Toby Beresford is an excitable social media guru with a digital vision. He won a Mark Zuckerberg hackathon, gave the keynote at a social media world forum, and still finds time to provide incisive commentary on social media for Sky News. His latest startup Leaderboarded.com turns the humble high-score-table into a verb, by letting companies create their own social data leaderboard of staff, customers, influencers or even event delegates…. Watch out or you might be the one to get leaderboarded soon…
In what ways are digital technologies transforming our lives?
I think the key transformation is that our digital selves are no longer anonymised ‘handles’ such as an email address or a computer number which we can disown at the flick of a switch. Nowadays our digital lives are extensions of ourselves – much like a prosthetic limb or the clothes we wear. That’s why teenagers now fear ‘frape’ – the act of hacking into someone’s Facebook account and posting embarrasing messages on their behalf, more than their bank account being hacked.
What can the latest technologies do for you?
Technology can break down barriers – the most important of which is geographic – I can order a sweater from Arran without visiting the island, I can chat to my relatives via free video conferencing, I can get the latest harbour prices for my fish despite being still at sea.
If you’re not online, are you out of the game?
Yes. Access to the internet is a universal human right, marginalised and low-income families throughout the world often have the most to gain from access to accurate and up to date information.