On my Nokia N97, when I read a WordPress blog post and scroll down to the comments section, the browser crashes. Is that just me?
On my Nokia N97, when I read a WordPress blog post and scroll down to the comments section, the browser crashes. Is that just me?
“(…) the value-engineering mindset that’s so crucial to profitability as a commodity trader is fatal as a purveyor of experiences. Of course you still want to produce your offering for the lowest achievable cost — but that cost is bound up in intangible, nondeterministic dimensions of design, in ways that are only partially-at-best quantifiable. It’s just not particularly wise to allow engineers to make decisions about things like product and service nomenclature, interface typography and the graphic design of icons: they’re, I daresay, not even neurocognitively equipped to do so. And yet this is what happened when I was at Nokia and, I would imagine, is happening still. (…)
Another, blunter way of putting it: there’s nobody with any taste in the decision-making echelons at Nokia. And this is especially unfortunate and ironic, given that elegant, simple Finnish design has tutored generations in what taste means. My whole tenure in Espoo was soured by the nagging counterfactual, “What if Nokia had embraced and extended the finest traditions of its own national design culture, in its approach to the global mass market?” (…)”
One thing that keeps running through my mind from the stuff I’ve read recently is this piece on Robert Scoble‘s blog:
“(…) Well, at least the execs are not sounding arrogant anymore (first time in years!) and they aren’t saying “we are the marketshare leader.” As if THAT ever matters! Just ask all the “market share leaders” who have disappeared into the bowels of the Computer History Museum. (…)”
So true! When I was still there, being the market share leader was the internal meme that kept the Murphy blinds on, even after the first iPhone had come out.
It wasn’t even primarily the execs who were in denial, but virtually everyone on the work floor.
(Just to state where I’m coming from: I care about Nokia as a Finnish economic engine; I maintained high levels of organizational identification with the company during the six years I worked in Espoo; I still have a modest set of Nokia stock; I would be proud if Nokia could take on the iOSs and Androids of this world.)
Downloaded and installed ‘WordPress for Nokia’ from the Ovi Store onto my Nokia N97.
Now let’s find a clever way to tell this on Twitter
In a comment to my status update on Facebook,
"http://ping.fm/73D1E Should I wait (forever) until "Updating Nokia device view" in Ovi Suite ends, before I can sync the photos from my N97?"
…one friendly ex-colleage wrote:
"you should get an internal blog"
…immediately followed by:
"ahh you are not in Nokia anymore…"
It's funny you should mention that, my friend
As it happens, I was the first person in Nokia's global corporate communications team to start an internal blog, back in January, 2005. I called my blog 'theCapture', to reflect the immediacy of blogging; that it enables us to capture our (hereto mostly tacit) thoughts and ideas, and to make them explicit in order to grow our shared knowledge together.
You know, standing on the shoulders of giants and all that.
cap-ture (…) -n. 4. the act of capturing. 5. the thing or person captured.
(source: Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language)
I had fallen in love with the cluetrain and developed a strong belief that blogging (outside AND inside the company) would inevitably help 'Fortress BigCo' to actually start conversing with its customers AND itself (i.e. its employees), rather than continuing on the cul-de-sac of broadcasting sanitized packages of strategically aligned "messaging".
NRC's Bob Iannucci said it well in December of 2005, when he contemplated the main drivers for internal blogging:
I considered it a test bed for the way we would develop the Nokia News Service – the main news channel on the intranet at the time – into more of a social medium. We re-branded and relaunched the service as the 'News Hub' in November 2006.
Judging by the jury of the CiB Awards 2007, we did a reasonably nice job.
(The concept caught on; suddenly we had a VideoHub, a BlogHub, a Hubcast…)
But I digress; back to your suggestion, [NAME OMITTED].
You know what? It would actually make sense for Nokia to "syndicate-in" a blog produced by an external.
By the end of this month it will be a year ago since I left the company. During this year I have learned how being a "real" user – having to compare the devices, the operator plans, the software and services, and having to fix bugs as well as features – is very different from being a Nokia employee with full technical support and money being no object (to using the best fit-for-purpose tools). Now, on a daily basis, I run into challenges relating to my Nokia brand experience that I didn't use to encounter while on the inside.
Take for example my current issue regarding the N97's synchronization to the Nokia Ovi Suite and Nokia Photos. At HQ in Keilalahti, tech support would have fixed this for me – or actually, the problem likely wouldn't have occurred in the first place.
So, why would an "external2internal" blog be a good idea for Nokia?
The benefits of an "e2i" blogger are a combination of increased diversity, balance, and reality check.
The internal culture reinforces a positive bias towards the company and
Don't get me wrong: Nokia is an admirable company and I'm
a fan! I care! Otherwise I would be wasting my breath. Did you
notice that I'm hanging on to – and publicly defending – the Nokia N97
in spite of all the (social) iPhone pressure?
And it is exactly because I care that I also point out
concerns such as the ones expressed by Robert Scoble. Tell me whose job it is
inside the company to bring this kind of stuff to people's attention. And yet, I think it's relevant to everyone in Nokia. An "e2i" blogger would add value here.
The external world is tougher and more real. IMHO and FWIW, it would be
of value to Nokia people – be they in comms, marketing, design or
R&D – to read how people in the real world experience their brand.
After all, who owns the brand, anyway?
The external view is different. The daily challenges to someone on the outside are different. With diversity you generate more, and often more creative, ideas.
(See also Hugh MacLeod's diagram explaining why corporate blogging works.)
Now, I might be inclined… But first we would really need to talk about that small dilemma of "sponsored conversations"
I've been at it for a couple of hours now, and I'm about to give up.
I installed the Nokia Ovi Suite from the DVD that came with the Nokia N97, onto my PC running Windows Vista. (I had to do that twice; first time around, some of the applications failed to install)
I connected the N97 to the PC via USB cable. I chose "Select USB mode: PC Suite" on the phone.
In the Nokia Ovi Suite, I connected the device.
It would appear to be connected indeed, since the Ovi Suite on the PC shows the N97's available memory.
[UPDATE, August 16: It is clearly connected, as I can browse the files on my N97 through the Ovi Suite on my PC.]
Then I chose to synchronize, i.e. to "copy images, sounds, videos, and messages from N97 to your PC", and clicked "OK".
After a few seconds, a small dialog box appears, saying:
0 files successfully copied to PC
0 files failed
I did this five times, and the transfer log in the Suite shows a history of five (finished) synchronizations.
The Photos application on my N97 shows 34 captured items.
What's going wrong here? Does the sync software somehow look at the wrong directory on the N97?
[UPDATE, August 16: In the lower left corner in Nokia Photos on the PC, it reads "Updating Nokia device view", which seems to go on forever. Should I wait for that to finish before I can sync? (LATER: It stopped, but that didn't help)
I've just submitted a question to Nokia Ovi sync support:
I've installed the Nokia Ovi Suite from the CD enclosed in the Nokia N97 package, onto my PC.
I've connected the N97 via USB cable, choosing the "PC Suite" connection mode.
In the Nokia Ovi Suite on the PC, and in Nokia Photos, I have repeatedly tried to synchronize the 34 photos and video clips in the camera folder on the device, to be imported in Nokia Photos on the PC. Alas, to no avail.
I have over 6000 items in Nokia Photos, but no lack of hardware memory.
For more details, please see: http://ping.fm/73D1E
"Thanks for your message. We'll get back to you as soon as possible."]
(http://www.josschuurmans.com/about.html, updated: September 14, 2009)
six years at Nokia HQ in Finland, Jos Schuurmans rebooted his own firm,
Cluetail Ltd, in 2009 to help organizations and individuals extract
more value from the conversations in which they engage online.
He calls himself an “entrepreneur, participatory media strategist, blogger, journalist, aspiring coach”. (See: LinkedIn profile)
The content of www.josschuurmans.com
is a reflection of anything and everything around which Jos cares to
engage in conversation online. Other than that, the blog has no
Now, yesterday I got up at 05:00 hrs. with the N97's battery fully charged. At precisely 18:00 hrs. it died on me in the middle of a phone call. That's a new low of 13 hours.
Again, I should grant that it was performing heavy duty during some parts of the day.
While driving for 2.5 hours from Mikkeli to Helsinki in the morning, and then on to Tampere for 2 hours, I was using bluetooth to listen to podcasts, checking email over 3.5G, making a few phone calls over GSM, sending a couple of SMSs.
I also used Nokia Maps with a GPS connection to find my way to Tampere and while walking in the city.
It was quite unfortunate that it stopped working just when I started my way back to Mikkeli. Not only did it quit in the middle of a phone call; I also had to find my way by looking at the road signs (what a drag!), couldn't call home to indicate what time I'd arrive, and had only the car radio to listen to (which, let me tell you, is no invigorating experience).
As you see, I'm still not used to having a device which doesn't stay with me the whole day.
It was raining cats and dogs when I walked into three different stores to try and find a recharger for the N97 that I could plug into my car. No luck; apparently the USB/power socket has a rather unique shape…
I felt quite isolated and disconnected. Have I become a connectivity junkie?
Did you read the first part? Okay then, now I'll tell you what happened to me yesterday.
(In the spirit of the Live Web, I'm publishing this while I write. Please check back for a more complete take of this post in a while – I'll be having a little tea break next)
I've had a Nokia N97 for a bit over two weeks now. When I started using it throughout the day, I was somewhat disappointed to notice that on some days, the battery only lasts for about 16 or 15 hours.
Yesterday, I had a bluetooth connection to my headset, and a "3.5G" connection to the Internet, while scanning for WLAN access. Made me wonder if that multitude of connections was the reason why the battery, for the first time, turned rather warm, or if something was wrong with the battery itself – a concern fuelled by the disappointing battery power.
Hence this micro-blog post:
@Nokia, @Saunalahti: Right now, the battery of my new Nokia N97 is getting really warm. Should I be worried?
After I sent that message from my ASUS Eee PC netbook, I wanted to access my Facebook account with my N97, curious to see how fast Facebook would update my status and what it would look like.
Now, it is not a priority to me to access Facebook from the front screen, which is why I had removed the Facebook app from the display when I customized the N97. After all, the Facebook application is still available under the applicatons menu, right? So it's only three clicks away. (apps menu button -> applications icon -> Facebook app). Right?
Well, in theory, yes. When I tried to fire up Facebook that way, the app kept booting forever until I gave up and decided to quit the app. But there's no Esc key, not Crtl-Alt-Del, or any other way I know of to stop the app. Hence my next micro-post:
@Nokia, @Facebook: I just rebooted my Nokia N97 using the on/off
button, because the FB app took forever to start. Is there a better way?
Someone replied to me:
use the browser. The client doesn't work properly, yet.
I realize there is a good chance that some people at Nokia are not going to be pleased with this story. I worked with the company for six years, was proud to be a Nokian and actually caring about its business. I am also a strong subscriber to the Cluetrain Manifesto – which explains the first part of the name of my present company.
What I fear is that even some of the colleagues at Nokia who have read the Cluetrain will not appreciate that with feedback like this, bloggers and customers such as myself are actually doing the company a favor.
Of course it's easier to frame this as a "cheap shot" since Nokia happens to be down in the polls. Some marketing communciations folk tend to take the "wounded game" perspective rather seriously, thinking that the journos and the bloggers are smelling blood and are looking for the first opportunity to take the company down. Well, if that makes it easier for people to sleep at night, they hardly deserve the favor. It's really how you choose to look at this stuff.
Umh… did I get a little defensive there for a moment?
With some 250 million users, Facebook is about the largest social networking service out there. The company is proud to say in a YouTube video that Robert Scoble has called the N97 the ultimate Facebook device.
Then how can you ship this product that costs 650 euros unsubsidized, with a Facebook app which is not ready?
I am still a Nokia believer, because I feel that mobile participation requires not only a QWERTY keyboard, but also real buttons with tactile feedback.
But Robert is right about there just not being the same buzz around Nokia's N97 now as there was around the N95. He even goes as far as to say that 'Europe no longer matters to lead position in mobile':
"(…) in the back of my head I remember how cocky the same entrepreneurs used
to be when showing me their cell phones and noting how far ahead of the
world they were. That cockiness is done and that has deep implications
for entrepreneurs across Europe. They must now visit Cupertino and
Mountain View to get access to customer bases. (…)"
It scares me.
Anyways. Since the Facebook app didn't work, I went to look for an S60 social networking client. Found an interview with my friendly ex-colleague Mark Squires, titled: 'Nokia and Social Media: We Learn It All'. Mark tells us that his favorite new Web 2.0 app is "No question, Gravity (…)".
Now, note that this is an interview article on a Nokia-sponsored site, the Traveling Geeks – an initiative in which, incidentially, Scoble has also participated.
No link to Gravity, so I Google " Gravity S60". The first source I dare consider is half-way down the first results page. It points to the S60 Blog, which I happen to know is also Nokia-sponsored and I consider fairly authoritative on S60 matters. It sports a link which says:
"Download Gravity here".
So I click through and get to 'MOSH by Nokia', which says:
"MOSH by Nokia is no longer available – You are being redirected to Ovi Store, the global market place for
mobile apps, games, videos, ringtones, widgets and more. If you are not
automatically redirected, please click here http://store.ovi.mobi/."
It redirects to a page that says: "
Your device is not compatible with the Ovi Store.Please check back as new Nokia devices are being added frequently.You can also visit http://store.ovi.com on your PC for help and information about compatible devices."
I can see that my device is not compatible because I am browsing on a netbook. But couldn't your system recognize that and at least give me some information about your wonderful mobile app? Perhaps redirect me?
I still went back to the review of Gravity on the S60 Blog and noticed that it mentions a "free 10-day trial". Right! So they're even asking money for it. Then I noticed the first comment on the page, by John Mark:
Downloading Snaptu was, well, a snap Thanks, John!
Notice the contrast? Well, ya'll draw your own conclusions. I'll stop right here, before this gets out of hand
(PS.: I tend to post my micro-blog posts and status updates via Ping.fm onto a number of social media / social networks, including Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook. As I'm trying to link to some of those posts here, it brings home Doc Searls' urging for searchable micro-blog archives; e.g. for Twitter.
First of all, there is no single reference to the "origin" of these posts. My "recent posts" on Ping.fm are not public and they are in fact published onto various services in parallel, all of which are silos in this sense.
Secondly, there is no way of knowing if and when the URLs to the various instances of these post will expire. So what am I supposed to link to? Perhaps I should start using Bit.ly?)