Is internetdata of one service different to another?

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Reception UMTS of KPN Netherlands

KPN UMTS coverage in The Netherlands

Telecom provider KPN in The Netherlands is about to charge an additional fee for services such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, online video… in order to cope with the increasing data traffic that smartphones and other mobile-ready equipment are causing. This means that a subscriber will pay to be online and additional to it, for certain services. This is strange as they are online services. It’s a miracle why one kind of data is different than another. Why not charge for the total volume consumed, this sounds fair. This also may be an incentive for the hard- and software suppliers to have a look to their products. In my house, we have a Blackberry and an Android phone. As we are regularly in other countries, we have the Vodafone Internet op Reis bundle, which gives 35MB/day for 2 euros/day. And a text message when this limit is reached. The Android phone usually gets this message at 1 or 2PM, as the Blackberry with comparable or more intensive use does not get to this volume. Yes, the Blackberry data is being compressed by the Blackberry Internet Service – but charging for data can give a difference for the preferences people will have. By the way, in the landline world, there also is price differentiation according to internet usage, translated to volume and speed of the connection. This could be adopted for mobile.

The spirit of the community

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Shopping district Noordse Bosje

Image via Wikipedia

A personal story this time. Through Twitter, I came in touch with a former colleague – a photograher of a weekly newspaper where I was the editor in chief (Stadskrant Veghel). Years ago. Through the Twitter connection we said hello but it was for me the incentive to invite her for a cup of coffee. Fixing a date is the next challenge, so she came up with a meeting of the Social Media Club in the region, SMC0413. This was good as for me, it was an incentive to meet other people, like a girl I used to play squash with and other former colleagues. And of course, I could meet new people with one common characteristic: social media.

It was a great meeting and I wondered if there was a Social Media Club in the region where I live. Yes, Amsterdam but the waiting list of their meetings usually is longer than the available space. A no-go. Then Hilversum, the media city of The Netherlands. None! I couldn’t believe it. So I made a call on Twitter for social media people around the city to join SMC035 – and we created a LinkedIn group SMC035. As more or less immedately, I found people who wanted to help giving the SMC 035 a shape. I was amazed that on the first day the LinkedIn group was created, we got about 16 members, actually (over the week-end) the number is 24. And quite some of them like to help organising the events. This is a good spirit, that’s what I like about social media: getting things done, spontaneously, and with other people. Everything is possible as long as you are open for it!

Added value: new contacts

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Along Pall Mall, London

Image by Scorpions and Centaurs via Flickr

Sometimes it is for a journalist a struggle to get hold of the information. This is changing with Twitter and more broadly, social media. I would not know what to do without the existence of LinkedIn as well to find people or information. These two networks offer me contacts and information at a fingertip and more importantly: they are easily available. It is possible to find out more references, check out who will be the right person to approach for a blog, a contribution in a magazine, a presentation for a professional organisation or just to answer a question. And I keep the options open: if anybody likes to get to me for more information, I’m available. Of course without opening the books for confi stuff, that is obvious. And it is an opening to learn more, also discovering fascinating professionals in the same discipline, for example in the community managers group (in the Netherlands). It opens up to more ideas, and gives the opportunity to share experiences as well. Or through a contact, you discover a local group of social media enthusiasts with various backgrounds. Broadening up, finding more resources, opening up your mind. That is another effect that social media have to me.

If you are in the UK, I like to point out a special social network: the Netlinked groups. They have an original base in LinkedIn and they actually gather regularly in real life according to an agenda that ressembles a LinkedIn group: news, profile, an LinkedIn eye-opener, announcements and referrals. During the meeting which takes an afternoon, you are encouraged to speak about who you are looking for and often, from the group there already are suggestions made. This is extremely powerful. Our first meeting was a couple of months ago in the Institute of Directors at the Pall Mall, London. We were surprised and decided to go more often, and joined. Once joined, you have access to more advanced LinkedIn tuition and to all NetLinked groups. Something worth thinking of if you want to work online and in the real world. Because in the end, it’s the people that count.

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