Tag Archives: Social Media

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digi.me and the ‘single social stream’

We’ve had such an exciting time here of late, finalising our £4.2m Series A funding and sharing our future plans for health and financial data, that you could be forgiven for forgetting just how awesome our existing app is.

So it was great to see it get some press coverage in its own right, from Mike Elgan at Computerworld, who has a huge interest in the whole sphere of ‘lifelogging’ and building a truly connected world.

Riffing on Facebook’s statement from the time of its IPO in 2012 about wanting a more open and connected internet, he laments the fact that Facebook, these days, is actually more about just trying to do that by getting all of the users itself, through organic growth and the acquisitions of both Instagram and Whatsapp.

And that, actually, most of us access multiple sites, maintaining multiple friend lists and interactions with the people on them, rather than being able to do all of this in one place.

But this brings its own problems: “The trouble is, using several social services is really hard — all that switching from one mobile app to the next, and from one website to the next. Each has its own design, menu structure, settings and configuration options, and processes for handling photos, likes and mentions.

“It’s also impossible for someone with a lot of friends to remember which people are on what network. Most people who try to use several social networks end up forgetting about some and spending most of their time on one, or maybe two. So much for an open and connected world.”

But he sees many benefits to a single stream, where all your posts are gathered in one place for insight and convenience, and guess who he has just found out about? Yep – digi.me – and he’s already a big fan:

“So there you go, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs: Digi.Me is a platform upon which you can build a service that achieves Facebook’s mission to make the world more open and connected — without a Facebook monopoly.”

While he sings our praises here – and even more so on his FatCast podcast interview with our founder and chairman Julian Ranger – “the company makes a product that you should absolutely be using” it’s only fair to say that we’re not the total solution to his single stream desire – he wants somewhere he can import the posts of others, too, and a single place where he can interact with them all, and that’s not what we do. (Although in time we expect to become a platform that others build their own services on.)

But we thoroughly recommend both reading the interview and listening to the whole podcast for an excellent and interesting discussion about what social media activity is today, and could be in the future.

And we can only agree that you absolutely should be using digi.me!

 

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digi.me iOS app demo (trust us, you’ll love it!)

We’re very proud of our digi.me iOS and Android apps, which are available to download here, and thought you’d like to have a look at all the cool features we’re added so you can make the most of your data on the go.

Everything we do, we do it for you (as Bryan Adams almost said), so sit back and enjoy – and then download!

Have something to say? Simply shake your device to leave feedback – you can’t say fairer than that!

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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.”

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Defining privacy in the digital age – myths, pitfalls and positives

Privacy online has multiple meanings for different platforms and businesses – but what about us here at digi.me?

So much personal information about each of us is scattered about the web, traded, sold on and held in multiple places that we can neither access nor delete, that we can have no realistic expectation of full online privacy.

There can be no absolutes where one form of every kind of data that relates to an individual is owned and controlled by them without exception, and so online privacy is fluid when set against the norms of the offline world.

The last decade has also seen personal perceptions of privacy change and evolve dramatically with the explosion in online services and social networks on which many of us regularly post information which would previously have been considered for personal consumption only.

So how does all of this inform what we are and how we operate?

Well, digi.me deliberately enables a more private world, with more personal data under the control of each individual user, enabling them to use it as they wish, for direct benefits or insights.

But is it a privacy solution? We are often perceived as this but it’s not our primary aim as our strengths and business vision lie around the benefits of data gathering and controlled exchange.

The data still exists where it originated, but its combination with other streams and sources in one private digi.me library controlled by the user creates a body of information that is immensely more powerful than the sum of the parts scattered before this aggregation, as well as being completely private within the app itself.

This, then, is the true value of what we do, unlocking the potential of personal data, by bringing it together and creating greater value with associated complete security, with data only being exchanged or shared on the user’s terms, for their benefit.

But the constituent parts are not private in their original locations, and nor is there any way of making them be so – multiple copies of data are an expectation in the online world not shared by its offline cousin, which deals in physical entities of which often only one exists – a key reason why there can be confusion comparing the two.

Essentially, online privacy remains a fluid force, dependent in great part on the expectations of both parties when information is created and shared. What it means in any given context differs on nuances, with a broad variety of different forms available including private browsing, private sharing and private chat.

So privacy online becomes less about how each of us wants to define it, and more about how the services and platforms we use tell us they are defining it in that particular instance. We can then choose whether or not that is reasonable, and whether or not we, the guardians of our own privacy, want to partake.

Often, as seen with some of the bigger platforms, these terms and definitions will change over time – so part of taking back control of our online privacy is always being aware and as knowledgeable as we can be about what we are sharing, and with whom, and for how long.

There is no quick privacy fix, but one of the aims of digi.me going forward is to return ever more privacy to its users and enable an increasingly private world.

We are already 100% private in our operation, as we never see, touch or hold the data that users collect for their personal libraries. And we will soon enable individuals to exchange selected data with apps/businesses on a direct one to one permissioned basis.

Better for businesses as they get 100% accurate, fully permissioned data, as time goes on more and more businesses will go direct in this way, rather than scraping thinner, less accurate data from around the sides of our searches and transactions as is the predominant model now. A model that is increasingly working for neither the consumers nor businesses, which are increasingly at war over the methods used.

As more and more businesses go direct to individuals, there will be less and less money and demand for the ‘data scalpers’ and slowly their business model will become less economic and will shrink away – leaving the direct, privacy-enabling system as the major route for exchange of data for value.

Thus digi.me will enable a more private world where each user can choose how much data, if any, they are happy to share.

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#8 (of 12) reasons to love digi.me – you can export your favourite bits!

Your accumulated personal social media network data is a huge and wonderful thing, but sometimes just seeing the bits you want is enough- which is where our gorgeous and speedy export facility comes in.

Taking for granted all the amazing features of digi.me mentioned in the blogs above (which you have read avidly around your Christmas mulled wine drinking and present wrapping, yes?) sometimes small can be beautiful, so on the 8th day of Christmas my (tired) true love gave to me – the gift of export!

Maybe you just have a favourite picture of all-time, or favourites of your children that you want to be able to jump to and look at whenever life gets a bit bleurghh for a feelgood boost.

Of course, you could (and probably should!) delve into your digi.me and find it there, amongst all its friends and loads of other pictures and posts from your past just waiting to be rediscovered, but sometimes there isn’t time for, well, anything that fun.

On those days, being able to view a single picture or small collections of posts and/or pictures is a great thing, and our export feature allows you to do just that.

Anywhere in the app where you can see the PDF and Evernote elephant icons in the ‘do more’ menu in the top right hand corner means download of content on that page is enabled – from a single photo to a whole Facebook album, for eg.

Clicking on either will ask you to select what content you want included – there is a select all button, or you can select individual items. Then press create (for a PDF), which brings up a box asking where you want the finished product exported to, before it is created in seconds. Best of all? These exports retain all the original likes and comments – so can recreate those feelgood moments in a heartbeat.

Everynote exports work in a very similar way, but when you’ve selected your items, you’re given the chance to give the finished note a title and select which of your existing notebooks it should go in, before it too is created in seconds, again with original likes and comments.

Should you want to pull together a more in-depth Collection using content from across a variety of your platforms, simply follow the guide here and then export it as a complete entity.

Can’t wait to get started? Well, excellent – because not only can you download digi.me instantly, but we have 50% off for the whole of December, so you couldn’t have picked a better time. Enjoy!

 

 

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50% off digi.me: #4 (of 12) reasons to love us – our fab personalised widgets!

Widgets. Great name, great tool – and one which adds layers of fun and surprises to digi.me’s peerless secure personal data gathering, search and flashback features by offering personalised insights that delight and inform. And because you can customise them yourself, the possibilities are pretty much endless!

We’ve already given you multiple reasons why digi.me is a must-have, never-to-be-missed, buy-now-or-be-sorry personal data and memory – based Christmas gift par excellence – and our all-new singing and dancing widgets are pretty much the icing on the (Christmas, naturally) cake – bite-sized, custom insights about YOUR data, YOUR friends and YOUR followers,  parcelled up into cute little packages that greet you when you open up the app’s home page.

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Aren’t they lovely? We automatically create a few for you to get you started (or the app does, we never, ever see your data so couldn’t do this for you even if we wanted too, but luckily our digi.me developers are some of the best in the business), and then it’s over to you to do, well, what you want!

Just hit the ‘create widget’ button and it’s a simple three-step process. Choose from 13 types of widget, including latest and oldest photos and posts, most influential followers, most popular day, remember this?, total comments and likes and things you favourited.

Then, choose which linked social media account you want this widget to draw its information from – choose one or select all – and a date range.

And then bingo! You new widget will magically appear next to others already there, and start cycling  through the pictures or posts it has pulled in, meaning your home page is constantly in motion with interesting things about you. Nice! And if (when!) you see something great you want to remember in more detail, simply click the picture and up it pops full size!

If you change your mind or want to shake things up – no problem! Simply hit the round minus button in the top right hand corner of the page, and a delete button will overlay all widgets, making switching things up very, very easy.

We really do spoil you – and with 50% off for the whole of December, what’s stopping you? Download now!

 

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50% off digi.me: flashback is the #3 (of 12) reasons to love us!

Christmas is a common time to indulge in what has been as we prepare to turn the corner on a new year – but what if you could look into the fun of years past on any given day all year?

Well, guess what – with digi.me you can, and so on the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me the gift of flashback!

Yes, our brilliant app with all its many other cool features (gathering all your social networks in one place, for a start, plus being able to search for anything across all platforms and create collections of related content as just two of many others) also allows you to zip back in time and see your activity on your linked networks on any given day. Cooler than  Christmas snow, yes?

Think of it as Facebook’s memory feature on steroids. Just one picture? Pah – we give you everything – a full look at what you posted, shared, liked and favourited – and best of all we retain links to the original posts as well as comments and likes on them – so you can go as deep down the historical wormhole as you fancy and come back across all sorts of things you’d forgotten.

Sound like fun? That’s because it is. The good (family gatherings, time with loved ones) the bad (possibly the same, almost certainly pictures someone has scanned from your pre-selfie teenage years) and the ugly (messy nights out, bad perms, bad glasses, bad, well, anything) – they’re all still there, frozen in time and waiting to be rediscovered. Hours of fun to be had.

The flashback feature on our front page will automatically show you years past on the date you visit, so you can either make a date to come back every day forever (potentially fun but time intensive), or just use the date function at the top right to zip around either at random or to dates like your birthday or key anniversaries.

And, of course, no post combining Christmas and flashbacks is complete without a joke referencing the ghosts of Christmas past (hoho), so a) here it is and b) feel free to go and check those out as well.

Are there other features we should tell you about? Of course there are, too many to go into detail about here, but they include being able to export to PDF and Evernote, and the ability to add up to 20 social media accounts and pages. And, of course, new features and capabilities are being added all the time – digi.me is only going to get better and better!

In a Christmas treat from us, digi.me premium is 50% off for the whole of December, so head over to our download page to bag your festive bargain now!

 

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50% off digi.me: #2 (of 12) reasons to love us – universal search!

Posting different parts of our lives to the different social networks and friends that cater for them can be lots of fun – but a huge pain when it comes to trying to find an elusive post or picture, right?

So, on the second day of Christmas my true love brought for me – universal search!

Yes, among the dozens of clever things you can do with digi.me, universal search is undoubtedly one of the cleverest.

So what do we mean by universal? Simply that you can search across all networks. Need to know if you wore your favourite Christmas dress to a party last year? What present you bought for your loved one (maybe even who your loved one was at that point?) digi.me can help. Simply fire up the app, hit the magnifying glass search icon in the top left and away you go.

You can narrow your search down if you’ve got a good idea about where what you are looking for might be found, or you can search everywhere if you don’t.

And not only will digi.me quickly and speedily find what you’re looking for from all your backed up accounts and the entire date range that your personal library spans, but we’ll then give you options of what you can do with that information.

Of course, you can just delight in the fact that you don’t need a new Christmas jumper as no pictures of last year’s exist (as if!), but you can also add your long-forgotten post to an existing collection of content, or create a new one (both exciting premium features). And you can even export it as a PDF or to Evernote – so many choices, so many options, it’s like Christmas has come early (hoho!).

And if that doesn’t sound tempting enough, digi.me premium also offers the chance to add up to 20 accounts.

Sound tantalisingly tempting? Then head over to our download page to bag your Christmas bargain now!

 

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Millions of Facebook users give up privacy to play words quiz

Over 17 million people have willingly (and in most cases unthinkingly) handed over huge amounts of their personal data to a company they know very little about in exchange for a graphic of their most-used words in status updates.

I know, right? It is, as Comparitech pointed out, essentially a privacy nightmare, but Facebook users can’t seem to get enough of it at the moment.

The quiz app, by Vonvon.me, works out what your most used words were in status updates this year, and presents them as a word cloud which you are then encouraged to share on your timeline. I’ve seen plenty on mine, and I bet you have too.

So far so straightforward – but how does the quiz app get that information? Yep, by mining the information you have posted/logged with the site.

According to Comparitech, that includes disclosing your:

  • Name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, and other public info
  • Entire friend list
  • Everything you’ve ever posted on your timeline
  • All of your photos and photos you’re tagged in
  • Education history
  • Hometown and current city
  • Everything you’ve ever liked
  • IP address
  • Info about the device you’re using including browser and language

But it gets worse than that. The terms and conditions (that you have to sign up to when you authorise it to access your Facebook account, but which most people likely never read fully), allow Vonvon.me, among other things, to keep using non-identifying data for as long as they want, store it where they want, and sell it on to any third parties.

And all you got in return was a word cloud. Vonvon is not unusual in this, we’ve talked before about how most apps ask for far more permissions than they actually need to operate, and this is just one that’s gone viral.

But, as ever, it always pays to take care about what and who you hand your data over to. By all means take part in the Facebook quizzes and the like – but just take care about what they’re asking for in return.

Because your personal data is you, it has value and companies such as digi.me are working on ways that you can share it, on your own terms, for tangible benefits. Basically, it’s worth a lot more to you than a word cloud, so protect it!

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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!