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Anna Loverus, 27, Stockholm
Digital Strategist, etc.


New media distribution at KIT. Creating journalism in emerging channels.


Running a lot.

The beginning of this adventure

I’ve always been an active person. Playing team sports and tennis growing up and spending high school enrolled in an “elite sports” program with plenty of hours of training weekly both inside and outside school. In my late teens I switched to running and about six years ago I successfully ran a half-marathon and a year later I ran my first marathon.

But that winter, before the marathon, something happened. I started to get repetitive colds. Not just two or three in a row, but all winter I was fighting colds every other week. And this went on for six winters straight.

It’s hard to keep on living an active life when you’re always sick. And when you view yourself as an active person, it hurts to realise you can’t live your life the way you love. After a while you stop trying, and soon you don’t even remember why you loved that active life in the first place. And life goes on.

Last spring, 2015, I decided to get started again – because being fit and healthy comes with lots of benefits. But I basically started from the beginning. With some help from Kayla Itsines I began doing 30 minute body strength workouts in my living room.

In the beginning of last summer I bought a road bike (it came in a package deal with my boyfriend). The bike rides helped me remember why I love being active. So I started swim classes in the fall to learn crawl. Running was still pretty hard for me, it’s no fun being a beginner when it used to be easy to run 10K.

But last winter the repetitive colds came back once again. I tried to work out in between them, and started to meet with doctors to find out why I got them in the first place. Now we have a theory that hopefully will prove to be correct when winter arrives.

In November I’m planning to run the New York City Marathon and I feel like I’m finally back on a path.

Weekly reads: Pt. 12 – The death of polls and batteries

How technology disrupted the truth – “It seemed that journalists were no longer required to believe their own stories to be true, nor, apparently, did they need to provide evidence. Instead it was up to the reader – who does not even know the identity of the source – to make up their own mind.”

How remain failed: the inside story of a doomed campaign – “Cameron gambled everything on the European referendum because he thought the centre was secure. He and George Osborne believed, as one of their cabinet allies told me: “It will be about jobs and the economy and it won’t even be close.”

Inside the secret lab where Facebook tries to save your battery life – “Facebook’s mobile device lab is the reason its apps keep functioning on older phones.”

This is the woman behind the man that runs AirBnB – “She is largely responsible for the fact that Airbnb is a company that makes love, not war — especially when it fights. Under her watch, the company has created a cultish social movement around its efforts to connect strangers and foster cultural belonging.”

How we communicate with Slack at home and why it’s great

Your setup of apps and tools for communication is probably more unique than your DNA. But when there’s one person you communicate with a lot more than the rest of the pack, it’s sometimes nice to pick one tool and make it yours. We decided to create and move into our own private Slack-team.

Slack is mostly a communication tool for teams or organisations, and when we decided to use it to communicate outside a classic work setting it felt like a bit of a chance. A year later we’re very happy with how it all turned out, and since we know that a lot of people are looking into doing the same transfer, we decided to share why and how we like it.

Why we like using Slack at home

  1. It’s multi-platform When one of us decided to go for Android as the primary phone OS we had to change from using iMessage. We realised we will change devices at times and if we need to change how we communicate every time we’ll likely get pretty tired.
  2. Both of us already use it at work Slack is not hard to use, and my parents-in-law use it daily in their family group without any previous Slack experience. But it’s off-course a bonus when it’s an app already installed on all our devices. The possibility to switch between teams is also very nice simple feature,
  3. We can have multiple chats with each other going on at once In a text message conversation it’s sometimes hard to find what you talked about just two hours ago. With Slack, we can organise our chats on different topics and everything is searchable if we’re looking to find something from a while back.
  4. Slack handles links and other embeds neatly A large amount of what we share are articles and other interesting internet reads. Sometimes YouTube videos or music from Spotify. The fact that Slack display different type of messages in a simple and detailed way is a great way when you need to find something again or just differentiate to posts from each other. It might sound like a small feature but compared to just have the URLs this makes our chat-life way easier.
  5. Conversations are easily saved Remember every time you lose/change your phone and suddenly are all your messages lost. Since the Slack messages are not connected to the device or the item that won’t happen, and we will have everything saved for years to come.
  6. It’s free This isn’t really an argument for us because we only choose between free messenger tools when we decided to use Slack. But to others, it might be an important issue so it goes on the list.

You can set up your Slack environment pretty much as you like and there’s a lot of bots and integrations to look into if you’re missing something out of the box. This guy even integrated it with their online supermarket. Even though we know we’re able to do a lot of customizations if we want to our current setup is extremely simple.

Our current Slack setup

  • Shopping With Slack we don’t need another tool for sharing shopping lists. We just put in single items or create snippets with longer lists of what to buy and mark them with an emoji when they’re purchased. It works for both everyday items and things we rarely buy.
  • Read/Listen/Watch One channel for each type of content. It makes it easier to find what we’re looking for.
  • Moving etc. Everything about us moving in together (including selling two apartments and buying one), buying furniture and researching electricity suppliers belongs in this channel.
  • Direct messages This is not a channel per se, but most of our communications are more of the type “How’s your day?” or “I’m leaving work in 5 min, will buy pasta on my way home” we use direct messaging a lot.

This setup is very basic, but it works very well for us. Sometimes simple makes it more practical. But if you’re curious and what to know more about the different bots and integrations you can use with Slack, take a look at their official collection.

If you want to know more about how we use Slack at home, drop a line in the comments or send me a tweet.

Weekly reads: Pt. 11 – Reading, robots and summer camp

Models I Find Repeatedly Useful – “80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly-wise person.”

These Will Be The Top Jobs In 2025 (And The Skills You’ll Need To Get Them) – “It’s going to take a long time for robots to be good at soft skills, like social and emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competency.”

Reading with intention can change your life – Two groups were given the same material to read—one was told they’d have a test at the end, while the others were told they’d have to teach someone the material”

Release your inner child – summer camps for adults – “More adults are opting for active summer camps as a way for them to enjoy the perceived carefree times of childhood. However, the real drivers of this interest in, and success of, adult summer camps are over-connectivity, work-life balance stresses, and sedentary lifestyles.”

When your smartphone gives you a hard time to focus (and what to do about it)

About a year ago I was fighting a workplace depression. I stressed a lot and had a very hard time to focus and get my brain to do what I wanted it to do (read, write, think, etc.).

But after a while without colleagues and todo-lists most of us want to get back to work. But how could I do it without burning out once again? Most of my friends (both men and women) have been struggling with stress and other workplace related issues, so it’s not like I’m the only one working too much.

But a while ago, I decided to exclude things in my everyday life that kept asking for my attention and continuously ruined my focus. I decided to start with my phone. Here are some of the things I’ve changed:

  1. Silence your phone. You can easily do this under “Settings”. Turn off both vibrations and sound, your body will otherwise remember the rhythm, and it will create just as much stress as any other stress cue. If you turn it off for ALL apps and notifications, you can have your sound turned on when you’re waiting for a call without dying from stress because your phone sounds like an orchestra. I believe all people should do this.
  2. Limit the number of apps. How many applications do you use regularly? I have decided to uninstall all unnecessary apps I have on your phone. I can always download them again if I miss them too much, but actually, the most time I don’t.
  3. Turn your phone upside down when you are working. Don’t let your phone interrupt you. If I don’t actively choose to check my Twitter, I don’t need to know about re-tweets or comments.
  4. Use the “Do Not Disturb” setting for times when you don’t need to know what’s happening online. Make sure to have priority contacts so that texts and calls from boyfriends and BFFs get through even when you want to hide from the rest of the world.

Weekly reads: Pt. 10 – Brain Powers and Silicon Valley sexism

What you read matters more than you might think – “If you’re serious about becoming a better writer, spend lots of time deep-reading literary fiction and poetry and articles on science or art that feature complex language and that require your lovely brain to think”

Ellen Pao: Silicon Valley Sexism IS Getting Better – “Studies showed that while women make up over 40 percent of the lower levels of science, technology, and engineering jobs, more than half of them leave these fields over time. A primary reason cited was sexual harassment: sixty-three percent of women in these fields had experienced some form of it.”

What Bill Cunningham taught us about ethical journalism – “In many ways, journalism has veered away from telling other people’s stories and instead spends a great deal of time focused on the opinions, style, and personality of the journalist.”

Almost everyone who is unhappy with life is unhappy for the same reasons – “Patients who have low expectations for medical procedures or treatments tend to have poorer results than those who expect success, even with regards to well-established treatments.”

Weekly reads: Pt. 9 – Lean in and read fiction

The Lenny Interview: Sheryl Sandberg – “We have to correct for the biases women face. You shouldn’t feel obligated to support a woman because she is a woman, but because you believe in her ideas and capabilities. It’s the right thing to do, and it creates a work environment that is better for everyone.”

How Google is Remaking Itself as a “Machine Learning First”-Company – “For many years, machine learning was considered a specialty, limited to an elite few. That era is over, as recent results indicate that machine learning, powered by “neural nets” that emulate the way a biological brain operates, is the true path towards imbuing computers with the powers of humans, and in some cases, super humans.”

If Your Argument Is Based on Economics, You’ve Already Lost – “When UK voters are frightened into demanding tighter border controls amidst an international migration crisis, it’s not useful to hear from economists that immigration is typically good for everyone in the longer run.”

Dorothy Parker, Such A Pretty Little Picture – “Clipping the hedge was one of the few domestic duties that Mr. Wheelock could be trusted with. He was notoriously poor at doing anything around the house. All the suburb knew about it. It was the source of all Mrs. Wheelock’s jokes. Her most popular anecdote was of how, the past winter, he had gone out and hired a man to take care of the furnace, after a seven-years’ losing struggle with it.”

Weekly reads: Pt. 8 – Robots and a trumped Trump

The empty brain – Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer – “For more than half a century now, psychologists, linguists, neuroscientists and other experts on human behaviour have been asserting that the human brain works like a computer.”

BuzzFeed Terminates Ad Deal With Republican Party Over Trump – “We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.”

How Mark Zuckerberg Led Facebook’s War To Crush Google Plus – “Have a mad vision and you’re a kook. Get a crowd to believe in it as well and you’re a leader. By imprinting this vision on his disciples, Zuckerberg founded the church of a new religion.”

Why You Can’t Get a Ticket to the NBA Finals… and every other major event on the planet. – “When our artificially intelligent robot overlords arrive, they’re gonna have awesome seats for Beyoncé.”

Weekly reads: Pt. 7 – Books, bots and big data

Prepare for summer holidays. Order all the books you’ll need and eat lots of pie (rhubarb).

One month in: What CNN has learned from Facebook Messenger bots – “The fidelity relies on how advanced these chat bots are, and how we make them more chat than bot. We all know what it feels like to talk to an automated service.”

Big Data Sleuths Uncover Clues to the Roots of Depression – “There are already insights—specific genes and biochemical pathways—that have been identified now for brain disorders that are being followed up on. If we get lucky and some of those prove to be useful, we can start to see some clinical advances within about five years.”

UC Berkley Non-Required Summer Reading: A Collection of Firsts – “You’re about to arrive for your first day of classes at Berkeley. Perhaps it will be your first time away from home. Maybe you’re the first one in your family to go to college. Whatever your background and experience, you’re sure to have plenty of “firsts” during your time here.”

The books that critics say you should read this summer – “Quartz analyzed the lists published by a number of news organizations, including the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Newsday, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and the Wall Street Journal (fiction and nonfiction.)”

Weekly reads: Pt. 6 – Backstage behaviour

The inside story of Facebook’s biggest setback – “From Zuckerberg’s vantage point, high above the connected world he had helped create, India was a largely blank map. Many of its citizens – hundreds of millions of people – were clueless about the internet’s powers.”

The secret rules of the internet – “The moderators of these platforms — perched uneasily at the intersection of corporate profits, social responsibility, and human rights — have a powerful impact on free speech, government dissent, the shaping of social norms, user safety, and the meaning of privacy.”

The Post Office Almost Delivered Your First E-Mail – “Reisner was now the postal service’s vice president of strategy, and he was more convinced than ever that the USPS needed to be part of this revolution. But it seemed as though everywhere he turned, somebody was telling him to forget about it”

The elderly are way savvier with password security than millennials – “The majority of respondents ages 51 to 69 say they completely steer away from easily cracked passwords like “password,” “1234,” or birthdays, while two-thirds of those in the 18-to-34 age bracket copped to using those kinds of terms.”

Weekly reads: Pt. 5

I’ve read about Snapchat, Russian facial recognition, and Chinas internet propaganda. I thought you might be interested.

China’s internet propaganda is more subtle and sophisticated than it ever has been – “The party’s goal is not to inspire deep love of China or hatred for its enemies. It instead aims to prevent, or at least break up, any widespread anti-party consensus among the public.”

My Little Sister Taught Me How To “Snapchat Like The Teens” – “I would watch in awe as she flipped through her snaps, opening and responding to each one in less than a second with a quick selfie face. She answered all 40 of her friends’ snaps in under a minute.”

How Russia’s New Facial Recognition App Could End Anonymity – “Eric Schmidt referred to facial recognition as “the only technology Google has built and, after looking at it, we decided to stop.”

Generalists Get Better Job Offers Than Specialists – “[…] exposure to many things has real value. At the undergraduate level and in other professional programs, diverse skills are probably better than a specialized focus.”

Weekly reads: Pt. 4 – SXSW edition

Hello from Austin and SXSW Interactive. This week is a mix of both old and new as well as high and low. I think it’s because being away like this, surrounded by insights and interesting people, makes me look for other things than usual. I hope you enjoy it.

Fixing Twitter – “Jack Dorsey has said Twitter should be “the most powerful microphone in the world.” Lately it’s been a powerful microphone for people to complain about Twitter.”

The Click Clique – “Many made more than $20,000 a month—some more than $80,000—just from posting links to sites that sold the short-shorts and Chanel shoes that they wore in their photos.”

Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice in Wonderland’s Influence on Video Games – “And yet, so much more often, the books seem to show up in games that are not about them, and in much more managed ways—as interludes, interpolations, allusions, shoutouts.”

Why Online Gradebooks Are Changing Education – “By stepping away from the Big Brother of online gradebooks, my husband and I chose to prioritize learning and sanity—both his and ours—over grades. We were not interested in producing another “excellent sheep” or fracturing our family.”

Weekly reads: Pt. 3 – Big data and the brain

Learning, big data and the brain. Results from Googles team research and how Spotify use user preference data to find the next generation of artists.

Anything worth doing takes years. – “All you can do is improve. Constantly improve. And the one, single way to do that is to set whatever you’re working on loose, gather feedback and try again. You repeat this process every time you make something, and sooner or later, you’re going to get better.”

Spotify is using 50,000 anonymous hipsters to find your next favorite song – “It’s not hard to imagine a future when Spotify uses its giant database and clever algorithms to find up-and-coming bands for a music label of its own, much as Netflix produces its own content based on Big Data insights into its users’ tastes and preferences.”

After years of intensive analysis, Google discovers the key to good teamwork is being nice – “The Googlers looked hard to find a magic formula—the perfect mix of individuals necessary to form a stellar team—but it wasn’t that simple. “We were dead wrong,” the company said.”

Neuroscience says these five rituals will help your brain stay in peak condition – “Whether you’re 25 or 65, consider adopting these five simple rituals that cognitive scientists say can help your brain grow new cells, form new neural pathways, improve cognition, and keep your outlook positive and sharp.”

Weekly reads: Pt. 2 – Teens and publishers

Facebook is cool again, Buzzfeed is always cool, and teens read more words but fewer books. Here are my best reads from last week.

Do Teens Read Seriously Anymore? – “It’s very likely that teen-agers, attached to screens of one sort or another, read more words than they ever have in the past. But they often read scraps, excerpts, articles, parts of articles, messages, pieces of information from everywhere and from nowhere.”

What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*If you’re not a straight white man.) – “My role is not just artist. It’s also activist because of the way I look. On so many shows and movies, race was a gesture, and in mine it’s the premise. I can’t ignore that what a lot of people see is an Indian woman who doesn’t look like a Bollywood star.”

The Rise of Weird Facebook: How the World’s Biggest Social Network Became Cool Again (and Why It Matters) – “Most examples of Weird Facebook are slightly less focused on subverting the actual software, and more focused on taking full advantage of it. Facebook now has dozens of pages that just post bizarro riffs on the site’s overcompressed and crudely watermarked detritus.”

What BuzzFeed’s Dao Nguyen Knows About Data, Intuition, And The Future Of Media – “If you look at the word “publishing,” actually meaning making content available to the public, it used to be you had to have all these things in place, including advertising. You no longer need those things. Making content available to the public is entirely a technical talent.”

Weekly reads: Pt. 1 – Internet and China

Teens on Tumblr, animals on social media and two posts about the young Chinese. This is the first post with my weekly reads, I hope you’ll enjoy them.

The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens – “They are the most brilliant digital strategists,” she said. These teens are better marketers than anyone else in the game right now “Tumblr teens have an advantage that makes them good at digital strategy: an advanced emotional intelligence.”

The highly profitable, deeply adorable, and emotionally fraught world of Instagram’s famous animals – “Even pets with relatively middling-sized followings have access to opportunities human fame-seekers would envy: product lines, endorsements, guest appearances, and endless freebies.”

On China’s rich kids heading west: The Golden Generation – “President Xi Jinping has spoken of the need to “guide the younger generation of private-enterprise owners to think where their money comes from and live a positive life,” and the government recently held an educational retreat for seventy children of billionaires, who were given a crash course in traditional Chinese values and social responsibility.”

For China’s upper middle class, driving for Uber is a cure for loneliness – “Uber offers an intimate space for two people to chitchat for a few minutes without having to worry how to end the conversation nicely, or whether you have to meet again, unless you really want to.”