Archive for February, 2010

I first heard the term “meat LAN” (in Swedish as “kött-LAN”) from Björn Erikssen at Ocean Observations back in 2008. By “LAN” Björn was referring to LAN parties, that is when a bunch of gamers meet somewhere in physical space to hook up their computers and play through a Local Area Network. I just add a little twist and rephrase it as meat meet (Swedish “köttmöte”). Simply because IRL (in real life) connotes that the online would somehow be unreal. Furthermore, to me “physical space” simply sounds cold, boring, and less catchty.

Anyway, in a comment after my gig for F-Secure Daniel Grønbek asks about my concerns regarding how online relations affect “old values like communicating face 2 face, enjoying the companionship with fellows in eg. sports clubs, meeting with friends at the cofeehouse and more”?

Well, as far as I can see it we are genetically programmed to meet other humans in all kinds of physical ways. As a matter of fact, most parents fear the moments when their (young) kids want physical meetings with friends made online. This kind of urge is yet another proof of our need to make physical contact. And by “need” I really mean a basic human need. Meetings at LAN parties, sports clubs, coffe houses, etc are just different cultural expressions of that basic need.

Online encounters seems to drive the number of meat meets. As well as how such meetings are organized.  True, all human behaviour might turn into abnormal ways. Like individuals who isolate themselfes in front of a computer screen, reluctant to make whatever contact with the outside world. But such acts are exceptions, not the norm(al). On a personal level I tend to always want to meat meet people that I initially  have learned to know online.

A few contemporary forms of such novel meeting forms are tweetups, bar camps and unconferences (when initiated online). Again, we humans will always want meat meetings. As history goes on, and new technologies emerge, we develop new and interesting meeting formats. Of course these include online meetings too, like skype calls, MSN chats, twittering, and video conferencing.

But there is even more hope for a more humane look at business meetings. In 2006 I developed the Meeting model Connected (Swedish Mötesmodell Uppkopplad) for business purposes. Doing that I came to the realisation that as more and more of our “business meeting needs” could be satisfied with online tools, the “human needs” for effective group collaboration would become more appearant. And perhaps acknowledged with its true face. Most business meetings include a “social side”, be it as coffe breaks, dinner, dancing, bar hangouts, etc. Hence, I am looking forward to future business meetings with the sole purpose of meat meet. That is, meetings where the main (deductable) purpose actually is to satisfy our need to make physical contact (without talking business).

If you see what I mean…

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Last week the Swedish PR agency Westander invited everyone to contribute to their wiki on PR and social media. Any contributions made there before February 17, 2010 might end up in Westander’s Swedish handbook on PR. The wiki in question relates only to the two pages in the hand book that concerns “social media”.

In the Swedish version of this post I elaborate somewhat on my thoughts about their handbook two years ago, and how they might improve their current wiki implementation further.

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If you want other people to care about you, then tell them who you are.  Your name, photo, a short personal description and an indication of what you are doing will help others. In social media too!

How would you react if a stranger blasts up to you in the supermarket and say “hey, do you want to come along and chat for a while”? What would you think if similar things happened all the time on the street, during the conference, at the countryside etc? Most probably you would avoid that type of encounters. We have so many other things and people to think about.

Hi, my name is Richard Gatarski and I have a passionate interest for media development and social innovations. How can we together create the world’s best start in life for our children?

At physical meetings (meat meets) it is common in our culture to present ourselfes to strangers by giving our name and reaching out a hand. Fairly soon the parties then start a conversation around  anything that might lead to a common interest. Sometimes the result is the exchange of contact information, so that we can meet again. We make contact.

Like most others I like being acknowledged. We humans want to be seen. It is another story that we simply do not have time to care about everyone around us. Especially in social media, where it is all about potential contacts worldwide.

For my part, I get many notifications every day that Twitter users started to follow @RichardGatarski, people want to be friends with my profile in Facebook, connect to Richard Gatarski in LinkedIn, and so on. Typically I spend 5-30 seconds on each of those pock-on-my-attention-situations. So, it’s up to anyone to quickly identify her/himself and suggest what our common interests might be. Because I quickly decide wether to follow back or just go on.

In the case of personal Twitter accounts, a good idea is to publish your full name, a brief personal description and, preferably, a URL where one can learn more about you. It is also often useful to have a profile picture that is a more or less creative portrait of you. Even for organization’s accounts, it is a good idea the tell which persons do the twittering.

If you want to be anonymous in social media, you’re welcome. But few will care about you, and it is hardly a social presence.

Im LinkedIn I have chosen to cultivate my professional contacts only. In FaceBook I also befriend more or less closer private friends. For both services we must have had more than just a brief encounter before I connect. Regarding Twitter, I follow back a small number of users: those working with media development and children (including schools); are my private friends, or supply a service that I find useful. Since I want to have decent idea all my twitter friends doings, my solution is to follow no more than 200 accounts.

We are all different, and you do what you want. Please try to be social, that helps us all.

[Short url to this post: tinyurl.com/knownfriend]

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Yesterday about 200 people were invited to a closed beta of  the social micro payment system Flattr. The founders, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi (@brokep) and Linus Olsson (@bonq) want to “help people share money, not only content”. True, Peter is generally recognized as one of the co-founders of the Pirate Bay. While I am indeed for sharing, I am against massive sharing that is illegal. But I am massivly for paying for stuff I find useful. To me it looks like Flattr is a really interesting way to go.

Without further ado I used my invite code and signed up (with an account for my business). I am especially looking forward to business and tax related solutions. PayPal offer “donate” which is often good, but not hard enough if you play in the money driven value exchange system. (Swedish: compare Donera eller betala och kanske skatta).

You can find a Flattr badge here in the right column of RichardGatarski.com that you might try. As an experiment I have also embedded another badge with this post. Just to see the difference in tracking. As soon as possible I will try badges for some other forms of my content (image, video, and pdf). Guess most of you can’t pay, but you may dig my story (Flattr takes a small fee, so indirectly you dig/pay for their story too). For more info, and to request an invitation, guess what – go to Flattr.com.


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How teacherns learn Internet is a gigantic challenge, with no single solution. It is clear that all Swedish students and teachers must be equipped with computers (and other relevant resources). Furthermore, many more people must realize that the whole school system needs to be redesigned.

Those bold thoughts were reached by a group of around 15 people who discuessed “how teachers learn about Internet” this afternoon. We were a part of  around 100 persons in an Open-Space-Meeting called Hej skolan, dags att Internetta! (eng. Yo school, time to do some Interneting, hashtagg #indpres), arranged by.SE:s Internetdagarna.

My notes from the group discussion are in Swedish, please feel free to peruse them in that language.

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