebook and LinkedIn mostly on the computer I think, but wouldn’t be without either on the phone.

I have a shopping list app which I’ve taken to more than I thought I would. I never write a pen-and-paper shopping list anymore. I’ve had to personalise it a lot to accommodate for this family’s apparently special shopping needs and deleted lots of items that I never ever buy, but now it works just great. Great advantage is that I always have it with me, both when I remember something that I want to add to it and when I go shopping. A similar type of app is a to-do-list app, which I’ve only just got. Usually, I find that to-do-list “systems” never work for me, but this one could. It’s still “on trial”. Many good features.

An app that has really and truly improved my life is the sleepcycle app. I first heard of this technology years ago and have coveted it ever since. Your sleep is monitored (originally by a bracelet) and, having set a time where you have to be up, it will wake you at the best possible time before that, which is when your sleep is lightest. It is brilliant! Has also shown me how my sleep pattern changes drastically from day to day and goes a long way in explaining why I sometimes feel dazed even if I have slept 7+ hours and at other times totally perky after <6 hours.

The Iphone also functions as a portable reference library, which is incredibly practical when you have a memory like a sieve and a child that asks at least 25 questions a day, some of which rather tricky. I have the lovely Wikipedia and Wikitap apps (for discussion of the use of Wikipedia, look here), Dictionary, Ordbogen (Danish – English), RedDelicious (all my bookmarks readily available), Iformulas and Reader (all my RSS feeds imported from Netvibes).

As most people I also have a number of news apps from my favourite news sources and also some aggregated news. Almost every paper and online news source have their own app, so it can be tailored very specifically to your needs and wants.

Then there are a number of practical apps that you can’t really claim to “need”, but which are all very handy. I have the Flickr app so I can upload pictures from my phone directly to Flickr with comments, tags and everything. I use that a lot. I’m very pleased with the Flixster app, which shows me what’s on in my local cinemas and with the Urbanspoon app, which guides me to restaurants in London while I’m there. I’ve used that more than once and been very pleased with it. Also I have a few recipe generators for when I’m completely out of ideas. Some funny dishes have come to the table thanks to YumYum, BigOven, among others.

A handful of apps cater to my intellectual and artistic needs, among them Stanza, which lets me read classics for free as well as a number of high quality magazines. I re-read The Great Gatsby on a flight to Copenhagen not long ago, that was very pleasant! Another app in that vein is the new app from the National Gallery, called LoveArt. Take a look at it, it’s really fabulous!

To entertain my son when we’re in the car, on a train or he’s bored in a restaurant I have a whole page of games. Very handy indeed!

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