Sunday, March 7, 2010

Next Web Analytics event in Helsinki...yes, it's on Wednesday

Last year we had two Web Analytics Wednesdays and Web Analytics Conference arranged by WAA Finland. Two of these were actually on Tuesday, but as usual, some of the participants continued the event on Wednesday's side. Little bit ironically, if arranged by WAA, we can't call these events Web Analytics Wednesdays. Or actually we can, but we should guide the registrations to Web Analytics Demystified site. This is because of the copyright issue so of course we respect that and Mr. Eric Peterson who created this event.

Anyway, this time, the next Web Analytics event in Helsinki is on Wednesday, 17th of March.

We are starting this event with Finnish WAA members from 5-6 pm. WAA members from other countries are warmly welcome as well. You can check out the invitation and agenda for member meeting here. Then just register to a member meeting at WAA's new website, or should I call it social platform of web analytics people. If you are a member, you should have ID and password in your inbox sent by Ms. Clare Madden. If you don't have login information you can always call/email/Skype/Tweet to me. In case you're not a member, you still have time to join us

After the member meeting we will open up the event for every one 
(6.00 pm) and we are having Mr. Bertil Melchior, Head of search Nordic Region, from TradeDoubler speaking about "Cross-channel Online Marketing Makes the Sale". Right after his presentation (6.30 pm) we will have drinks and relaxed get together with analytics minded people at Crush. I'm still waiting for confirmation from the bar so I really hope that we don't have to change the place... : )

Sign up here to see Bertil's presentation, hang around and meet your colleagues, vendors and though leaders.

At this very moment we have already 32 people signed up. It seems that the analytics community in Finland is alive and kicking! I'm very excited to see you all again and represent our new WAA Finland's board of directors. I'm sure we will have very interesting and event-full year ahead of us, although we started 2010 slowly. Next time I'm speaking about web analytics at seminar arranged by Association of Finnish Advertisers. Check out the program and sign up! If you're connected to Naviatech somehow, you can also sign up to our after party of Internet Expo 2010. See you around! : )

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sister wins Olympic Bronze - Olympic Committee shuts up athletes

First of all, congratulations sister and Team Finland for Olympic Bronze medal! That was an awesome job you did in women's hockey at Vancouver. There are couple of things that made this very special for Terhi:
  • she was dropped off (for some reason that I don't really understand) from Finnish national team couple years ago and now she made an outstanding come back to international elite
  • she was participating Olympic games in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Torino in 2006, but never got a medal  - losing the Bronze medal game in these Olympics
  • she has been so determined, dedicated and focused into these Games in Vancouver, although she broke her finger just before Christmas - scaring her a while with a thought that she couldn't play in the Olympics
It has been very interesting to follow her closely and I'm sure that very few people in the audience really know what it takes before hand. They only see the best parts - the final result in the score board. I played around 50 games in first division, second level in Finland, long time ago, but I know it takes lots of sweat, blood and tears...Terhi has been one active (or perhaps the only one) Finnish athletes blogging during the Olympic games. wrote (in Finnish) that it's a shame that Finnish athletes are not blogging. It's not a surprise because there has been contradictories from representatives of Team Finland. Reading Terhi's blog posts and tweets has made the whole hockey tournament and Olympics even more interesting. When I heard that there are rules for blogging, first I thought it was a good thing. After reading International Olympic Committee's blogging guidelines (pdf), I was stunned.
The more I think about it, the more angry I get.
You can read those guidelines for yourself, but to me it means that IOC is restricting athletes' freedom of speech. I give you a simple example: according to these guidelines, let's say two players in Team Finland, can't agree that they will do little video interview and put it online through a blog? I just don't understand why an earth these guidelines are so strict? 

IOC can't restrict spectators so why they are restricting athletes to communicate and interact with their fans? You can see thousands of tweets with hashtags like #olympics and #van2010. There are tons of links to photos and videos on site. People are creating buzz around this massive sport event and they are also linking to traditional media. The more buzz in social media - the more traditional media gets visitors. This should be a good thing also to Olympics brand - everybody wins, right?

I know that there should be some rules (for athletes), like there are rules in any sports. These social media rules can be good from privacy and copyright point of view. I totally understand that broadcasting during the individual sports events are dedicated to traditional media, but I don't understand why IOC is telling athletes what you can blog about and what's forbidden? 

Is traditional media jealous or scared about athletes being reporters as well? Why IOC has to defend traditional media companies? How does these rules support goals of Olympic movement, Olympic spirit and basic human rights? Olympics in Vancouver were probably the first social media Games ever. I know, and it's a shame, that many athletes were scared of these guidelines and they decided not to blog at all. 

I really hope that IOC will relax these rules for the next Olympic games and we will get more more content (text, photos, videos) straight from original source, athletes themselves. Not just stories that reporters do...As usual, let me know what you think about this - are those rules restricting one of our basic right and does IOC has a right to even create these rules?