Tag Archives: digital

digi.me’s founder Julian Ranger asks PM to stop cuts to skilled migration

Plans to cut the number of skilled workers with job offers coming to the UK as part of a general immigration crackdown  are likely to have a major impact on digital startups.

Fears over the move have seen more than 230 founders working in the tech industry, including our chairman Julian Ranger, sign an open letter to the Prime Minister, published in today’s Daily Telegraph,  asking him to look again at plans to redesign the Tier 2 system, which gives visas to skilled nationals from outside the EEA who have an offer of employment.

Julian said: “Small businesses are the high growth engines of the UK and skills are needed to maintain pace of growth.

“Whilst internal training, and supporting STEM initiatives in the UK are all required, there are times when there is no one of the requisite skills available in the UK and to maintain growth skilled people from outside the UK are required.

“If we want to maintain the UK as a centre of excellence in STEM areas then we need to be able to bring in the best to support our businesses – and cross-pollinate their knowledge and experience here too.”

As The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), the tech non-profit behind the letter, explains in a blog: “The bar is already pretty high – would-be migrants need to have a degree level qualification and a definite job offer, and the company that wants to hire them need to become accredited as sponsors, advertise (non-shortage) roles for 28 days in the UK first, and meet salary thresholds for the role.”

The full text of the letter, which has also been signed by Martha Lane Fox as well as the founders of TransferWise, Zopa, Unruly, Crowdcube, Nutmeg and Shazam, reads:

Dear Prime Minister,

We represent a cross-section of the UK’s digital startup and scale-up ecosystem, including the founders of Citymapper, DeepMind and SwiftKey. The UK has the largest and fastest growing digital economy in the G20, worth over 10% of GDP.

During the election campaign you argued that the UK should be ‘the startup nation in Europe, and one of the great startup nations in the world.’ We share this ambition and applaud your government’s long-standing support for the UK’s tech community. From SEIS to support for FinTech and the sharing economy, you have championed entrepreneurs and innovators in the interest of securing our country’s long-term economic growth.

However, finding talent with the right skills and experience we need to grow our businesses remains one of the biggest barriers to achieving that ambition. The UK has become a global tech hub thanks in large part to startup founders, investors and employees from across the globe, including many of us who were not born in Britain but choose to invest our time and talents here. We are very concerned that changes to immigration policy will make it more difficult to attract and recruit the talent high-growth companies need to compete and succeed in a global marketplace.

The government’s Migration Advisory Committee is currently examining proposals aiming to further restrict the Tier 2 system of skilled work visas and to reform the Entrepreneur Visa. Further restrictions on skilled migration could restrict the growth of our businesses and hurt the UK’s digital economy.

We call on you to ensure that any future changes to the immigration system make it easier, not harder, for qualified digital entrepreneurs to come to the UK to start their business, and for growing startups to hire top international talent.

It is of course also vital that we continue to support the growth of digital skills within the UK, and we stand ready to do our part.

Beach holiday, don't forget your memories this holiday

Don’t forget your memories this summer

With the constant rush to always find and post about the next big adventure to keep up with those around us, we risk devaluing and forgetting the past, as well as accidentally archiving our own precious memories.

Are you following the mass exodus overseas or to the coast to make the most of the summer holidays?  Maybe you’re just trying to do something, anything, to fill up some of those six long weeks where the children are off school?

Whatever your plans, I’ll bet you’re expecting to take plenty of pictures to cement those lovely new memories you’ll make, of family time or fun with friends, where everybody is happy, relaxed and smiling, right?

Of course you are – it’s completely natural to document the best times of our lives, and then want to share the results with those who care about what we did and who we did it with.

But think back a year – can you remember what you were doing then? Who you were with, what you did, where you went?

Chances are you were having (another) brilliant time, which you documented by taking loads of pictures and sharing them to your social media platforms, probably to lots of likes and admiring or jealous comments.

But then what did you do? Unlike times past, where pictures would be sent away to be printed, with their return awaited with joyful anticipation and the whole experience relived as they were put in a photo album for posterity, things have moved on.

While online storage and display has many benefits, not least in saving bookcase space for actual books instead of photo albums, it has also made it much easier – arguably too easy – to archive our memories, both virtually and in the real world.

In the rush to find, and document, the next big thing and keep up with those we are connected with online, how often do we go back and relive the memories of good times past?

Those memories are still just as strong and vivid, the experience just as clear – and revisiting those pictures will evoke happy feelings all over again, but only if we remember to look for them and enjoy them once more.

But how to find them easily? If you’re an avid social media user – and that’s most of us these days – you’ll have posted many more pictures, albums and posts in the 52 weeks since last Summer.

While you can search within most platforms, these tools are clunky at best and can take just long enough to find what you are looking for that it takes the shine off the whole experience.

Not digi.me though, there all of your posted pictures (and statuses for that matter) are archived in an easily searchable way. And if you posted different ones on different platforms? No problem, they are all in one place, safely stored on your computer for you to enjoy in the way that best suits you.

Scroll through the dedicated photos section, with everything organised chronologically. Hit the flashback button and see what you were doing one, two and more years ago.

Maybe you want to make a collection of all of your holiday pictures from years past? See everything posted about your holiday across all social networks, complete with likes and comments, in one place – and export the data you want to a place of your choosing.

Whatever you want to do with your data, the story of your life, digi.me lets you. Download a copy for free now and release your memories as you let your data soar free.

Friday Fun: Festival Moments

Who is going to a festival this weekend?  Or are you missing out and wishing that you could go?  This weeks Friday fun is all about living and reliving those festival moments!  On Monday we gave you our top tech tips for surviving the festival season and today we are going to give you a way to reconnect with your festival spirit!

Getting into the Festival Spirit

So you went festival hopping last year and this year your calendar has been filled with a range of other commitments. Friends are getting married, the children need entertaining but you still want to feel young and relive those moments but how?

1. Download digi.me if you haven’t done already and sync Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.

2. Search for that festival that you look back on and remember just how amazing it was!  What were you wearing, who were you with and what music was playing… Note it all down. Download the pictures as well! You’ll need these for our next step!

3. Now you have your festival moment you’re going to recreate it with your friends and family and bring the festival home! Create the flags for in the garden, download the music or create a playlist! Drag out the clothes you were wearing and put on a BBQ or get together with your friends and invite them over for a festival remake!

4. Get your cameras to the ready and start making some new festival moments with your friends as you relive the old times but add in new flavours! Maybe add in some music from this year or get the children all dressed up. Who knows maybe you and your friends are really musical and put on your own mini festival in the garden!

Share your pics of your festival moments past and present especially if you’ve recreated them!  We want you to make the most of those moments by celebrating them!

5 Top Tech Tips for Festival Goers

We know how much everyone loves a good festival and the festival season is now well underway.  You’ve got your wellies and waterproofs but you are after a few tips for how to handle your tech for the festival season. Do not fear, digi.me are here with some great tips for you!

  1. Batteries & Charging – You can’t rely on your phone battery surviving for an entire weekend of festival fun so let’s make sure you have plenty of juice whilst you are out and about. There are a few options but we love the external battery options as they are reliable and pain free. Alternatively you could choose to go solar! But be warned you may just be disappointed if it is wet and rainy!
  2. Rain Proofing – There are cheap options and fancy options… It really depends on how you use your phone. You could just put your phone in a sandwich bag and voila phone protected, or you could get a fancy waterproof case for it. There are a few around and they really aren’t that expensive and could save you a mishap or two!
  3. Photo’s & Videos – You are bound to take a few of these whilst you are out and about… but what happens if you lose your phone or worst case it gets stolen. (we hear it happens from time to time) Before you go back up your content from your phone, clear off any pics that don’t need to be on there and make sure you have enough storage space for those new pics and vids. Whilst you are out make sure you are backing up your images & videos to the cloud be that iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive or somewhere else.  Now you have less chance of losing those pics.
  4. Sharing & Saving – You want to share your favourite images & videos with your friends so make sure you have your favourite social media apps downloaded to your phone. Check if your festival has wifi, it’s quicker to upload that way than on the totally jammed mobile networks. If you do have to use your phone to upload try 4g but if that is jammed drop your phone down to use the 3g network. Most others won’t have thought to try that. 🙂
  5. Reliving Your Festival Moments – You’ve just got back from your festival and you want to relive those favourite festival moments. Start up digi.me and sync your social networks. See what pictures and videos you shared and review those fun moments that your friends have tagged you in. You can even save your festival highlights to PDF or upload them to Evernote!

If you have some top festival tips share them with us on Twitter and we will retweet the best of them over the course of the festival season!

Personal Data Privacy in the News This Week

This week there has been a lot of discussion on TechCrunch and other sites as a result of this publication detailing how people don’t understand how their personal data is being used by social networks or search sites.

The essence of these articles puts into question whether your personal data is really being used with your permission or whether it is being stolen from you.  Personal information is being traded and used for personal or targeted advertising. Quite simply your preferences and information is the product that is being sold.  The big question about this approach is – Is it legal and ethical?

At the recent HyperCat IoT summit ARM’s Stephen Pattison stated that consumers should own their data.

“We must all accept consumers own their data and we need to make sure consumers have a good sense that they own their data.”

Along side this was a call for a Magna Carta on Data Privacy. What are your thoughts on this and do you feel we need to do more to protect and control our personal data?

Other interesting articles this week included:

What are your thoughts on these articles and how do you think personal information, use and ownership will change in the future?

 

Friday Fun: Archiving… Really?

Have I gone completely crazy I hear you say! How can archiving be fun… Why would I want to do that?  So lets go back to the beginning, you joined a social network to share moments and memories with friends.  You’ve now built up a few months or many years of memories online that have a lot of personal meaning to you and you don’t really want to lose them.  So how do you capture them and what will you do with them next?

Capturing those memories is relatively easy to do with digi.me you just download the app, connect it to your social networks and off it goes and archives your digital memories.  What you do with them from this moment onward is really up to your imagination.

The big question is how can we make that process more fun for you?  If we could make archiving into a fun thing to do what and how would we do that and make you smile at the same time?

Cute Kitty Pic Alert!!!
Cute Kitty Pic Alert!!!

We could show you some cats or other cute pictures… We could show you a few of those memories whilst they are being put on your computer… but what would make you go oooh and aaah!!!

Leave a comment or share your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus with us! 

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Storytelling

Every now and again I get asked for a top tip that I have picked up during my time working with social media.  This weekend the latest question was in relation to using Facebook.  How do you share a picture on Facebook so that your friends actually see it.

My response was a fairly simple one, it’s not just about the picture it’s about telling the story.  What is it about this particular picture that is interesting?  If it is interesting to you will it be interesting to your friends?  Or is it completely out of context therefore making no sense at all to your friends, family or colleagues?

For example if I share the image below with you without any context… You would probably think something along the lines of “OK that is a piece of lace” and if you are into crafting you might think it is interesting but otherwise you might just move on to something else.

DSC_0013

 

Putting the story together for the image above and putting it in context actually gives it a completely new meaning to people you are sharing the image with.

DSC_0012In this case that is a piece of handmade lace from a 1930’s garter pattern. The garter is for my sister-in-law to wear at her wedding next year and so far has taken over 100 hours to make and it is just over 1/3 complete.

Once you hear the story behind the picture you can see and feel the emotion and context being shared.  Without that context many pictures fail to be noticed and therefore people don’t interact with them. So if you want someone to respond to your images on Facebook make sure that you share a few words that really sum up the moment.

Sometimes a single picture just doesn’t tell a story well enough on it’s own so make the most of the album features on Facebook and tell your story through a series of images or even videos.

Recently Facebook decided that if you share a video directly on their site it would preview and play directly in your timeline.  So if you are going to share a video you will find you get more views from your friends by sharing it directly than if you shared a link to your video on YouTube.

Share your top storytelling tips by leaving a comment!

Guest Post: Social Media Forever Changes The Way We Explore History

Social media forever changes how we explore history.  That statement, while innocent enough, has profound implications for future generations.

I grew up learning history from textbooks and memorizing the exploits of explorers like Christopher ColumbusVasco Nunez de Balboa and Amerigo Vespucci who I remember writing a paper on. I know that today history is taught with a lot more attention to the every day people who lived rather than the famous ones but we still have so little information on the lives of the masses.  The everyday lives of most people is lost to us.  We see often see their lives through the eyes of those who wrote about them, not in their own words. Social media has changed forever the way we will record and learn history.

With the ability to record, photograph and video our daily lives, social media has given future generations a window into the everyday lives, thoughts and feelings of those that will come before them, “us”. Think of the wealth of information on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others.  For many people these social media sites provide a platform from which to explore their feelings, relationships, beliefs, opinions and the simple nuances of their everyday lives. Future generations will know what we thought about everything simply by having access to social media platforms.

Think of the ability for a family to pass on this type of personal information to future generations.  It will seem as if you were actually listening to your great great grandmother when you didn’t have the opportunity to know her at all. To me this wealth of historical information is an invaluable role that social media will play over the coming decades.  Technology has made it possible to know the everyday lives of generations so that history does not depend on those in power to tell the story.  Nor will history books be able to gloss over events that are “unpopular” or show a negative slant on things.  With everyone a journalist, photographer and videographer, the voices and pictures of the past will speak for themselves.

I did an oral history project many years ago for college and I remember talking to a 90 year old woman about her life in Manchester, Connecticut.  I recorded our meetings and then compiled a paper which fascinated me because of its personal richness.  It was the ancient art of history through storytelling that could now be kept on tape.  How far we have come even in the last 20 years with technology and the emergence of social media.

A platform such as digi.me which allows us to save our social media content provides everyone with the opportunity to pass on a living diary of their life to their family members.  How incredibly powerful the access and control of this personal information will be not only to those using it in their time but to the vast accumulation of personal historical knowledge.

About the Author

PETS picture (3)Debbie Harris is the President of Performance Intermedia, LLC a social media consulting company.  Debbie works with businesses both for profit and not for profit to ensure they are getting the most out of social media and understand best practices.  She has a Master’s Degree in Social Media Compliance and the Law. Performance Intermedia, LLC provides social media strategy, graphic design, training, effective social advertising and posting for their clients. Debbie is a very active Rotarian both on the Club and District level. She sits on the Advisory Board for a local high school.  She has just completed an e-book on 7 Strategic Techniques for Gaining Clients from LinkedIn and writes for several publications.  Debbie does workshops and seminars related to social media and its effective use.  Debbie can be reached at Debbie@PImedia.me.