Arkiv för oktober 2009

Intervjun med mig i tidningen LÄRA Stockholm har gett många kommentarer. Tack! Dessutom konverseras sakfrågorna på andra ställen. Till exempel hos Infontology under rubriken Har Skolan (med stort S) gjort sitt? Bland kommentatorerna där finns Mårten Belin, som bland annat säger:

”Gatarskis resonemang om att barnen lärt sig Engelska (dessutom modern engelska!) genom att titta på TV tror jag inte ett ögonblick på”

Jag trodde i min enfald att det var ett välkänt faktum att massor av barn, inte bara mina egna, lär sig engelska genom att titta på TV, men mer utvecklande genom att snacka med andra på Internet.

I måndags genomfördes TeachMeet Skolforum 09, med drygt 50 deltagare, de flesta lärare. Bland dom ingick Ann-Marie Anne-Marie Körling. I hennes mikropresentation (man hade sju minuter på sig) ingick sekvens nedan (klippt ur Del 3. Så titta gärna och tro vad du vill. Jag tror inte så mycket. Jag hör till dom som håller på att göra helt om när det gäller vad vi gör med våra barn.


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For me one of the most important cultural settings with Twitter is the personal focus. I am Richard Gatarski the person. Therefore I changed, after long consideration, from @weconverse to @RichardGatarski.

If you are interested in the technicalities around the switch you may skip the first part and scroll down to ”Changing the twitter user name is easy”.

About my real name

My father Kazimierz Gatarski was born in Poland. In his teen years he moved to England. In 1945 dad sat with his new friend Richard W and shared thoughts about their future. Richard W said that if he ever got a son he would name him Kazimierz. My father immediately returned the favor by saying he would be proud to name his first son Richard, in case he got one. Tragically Richard W died in combat in 1949.

Nine years later I was born. Mother and father discussed names. And as promised 13 years earlier I was given the name Richard. A name that I am proud of. In particular when I consider the reason why. I am also fortunate to have a rather uniqe name in the english/swedish speaking part of the world. Hence it is easy to find me. Of course, it is also important for me to remember that as I go around doing things.

Multiple identities

Those of you that know me might remember that many years ago I started to experiment with different identities – on the Internet. Sometimes in order to play trick with services so that they could not connect me as a customer with me as a person. At other times to separate my person from my ventures (e.g. corporations). is an attempt to manage that of me which concern my gigs and media development. is another one to manage my interest and doings when schools meet the marketing system. (And I have stakes in more than those ;).

When I registered with Twitter for the first time (March 2007) I decided to go for @weconverse, since my idea was to use that identity for experiments in media development/change. Since then I have figured out two things.

  1. Even though my tweets are focused on my professional side (with some personal spice, never private), I find it hard to limit myself to media matters. In particular, this is a problem as I balance more and more towards how we take care of your children (including their schools).
  2. At many occasions I have met other people who know about weconverse, but not me (Richard Gatarski). Last time this happened was yesterday at The Really Realtime Conference. Too sad, since I am after all a free lance consultant and find it valuable that you know about me (too).

Weconverse will remain in a limited fashion with it’s established focus. RichardGatarski will emerge more ( is under way, more on that laer).

Long name and time

As @sliceonline pointed out today, I have been talking about changing my twitter user name for several months. Two weeks ago, in another blog post (in Swedish), I asked for advice whether to go for rgatarski or richardgatarski (gatarski is taken). Before I published the post I registered the twitter user names ”rgatarski” and ”richardgatarski”. The majority of commenters adviced me to use the shorter version. Mainly because it takes less space – characters are limited in micro blogs.

To make a long and mindful story short, I decided that I wanted to be myself as much as possible on twitter. Rgatarski is not really me, it’s another identity. And as I have explained ”richard” is important – for us I hope. So sorry, from now on we have to be even shorter when I am involved in micro blog posts.

Quite a few other twitterers use a combination of their first and last name. Fewer, it seems to me, end up in using all 15 characters available for a user name.

You are important

Enough about me. I very much care about every other physical person who follow me and/or send me messages. Another big obstacle in this process has been my ignorance about how to change a twitter user name. And what happens when one does change. Now I know more, and want to share what I have learned with the help of others.

Changing twitter user name is easy

In Twitter’s settings panel there is an option to change user name. If you do, the old name is immediately available for anyone to take. Around a month or so ago Kristofer Björkman, a (business) friend of mine, changed from @MyNewsdesk to @ddesk. The former was to become the official twitterchannel for, the company Kristofer works for. Appareantly he was able to keep his followers. Relief!

Then I googled around a little and found out how to do it. So this morning I:

  1. logged in to RichardGatarski and temporarily changed that user name to richardxyz
  2. logged in to weconverse and changed username toRrichardGatarski
  3. logged in to richardxyz and changed it to weconverse, posted a note about my change, and filled in a profile that hopefylly informs where to find me
  4. logged in to RichardGatarski and tweeted about the change ”Dear former followers of @weconverse, you are now following @RichardGatarski (and @-send me there)”

The I begun a complicted process in attempt to keep my social things hanging together.

Replies and new followers are harder

There are a lot of ”@weconverse” out there. Anyone who send a message to @weconverse will send it there, not to @RichardGatarski. That means I have to monitor that account and take proper action whenever new messages arrive. I know of no automated services that manage this problem. So, for a while I have to keep en eye there.

Sometimes a twitter savvy person recommend who to follow (e.g. FF-ing). In case anyone from now on recommend @weconverse, that means they will not follow @RichardGatarski. Perhaps potential new followers will check out @weconverse and through its bio decide to go for the ”right” user name.  In the case anyone starts following @weconverse, they will get an automated Direct Message to follow @RichardGatarski instead. This is taken care of by the autorespond service in SocialOomph.

The (free) service from SocialOomph will also e-mail me a digestion of messages directed to @weconverse. Interestingly enough the first compilation just delivered contains a lot of older replies to @weconverse. But as said above, I still have to act on that manually.

The social network is a mess

Last night Jyri Engeström ended the Really Real time conference with a high level talk (video at on identity management and social content. Jyri pointed to many important issues and suggested some useful directions. Still, there is a really delicate and technically complex set of problems unfolding.

I use the Twitter Facebook app to republish my tweets to I have weconverse accounts at Posterous, Bloggy and Jaiku. For the moment I will let them be as they are, but changed at (there are limits to what I manage, and have other things to do). I normally use to publish micro blogs posts to Twitter, Bloggy, Jaiku and My FriendFeed account weconverse has been renamed to Which still imports stuff from some of my other social accounts. At a widget imports the FriendFeed stuff. I have/had to set up Bambuser, Ustream and some other services to autotweet @RichardGatarski instead of @weconverse. By the way, most of my streaming accounts will until further notice remain ”weconverse”. So will the weconverse identities on YouTube, Flickr, you name it…

Do you see how complex my small social network activity is? I am not even sure what works right now. I guess it will take a while until the most important interchanges works.


Changing ones user name on Twitter is easy. But that user’s (identity) and it’s interrelations with a wider range of social networking services quickly become rather complex.

The case described here is about my humble person (and personal brand). Now you may imagine what happens when the issue concerns larger corporations/organizations and all their brands.

There is only one way to go.


Welcome to @RichardGatarski and all your comments :-D


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It used to be that we created a message (e.g. ad content) that appeared in a desired context (e.g. a particular medium). That is no longer the normal case, thanks to interactivity and a different way to make references. We are in a future where the media constantly evolve fluid messages. Maybe it is a mess.

Marshall McLuhan’s famous statement ”The medium is the message” is grounded in the symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. Within marketing a common interpretation/use is the recognition that one should preferrably select a medium that support/enhance the message and its sender. For example, if an ad appears in a high quality ”independent” medium the commercial message is most likely perceived as more valuable that if it was received through one of the senders ”own” publicaion.

One aim of PR is to have ”the right” journalist say something that a CEO finds valuable for his/her organization. Or, I am sometimes hired as a consultant to deliver a message to my clients staff, simply because it is more trustworthy if I say it than if the client him/herself says it.

On a side note I believe that many bloggers (still) find it more valuable if their content is found/repeated by a highly renommed newspaper than just echoed by another blogger. Mark, the value I am trying to denote is different than the one inherent from the newspapers higher (traditonal) reach (numbr of readers).

Interactvity and referencing

There are a couple of things playng tricks with us now, and increasingly even more in the future. The first has to do with interactivity, the other with referencing. Both complicates McLuhans original context, which concerned linear media for mass audiences. Let’s take one thing at a time.

Interactivity is here understood as suggested by Rafaeli: ”the extent to which messages in a sequence relate to each other, and especially the extent to which later messages recount the relatedness of earlier messages”. Incrasingly we all realize more and more that the ads (on the web) we see depend on what we have seen, said, and done before. This is a result when the ads (e.g. banners) are placed by sophisticated ad distribution algorithms, like Google Adwords.

Furthermore, there is evidence all over the place that every (medium) wants to be more interactive. This quest is not new. It has simply become extremely common and implemented.

By referencing I am not really referring to the academic writing style, but rather our habit and need to point to a specific medium. For example, ”I read in [nnnn] that” or ”did you see [mmmm] in the TV program last night…]”. In addition, the web by definiton is all about referencing, even though we call it linking.

That is most likely something else

The last reference I did (under the word ”linking”) was what I saw today at 17:45 GMT +1. It referred to an article in the English edition of Wikipedia, which is a higly interactive medium. As a matter of fact, the article was most recently edited on October 12, 2009, the third revision in October only. Hence, it is most likely that you will see something else than I did when I created the link.

Earlier today I happened to watch another great TED talk. This one featured Rory Sutherland delivering Life lessons from an ad man. I saw it on the bus, on my HTC Magic with the help of the app Mother TED. Sutherland’s talk was immediately followed by a 150 second commercial from IBM.

I found the IBM spot very interesting for two reasons. First, because it concerns Stockholm (where I live) and our “smart toll system” for vehicles going in and out from the city. Second, and more important here, because the commercial is actually an illustration of what Sutherland says: “it is perception that matters”. In other words, the spot appeared perfectly after the TED talk. They both supported each other in a symbiotic fashion

I wanted to discuss this in a mailing list, so I threw in a note about it. Afterwards, when I needed to see the spot again, it was not there. This time I viewed it on my laptop directly surfing to TED:s talk site. As a matter of fact, the ad was replaced by another one. The IBM ad is on YouTube (I think;) in case you want to see it.

We have seen nothing yet

If you think that automatically placed ad words, banners, and perhaps even ad overlays on Web videos are the only ways to go – think again. The content we see and hear is more and more assembled the very moment we ask for it. And the assemblage of the content items we used to call a “medium” is increasingly becoming more fluid and personalized.

What does all this mean?

I do now know what this means, besides a hope that my dissertation (“Artificial market actors, 2001) will be more useful. One practical implementation is that we no longer can be sure about what someone, or something, else is actually referring to. And that marketers will find it harder to determine where, and in wich context, their messages appear.

Does all this make any sense to us? That is an open question.


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[Uppdatering efter giget] Tack alla seniorboendebyggare för en givande (eftermid)dag. Nu har jag laddat upp mina bilder som en pdf-fil (3,7 Mb). Och dom finns även bläddringsbara hos Slideshare.

Micasa Fastigheter i Stockholm AB är ett fastighetsbolag som äger och förvaltar Stockholms stads omsorgsfastigheter. I april 2008 hade jag ett interngig för Micasa om Webb 2.0. Det resulterade bland annat i det förnäma uppdraget att få medverka i deras aktuella konferensserie om framtida seniorboende.

Denna dag är temat Tekniken i människans tjänst. Heldagen fokuserar (med sikte på år 2030) teknik och teknikutveckling som har direkt koppling till byggande och förvaltning av seniorboenden. Programmet leds av Ulf Wickbom och innehåller förutom mig Anders Nordstrand (VD Micasa Fastigheter), Jan- Erik Hagberg (Docent, NISAL, Linköpings Universitet), Hans Kjelleryd (Adadvice på uppdrag av Hjälpmedelsinstitutet), Jon Simonsson (VD, InView AB), Niclas Perkman (VD, Manodo AB), Johan Lidén (Intel Digital Health), Filip Björnstjerna (Business developer CareIP, CareTech AB), Anna Romboli (Kommunikationschef, Ergonomidesign), Ljiljana Kapper (teknikansvarig och klasslärare i Klastorpsskolan), Mona Nilsson (miljöekonom och journalist) och Stefan Lundberg (Universitetslektor, Centrum för byggande och hälsa, KTH).

Framtidsspaning: Sociala medier är rubriken för mitt 20 minuters inslag. Det blir en djupdykning i det som börjat gro och kan vara vardagsteknik 2030. Samt en spaning från spännande experiment i tekniklabben. I skrivande stund planerar jag att förutom sociala medier ta upp Ubiqutous computing, nervimplantad, Augmented Reality och kanske 3D skrivare.

Det som gör det extra spännande är att jag bäddar för mitt eget boende 2030 (jag kvalar liksom in åldersmässigt :)


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Two days ago I visited an interesting breakfast seminar (see post in Swedish). It was an event prganized by Springtime, where Emanuel Rosen stopped by on his book tour The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited.

Unboxing, by The Register described as ”The new geek porn”, is the thing where people document their first encounter with cool new stuff recieved (in a box). Typically the whole experience from opening up the package to trying out the gadget/object in real life is documented on video and published live, or uploaded soon afterwards.

Unboxing content works as customer generated marketing. It informs as well as entertains. In some sense, it is/generate buzz. Speaking about the latter. For me it was natural to share with you a video where I unboxed a little, higly relevant, item a few minutes ago. Enjoy below above, on Vimeo, or on YouTube.

If you want to see other unboxings, just search for ”[product] unboxing” (replace [product] with something you are interested in). As an example, I searched for ”unboxing hero android” and found Hero in the house!


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