JanRezab / Blog

Founder & Executive Chairman of Socialbakers.com


Monthly Archives: October 2013

Jawbone Up vs. Misfit Shine (Update) and where could wearable technology lead?

Published: October 23, 2013

If you have been following my articles on Jawbone Up vs. Misfit Shine and other wearable measurement technologies, you will probably want to hear an update from my side. If you are new to this series, certainly read my earlier articles on the wearable measurement devices: Which wearable measurement is the best – Review of Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP or Fitbit and Which wearable measurement is the best – Review of Misfit Shine vs. Jawbone Up.  If you are interested in reading my thoughts on where wearable technology could read, skip to the end.

Here is the awaited update: I have been using Jawbone Up and Misfit Shine side by side for quite some time – several months. The data coming from both devices is actually quite similar (except when I go swimming, Shine clearly wins there).

Update on both devices:

  • Replacing Jawbone Up again – I am now getting a third Jawbone that Jawbone Support was so nice to provide, the device simply doesn’t last, and next time when I am betting on a particular wearable technology, I am going to get it in doubles
  • Misfit Shine – when you are turning on a particular activity – for example sleep, you cant really know if you are switching the activity on or off. It basically seems the Shine is trying to actively detect this. This doesn’t help when you forget to turn on a particular mode or don’t know which one is on – as there is no way to ask the Shine (there could be a specific tap to make). Also you can’t add sleep manually when you “forget” to tag the activity, which is something that I really miss.

Measuring – Misfit Shine vs. Jawbone: 1:0

Even though I would normally say 1:1, there are only nuances, the Misfit Shine measures more things

Analytics, displaying, interface, apps – Misfit Shine vs. Jawbone: 0:1

The interface in Jawbone UP is simply much much clearer, much nicer, the charts used are more flexible but also more readable. I heard that Shine is preparing a new application, hopefully coming soon!

Couple other points:

Handling – especially because of Misfit Shine”s (solvable!) interface management problem mentioned above, Jawbone is better.

Look – the Misfit Shine is very elegant, beautiful, especially in the dark its very nice, clear, and creates some attention if you double tap it.

Measurement – Misfit Shine wins here, not because its a lot better, but because of its battery (huge battery life), and the fact that you really don’t have to turn it off. I bought a few batteries and I think they can last for a few years.

Waiting for the “big” little device

I know there are wearables that already do take your pulse, but they are extremely bulky. I would like something practically wearable that does measure your pulse today. Something in the maximum size of the Nike Fuelband, but ideally the size of the Misfit Shine. I have hope such a device will be on the market sooner, rather than later.

Where could wearable technology lead?

It could lead to amazing places, thats why I am really excited about wearable technology. Everyone in the world is quite unique, but our patterns of movement, sleep, and blood pressure have something in common. It shows what our lifestyle is, and allows us to improve it. The accelerometers inside the wearable technologies could also soon function as an activity coach connected to your Google glass – Phone – or Tablet. It could tell you if your golf swing is off, it could tell you if you are running style is a bit off, it can tell you to put a little less or more energy into something. Many of these things are quite amazing. I can even imagine a very cool gamification of wearable technology and augmented reality, where you would wear 4 devices or more – one on each hand and one on each foot, and could play something really cool. The medical use-cases of wearable technologies are unexplored completely. You could detect things like heart attacks or anything close to them, you could train much better and generally live a healthier life. Your band could really help identify when you should do something and what that activity should look like.

Of course, the big future of wearable measurement is also that you would have a chip in your body – that today might be seen by going a bit too far, but I don‘t think we will think that in the future. That chip could help do a lot of things medically, possibly even be movable in the blood stream and help us fix and detect some issues.

Any wearables that you recently saw that you would like?


Good tips: How to tackle email and some useful email management tricks

Published: October 21, 2013

This is the article about what role email plays in my life and about our evolving romantic relationship… Reading the article can hopefully save you some precious time in your life. Having recently read a few articles about time efficiency (obviously is a very interesting topic for me), I would like to share with you on how I deal with email. Yes, there are countless ways to look at efficiency, and this is only one of many, but its quite a big part.

Why? This year, I sent 17,000 emails (about 60 per day), and received about 70,000 (worse day still is about 500, which does not include spam, but does include things where I was on CC). Email communication accounts for one of my longest spent times in my working life, I spent an equivalent of 12 full days (x 24 hours) of pure time emailing during 2013, and it was an equivalent of 25% of my computer time (computer time is about 50% of my working time).

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RescueTime (software I use to monitor computer time) says: 

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I figured email being one of the biggest time spender for people, reading this article could save some people quite a load of time. I have optimized and evolved my rules and processes around email for quite some time.

How I organize my emails? 
I have 30 GB of email, and that quite a lot of it. I tackle it by using a Mac and Mac Mail (Outlook). I use Google Apps, and I use native rules and labels.

For me, inbox is the buffer, the to-do list, the undone. I never delete emails, I only archive them (move them into a separate folder by keyboard shortcut). The benefit especially because I use a lot of automated rules comes next.

I have automated rules for almost all contacts I email frequently. This allows me to just archive an email, and I know I can find it in a few seconds in a particular topical folder. I put a full overview of my folder tree below. (Gmail doesn’t use folders but labels, but in IMAP a folder works like a label, this sometimes means having one email in 2 folders, but Mac mail and Google know how to deal with that).

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I deal with emails in categorical waves – first filter out notifications and newsletter right away, then look at the most important, flag those, then look at ones you can easily OK – approve – move (especially if people are waiting for you on something), and do them right away in the next 10 minutes, and then come back and make a decision which flagged ones you will deal with right away and which you will deal with later. I deal differently with internal and external email.

I use a ton of keyboard shortcuts: For replying, sending, opening new, reading, deleting, archiving, and navigate the emails mostly with a keyboard making it quite a fast process.

Balancing email – I believe there is a right amount of time between balancing emails and work itself. For me as a CEO, communication is the key thing. Sometimes you get an email and its many more times productive to call a meeting or set up a phone call, but many of the times you just have to really go in and reply those emails. So this is the advice around dealing with a load of that.

Best emailing tips:

  • Turn off mobile email notifications – its a focus killer, have email on your phone, but only open it when you want, not when “it wants”
  • Sometimes, if you are dealing with a day or more of unread and undone emails, as you are working on it and getting the process is getting repetitive, change from for example Mac Mail to the iPad and continue there for a while and then change the device again. Although impossible to prove by any study I could find, this is a guaranteed tip that it will work especially if you are dealing with over 200 – 400 emails that you have to all deal with in a few hours. 
  • If you look above, I don’t keep my Inbox as a stream, but only as a “todo buffer”. This also means I try and keep it clean and most of the time I like to end a day with under 100 total emails in my mailbox, and clean it once a week or two to zero. This also means that for me I will hardly lose an email reply.
  • Don’t have emails turned on all day long, for example lower the receive refresh rate, or just minimize or quit your email for a while – create several times a day where you would check it. But unless email is most of your job, do your job first and then go back to email
  • I noticed more and more people using the Gmails native interface. I think an Macmail, or the PC version Outlook Express/Outlook is a better way to deal with email especially if you know how to tackle this. The web interface is good and I sometimes go there for a few operations, but its much slower to operate, doesn’t work well offline, and doesn’t just keeps loading (where in IMAP, even if you work offline, the sync really does magic and works perfectly well).
  • Not a direct emailing tip, but I used to be a big ICQ, chat, and instant messaging person. I use very little IM communication, as its probably the least productive thing out there. I would call it micro defocus. You defocus a little but at scale in many chat conversations. I try to keep it off by default, and on Jabber I only have 10 people and turn it on only when I need to.

How I would like to eradicate email? 
In the company, we use Podio, something that both adds but as well structures communication in a better way. With Podio, I hope to get rid of all so called “CC email”. A “CC email” is where over 3 – 4 people are on CC (worst cases: 7 – 10, or even more), and you start creating a bad email chain.
Similarly to how Facebook dealt with email, and today, most people don’t need email notifications for Facebook and Facebook is a destination, Podio and other collaborative social networks can deal with emails.
I am looking for tools or any other things to really help me build a layer above email that could help deal with a lot of the issues out there.
Of course, email will still be there, but I would hope to get rid of the one to many use case at least, and make sure most of that communication is in some structured place like Salesforce in Chatter, Podio, or social media

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What features I really miss in email?

  • Social features – internal conversation about an email with my PA – but a very quick one, double read notifications. Something we have in our Socialbakers Builder for example, that we can internally discuss a Tweet or a Facebook post
  • Enterprise features – for example – forward, delegate, archive, and monitor – being able to monitor a forwarded email to either a department or a person how its being dealt with, and having statistics on it. I would love to have this company wide if possible. 

To conclude, email is a very important part of everyones life. One interesting observation on Facebook and its development – I used to send friends emails and texts. Today, I don’t remember the last time I would send a friend on email – I would send a Whatsapp, iMessage, but most importantly a Facebook message. Email is mostly now a business tool for me, and I am trying to manage it in the best way possible.
I will keep you updated on my new tricks that I find. In the meanwhile, I would love if you would share any tips and tricks of how you do it below in the comments.


Why I am proud to be a Socialbaker

Published: October 15, 2013

We started Socialbakers 5 years ago, and I am extremely proud to report that with over 200 people, an extremely strong both product & development, and client & operations teams, we are entering a new chapter in the companies history. BusinessInsider reported us as one of the TOP 25 hottest ad-tech companies to IPO, and even though that for now an IPO might be thinking far, we are playing with those thoughts..

If you want to catch up on us, make sure to read the article: “This week, Socialbakers is upping its game” – and we did up our game, oh yes we did!

I believe in the long run, we are the right partner for brands, because of the several aspects and philosophies that make Socialbakers a company that helps clients the best in the long run. Why?

  • Our teams care most about data integrity – we have a bigger team focused on data integrity than many of our competitors have developing the entire product, our long-term
  • Our clients are everything, we have support 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, in 5 languages, we have dedicated local managers, offices in 11 countries, and people in 14 countries.
  • We are a new generation company, we are not born 10 or 20 years ago and don’t carry the baggage of a huge company that cant change direction when clients request us to.
  • Because we are an agile company, we quickly change our platform and adapt to fast moving changes in the social media world – for example we were the first company to reflect Facebook’s local fan count, something many competitors didn’t follow up to this point, as its quite heavy and hard to do
  • We always try to find new metrics and insights, giving our clients great information value so they can do what they need to do best – driving social media forward
  • We are a big data company, we are already dealing with deployment of hundreds and hundreds of servers, running databases like Hadoop, etc.
  • We are a transparent company, when we make a mistake, we are not worried to apologize for this
  • We are improving our data expertise with every iteration, for example if a social network delays a particular data feed or changes the way they count something, we now  alert you right under the chart when that change was affected

And also, on a more personal level, we have people that really care about the Socialbakers. Developers that stay late sometime for 2 months (even don’t take weekends), designers that put everything into it to build beautiful videos, generally people that do everything for hitting deadlines, great marketers that try to bring you the latest reports and infographics, our local teams and client teams – that run around crazy trying to make their clients happy – and give feedback into the products so we can get better again and again, and of course the support teams sitting there in the evening responding and dedicated to our clients. Sometimes, we don’t say it enough: Thank you, thank you, and thank you again! Its soo appreciated, and I see every moment of it.

I heard this interesting thing from one client the other day: I know one of your competitor has one extra feature, but you are the team I am betting on to have all of these things in the long term. We will do our best to live up to that reputation.

I would like to thank clients, my fellow bakers, and everyone that is helping us making this a success!

At ENGAGE 2013 in New York on November 21st, we will present 5 quite big company updates, big steps forward that are quite huge and incomparable to ones we have launched before. I hope you will enjoy them, sit tight, and don’t forget to measure, its essential to success in social media.


Where is media going? Everything will be digital, and everything digital will be social

Published: October 3, 2013

If you haven’t seen Kevin Spacey’s speech on YouTube (see below), you definitely should. Its an example of what I would call the future of media. To summarize it for you, he says that for their show “House of Cards”, they didn’t want to create a pilot and release all the characters in the first show, but wanted to give it to the audience through a larger show. After failing to offer it to the traditional entertainment companies, they went to Netflix and Netflix distributed the show. They also chose to offer all the content at once to leave everything in the customers hands, where he states that there is a shift to on-demand, he calls it listening to the customer. 

Exactly…

This has deeper implications though than just TV shows. Much deeper. Let me widen this picture for you. In the age where print is becoming a luxury, radio is becoming a car-only use-case, and the entire TV is becoming digital and on-demand, there will be no other channel than digital. We now probably all believe that all of media is going to be digital, and by how I define digital I really mean interactive (with input and change possibility, not an ongoing show). Thats pretty obvious, and already this is reflected in media budgets in spend of many countries.

Clearly, there is also the time spent aspect. If you look at the eMarketer study from 2010 – 2013, Digital has taken a leap forward, and I think if you added the 13 – 18 segment, it would be significantly  less on TV.

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I might be an extreme example, I might also be just a sample of the majority to come, but let me tell you what media I consume:

  • Computer (Digital) – primary channel for me (and it will never be mobile)
  • Mobile and Tablet (Digital) – primarily for communication use-cases, I talk about 2 – 3 hours a day on the phone (FYI: Use the Bose bluetooth headset), I use mobile “passively” about another 1 hour per day
  • TV – no TV whatsoever (only TV shows and some movies on the computer or YouTube – again, Digital)
  • Little bit of Radio – only in the car (once self-driving cars come, this use-cases is fully digital)
  • Print – I only read a magazine or newspaper 3 – 5x a month, never buy one, and in all cases on the plane

Now that we have established that every medium is probably going to be digital, lets look at social media.

If you look at finding friends, Facebook is the right place. But also I use Facebook to discover for example places instead of Google. (Almost) everything is better with a social layer! And thats why from my perspective, all digital is going to be social.

What do you guys think? I added comments to my blog below, so you can drop me a note!

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