Tag Archives: social media tools

digi.me’s start-up story

“Digi.me started life, as many of the best ideas do, as an aside in another conversation that led to a lightbulb going off in my head.

“I was at a board meeting for my innovation hub iBundle in 2009, and one of the directors mentioned he had a friend who had just lost three years’ worth of Facebook interactions after a glitch while changing password wiped his account.

“What a shame, we said, all those posts, photos and comments just gone – and then, realising that there was nothing out there to help you back up your social media, we decided there and then to create an app that did just that.

“And so SocialSafe (digi.me’s original name) was born – a great and easy-to-use social media tool that allowed you to save information and pictures you had posted to your various social media accounts and search them and see the original comments and likes, as well as make your own collections of content and export what you wanted, see your most popular posts and followers and much more!  A key decision was to have this data stored locally on the user’s own device – not on our servers; this was to ensure privacy and also because it was the only way to comply with Facebook’s terms and conditions.

“We got a company in to get it working and made it paid for but cheap, when we probably should have gone for free to grow the user base faster, but regardless it ticked along nicely and got some traction and a bit of press from big industry names like Mashable and Hermione Way.

“But in all honestly my attention was on other products and it was little more than a hobby for the first year, not least because my developers and finances were spread among many projects.

“Then users started asking if they could include Twitter as well and view all of this data they had gathered, so we built a viewer that normalised and aggregrated all the data together so you could look back across all your posts and photos across networks.

“Then I thought it would be great if you could search for something by date, so we built the journal functionality, where you can jump around any dates you choose and find out what you posted on any given day across all your linked networks.

“Demand came from users for back-ups for other social media networks as well, so we started adding the functionality for Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Viadeo and many more – and suddenly it became clear there was massive demand for this kind of service, where people could get their data back somewhere they could see it and then use it how they wanted.

“The defining moment came when I realised that what we were doing was similar to what I had done for the military for 20+ years – bringing disparate data from multiple sources together, normalising and aggregating it and making it available for reuse. Because data was being stored locally, this would allow us to extend the data captured for a user across their entire life whilst retaining privacy, ensuring security and providing control over that data, as we never see, touch or hold it.

“With this lightbulb moment, we started moving development towards the direction we are focused on now – which is gathering the data for the benefit of the user, first and foremost, but also looking to see if we could help them do something with it, over and above selling it on which was (and in many ways is) the most common user data model.

“In 2013, I decided to focus full-time on building digi.me as a business, as it was clear to me that how people viewed personal data and how they felt about companies taking and using it for their own means was undergoing a seismic shift, and I could see that our app spoke to those deeply-held concerns, giving people back control of the data they posted.

“I was excited for the possibilities, particularly after we won Le Prix d’Argent at the Le Web start-up competition later in the year from more than 700 entrants, but as ever when you’re pushing a new idea or concept, things don’t always take off quite as you’d hoped, and correspondingly development and major investment wasn’t always as quick to happen as we’d like.  We had the idea, the team and the product, but we were still early to market – and timing is a key component to success.

“But over time our Permission Access model, which is due to come into being later this year, was developed and evolved – and this impending expansion saw us change our name from SocialSafe, which was well-known but really related only to the (excellent) social media back-up tool it is currently, to digi.me, which reflects the whole-person-and-life-data tool it will soon be.

“Our app will retain its social media back up and aggregation functions, which have already been used by over 350,000 people in over 140 countries, but users will also be able to add their own data from other areas of their life, starting first with financials and health, and moving on to other such as shopping.

“The Permissioned Access aspect will then allow businesses, who want access to these rich, deep datasets that our users will soon hold, to approach them directly and offer them personalised offers (for service, convenience or reward) in exchange for seeing some slices of that data.

“With investment from both the UK and US from people who understood we were doing something important, I started to build a team, bringing more developers on board at the same time as a CEO and CMO – and with them came new opportunities and ideas. Our CEO, Rory Donnelly, lives in France, for example, and got us in as partners on the FNAC security pack over there, which is very popular and where we’re in our third year.

“Then things began to snowball in 2015 as we started looking to the future, and what the personal data economy would look like in another five years. It was clear to us that there had to be a cultural shift, from individuals having things done to their data but unable to access it themselves, to becoming the centre of their connected world, back in control of their data and able to use it as they wished.

“This Internet of Me is the future of the personal data economy, a new model that the current stand-off between ad-tracking and ad-blocking will help create, as businesses and consumers seek a third way that offers universal benefits.  We think this is so important for the whole personal data industry that we are sponsoring and supporting an independent forum to look at the issues surrounding it and to try and build momentum as quickly as possible. http://internetofme.info/

“Meanwhile our app continues to go from strength to strength, with partnerships with Toshiba, Lenovo and Evernote with more to come, and other exciting developments with major players in various industries including health, insurance, banking, telcos and FMCG.

“We’ve also just appointed an EVP, Jim Pasquale, in the US as we continue to grow and expand – so there are exciting times ahead – and I’m delighted to be part of them.

“It all started with a simple comment, burst into life as a result of user comments and a flash of inspiration and now the journey continues with what I believe is a very promising future ahead.”

10 top tips for social media confidence

Want to do more on social media but unsure where to start? Fear not – you’re not alone and we can help.

The sheer volume of information flowing past your eyes when you look at any platform can be intimidating, but start small and know what you want to achieve, and there is very little you can do wrong.

So, without further ado, here are our top tips for getting on top of social media quickly. They’re only guidelines, so feel free to adapt them – but the most important thing is just to get posting!

1) Don’t overcommit. This shouldn’t be a stress, so don’t go crazy and vow to update everything every 20 minutes of every working day. Rather, aim for at least three times a week on each platform you use.

2) Quality beats quantity. Better to share less and it be interesting, than put up things you haven’t read properly or that don’t fully reflect your/the product values in the rush to update your status with something (this goes back to no 1). As part of this, know overall (and ideally with each post) who your audience is and what you want them to do (be more aware of you, buy something etc)

3) Make it personal. While you may well be operating a business account, people like to do business with people, and so personalising what you say, and adding in bits of your life where you’re happy and it’s relevant, is often a very good way of making your followers know and trust you.

4) Analyse post engagements to see if you can see any kind of pattern – do you get most interactions in the morning, evening, or is there quite a uniform spread? Target it if so, aim for a spread of times if not. You can pre-schedule both tweets and FB posts using either Buffer or Hootsuite.

5) Aim for a spread of news/informative posts and pure sales pitches – I’ve seen 70/30 per cent seen as a good balance.

6) Find a quick and easy way to aggregate the types of articles you might want to look for, so that you can always find source material with ease. I recommend Feedly, which allows you to search and group articles by area type.

7) Follow other industry figures and look at what they do, how they do it and what they link to. Not to copy, exactly, but to get inspiration for what you want on your own feed.

8) Follow people in the same/related fields as you, so you can get an increased following of relevant users, get involved in industry conversations, be aware of news, and get inspiration for other posts.

9) Consider doing something like product of the week, where you look at a particular product in detail in a review style and/or competitions to win products or services.

10) Add value to everything you post and give people a reason to follow you and buy from you!

Of course, once you’ve started posting and interacting on your social media accounts, you’re going to want to download digi.me so that you can retain everything and reuse it as needed!

Latest digi.me update includes Flickr support

Digi.me has just got even better, with the launch of a new version that introduces some exciting updates while keeping all of the other brilliant features you already know and love.

The story of you can now be even more complete, as the new version (7.0.8 for those of you keeping track) now syncs with Flickr as well as all the existing platforms, which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.

There is also an option to add personal entries and photos direct to the library, without posting them on any social media platforms first, making digi.me the fullest library of your life and loves to date.

So what new features can you now add to your personal story?

  • Personal entries: add private posts and attach photos from your computer to your digi.me library. These can be organised into collections and are searchable

  • Flickr: Pull your Flickr photos, albums and favs into your digi.me library. As with other sources, you’ll get comments and favs counts on your photos too

  • Instagram: view, search and export your liked Instagram photos

  • Facebook Events: search, view and export events you’ve attended or been invited to

  • Facebook comments now have links attachments included

  • Backups: a simplified view of your backup entries. The journal was getting very busy, so we’ve tidied these summaries up. You’ll see a summary bar at the bottom of every day you synced your sources and can then click on this to see the breakdown.

And, of course, we’ve improved performance where we can, meaning the app now runs smoother than ever.

Any thoughts or questions about the new release? Feel free to get in touch either in the comments or over on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn – and don’t forget to vote for what you’d like to see added to the app next!

Finally, don’t forget that your data will always belong to you. That’s why it’s downloaded directly to your computer for your enjoyment and use – we never see it.

Friday Fun: Photo Share

From now until Christmas we are going to have some fun on Fridays to get you ready for a weekend of fun and festiveness (If that is indeed a word!)

Today’s fun is in the form of photos!  When you sync your social media accounts with SocialSafe you can view your photo’s historically and see which are the most popular.  We thought we would see if you could find your favourite photograph and share it with us on our social media channels!

twitter                                          g+                                                               facebook

If you don’t yet have SocialSafe just pop over here and download it now!!!

If you just want to save an individual photo right click and save the image to your computer.  If you want to download more than one image here’s how to export even more of your photo’s!

Here’s my favourite Christmas photo from our SocialSafe accounts!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas Well, it is if you change the theme
Click on the link to see the original tweet that this was associated with!

How To Challenge Your Friends To An Instagram Popularity Contest

We all appreciate it when our friends ‘like’ our content on social networks. Whether it’s a status update we’ve posted or a photo, it’s always nice to get that social seal of approval on something you’ve created. However, what can be just as much fun is getting more likes than your friends when you post things!

Instagram users have been known for their competitive nature when it comes to how many likes or comments their photos get once posted to the photo sharing network. Well, with SocialSafe you can take this battle with your friends to the next level, by not only seeing which of your own photos is the most popular, but also by seeing which is the most popular photo for each Instagram filter.

View your most popular content

Once you’ve backed up your Instagram account with SocialSafe, you can use the general Insights to see which of your photos has the most likes and comments, and with the specific Instagram Insights you can learn more about your use of individual filters and how popular they are with your followers:

most instagram likes

Most popular image for each Instagram filter

With SocialSafe it’s easy to see which photo has the most likes and comments, and once you know how many your most popular image has, you can challenge your friends to see how many interactions their most popular image has! You can even set your own date ranges, so you could see what your most popular photos were each month, and then compare that information with your friends to see who gained the most likes for each time period!

Of course they’ll need to be using SocialSafe in order to see which Instagram photo is the most popular, but the application is free to use, so simply download SocialSafe and compare the number of likes with your friends!

VIDEO GUIDE – Create PDFs Of Your Favourite Instagrams

Earlier this week we added another tutorial video to our YouTube channel. Most of you should hopefully know how to create PDFs of your Instagrams with SocialSafe, but for anyone who doesn’t, this video should make it clear:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fIAKeLNu9I]

As you see, it’s very simple. When viewing your Instagrams through either the Account View or the Photo View, you can click on the PDF and Collections button in top-right corner of the app to enable content selection. Either select your Instagrams manually by clicking on individual images, or select them all by clicking the small tick now in the top-right corner.

Once you’re happy with your selection,  click on the ‘Export to PDF’ button on the left of the top bar, and choose where you’d like to save your PDF of your Instagrams. Once the file has been created it will open automatically, displaying your photos in chronological order, along with any tags, comments and likes.

Why not create a PDF of all your Instagrams that a friend has liked, and then send it to them?

VIDEO GUIDE: Using The SocialSafe Journal To Time Travel

Last week we added another video guide to the SocialSafe YouTube Channel, this time giving you a tour of the Journal, showing you how to filter what is displayed, and over what time period:

As you’ll see, we’ve tried to make life easier for you by including some preset date ranges that will allow you to quickly isolate your activities within commonly used time periods. The calendar also gives you complete flexibility over the date, allowing you to select your own start and end points, and therefore customise your own date ranges. You can also jump straight to any single day by clicking on it.

If you want to filter out certain networks, or specific accounts, you can also do this via the top bar. For example you might have a Twitter account that automatically posts many times a day which might overfill the Journal, making it harder to see your Facebook updates. Within the Journal you can simply exclude that Twitter account from the current view. Likewise you can choose to view just one account in isolation when viewing content in the Journal.

You’ll also notice that you can perform a search within your selected date range by selecting ‘Search [keyword or phrase] on this page’. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always click ‘Search [keyword or phrase] everywhere’, which will revert back to looking at the entire date range of your content. For more on searching social networks, click to see the specific video.

There are plenty of other ways to browse and view your content, but hopefully with the Journal we have created a view that everyone can customise to their own requirements, giving them greater control over how they use their content.

Facebook Accidentally Locks Accounts For Developers – How To Make Sure You Can Access Your Content

Every now and then there are mistakes made that can affect online data storage or at least access to your data or networks where it is stored. Just yesterday Facebook issued an apology after it mistakenly disabled the apps and accounts of a number of platform developers for several hours on Tuesday.

Apparently the apps were deemed malicious by an automated procedure, but without proper verification. Explaining the mistake, Facebook said the following:

“On August 13th, we undertook such a procedure. We started with a broad pattern that correctly matched many thousands of malicious apps but, unfortunately, also matched many of your high quality apps.”

The problem was fixed, for the most part, in a couple of hours, however some apps were affected for several more hours. As they say, time is money, so you can understand the ire of the app developers worst affected by this error.

This is just another example of how, for the most part, people don’t actually own the content they have on their social network profiles. They may have created it, they may be the ones in the pictures, but ultimately as long as the data itself is only stored by the social networks, then the ownership and control will rest solely with the service provider.

If taking control and ownership of your data are important issues for you, then use SocialSafe to download your social accounts to your own machine. It’s totally private, available offline and can be as secure as you want to make your own machine. To get started, download the free trial from our site.

Does The Company Or The Employee Own Social Media Followings?

tug of war

Establishing ownership of social media accounts can be a tricky business. When a company tasks an employee to build a following on Twitter or to accrue fans on a Facebook page, it is important to clearly state who actually has the rights to any audience that is built.

There have been recent examples of cases where an individual in such a position has left a company, opening up the question of social media ownership for debate. In 2006 Noah Kravitz joined the company PhoneDog and created the Twitter account @PhoneDog_noah. When he left the company in 2010, the account had 17,000 followers – followers that he claimed he was told he could keep.

Kravitz had in fact moved to a competitor, and during a dispute with PhoneDog over some back pay owed to him, PhoneDog sued Kravitz as it considered the 17,000 Twitter followers to be a customer list and as such, wanted it returned. It is easy to see both sides of this story, but there must still be a lesson here.

There are other incidents of the line between employee or company property being more than a little blurry. However, this just goes to highlight the importance of having a social media policy within a company. If your own company or the company you work for has any sort of presence on social networks then it is important that everyone knows where they stand in terms of ownership of the content.

If a company is going to set out a policy that states all social media content – followers, tweets, Facebook fans, wall posts, LinkedIn contacts etc – are the property of the company, then it would be very useful to have a way to unite social networks to create a central backup of this information.

With SocialSafe Enterprise, anyone handling the social media for a company can create a searchable, offline social journal, backing up the content from Facebook profiles, Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Viadeo and other social networks. For more information about how you can start your own digital journal, visit the SocialSafe website and compare the features of our different licence options.

LinkedIn Now Has iPad App – Backup Your LinkedIn Contacts With SocialSafe

Yesterday saw the release of the LinkedIn iPad app, as well as updated and revamped versions of its existing iPhone and Android apps. As of February 2012, the service had in excess of 150m users across the world. Now that the experience is available in iPad format, it stands to reason that there may be another surge in sign-ups.

If you want details of what the LinkedIn iPad app has to offer, then I’ll just direct you to Mashable instead of reproducing what they’ve written: LinkedIn Launches iPad App, Takes New Direction.

As soon as a user populated service is available (or in this case,more readilyavailable) in mobile format it is a fair assumption that the rate of content creation will increase. Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog will probably have worked out where I’m going with this… Who looks after this data you create and what happens if it disappears?

While there is an increasing number of business related accounts on Facebook and Twitter (which can all be backed up with SocialSafe), LinkedIn remains the exclusively business orientated social network. If you were to temporarily lose access or worse still suffer permanent deletion of your business contacts then this can have dire consequences.

Enterprise and Pro users of SocialSafe have the ability to backup LinkedIn contacts, updates and profile (we’re working on backing up groups in SocialSafe v6.5) to their own PC or Mac. This video shows just how simple it is to backup a LinkedIn profile and what you can actually do with you data once it is downloaded:

If you’d like to backup your LinkedIn profile then visit the SocialSafe website to start your offline digital journal today. Be sure to look at the Features section to see what else you can backup from your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Viadeo accounts.