This really is turning into a once-a-month blog. But perhaps that's enough? Or perhaps I will eventually start writing more than I do right now. Or it might just die out or more likely move to a new media whenever such a media arrises. I haven't tried micro-blogging à la Twitter that much - but I think this form suits me more actually. But let's not turn this into a meta-blog - let's continue with what I intended to write about...

This travelling thing. I like travelling. I like travelling alone, exploring new countries by myself. I liek travelling with my dad, this enjoyable companionship travelling where we see and experience a lot of the world together. I also like travelling with friends, partying, seeing new cities and meeting new people. And I of course think I would like to travel with my girlfriend, which we will over New Year's when we're going to Bratislava and Vienna. And I even like travelling with work, although this is a completely different type of travel with hotels, offices, airports and not so much countries, exploring and cultures.

Lately it has been a bit too much of the good things though. My personal goal for this year was to visit 12 countries in one year and it seems I will not succeed (although not being far away). But if I count every time I went to another country as a new country, I would get a lot more than 12 countries in this year. Or if I count being at the airports of a country perhaps - that'd work too.

I was thinking about this yesterday when I was sitting on Vienna airport, waiting on my delayed flight home to Arlanda and starting to realize that I wouldn't be in bed until one o'clock in the night and that I would need to get up at five just to get back to Arlanda to get a new flight for work. But that's life when you've said yes to working part time in Linköping (although I take the train there), part time Germany and then also have your girlfriend in Croatia.

This is my toplist of airports in Europe (that I've been at this year):
- Schipol, Amsterdam - absolutely huge, but contains a cinema, nice shopping and a Rembrandt museum which is free
- Copenhague airport - also very big, with extremely upmarket shopping (Versace, D&G, Gucci, you name it), but also nice small shops and cozy Christmas music in early November.
- Arlanda airport - nothing special at all, but things works smoothly most of the time
- Zagreb airport - small, not so efficient, just one café after security, but very nice to arrive at (and less nice to leave of course)
- Dortmund airport - Smallest non-Swedish airport I ever saw, but very nice personell who were extremely happy about a Swede with a real Swedish last name.
- Düsseldorf airport - quick and mostly efficient in a German way, but also a complete lack of charm
- Vienna airport - ugly, smoking all over the place, but it has free wireless internet and a Starbucks
- Bonn/Köln airport - Very much like Düsseldorf airport, big, grey and unfortunately not even efficient.
- Any Ryanair airport (Skavsta, Scotland, Italy, London)

Most visited countries this year:
Croatia - 5 times (so far)
Germany - 4 times (or a few more if we want to count transfers)
Austria - 1-5 times - depending if you count (twice in a week +1) (one hour of driving +1) (transfer +1) (going at New Year +1)
Slovakia - 1-2 times - depending if you count New Year's in Bratislava which is planned and booked
Italy - 1-2 times - depending if you count start and end of vacation (3 days each time)
Slovenia - 1-2 times - depending if you count going through in both directions (2 days each time)
Hungary - 1 time (or perhaps 2 if we get off the train along the way)
Scotland - 1 time (or a few more if you count every whisky I had in Sweden)
Denmark - 0-2 times depending if you count transfers
Netherlands - 0-2 times depending if you count transfers
Switzerland- 0-1 times depending if you count transfers

Anyway. Travelling is a bit tiring when you get too much of it. Or when you cannot do it on your own terms. But it still keeps it's charm and drawing power of me. First time you come to a new place you first see the similiarities - oh, they also have H&M, McD or any given international super brand . Shortly after you start seeing the sights - the museums, the cathedrals, the architecture, the whatever they might be famous for. Then you start getting a first feel of the people, the food, the language and perhaps the culture. Then you start seeing the differences even more clearly - the differences in society, history, politics, income, ethnical diversity and how those things all influence the people and the country. And when you've spent long enough in a country or got close enough to people you stop seeing the differences and once again you notice how alike peoeple really are. That in the end all the small things matters, that people are more or less the same - they care about love, friends, family, work, food, life and all those small daily things that in the end turn out to be the real things of real importance.


Digital trends 2009?

My friend Cris Caanen just posted a question on LinkedIn regarding his thoughts on digital trends in 2009. I thought his analysis was very interesting and insightful so I thought I would post it here for everyone to read together with my own answer to his thoughts. If you have any ideas or answers to his questions - please post them at LinkedIn but also here as comments.

Hello everybody.

After doing online research I summed up the digital trends for 2009. I'm wondering if anyone in my Linkedin network can assist me in completing and verifying this list. I wrote about this list in my blog too, and I will try to see if there are common grounds between the results. Please assist me in completing the list from your personal and professional perspective. If you think a mentioned trend is not going to be a trend please substantiate your claim.

*mobile internet
*personal branding
*online games/ advergaming
*google chrome
*video job applications and vacancies
*new commerce (changes in the value chain. physical shops will serve as advise and test centres and online *shops will facilitate the purchasing of goods)
*further GPS integration in our lives
*Identity 2.0 protection (People will start trying to protect their online identity even more)

Please feel free to comment on my observations and moreover, feel free to complete or adjust the list.

In addition, feel free to explain more in detail what each of these trends means. I'm looking forward to read some clear elaborations and/or examples on these subjects.

Thanks for your assistance!


Cris Caanen



This was a really interesting summary of 2008 movements and I think a good prediction of what we will see more of in coming years. Some of them are more obvious than others I think.

Mobile internet is inevitable and with phones like iPhone, Android and others we will probably see an explosion of services available for customer - everywhere and all the time.

Some of them - like crowdsourcing and online games / advergamng - we've already seen a lot of, but I think there's still much more to see.

The GPS is interesting. I myself have thought of at least a couple services the last year which I would like to have and when GPSs get more common and built into our mobiles we will see the use of them increase even more I think. I'm looking forward to this trend!

I also agree with "new commerce" - I have a friend of mine whose company are now starting up a new shop in central Stockholm. They don't expect to sell that much in this store - but they think it's great advertisement for their webpage where they expect to increase in instead.

I am not so sure about the "Identity 2.0 Protection" though. I think you are right in that the use of Identity 2.0 will increase during the next coming years, but I am not sure that protection of them will be a main focus. I think the focus will be on services surrounding Id 2.0 and what can be done with this - and protection and security might become bi-products of this.

New trends you haven't mentioned? Hard to say. I think you've got most of them. What about viruses for mobiles - this is not something we have seen so far, but I am sure it will come with the new generation of smart phones. I also think the trend with new forms of interaction with the computer will increase - both in serious applications like speech recognition, multi-touch screens and in more playful applications like Wii remote, movement sensors in controls/cameras/mobiles and other "new" forms of interaction with technology. I also think we will see a major increase in online applications - office programs moving online (like Google Doc) and perhaps start to be equals of programs running on your own computer - online OS like icloud - or online backup and storage.

- Anders Ivarsson


Re-activating blog

I've been thinking for a while that I should start blogging again. I had a period when there was a lot going on - private life, work and everything, but nothing was of the kind I would like to share on the blog. So instead I skipped writing in the blog for a while. And as you all know - once you stop doing something for a while, it's hard getting started again.

So, anyway. Since March 31st loads of things has happened. Short version is I now work and live in Stockholm. Yey!

Slightly longer version is that I am now working in Stockholm with establishing our Stockholm office. I will also work as a consultant with regular assignments at the same time as doing this, but during summer it has been mostly startup work. I also live in Stockholm now - in a small, tiny apartment close to Stadsbiblioteket and Handels. The apartment is really tiny without a real kitchen (but with fridge, micro and toaster - everything i need) and since i got my stuff there this weekend it actually feels like home!

This will have to be enough for now - but more will hopefully follow now that I picked up blogging again. ;)


Social Web

Just received the latest Google Friends newsletter and as always it's interesting to read what's happening at the most influentuous Internet company. This is one of their articles and I agree strongly with their thoughts about the social web. Will be interesting to see what this new cooperation could lead to.

From Google Friends newsletter:
"The web is better when it's social." This idea has taken root all across the web of late -- the more you can share, update, comment, and contribute in all sorts of creative ways to the steady stream of news, views, and entertainment, the more dynamic and compelling the Internet becomes. For developers, the web is more interesting when they can build applications that easily interact with everyone. But the challenge for those creating software widgets, gadgets and "containers" for content has been to pick the right tools and, until recently, bet on the right platform for building their creations. This is one reason we've banded together with Yahoo! and MySpace: to encourage open software development for as many of the communities and sites as possible. Collectively, we plan to create a private non-profit foundation that can support open development of common toolsets. We think this openness helps everyone.


Vem klarar egentligen av att vara avkopplad när man blir nerkopplad från sin uppkoppling?



As most of you already know I am very fond of doing IQ-tests, quizzes and puzzles of different sorts. I am a member of Mensa just because I felt like taking the test and then two years later ended up deciding I could join the society as well since I did pass the test. There are many great things about Mensa that I like - for example we had a meeting/seminar/get-together the other day regarding being a consultant, starting your own business, etc. Very interesting, especially to meet some of the member that have just been names so far. Another thing I like about Mensa is their mailing lists - especially the one where anything goes. On this mail any kind of subject could be discussed for a long time. It is very interesting to read some of those discussions when you have the time for it.

One of the current discussions is about IQ vs. EQ. EQ is for those of you that haven't heard about it Emotional Quote - something rather like IQ, but instead of measuring logical-analytical skills it measures social skills. I haven't read that much about EQ before and I did not know there were any tests for it. However there seems to be a few tests out there and they had some interesting results that seem to be at least to some point valid. People that have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome got low scores, most people got around 100 points and some got quite high scores - 120 and above would be high I guess.

Seeing as I see myself and is seen by others as a very social and outgoing person I wanted to the tests myself. And so I did. And perhaps there is a reason that friends have said things like "You could melt into any group of people and just talk to them in a natural way", "You are a social chameleont", "You are a social freak" or "You are mano-social!".

The tests I did you can find on the following two links. They are kinda lengthy with 70 questions in the first and 106 questions in the second, but it doesn't take more than 30 minutes or so each to finish them. The first one was interesting, but I always felt that "this will be the answer that gives you the highest EQ" and then I tried to pick the one that felt most true to me. The second one was harder and more interesting - often I didn't have a clue what would be "the correct answers", but just answered them as truthfully as I could. The second test had pictures where you were going to determine the feelings of the participants in the picture, or scenarios where you'd pick the feelings most likely felt by those in the scenarios. As I said - second one was harder to guess what would be seen as the "best"answers - so you ended up picking the answers you felt were right from your point of view instead which I guess is very good for those kinds of tests.


My test scores?
On the first test I got 126 points - which is well above average, probably within something like the highest 2% of the population.
On the second test I got 146 points - which is extremely high and would place me higher than 99.91% of the population.

Mano-social was it? :)


Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest

An image says more than a thousand words, so here's approximately 150.000 words about Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest.



Have you ever wondered what you would do if you suddenly find yourself in a foreign city on a street with no money and no idea where you are? This is what I experienced on Thursday morning in Vienna at 5:30 in the morning. After walking around in Vienna for a while and starting to find my directions and an ATM things started looking better. I still had no idea of what to do, but decided to go to Bratislava to get out of Vienna. From Bratislava I could go home by RyanAir or just go to some other place later on.

I started the day in Vienna by meeting an Australian girl lost in Vienna. She had a plane connection in Vienna and had a couple of hours to kill in central Vienna. We must have been the only two people awake in Vienna - the streets were just empty of people and nothing was open (at like 6:45 in the morning). So we just walked around, did some sightseeing and talked (it was mostly she that did the talking though - I don't think I ever met a person talking that much).

When she returned to the airport I decided to go to an Internet cafe to decide what to do. From there I figured out that trains to Bratislava left from Sudbahnhof and that they left every 15 minutes or so. So I took the subway to Sudbahnhof, bought a ticket for Bratislava, got some lunch and then jumped on the train.

On the train I met two americans - Lindsey and Andre - and I've been with them since. We've done some sightseeing in Bratislava and seen the old town, the Devin castle and so on. Very nice. Bratislava is beautiful, but a little bit run down. And the weather was really bad the first two days which gave it all a depressing tone. The nights have been better - the 1. Slovak Pub quickly became our second home where we could get all the slovak food we wanted (Bryndza cheese is really good and apart from that it's mostly meet and other hearty meals. Very good!) and cheap beer. We also went out partying, so now I've seen the slow nightlife of Bratislava as well. But it was good fun though - we were just being silly on the dance floor more or less! :)

Also met a guy from London, so now me, Andre and Neel (the Londoner) are planning on going to Budapest by train. Should take 3 hours, so we should be leaving soon.

Will write more and upload photos when I have the chance!



Pictures from my apartment - cleaned and no people:

Picturs from my apartment - birthday party:

Instant wisdom

You know how you every time you have a birthday get the question "Well, what does it feel like - being one year older?" and you never have a good answer for that, because really you are just one day older than yesterday or even just a few seconds older than you were the other moment? Well, obviously I got this question when I turned 25 as well, together with the question "What does it feel like to be halfway to 50?". On my birthday I did not know how to answer these question in any other way than "meh".

But as I woke up on the first day of my 25th year - March 15th 2008 - I realized something that should have been so obvious my whole life. It's been there in front of me all the time. I am sure others have noticed, but no one told me and I was to blind or too foolish to see it. The simple truth that I have missed for so long is that my birthday is not just on any random day (approximately 9 months from midsummer of course, but nothing uncommon with that). It's a very special day - it is the pi-day.

March 14th.

I cannot believe I have missed this for so long, and suddenly it is all so clear to me. So turning 25 turned out to be very special. 25 turned out to be the age when I gained instant wisdom.




At the moment I am reading a master thesis in psychology by Jannica Stålnacke (http://www.diva-portal.org/su/abstract.xsql?dbid=7061) regarding ableness or talent in the logical-analytical sense (the Swedish term for ableness would be 'särbegåvning'). I found this thesis through the webpage of Mensa and a lot of the thesis have been written in collaboration with Mensa.

Though I haven't read that much of it yet I find it very interesting. I recognize myself in many of the descriptions about exceptional abilities in the logical-analytical sense - for example the possibilities available but at the same time a feeling of not really belonging. This was obviously more true in the first years of school compared to the life of university and work. The thesis also mentions that unlike talent in sports, art and music, logical-analytical strengths are rarely promoted and developed in school. The Swedish school system is in these subjects based on threshold where the goal is to get everyone across a certain threshold - not to develop each individual to the best of their capacity. The thesis states that in Sweden, these individuals have to find their own ways and strategies to develop and adapt their ability.

I guess this is true for me as well. I have always found school quite easy, but thanks to my parents and later on personal interests like Mensa and other things have helped develop my abilities and my understanding of myself. Thanks mom and dad for this - for challenging me to reach further and to develop my mathematical, logical and analytical skills!

The thesis also mentions social adaptability and high IQ. They've done tests that show that most persons with a high IQ often are well balanced, confident, outgoing and had the ability to get confidence and friendship from persons of the same age. I guess all of those are quite true for me. They also say that "the socially optimal IQ is between 125 and 155" - more than that and you often have a hard time adapting and fitting in to the society. Last time I did a IQ-test (just a short trial version - the trial test on Mensa's homepage) it said "You have an IQ of 135 or more - well within the 2% of the population needed to enter Mensa". I guess that meant that I got all correct answers on the test in 7 out of 8 minutes. Right now I'm looking into tests that test the higher IQ-scores with a better precision - I really like solving tests like these.

Anyway - to anyone interested in understanding a bit more about my thoughts, in the subject in general or with talented children in school-age I really recommend to read the thesis or at least just the first part.

I was not sure whether to post this entry or not. It feels a bit like ... just writing about how good I am or whatever. But I think that at least those of you who know me also understand that this is just yet another of my random thoughts. Any comments - just post them and let me know!


Power of internet

A few days ago I found myself thinking about the power of internet. All the services available open up incredible possibilites that we could only dream of a few years ago. The fact that most of what we today call internet sprung up in the last 10-15 years and that we before that couldn't even imagine the possibilities we take for granted today.

But what is the real power of internet? The real power of internet is of course information. That's really all there is to internet if you start to think about it.

And then I found myself thinking that if information is the real value and power of internet, then the power of internet is not within the internet itself, but within the user. I have been working with computers as my main tool in studies, work and spare time since I was 8-10 years old and for me using the computer is very natural. But this is not true for all people, in fact it is not true for most people. The way I use the computer, the programs on the computer and the services on the internet brings together the power of the internet - or should i say the value of internet since the power is within the user - for me to use at my own will.

But as I said, this is not true for most people. Most people find the computer coming in between them and what they want to do. They now there are so many possibilites with the computer, the programs and the internet - but they just can't seem to get the computer to cooperate. And while some people struggle with their computer or simply giving it up or perhaps even miss out on the best and coolest features of whatever, people that are in control of the computer and the internet can find the information they want and the services they need faster and cheaper.

For me, the computer used to be my hobby. It used to be the goal of learning the computer - to be able to use it, play with it or do whatever. Since I started working with computers on a daily basis, I've started seeing the computer as a tool which lets me do the things I really want to do. By using the computer I solve problems unsolvable in any other way, I pay my bills, send e-mails, plan my trips, by my books, share my pictures and much much more. All these things are done more efficiently, cheaper and faster than I could have done otherwise - which leaves room for living, meeting friends and doing whatever makes me feel good at the moment.

So the value of internet is really information, and the power of internet is really within the user of internet. And knowledge is power. This have always been true, compare with the church of old times or the librarians of more modern times. They have been a power source because they have the knowledge and thus some sort of truth. Today information is so readily available that everyone can get it. But the difference between information and knowledge is not insignificant and we once more see that an experiences user can find much more valuable knowledge on the internet than a layman could in the same time.

So will there be a librarian of the internet? Of course we have Google, Yahoo and other search engines that try to be the librarian. And we have more limited services where you pay for expert users to search for limited knowledge for you - e.g. Google Answers. But the best way would probably be to become your own librarian of internet. Learn to use the internet in an efficient way and loads and loads of time and money can be saved.

Where did I want to go with this post? I honestly don't know. It felt like a really good start, but I think I lost some of my points got lost in the conversion from mind to "paper". Anyhow - enjoy and give me feedback. Might try to write it down later on when I've wrapped my head around my thoughts and what I really wanted to say.


Still alive, but much of what have been happening right now haven't been that interesting to write about. Starting new assignment at new customer tomorrow - yeyness, looking forward to it!



One year passed.
Lots of things happened in my life.
This is an attempt to collect it all into one small blog entry. We'll see if it works.

Ok. So. The first day of 2007 I woke up in a hotel room in Malaysia. I remember being a bit surprised by the fact that I was in Malaysia since I only got there the day before. Me and Josefine (whom I was travelling with at the moment) had decided to go to Langkawi to celebrate New Years instead of staying in Thailand. The first meal of the day was in a lousy restaurant close to the beach at Langkawi and as it turns out, it was the worst meal of 2007. Perhaps the worst meal I've ever had as well.
Anyway. From Langkawi, Malaysia we continued south through Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur and from there I catched a flight to Cambodia. Cambodia was one of the most beautiful countries I've seen - the culture, the people, the food and the kindness - but at the same time the poorest and hardest countries I've seen as well. Vietnam turned out to be an even bigger shock in many ways, with millions of people crammed into huge cities and a countryside where I got to see the reality of poor farmers and their everyday life - struggling to get by every day. Hanoi and the week-long trip from there through northern Vietnam on local buses is one of the strongest memories from the whole trip, but visiting the marvellous Halong Bay together with what turned out to become close friends was also very nice.
After Vietnam I took a two weeks vacation from travelling more or less - I settled into the Laos slow way of thinking and acting, always with a smile on my lips. And after some crazy tubing in Vang Vieng I was ready to go down to Bangkok and then north up into China.
China also turned out to be more than I'd hoped for. Hong Kong was simply amazing, with hundreds and hundreds of skyscrapers reaching for the stars. The rest of China was very amazing - the difference between beautiful landscapes and huge cities, western and eastern living, locals and expats. The list could be made long. China was really the country of mixed impressions.
If China was the country of mized impressions, Mongolia turned into a single long-lasting strong impression that is still with me every day. By traveling around in a jeep in the Gobi for almost a week together with amazing friends and staying with nomads in their gers (tents) every night I got a chance of seeing a lifestyle and a country in a way I've never seen it before (and may very well never get the chance to see it again).
After returning back to Sweden on a train through Russia, which was a nice ending to four amazing months in Asia, I had some troubles settling into the normal everyday life- and work cycle. However, starting a new job (same employer, new client) was very exciting and it feels very good to have been able to stay there since. I really like the place I'm at right now with great colleagues, interesting and challenging tasks and a chance to become really good at what you do.
I also met Hanna when I got back to Sweden for the first time and that was very nice indeed. After meeting her only a few times I mailed my boss to get some extra tickets to a carneval in town - SOF. My employer had some extra tickets and had told us that if we had a partner that wanted tickets we could get some for ourselves or our partners. So I mailed my boss, saying that there was this girl I wanted tickets for and that "she will be my partner - she just doesn't know it yet". Perhaps a bit overly confident, but it turned out to be correct and that was the start of a wonderful time together!
The summer in Linköping was very nice. Working, playing beach volley in the evenings and visiting Hanna in Falköping on the weekends. Unfortunately she had to work in Falköping, so we didn't get the chance to see each other as much as we'd have liked.
I also had one week of vacation in the end of the summer, where I went to northern Sweden together with my dad. A nice chance to see all the relatives again - it's getting longer and longer between the times now which is really a shame.
The autumn has been full of working and traveling. I've had a couple of short vacations, where I've been to London once and Vienna a couple of times. Hanna have been studying in Vienna since September, so I had a really nice week with Hanna in Vienna trying to get her settled in and at the same time seeing loads of beautiful sights in Vienna.
This autumn I also moved to my new apartment (those of you who missed this - feel free to send me an e-mail for my new address). As nice as sharing an apartment with Åsa have been, it feels really good to have a large apartment of my own. Two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. Close to downtown, built in 1996, a large balcony and windows in three directions. I like it very much!
And the end of 2007 turned out really nice as well. With a looong Christmas vacation of more than two weeks I had the time to celebrate Christmas in Falköping together with Hanna and her family and then also to go snowboarding in Åre together with Hanna and a bunch of friends.

And on the New Years Eve I found myself standing in Åre, watching a great firework display by our neighbour, surrounded by friends and with Hanna by my side. It was a very nice way of ending the year. Most of the things that happened this year I couldn't have dreamed of doing or that they would happen. I'm just glad I was there to experience it all! Let's hope that 2008 turns into an equally amazing year!

For pictures of all my travelling, my new apartment or everyday pictures of me - check out picasaweb.google.com/anders.ivarsson.

Anything and nothing

Wow. Amazingly long time since I wrote here. This time I'll write what ever comes to mind. I've been thinking about a few blog entries I'd like to write. One of them is a continuation of the previous entry - something along the lines of agile living. This will not be today. Another blog I've been thinking about writing is connected to the book I'm reading right now - Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. I'll probably finish the book before deciding to write about it though - but it is a very interesting book and have many interesting thoughts and concepts that I'd like to talk about. Some day. Not today. I've also been thinking about writing about the previous year. 2007. It was a nice year in many ways and loads of things happened. And I like the notion of summing up the previous year. Perhaps I'll write this today - feels like as good a time as anytime to write it. But it will probably be in a separate entry, this one is just me rambling on about anything and nothing.