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Friday, 13 May 2016

20 Points from Thinking Digital Session One - Sports, Culture and Terrorism

Founder Herb Kim told us that 'Thinking Digital is an investment in disconnecting from the pressures of every day life and a chance to sharpen the saw' as we took our seats in the packed conference room at the Sage. As one of the conference's 'street team' and a first time attendee, I really didn't know what to expect.

20 Points from Thinking Digital Session One - Sports, Culture and Terrorism
Sneaky peek of the Dine by the Tyne seats outside of the Sage

In all honesty though, the event BLEW MY MIND. There was so much to take in from such a diverse range of speakers. I honestly could write a 50 page essay about my day and it has been a real struggle trying to narrow everything down so have decided to break my posts down into sessions.

20 Points from Thinking Digital Session One - Sports, Culture and Terrorism

The IBM Engineer

First up we had Bill Jinks, an IBM engineer who discussed their partnership with Wimbledon - a relationship that has lasted 27 years.

20 Points from Thinking Digital Session One - Sports, Culture and Terrorism

1 - We want to bring tennis to life and to more people but we DON'T want to change the essentials. Wimbledon has a unique character and will always be played on grass.

This is a useful reminder for business - never forget your CORE values.

2 - Wimbledon's mission statement is simply to 'be the best in the world'.

In business, we could all have this ethos and always strive to be the best. This means always trying to stay ahead of the competition

3 - has been refreshed with a new design/technology every three years.

I think this is such an important reminder - you can't just have a business website or blog and then do nothing with it - websites need to evolve with the times, refresh their look and implement new technology regularly.

4 - Wimbledon/IBM use their Social Media Channels to attract new audiences and use a slightly more informal tone. Each channel has specific campaigns designed for that channel's specific audience. ALL with the same aim - to drive traffic to

Sometimes I feel that Social Media can lack purpose. I like how Wimbledon/IBM had very specific goals and aims for each channel - something I could certainly implement.

5 - Wimbledon's Youtube Channel has recently achieved 98% growth.

6 - Target online influencers through Social Media - is a 'celebrity' or 'influencer' attending your event, travelling through your region or has a passion linked to your business? Hunt these people out and connect & engage with them.

Twitter Lists are fantastic for keeping tabs on online influencers.

7 - break news before anyone else.

I find this on my Facebook page quite a lot - if I share a news story or I am one of the first to comment on a recent event, the post will often gain A LOT of interaction which I can then convert to 'likes' (invite anyone who likes your posts to like your page). Also, my analytics show me that a lot of my readers will visit me direct - I know they come to my site looking for something specific.

The V&A Digital Programmer

I loved listening to what Irini Papadimitriou had to say, Irini is a digital programmer at the V&A museum in London and spoke with real passion about both her role and the museum.

20 Points from Thinking Digital Session One - Sports, Culture and Terrorism

8 - Collaborations and bringing things together is what the V&A is all about.

Collaborating with others really has lots of benefits - as well as halving the work load your are doubling your audience and reaching new people. It's win-win I reckon.

9 - Think outside of the box. The V&A have recently collaborated with the Met Office during a Climate and Fashion 'Hackathon'. This brought designers, scientists, artists, technologies and the public together.

I guess it's easy to collaborate within your niche but how about collaborations outside of your niche? 

10 - The V&A used psychological research during a simple experiment to try and encourage donations to the museum. EG If someone looks at you directly with their eyes you are more likely to donate. They used this information and covered a donation box with photographs of the Queen's eyes. Donations to the museum increased by 15%!

There is so much research out there - do any of us put it into use in our own businesses? 

11 - The V&A are continuosly hunting out trends and noticed a trend for 'fixing things'. They collaborated with Restart and held a Restart party at the museum where people could come along and learn how to fix their broken products. This was run alongside a similar even in Nairobi and both were live streamed to the public.

The key here is to be experimental with collaborators and think how much you can get out of an event - don't just hold an event, ask someone else to run one too or consider live streaming.

The Hacker Hunter

I have had zero interest in how people hack into your computer before but I have to say, listening to Mikko Hypponen talk was one of the highlights of my day! This man really knows his stuff and the whole conference room was hanging on his every word. 

20 Points from Thinking Digital Session One - Sports, Culture and Terrorism

12 - Ransom Trojans are the main ways in which hackers access our data, they send an email with an attachment - you open the attachment and it tells you you need to upgrade 'word'. You click the link and then BAM your compute is infected and your data is stolen. You are then asked to pay to retrieve your data.

I think most of us know this now (hopefully) but never open an email attachment from an unknown source.

13 - There is little difference in what the hackers are doing in 1989 - 2016. We keep running into the same problems.

14 - At least hackers are honest (haha). If you do pay, they do give you your data back. They need a good online reputation - if you are hacked the first thing you'll do is google the name of the virus. If there are forum answers up saying people have paid and received their data back - you're obviously a lot more likely to pay yourself. Mikko advises NOT paying though.

Online reputation is everything - even in the world of Criminal hackers

15 - Your data is most valuable to YOU that's why hackers will target YOU and will usually not sell data on to other people. 

Check your data is protected!

16 - The problem of ransom trojans is HUGE. 300 million euros have been transferred to cyber criminals in the last 2 years.

17 - In the future, everything will connect to the internet - even your microwave and toaster.

18 - There are a lot of things on the internet that shouldn't be - eg hospital bed information, control panels for home pools.....these have no username or password attached and can be accessed by anyone! Cyber criminals aren't interested in this as they only want ££ but what about terrorists and extremists?

Be very careful about what you put online. 

19 - Extremists are VERY unpredictable and extremist hackers pose the biggest risk to cause a likely catastrophic event. The Government take this very seriously and drones have been used to kill hackers in Syria. 


20 - We have just left a nuclear arms race we are now entering a cyber arms race.

20 Points from Thinking Digital Session One - Sports, Culture and Terrorism

This first session provided so much food for thought and it was so interesting to think about life beyond my blog, my family and the North East. As we took a break for coffee there was so much excited chatter amongst us all and we were all eager for Session Two (Blockchains and BassDrums) to begin. Look out for my post on that session soon.

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  1. Loved Mikko's session, it was a definite highlight and I think utterly terrifying if you spend any great time thinking about it, this was my fourth or fifth year I think and I always come away with something valuable as well as catching up with my wonderful TDC friends I've met over the years. I'd describe it as brain food and well worth taking time out from my diary for.

  2. Gutted I missed this! Such an amazing experience.

  3. Interesting stuff, wish I could have gone!


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