Digitize me

Digitize me – RESPECT

“What you want. Baby I got.  What you need, do you know I got it?  All I’m askin’, is for a little respect” Otis Redding

I had a great recommendation this week from Ryan Garner (who has a great blog Fast Forward) about a really exciting development in the world of PIMS; and that is the launch of The Respect Network.  This is the worlds first global network of personal and business clouds with a mission to enable members anywhere in the world to share their personal information over trusted private connections just as easily as they do on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

So I signed up today and just like other PIMS I have joined it takes some time in reading to really understand what the service is and how this is going to work.  Hopefully my summary below will save you some time in understanding what services they have to offer.

1 – I get a cloud name.  This is my own personalized digital address and as the network grows my cloud name should connect me to other apps and services

2 – There is no ambiguity over who controls my data – I do!

3 – It is a place I can manage connections,relationships and communications

4 – It will be easy for me to sign up to apps and websites – just like I use my Facebook login to sign up to candy crush (oh the shame) I can use my ‘Respect’ login

5 – It will be my platform for other applications (coming soon)- accessible from all my devices

6 – I gain privacy – by clicking the Respect button on a website I will forming a private connection with no one tracking my actions

There was a small fee of $25 but this buys me a lifetime membership.  The sign up was easy too, more so than other PIMS I have joined and although the respect button isn’t yet available or the promised apps I am tremendously hopeful about this launch.  I think it has the potential to revolutionise how we conduct ourselves digitally.  What do you think?  Are any of you persuaded to try?




Digitize Me – pass the control


So getting started isn’t that easy.  I searched online for ‘Personal Information Management Services’, ‘Data Management Systems’ and ‘Choice Systems’ all threw up a lot of unrelated sites like boat engines, property registries and data warehouse storage.

There were two organisations that I have previously looked into, Mydex and Ctrl Shift  and both offer  good data management services as well as good information. I contacted them for some help.

Ctrl Shift replied with a really interesting paper, ‘Personal Information Management Services: An Analysis of an Emerging Market’.  I will go into more detail about their analysis in my next post but for the ‘Digitize Me’ diary I just wanted to highlight that it included a solid list of PIMS.  What surprised me was the variety of services offered and how specific they were :-

  • Mobile phone usage
  • Group buying service for insurance
  • Car sharing
  • Price comparisons for energy
  • Insights into browser behaviour with options to sell your data
  • Healthcare
  • Privacy management
  • Data management
  • Expenses management
  • Financial dashboards
  • Spending monitors

I went into this thinking I can manage ALL (or at least most) of my data in one place.

All of these are tailored to particular life areas which makes sense but doesn’t that still fragment our data?  It did however, give me a pause to reflect on what I wanted to manage and control.  The main three for me are 1- secure storage and management of my personal data 2 – Insight into my browser behaviour with the option to sell my data and 3 – ability to block companies that I don’t want to track me.  Ideally all of these would be under one umbrella but this is still a new industry.

I have now signed up to two PIMS.  My first choice was with Mydex who had a great vision, mission and values, it is essentially a service to manage my life with a personal data system.  Basically it puts all my information into one place to manage my life better.  Yup this seems wonderful – it can manage my life better!  or realistically it will save me time searching for my personal information and future form filling.  I haven’t yet tried all the applications and reports available on the site but my basic data is now stored and secure.

My second choice was Ghostery who offers three things – alerts to web bugs, pixels and beacons (tracking tools)  in the pages I am browsing.  An education of the companies that implement these trackers on my pages, and the ability to block any of these companies from accessing my data.

It is worth mentioning that both these services are absolutely free.  Ghostery is very open on how it makes money which is through donations of data from those who subscribe.  The data donated is purely data on trackers, such as where the customer found them, the position of them on the page, URL etc.

My next step will be to sign up for PIMS that monitors and gives insight into my browser behaviour; but wouldn’t it be great if all of these services were linked and I just had to go to one place to manage all of it?

Also if anyone knows of any PIMS based in Canada please let me know!


Digitize me – hitting the road

The Path (2)Today I started my road trip looking for a PIMS (Personal Information Management Service).  So far for Canada I have found PIMS but not really what I am looking for.  There is the ‘Pacific Institute for Maritime Sciences’ and the ‘Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies’ but I am pretty sure they wont be managing my data.

My next stop was to try searching in the UK and found Mydex.  Mydex provides a secure data storage system for individuals to manage all their personal information.  Think about it, we have our health and prescription records, financial transactions, purchase data, digital activity (and so much more) floating out there somewhere and to access all of this takes time and has cost.  Take two minutes to watch their video it clearly outlines the purpose and some of the benefits.