Archive for the 'GlocalReach' Category

Announcing collaborative partnership with Programmersheaven.com

June 10, 2008

Currently we have a closed alpha of our service running. I have been promising an open beta on this blog for quite some time but we have had a few Eureka moments over the past months that I think all startups have (and should have). So, we have been going back to the drawing board a few times, causing delays.

Therefore, I am very happy to announce a partnership with Programmersheaven.com, a global community for developers with more than 200’000 registered users. This partnership will give us access to an interesting user base in order to test and fine tune our offerings along with providing an additional revenue stream for certain web communities.

Working with niched communities such as Programmersheaven.com fits in perfectly with our vision about reach management using social slicing and semantic presence. We hope to add more communities such as them to our list of partners in the future.

You will see the fruits of this partnership after summer as Programmersheaven.com will launch a complete redesign of the website in July.

Erik Starck
Managing Director, Co-founder
GlocalReach
Contact me

Advertisements

Launch Silicon Valley 2008: Introducing GlocalReach

June 10, 2008

As Nicolai mentioned we’re presenting our company at the Launch Silicon Valley 2008 event in San Francisco today.

GlocalReach has been selected as one of 30 out of 266 applicants. We’re really proud to be one of the select few as there are some other startups with really exciting products in the group!

If you want to get to know us a bit better you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few blog posts you can read that tells our story.

First out is Nicolai Wadstrom, one of our co-founders and the chairman of our board, presenting himself:

I am an serial Entrepreneur, I am 35 years of age, and have been starting companies for the past 12 years, ranging from consulting companies, software companies, media companies, computer games and internet companies.

We’re building services for reach management. Managing how people reach you, that’s the core of our services. Since people today use many different ways of reaching each other it’s important to understand how the communication protocol is part of the message itself. Another important aspect of any communication technology is its emotional bandwidth.

As the price of voice communication (telephony) goes down, VoIP spam (SPIT) will be an increasing problem. Read how researcher Daniel Putz investigated different strategies for preventing SPIT here.

What about social networks? Well, our first service, ReachCards, is not a social network. At least not like Facebook, Myspace and the other giants. We believe in social slicing, being part of many social networks based on interest and social context. So, we looked at how research in evolutionary psychology points to what is commonly called Dunbar numbers. One important Dunbar number is 150, that’s the average circle of friends a person has:

The existing social networking sites and somewhat older social tools such as the address book in your mobile phone does a pretty good job of managing these 150 people. With GlocalReach, we’re trying to build the tools necessary for the outer circles, beyond the Dunbar number.

At these circles, people know you more by a role you have or a category of people you belong to. They might know you as a politician, a programmer, a neighbor, a nurse or a blogger. If you have a slashed career people will know you by many labels and roles. GlocalReach will help you manage these roles and how people reach you from the outskirts of the social whirl. That’s our place in the social network universe.

Speaking of cards, the business card is the traditional way of doing an “add to friends” in your social network. We know what adding a friend to Facebook means – the implications of doing it are built in to the service, but what does it mean when I give you my business card? What do I commit to? What do you as a receiver commit to? Here are some thoughts on the subject.

That’s a few of the things that has kept us busy the last year. Follow this blog to keep yourself updated as we move forward towards the goal of helping people manage how, when and why they can be reached.

Erik Starck
Managing Director, Co-founder GlocalReach

Going to Launch: Silicon Valley

June 2, 2008

I will go to Launch: Silicon Valley next week to present GlocalReach and the ReachCards service, will be interesting to get some feedback by Guy Kawasaki and the other VC’s at the event. As I often say to people around me; “each experience will make you wiser, no matter how it goes”.

We have been a bit quiet over here for awhile, but we have been busy working on the service and our next funding round that we are hoping to close real soon.

Hope to have some more news soon, now back to preparing presentations for next week.

Cheers

Nicolai Wadstrom,
GlocalReach
Co-founder

Updated front page

March 30, 2008

Slowly, slowly our reach management service is advancing. I’ve just updated our homepage, introducing a new concept in the service: reach filters. Go there and sign up for the beta.

While you’re waiting

January 24, 2008

Yes, I know… our beta is delayed. We’re still working on our reachcards as well as a complete redesign of our home page. Here’s a glimpse of one of our cards:

While waiting for us to finish, enjoy a few good blog posts from across the web.

First of is Web Worker Daily, writing about why you need an online persona:

Many web workers know that if you build your professional profile online, you might be able to skip resume writing and interviewing when looking for a new job or new clients. A strong online presence can sell you better than any one page summary or one hour meeting.

We couldn’t agree more. Your online presence is at least as important as your offline dito. In fact, they’re starting to become inseparable. That’s why you need an online business card just as much as you need a physical, offline one.

Seth Godin has a very short post about reach management: The more people you reach the more likely it is that you’re reaching the wrong people.

Garrett Smith pronounces the phone call dead:

Every week, I communicate with 75 year olds and 15 year olds a like. I believe there is a succinct dividing line between those who still value the phone call, those who still prefer to make a phone call and those who do not see the value in a phone call and would prefer to keep all of their communications electronic and textual. I believe that this “dividing line” is those who are currently the age of 26.

Garrett may be right. Yesterday I attended the Emote 08 conference here in Stockholm and one of the speakers was Anssi Vanjoki from Nokia. He showed the following slide:

This is data fetched from a small program that monitors the actual usage of a smartphone. It is not how people think they use their phone, it is showing how they’re actually using it.

Notice that voice is only 12% of the usage!

Messaging, which has a much smaller emotional bandwidth, is by far the most common usage of the phone.

In fact, it makes you wonder why they still call it a telephone – which is exactly why Nokia has started calling them multimedia computers.

OK, that’s it for now. Now I need to get back to finishing the reachcards and our new company home page. See you there!

Creative business cards

November 11, 2007

Some nice designs of (paper) business cards here.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could have an online business card with creative design and the possibility for people to find you and reach you using the card?

Yes, it certainly would.

Social networking beyond the Dunbar number of 150

September 20, 2007

In a short time social networking tool Facebook has gathered 50% of the population between the age of 23-35 in Sweden as members. Impressive numbers, but Facebook is not the first social network site on the web and most likely not the last either. There’s hard competition between the MySpaces, Lunarstorms and LinkedIns of the web world. It seems like the popularity of social networking sites is like that of popular nightclubs. The cool places to be one year is not so cool anymore the year after. Friendster and Orkout knows about this all too well and Sweden-based Lunarstorm seems to be learning it as well.

Current hot-place-to-be Facebook also knows this and therefore calls themselves a “social networking utility“. A utility, a tool, is something you use to build things, so a social networking tool ought to be something you use to build social networks with. They have a somewhat open API, making them a kind of platform. Their strategy is to become the social networking operative system of the web. The Microsoft Windows of social networks. We’ll see if they make it.

So, is the market for social networking sites saturated? I don’t think so and the explanation for this also explains how GlocalReach will fit in to the social networking landscape.

Let me begin by drawing some circles:

Dunbar numbers

These circles represents circles of intimacy and is taken from the book Evolutionary Psychology by Robin Dunbar, Lousie Barrett and John Lycett. It’s called the social whirl. The number in each circle is the approximate number of people within that part of your social network. In the middle is you, followed by your family and very close friends (about 5 people). The next circle is your sympathy group, 12-15 people with whom you have a closer relationship.

The number 150 is often mentioned as the Dunbar number:

Dunbar’s number, which is 150, represents a theoretical maximum number of individuals with whom a set of people can maintain a social relationship, the kind of relationship that goes with knowing who each person is and how each person relates socially to every other person

In other words: it’s your circle of friends.

It’s people who knows you as an individual. You have a personal and explicit relationship to these people. Basically, it’s the people you have beer with.

Evolutionary psychology studies has shown that people are incapable of maintaining a close relationship with more than a 150 individuals at the time (although the number varies between persons, 150 is the average). If you meet new friends, some of your older friends that you don’t see very much anymore falls out of your 150 circle. (Don’t feel so bad about it, we’re only humans after all. You’re lucky not to be a chimpanzee. They have a Dunbar number of ~50.)

The existing social networking sites and somewhat older social tools such as the address book in your mobile phone does a pretty good job of managing these 150 people. With GlocalReach, we’re trying to build the tools necessary for the outer circles, beyond the Dunbar number.

At these circles, people know you more by a role you have or a category of people you belong to. They might know you as a politician, a programmer, a neighbor, a nurse or a blogger. If you have a slashed career people will know you by many labels and roles. GlocalReach will help you manage these roles and how people reach you from the outskirts of the social whirl. That’s our place in the social network universe.

I would have hoped to have our beta ready by now, but we have been rethinking some of the concepts, putting a stronger emphasis on the business card (or reachcard) as the center of the service, as your primary reach management tool. So, the beta will take a little bit longer. Sorry about that.

Meanwhile, give someone that has been falling out of your Dunbar circle a call. Reunite with old friends. Bring up some good old memories.

Real friendship, after all, doesn’t have a number.

Updated: here is a longer and much more insightful post on Dunbar numbers and social networks.

Updated 2: Thomas Vander Wal at the blog Personal Infocloud has an interesting post on Selective Sociality and Social Villages that touches the same subject.

I also updated the picture used in the post.

Erik Starck
Managing Director, Co-founder
GlocalReach

GlocalReach.com has a new face

August 30, 2007

Yesterday we uploaded our new homepage to a new web server, so everything should be clean and shiny on your next visit to our website.
It’s somewhat difficult to know how much to write when the service isn’t even finished yet. At least you will get a little more sense of what we’re trying to do and a taster of the graphical profile we’re working with. Screenshots will come soon, I promise!
Enjoy your visit. 🙂

What does “here, have my card” really mean?

August 17, 2007

We live in an age of advanced communication technology. The number of mobile phones worldwide is 3 billion. That means that there are potentially 3 billion people that can call your mobile phone at any given moment.

Wow! Imagine that. Three billion people, all with the ability to at any given moment talk to anyone else of the three billion.

Our phones have to be ringing all the time, right?

Well, as you probably know, it doesn’t (although sometimes it feels like it does) and there are two reasons for this. The first reason is a simple matter of cost. International calls are quite expensive and calling up strangers from all over the world quickly empties your wallet (although this will change as we’re moving to a 100% VoIP-world (55 million VoIP-users and counting), leaving the door open for VoIP-spam).

The second reason is even more important: there’s also a social cost to calling a stranger. What do you talk about? What value can you bring to each others life? Most people would say it’s rude to disturb someone with a phone call when you don’t know the person and the purpose of the call is unclear.

The third reason is noise. You can’t find someone to talk to even if you did have a valid reason to talk.

That’s why one of the most important communication technologies we have is based on a simple piece of paper: the business card.

businesscards_smaller.jpg

The business card carries an important social meaning. Giving someone your card signals to them that it’s OK to contact you (during business hours – and not on the weekend, unless explicitly stated) using the contact information on the card. It also contains a short description of who you are in one particular role for example as a representative of a company.

It says:

“I am X and I do Y. It’s OK to contact me using the methods described on this card if you need help with anything related to Y.”

Or:

There are three billion people out there you can call. This card tells you why you should call me.

Exchanging business cards is an internationally accepted way of connecting. It lowers the social cost of making a phone call. It clarifies the value that a conversation may have. That’s why we will make the business card a central part of the GlocalReach service. It’s at the core of how you manage how other people can reach you. Our beta is ready soon.

Update: marketing genius Seth Godin has a post on business card mistakes:

Precisely because they are an anachronism, they serve a vitally important function. In an era where no one dresses up anymore, they give you a chance to position yourself, to represent who you are and what you do in a three cent piece of paper. And yet… almost all business cards are terrible. They are the leisure suits of the marketing the world, the place where bad design not just lives, but thrives.

Do you screen your calls? You’re not alone

August 14, 2007

According to a study performed by BBDO and Proximity 96% of all mobile phone users screen their calls.

That tells me we’re on the right track when we say that we want to make it easier for you to manage how other people can reach you.

The study can be downloaded here [pdf]. I love this quote:

“My mobile is like an egg from which unexpected opportunities may come out.”
TANIA , 32, ITALY