Introducing the PokenPULSE – Strong meets Sexy

And you thought September 23rd was just another Wednesday…

Not so Pokenites, not so.  Today, the PokenPULSETM steps elegantly out onto the scene: it’s sleek, it’s sexy, and it will forever change the Pokenverse.  Are you the edgy-trendsetter?  The lover of elegant design?  The champion of practicality?  Do you Poken – and love it?  If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above… get ready to meet your soul mate.

For sure, it’s hot, but this baby’s ‘beautiful on the inside’ too.  PokenPULSETM is the new Poken with 2GB on-board flash memory, hundreds-of-contacts storage between uploads, and easily updatable firmware.  USB what? Business cards – huh?  We’re killin’ birds with one hot stone, glowin’ green, and savin’ a few trees while we’re at it.

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Sex Up Your Poken Card

Creativity + Poken = Awesome!

Some of you have been posting your custom poken cards online.  This is COOL!

My  favourite collection right now is called Festival Kids by a bunch of Japanese cool kids. They’ve created an entire series of classic, degital, analog, photo, and minimal designs to download. Yay!

The festival kids even created a Photo ID maker so you can easily add your photo to one of their amazing cards. Here is a taster…

poken card + social networking icons
poken card + social networking icons

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Poken.com Product Update

So what’s going on with the Poken product team? To bring everyone up to speed, Poken has been working on developing the next generation of our website using an entirely new web architecture with tools such as Liferay [CMS to manage content], PHP [web framework to build our new member hub]  and MooTools [JavaScript framework for interactive and visual experience].  Everyone on the Poken team is extremely busy coding a beta release of the brand new Poken.com.

The goal of the new site is to incorporate our new branding guidelines, visuals and create a site that matches the simplicity of the Poken device. Over the upcoming weeks, we will roll out some product demos for the Poken faithful to test and provide feedback on.   We have truly listened to our users over the last seven months and this will be reflected with improved usability and kick-ass features for the website.

Things to get excited about:

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Our Strategy for Adding Social Networks to Poken

Currently when someone adds a social network to their card we verify the account details are correct.
We do this using Facebook connect for Facebook and a site scraping solution for all the other social networks. The scraping is quite fragile as it can break when sites are updated (and often this updating is done for some users first so it breaks for some people first). We end up needing to fix the scraping logic each month on several of the 30 networks we support. By sticking to this verification for all networks has meant that for manageability reasons we’ve had to restrict the number of networks that we support.

On our new site (due out in a few weeks) we will have a new strategy:

  1. We will expand the networks supported, first to 50 and then to 100 and more.
  2. We will verify only networks which support Open Authentication (oAuth) which is a standard for connecting without scraping and without asking the user for his/her password. This also includes Facebook with Facebook connect.
  3. For sites which don’t support oAuth we’ll ask just for a user name or profile name.

Poken as Enabler and Platform for Creativity in Japan

One of love poken It has been a while since i started a series of trips around the world visiting our local Poken teams. I started in Tokyo in Japan, a very inspiring trip. It was very visible that poken as a device goes beyond and stimulates a lot of creativity. The poken above (One of Love) is an example, a charity poken initiated in Japan and spreading around the world now.

The smalles news stand was also born in Japan. A great invention of a highly creative talent using poken and Twitter. High four with your favourite news celeb or channel (like Obama, CNN etc.). Through the poken-card you will easily follow your newsfeed on Twitter.

Poken news kiosk 2

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Opening up the Poken Platform

I gave a talk at Rotterdam University last Thursday entitled “Opening up the Poken Platform” (twitter hash tag #pm010 http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23pm010)

After a great introduction from Jilles, our dutch affiliate, I talked for half an hour about:

* for 2008 poken was an R&D business, the first half of 2009 it was a bit crazy as we suddenly sold hundreds of thousands of pokens and started to put a proper business in place ready for the second half of 2009
* We are about to launch:

1) a hardware range including the conference poken and business poken
2) a new web site and web infrastructure based on APIs
3) a real-time product called the poken hub

The talk also included a long section about how when we open up the site via APIs we need to protect our users data with the right privacy and security (I’ll expand on this in a separate post)

Further info:

A page specifically for this meetup http://doyoupoken.ning.com/xn/detail/3426058:Event:1126?xg_source=activity

video (2 minutes long) introducing the poken hub http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwyxsyEXD70

video (3 minutes long) of the live demostration of the poken hub http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzxJnK_qzFU

A video interview done with marketing news straight after the presentation http://www.marketingfacts.nl/berichten/20090705_interview_dave_brown_cio_poken_sa/ (Note – Patrick Petersen asked me to keep my answers short so I felt really stressed! )

doyoupoken.com site update

We’ve made an number of improvements to the poken web site:

  • Major redesign of the identity part of the site to make it more intuitive
  • Start_Poken.html can only be used once for “auto login” (this is a security fix)
  • Additional networks have been added:
    • Mixi : http://mixi.jp
    • Ameba: http://www.ameba.jp/
    • Gree: http://gree.jp
    • Smart-fm: http://smart.fm/login
    • Tuenti: http://www.tuenti.com/
    • Wer-Kennt-Wen: http://www.wer-kennt-wen.de/
  • The “add network” logic is more intuitive, it asks for email or id depending on the network (and for flickr it specifies yahoo_id)
  • The friends per page can be set between 9 and 45.
  • The home page has been improved (but the really cool one is coming later!)
  • The home page has a “register my poken – join!” link – This is to help people with new Pokens who don’t click on the Start_Poken.html on the Poken device but come to our website instead.