Interview with the founders of Fashiolista

One of the startups I am really excited about these days is Fashiolista – based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Fashiolista works with a bookmarklet that lets you collect fashion you love. Here’s a view of my personal style on fashiolista:

For me, it gives me a total view of what I am into fashionwise, and it’s not something I have given a lot of consideration before. I would love to have a permalink so I could share my personal style with other people. I was just informed by the team that the link to my style is here.

Anyway I think that Fashiolista is going to be huge. For people like me, who’s into fashion, but not THAT into fashion – it’s a very fun eye-opener, and get this – fashiolista became a “go-to” place in my online browsing habits relatively fast. Now if you can catch my attention like that, I think you have a real shot at growing your site. Anyway because I was awestruck with my returns to the site, I decided to interview the guys behind fashiolista. Also because I have an idea that services like this is going to change the online shopping experience so it becomes more social, and products starts to find us, instead of us continuously browsing for something “cool”. anyway, enough babbling -  here goes :

1. where did the idea of fashiolista come from ?

The idea actually came to us after a brainstorm with students from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Our goal, from the start, was to help girls shop online and get inspired about fashion.
We had been trying different things before. Most of them involved combining the items from different shops, which resulted in a massive collection of for instance dresses or shoes. We actually found that this approach didn’t make shopping much easier, maybe even harder 😉

When we came up with the idea for Fashiolista, every girl we showed it to was instantly excited. So we knew we were on to something good.

2. how did you begin to execute the idea?

We started off with the design and user experience. One of our partners is a great designer. We than build the whole website as a prototype in a relatively short time. We had to work fast, because we wanted to launch at The Next Web conference in Amsterdam at the end of April.
– and what where the biggest challenges ?

By far the biggest challenge was keeping it simple. It always very easy to keep thinking of more features. Our designer, Thijs, was great in helping us keep the website clean and elegantly simple.

3. what have you done to get people to sign up and get the word/buzz spread around it?

We launched the product at The Next Web conference with a fabulous fashion show. That was really starting with a bang. We actually ‘flipped the switch’ right there while we were on stage. After that, we didn’t do much marketing. The concept just spread viral. In some strange way, it ended up in Brazil where we were featured on several blogs and by teen magazine Capricho. That gave a lot of exposure. Now we get many visitors from people talking about Fashiolista on Twitter, Facebook and Orkut.

4. what do people like about the site ?

They love the fact that they can save all their best fashion finds and share them with the rest of the world. Building your personal fashion feed is really addictive.. Users also like browsing the thousands of handpicked items on the website, discovering new items, stores and brands. It’s inspiring!

5. what is your favorite thing about having a startup ?

It’s really exciting to do. When you build a website from scratch and people actually love it and use it, that’s the greatest feeling in the world.

6. if you should give some good advice on making your own startup what would that be ?

Make sure you have great people to start your company with. Don’t give up, keep trying until you get it just right!

7. anything else you want to add  ?

Help us spread the love for fashion at Fashiolista.com!

8. where can people find you guys ?

Online at http://www.fashiolista.com, Twitter: @fashiolista
If you want to meet us in person, our door is always open… our offices are in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

putting on the Henriette Weber show

Yesterday morning I got a Facebook page. Not for my company, not for my book. But for me. For my writing (both in english and in Danish) and my 365 on Flickr. By yesterday night there was more than 100 people in there. People who either like me or my work. That’s a huge amount of people to me.

Yesterday I started to put some of my 365 pictures in there. This is going to be the first blog post in there. I wrote this because I needed to.

I feel like there are people out there that needs my kind of inspiration to thrive better in business. Doing creative stuff. Being unusual and cool. I knew that already and I have a gazillion people (to me at least) following me on twitter (around 1200 I think). But the Henriette Weber fan page seems to obligate me more. I know it’s yet another channel – but it keeps me going and going and going. As does the rock it sessions.

It’s the same feeling I got with Coworkingboat Pan. I am motived because of you guys. It probably dates back to when I was a kid. In school. Where I wanted people to look at me, because I did cool things. Not that many did back then. And I am sure my parents got a bit too tired of my circus numbers, because I kept doing the same thing for the same people.

So thank you all for coming to the Henriette Weber show. I can promise you daily inspiration, insights in business and my-own-kinda-coolness.

Just really wanted to say i am blessed by you guys=)

thank you so much for your support in finding myself continuously – you guys rock =)

The ever changing browsing habits in the shopping world

For a long while, I haven’t been able to relate to shoppingmalls and racks upon racks of clothes. I don’t have that browsing mentality. Maybe it’s because that most stores don’t carry that many things I like, or maybe the stores are too crammed.

However for a while now I have been following what’s going on, on Thinglink.com which has a huge star in my book when it comes to things. And now I have found something that has a huge star in my book when it comes to fashion now and for once it has clothing racks that I can relate to: Fashiolista.com – it even let’s everybody see what stuff I love. Even better – it’s only stuff that other people think are cool that ends up on the site.

In this people-driven economy that we are facing, one of the most important things is to give products the ability to find people – instead of the other way around. We have seen it through blogs for a while now. But I really believe that sites such as Thinglink and Fashiolista is going to be gamechangers, because it let’s people relate to your products in public.

In some geeky way – you might say that instead of people browsing products online – we are heading more and more towards that it’s actually the products that are browsing people, and catching their interest if they are really something special. (I still need to transform that sentense into something that’s more easily digestable, but do you catch my drift ?)

Your biggest task as a company who sells stuff (and we all do) is to give your products an ecosystem so people will relate to them and take a stand. either offically or inside their mind.

blog action day 2009 – my take on climate change

Today it’s blog action day, and this year, more important than ever, it’s about climate change.

It’s something I feel very passionate about, and someting that we know that we need to act upon now if the status quo of gaia needs to be maintained.

Also from my writings on Green Girls Global, I also figured out that you have to have a positive and creative outlook on this HUGE challenge otherwise it could really get you depressed.  With this attitude towards climate changes I was ready to go explore – and there’s so many awesome things out there happening in this area to make the world a better place for the future generations. On the other hand, I get increasingly upset when I see that some people don’t really care – and why should they – I mean we probably won’t live to see the worst of it, But our kids will, and their kids, and their kids.

So I can get really sad when I walk into a house where all the lightbulbs aren’t energy efficient, when people don’t believe in ecology, when they can’t see what all these hyped things are good for, and they put me and my kids in some sort of generational dictatorship, where we decide the outcome of the world for the kids, but we’re to caught up in social media, business, life or whatever to care.

Why should you chose to put solarpanels on your house ? because it’s important that we redesign our energy consumption. why should you eat ecological foods? because it’s healthier, it’s better for the animals, and the ecological farmers are doing so much to try and bind the CO2 in the ground. Why should you eat more vegetables ? because it makes you look like a rockstar and if you eat more vegetables you won’t eat as much meat – and our global meat production is the no 1. cause to the climate changes.

We all know by now that the best thing you can do to affect the climate changes in a positive direction is to become vegetarian. I think that in 3 -5 years you will be looked down upon if you don’t do your share to battle this. You won’t see computers or phones that are using more energy than they are giving – everything will be based on the natural unlimited resources we have – and it could be that I come across as such a hippie – but this is bloody important.

Why should you blog about climate changes, because others might support you and write their thoughts, They might comment and participate in the discussion somewhere, or cut back energy consumption in their house because they start monitoring their overall electricity level. You should do it because you have a voice, and that voice matters..

There’s so many reasons to be a part of this movement. There’s so many ways we can change this for the better. We have all the tools to make it happen. I believe in you. I believe in us. I really think we can pull this off.

rockonpeacehenriette

Did facebook change?

iheartcommunities

Last week I came across an article on NY times called “The Day Facebook Changed: Messages to Become Public by Default” which basically means that the whole structure of facebook is changing as well. For me, as a social marketing rebel extraordinaire it means that you can actually start measuring statusmessages inside facebook as a part of your online reputation or as a part of measuring return on involvement. It basically makes my day easier in the end. The original release from facebook is here.

But what does it mean to the people on facebook – the ones that doesn’t have their statusmessages rss’ed in from twitter ? well with a development of the facebook API it could mean that your data will be displayed other places than on facebook, as you have with twitter and then some companies who shows a defined by hashtags twitter search on their own site. So in some ways facebook starts to resemble twitter a lot when it comes to the statusmessage part.

I am a facebook fangirl – and I think that this approach will open up the community more and have it become more transitional – meaning that facebook’ing doesn’t have to happen on facebook anymore, it could also happen on other people’s blog, facebook connect etc, facebook searches and hashtags (as with twitter). So is this the dawn of seeing facebook becoming more of an internet social infrastructure, than a community ? I can actually see it happen – it scares me a bit. Majorly because for a lot of people, their facebook is their online identity behind closed walls – now it’s going to be more like online identity in front of open windows.

Interesting move for sure.

In order to build local you have to grow local

iheartcommunities

I have been thinking increasingly about local and hyperlocal initiatives and communites recently – which is something I think we as a society needs to hold on to, in these days of connectedness.  So this post is about offline communities – kind of like my own offline initiative for online people called IRL.

I’ll be the first to admit that don’t know the people who lives around me, yet I know so much more about people I meet online and IRL with common interest. This frightens me a bit. I have some idea about who these people are, but the communication in our local area is pretty much non-existent (I don’t really do a lot to participate in it, either). However I think everyone around my hood has a good connection with the small supermarket that more often than good is, is actually supplying us with a pretty big ammount of groceries that would be less expensive everywhere else. But my supermarket is a party, meaning that he celebrates birthday and he has a small ammount of some really cool products – products that are quite unusual for a danish small supermarket. I think he really saw real soon that around here there is no community between people. He started to make speciel events, postings of what is happening in the local gym hall and school and basically become a centerpoint for the community.

You are kind of scared of them because they seem to know everything. At the same point, they are becoming an invaluable piece in everybody’s life around here because instead of just building local – the are actually making the local community grow as well. It makes me happy =)

New Toothless Tiger event: Socialmediacamp Copenhagen

socialmediacampcopenhagen

I can’t sit still these days – so I have decided to do another event within the field of social media : Socialmediacamp Copenhagen.

Socialmediacamp Copenhagen is an un-conference that seeks to research and teach people about social media: blogs, podcasts, video, social networks, online communities and transitional web apps. An un-conference is a conference/workshop-y format where all the participants is prepared to participate in the camp in different ways. Putted another way, you have to prepare something that you’re passionate about that could occupy the other participants for a minimum of 30 minute

Who is it for ?

Basically everyone can participate in Socialmediacamp Copenhagen, no matter if you are a super social media user, an expert or a newbie. If you have any interest in Social Media Socialmediacamp Copenhagen is the place to be. So take a look at it, and sign up.

ps. Crossposted on Toothless Tiger.com

the difference between twitter and facebook – or why should I be on both ?

iheartcommunities

So I have been wanting to write this for about 2 weeks. Mostly because my email is flooded with questions about the “new” twitter thing. Yep twitter has gone mainstream in Denmark as well by now. So to all you wonderful people out there I have decided to explain a couple of things about twitter, how it differs from facebook, and how you can use it for marketing and branding.

If you look at facebook and the actions there (be it companies, profiles, groups or events) facebook is excellent at creating a social tail. A tail defined by your actions in facebook (and also a fragment of your online presence – supplied by RSS). This is what facebook does and is excelling in at this point. Interacting and exploring other people on behalf of data they themselves put out there.

Now Twitter is different – and it doesn’t have the same kind of social tail. Twitter is like small social raindrops of information more frequently and more impulsive than facebook is. Twitter seems agile, where facebook seems huge.

You can explore people on facebook. You can explore people on twitter. But where facebook is great to find out a lot of stuff about people based on a context, Twitter is great at exploring people based on conversation and interactions.

So you can actually follow people on twitter that doesn’t have to follow you back. You are being continously updated on people and brands you think are interesting – both on mobile but also on the web.

Furthermore you can actually import your twitterfeed to facebook and have twitter run as statusmessages on facebook – which also makes twitter a transitional community (the way to go in my Point of View),

Why should you be on both twitter and facebook ?

Because it’s two different kinds of interactions going on in facebook and on twitter. If you want to you could see twitter as “yet-another-social-media-distribution-channel”, otherwise you could see it as a valuable talk/feedback mechanism. Facebook is so social all the way, but I am afraid that its not where the cool kids hang for that much longer. Not when you have tools like twitter to supplement a part of it. from a marketing point of view you really need both these days.

oh and a couple of companies I think are doing one hell of a job on twitter.com

http://twitter.com/zappos – Tony the CEO of Zappos.com has a great twitter voice

– the same does wired magazine http://twitter.com/wired

Basically if you want to toy around with twitter as a part of your marketing, remember no salespitches and don’t be rude or stupid. if you are posting stuff on twitter remember it has to be relevant information for the people following you. I suggest you head over there and try it out – Im here if you need me =)

Talk of the town 3rd of march 2009: skittles(spam) and ABBA

socialmarketing

So these days in the sphere of social marketing there’s a lot of social media bloggers who are talking about skittles new social media move – turning their own homepage over to real time results from twitter, and outsourcing photos and videos to flickr and youtube amongst other things. Some of these bloggers think that the skittles case is the worst thing ever to happen to social media branding, 0thers are more neutral.

I think this case has the bravery that we all, as experts and consultants, are urging the companies to have. I would say that letting go of the control of a major part of your website is not really what you want to do – brandwise.

billede-2

Another thing that we constantly see is that companies would rather display the communities that they participate in, instead of embracing them. The “old” social media marketing saying of “meeting people where they are” – which I like a lot and preach a lot, is replaced by “displaying people where they are – if they talk about skittles”. There isn’t really any interaction. Some people are already  spamming  the campaign and writing skittles after their normal twitter’s – which I think is not where skittles wants to see this heading at all. So the skittles site is going to be filled with skittles twitter spam. Pretty useless. Maybe skittlesspam will be a word used to describe initiatives in the future ? who knows.

billede-3

My judgement is that, even though it’s hyped a lot these days – this campaign is not going to work for skittles, mainly because it doesn’t really give anything to the skittles brand apart from showing what people are saying about the word “skittles”. I think skittlesspam is all that is going to come from this.

And onto something else – ABBA – one of my alltime favorite bands is launching an online music store for their fans. The great part about this is that they are making the musicstore transitional – which means that their fans will be able to have an ABBA music store on their facebook profile or on their blogs (they have around 176.000 fans in their community already. Now this is something (on the contrary to skittles)  that is actually involving people who would love to be involved in ABBA – Great stuff.

Mama Mia =) -via Kullin.net

How to get your blog imported into a community

iheartcommunities

I want to touch upon a tendency in communities that is outstandingly fantastic, if you want to create some sort of automatic online presence (in addition to your “real” online presence, not as a substitute to it – you hear?). You can actually import your blog into communities via an RSS feed  (if you don’t know what RSS really is check it out here). Normally you call this process “feeding”.

So what communities are supporting this?

I would define the communities supporting this as “communities with other people as social objects”. Meaning communities celebrating social, connections, business etc. Not to get to specific I will like to highlight 3 communities where you can import your blog: Facebook, linkedin and twitter.

Facebook user:

As a facebook user you can import your blog:

1.  On the “notes page” select the “Import a blog” link on the right side of the notes page

2. Enter the URL of your blog

3. Click “save settings”

Now everytime you blog something on your personal blog, it is also published on your facebook profile.

Facebook page:

on your facebook page, find the box where it says “notes”. On my facebook page for Toothless Tiger the box with notes is on the righthand side, under the “events” box. Now on your page an orange icon will appear when the page is importing a blog RSS from elsewhere.

Twitter: there is a service called Twitterfeed where you simply provide the URL for the blog (or the RSS feed) and attach it to your user.

Linkedin.com:

On linkedin you can import your wordpress blog under “applications” – as far as I have experienced, it’s only a wordpress application that is actually supplying linkedin.com with blog feeds these days – so the rest of you will have to wait (on the other hand – why use anything else than wordpress ?)

Anyway:

1. log in

2: click profile in the lefthand menu

3: you are now on your profile, scroll down to under your “summary” – you will find an “application” tab. Here you can add your wordpress application and drag your blog rss feed onto your profile.

ps. I have installed a slideshare.net application and a wordpress application on my linkedin profile. I think it works great because it’s not too noisy with only two applications in linkedin.com

pps. something you should also work around is your summary on linkedin – I have worked on mine a lot and I think it represents me really well by now.

crossposted on eeze.dk