Stockholm reflections


One of my reflections on Disruptive Media, the conference in Stockholm last week in which I participated, is that being part of an event where everyone speaks a language that you don’t can present a few challenges.

Luckily, this is Sweden I’m talking about where, just as in the Netherlands, people go out of their way to help the hapless foreign visitor feel at home no matter any language gap, perceived or otherwise.

And this was a rather geeky event, too, where the broad subject matter – social media, communication, the web, mobile and more – meant that much of the presentations and conversations used words and phrases that are easy to grasp. Combined with great visual aids, it wasn’t too hard to get an overall gist of things.

Thanks also to friends like Hans Kullin and my Twitter buddy Sin Trenton who were generous with their time and attention in helping me keep largely up to speed.

The April 16 conference, organized by Annika Lidne and Björn Falkevik, attracted well over 100 people from PR and the media with PR folk in a slight majority. The pic above shows about half of those present (more photos on Flickr).

So, some general reflections and impressions:

  • As with every event like this that I take part in, in whatever country, conversations with participants during coffee breaks, etc, expose a tremendous hunger for knowledge and learning about social media and how to apply it effectively.
  • Likewise, events like this also expose some yawning gaps in thinking by PR practitioners (in particular), especially concerning where social media fits in with PR outreach activity. Hans Kullin captures it well in a post today on his blog.
  • Here in the UK, I’m in a large-ish minority among my friends and colleagues in having a Nokia N95 8GB mobile device. In Stockholm, it seems that everyone has a Nokia N95 8GB.
  • Twitter might be big in the US, UK and other English-speaking countries but in Sweden, Jaiku is the big game in town.
  • And with mobile video, Bambuser is the tool of choice rather than Qik or any other such service.
  • All the conference sessions were live streamed via Bambuser (you can see one of the Bambuser camera setups in the photo above) along with a constantly-active Jaiku backchannel, as this pic of Annika in her session illustrates – Jaiku on the left screen, Bambuser stream on the right. (The center screen, incidentally, shows the Long Tail in Swedish: Den LÃ¥nge Svansen.)


  • All the Bambuser live streams and Jaiku backchannel conversations are archived so you can still see what went on at the event, together with aggregated content via FriendFeed. Links on Annika’s blog.
  • Some people who presented have uploaded their presentation material to SlideShare. Mine’s there as well.

During the conference, I was interviewed by Miriam Olsson for We had a lengthy conversation; a great deal of what we talked about made it into the posted interview story. It’s in Swedish of course but, thanks to Hans Kullin and Sin Trenton who both translated it, you can read my mashup English version.

The title of that InternetWorld feature – “Companies that don’t take Social Media into account have a problem” – is actually a pretty good representation of what was a common discussion topic during the conference and, indeed, during the one-day workshop I led the day after the event.

Tack själv Annika och Björn!

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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