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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*OMMMM*

I market myself as a kind of social media strategist. Anyone who knows about these things also knows that all good things come to an end. And one day there won’t be a need for services like mine. This article is about my next career move ;-)

In my last post I wrote about the Arizona shooting. Since then I’ve read this incredibly interesting analysis on Politico. It’s about twisting words till they are devoid of meaning and getting away with it. It says for instance:

in the past week, the question of whether a carefully planned assassination attempt on a member of the United States Congress might have had anything to do with politics has been mocked into oblivion. Well, let’s see. The dominant theme of Loughner’s ravings was suspicion of the government. He apparently didn’t believe in paper money and thought only gold has value. He believed the government was responsible for Sept. 11. And so on. This is not a random collection of nutty opinions. There is a theme to it, and it is not simply that the guy was crazy.

It’s a bit like the discussions about political correctness. Once an opinion has been successfully deemed politically correct by the right, it can’t be uttered in the public debate anymore. I often wonder why the liberals don’t reclaim the term. I mean, at the moment it seems that the most politically correct statements are that “we must cut public spending to get the country back on its feet” or “we need to cut taxes so we can get the wheels spinning again”.

Sometimes the kind Internet will direct you to sources you’d normally never think of consulting. And just as we think that we here in Denmark have brilliant minds who deserve to be heard outside our small country, regional papers in e.g. the US also have brilliant writers, who are rarely heard outside their own territory. This article is from a Chicagoan paper, it’s about blogging, expectations and “what’s in it for me”. Very good and true. Posted on twitter by @KrisWager.

Here’s another news source that you wouldn’t normally come across, The Boston Globe. When we travelled the US, this was a paper that I learned to like and respect. Now I’m just happy that people on the web sometimes remind me of that. Here’s a very thorough article about the consequences of the legalisation of drug possession in Portugal. Well researched and unbiased.

I’ve tidied up my Twitter favourites and found a few gems that I’d forgotten about, re. my last post about reading lots and forgetting most. This article is a very well researched piece on why women are needed in tech companies. I’m sure that @Elektronista will agree with the article’s author and with me.

Never a blog post without at least one thing about Twitter. This is a column from The Guardian by Margaret Atwood. She’s not a young woman anymore, but she’s still managed to fall in love with Twitter, head over heals. Read about it here and follow her on Twitter @margaretatwood.

Twitter isn’t all gooey and lovely. It’s also used to spread completely unfounded rumours by people who forget to think before they write. Let this collection of tweets serve as a warning. Verify, verify, verify! Note that some of the tweets have been removed. Some very embarrassed people have deleted their tweets.

Sometimes you need to jump off the grid for a while and pretend to have a life. @sheamus has written a short, humorous post about it.

From Gizmodo

Now for some gadget news. Must haves, nice to haves. Here’s a lovely charger for all your stuff, smart and practical.

And what about this one – a sun charger for the Iphone. One that works. Apparently.

We’ve been talking for ages about using our phones to pay for stuff. And already we can buy bus/train tickets with them. Which is great. Next up is lattes at Starbucks.

Guardian is trying the free/paid option that Danish paper Politiken is also trying. Free news online, but paid app. So far I feel uninspired to buy the Politiken app (especially since I subscribe to the paper version, but haven’t been offered the app for free, grump), but the Guardian app seems to be great value, 4£ for a YEAR, that’s one pence per day.

On BBC News I’ve read this suggestion to Facebook: That they mimic Apple and vet the applications that we allow access via Facebook. This is a really good idea. I’m slightly paranoid when it comes to Facebook applications and have allowed almost none. But especially young people don’t understand what they are doing when they allow various games apps access to their Facebook accounts.

Not a gadget, not even an app, but did you know that bit.ly doesn’t only help you shorten URLs but also helps you create quick lists of links? Very practical for a birthday wish list or a shared reading list.

Do you sometimes need some Zen-time to focus on something you’re writing? But you’re constantly disturbed by incoming mails or tweets or Facebook posts and are too weak-minded to turn the whole thing off (like someone I know)? Ommwriter is for you then. Great little programme you download and write in. When you open it, everything else on you desktop magically disappears and some lovely yoga-style music is added to the blank-but-not-white screen. Peace.

I was recently given Patti Smith‘s autobiography and was in fact going to exchange it for something else, as I’m neither a a big fan of biographies, nor a huge fan of Patti’s. Strangely, a few days later, with the book on my desk beside me, somebody posted this interview with Patti Smith. After watching only a bit of it, I grabbed the book and started reading. Am halfway through it now. She’s a gifted writer (why do some people get all the talent?) as well as musician and the intertwined stories of her own and Robert Mapplethorpe‘s lives are gripping. Warmly recommended.

The rest of the links today are on the silly side. This is a video of an in-air proposal. Awww. And here’s a young man who seriously doesn’t want to be disturbed while reading his book.

This has been a week of loads and loads of math homework for Dane. I’m not exactly a math wizard and the family wizard (David) is not around most days. One day I had to post a photograph of Dane’s assignment on Twitter for help. Help was around five minutes away.

The same day, and possibly as a comment to this, someone posted the quote below on Twitter. When son gets around to equations (am bracing myself for the day), he will wholeheartedly agree.

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