Things are buzzing at MOMO since we told the team about our latest arrival and we are delighted now to welcome publicly our brand new non executive director, Mark O’Neill. Mark brings with him a terrific amount of tech experience gained at the highest level.
Leading the delivery of major digital programmes for the UK Government and large corporations, Mark has been responsible over the past five years for the delivery of the new electoral registration system, the new digital apprenticeships service, the parliamentary e-petitions service, as well as major reviews of digital justice, trade and welfare.
Mark was a founding member of the government digital service and set up the first ever government Skunkworks and the first ever GovTech incubator in the world. He has held a number of senior tech roles on major programmes including London 2012 and has worked as a chief technical officer, chief information officer and chief data officer for a number of large organisations.
Passionate about startups and social enterprise, Mark has worked for a number of years with founders and funders to help build connections and grow businesses. We are all delighted to have Mark on board, bringing with him this wealth of knowledge and experience that will help us take MOMO through its next stage of development and growth.
Media reports about the so-called Momo suicide game – the story and the picture – are horrifying but they have no connection whatsoever with Mind Of My Own apps. The alleged WhatsApp game has a bizarre avatar depicting a grotesque woman with bulging eyes, taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi and is totally unrelated to the so-called game. It was created by a special effects company called Link Factory and was shown off in public.
The so-called WhatsApp Momo
The WhatsApp Momo purportedly targets young people. The police in Argentina are investigating whether the suicide of a 12 year old girl in the town of Ingeniero Maschwitz, near Buenos Aires, is linked to the game. There may have been someone using the image who bullied or led a child astray – but that is a specific case, unrelated to the image and probably not connected to other people using it. No link has been confirmed by authorities.
The police have not confirmed news reports linking the death of two young people in Barbosa to the ‘Momo Challenge’ in early September.
There have been no cases in Europe linking this WhatsApp group to the harming of any children.
Despite claims that the phenomenon is reaching worldwide proportions, the number of actual complaints is relatively small and no police force to date has confirmed that anyone has been actually harmed.
It is not clear whether the warnings refer to something that actually happens or are just an urban legend.
Search for ‘Mind Of My Own’
What we do know is that children and young people will in all likelihood find the image disturbing and the last thing any of us wants is for young people to be searching for Mind Of My Own’s MOMO through Google and finding the other images. During training we always advise that young people can access their own account by searching for ‘Mind Of My Own’ on the Apple store, Google Play or through their web browser. Workers are always advised to use the mini cards we provide customers that display the correct URL to find MOMO.
Actions Mind Of My Own has taken
- We have reminded people to encourage young people to search for MOMO in these ways and always to help the young person sign up for an account.
- We have changed the SEO on our website, which means the position in which MOMO is presented by a search in Google and other search engines will change. This does not happen with immediate effect but will change shortly so that our app does not appear alongside the images and news stories about this horrible WhatsApp story.
- We have placed information that differentiates Mind Of My Own MOMO app from the WhatsApp group on social media channels.
There is only one Mind Of My Own
We obviously are not associated in any way with this alleged, awful use of technology to hurt vulnerable people. Having taken advice, unfortunately there is nothing legally we are able to do about someone using the word as we don’t own the word MOMO. It is just the acronym of our company name – Mind Of My Own. We are watching this situation very closely and reports appear to have uncovered no evidence to suggest the nasty game actually exists, news stories are dying down and therefore the photos will move further down the rankings should any young people use Google to search for our apps.
It has been all things Wales this week at Team MOMO, beginning with one of our directors, who lives near Chirk. Jill was live in the studio with Dave Williams on Calon FM, telling listeners all about our apps.
Listen to the podcast here – there is lots of great music in the programme too.
Also this week we visited Powys Council after a journey consisting of three trains, to be greeted in Llandrindod Wells with beautiful sunny weather, which, as we were promptly reminded by the locals, is a rarity! A highlight of this charming town was a dragon sculpture that was co-designed by local children.
As the presentation approached our excitement mounted, since this was only the second time MOMO has been presented in Wales. A full house of over twenty attendees included David, interim head of Powys children’s services, who had previously witnessed great success in implementing and utilising MOMO apps in Buckinghamshire. It was also great to welcome neighbouring Ceredigion Council and we hope to meet with more of their team soon.
Underpinning all our activity in Wales is the big news that the first ever translation of MOMO apps is into Welsh! Thanks to our talented development partners, who have been working hard to internationalise the code, we will be implementing the initial translation imminently.
The first version will then be taken to Wales, where we will work with a group of young people to test the accuracy and acceptability of the Welsh translation. This significant development has meant that we can now start introducing Welsh organisations to MOMO with confidence.
We were extremely shocked and saddened to learn via widespread media reports that a so-called ‘game’ that encourages children to self-harm has been given the same name as the acronym for our apps at Mind of My Own – MOMO.
Needless to say Mind of My Own Ltd is not connected in any way to this game and we encourage anyone who is searching for or wanting to link to information about our MOMO apps to put our full name into their browsers or search.
For media enquiries contact Mary-Louise Clews email@example.com / 07713631732
Last week, Yvonne, Amanda, Scarlett, and Hunter got dressed up and made their way to the BT tower. We had been nominated for a Community Impact award at AbilityNet’s Tech4Good Awards.
This was particularly exciting since it was our first award in the tech sector in England – most of our previous awards have come in the social care sector. We have previously won at the ScotlandIS Digital Technology Awards and are very excited that the tech world started to take notice of the good work we are doing for children and young people.
It was very humbling to not only be invited to this event but also be nominated among such tough competition. All of the finalists are working to make the world a better place through technology.
Our day was about to get better, though. MOMO are the 2018 Community Impact Award Tech4Good Winner!
We know how well used our apps are. Every day we hear so many positive stories from our thousands of users. However, this was still a huge surprise! As you can imagine, we are delighted and humbled that the work we do for children in care is recognised.
You can read more information about the awards here, which includes this lovely quote by Mark Walker, host and organiser of the event and Abilitynet’s Head of Marketing and Communications:
“The Tech4Good Awards celebrate the winners’ success and share their stories to inspire others, whilst recognising all entrants’ hard work and creativity. Each winner has truly used their passion for digital technology to change the lives of other people. We now look forward to seeing how our winners and the other entrants progress in future as they go on to shape the world and help others using digital technology.”
In the MOMO team we proudly publicise that we are accredited with ISO27001. But what does that really mean?
ISO is an international organisaton that sets quality standards for all operational aspects of organisations; 27001 is their information security standard.
Unusually for what was then barely even a micro company, we took the decision in 2014 to aim for compliance with the international standard on information security so that we could assure ourselves as well as users and customers that we were doing everything possible to protect young people’s sensitive data.
Possibly, had we known what it entailed, we might not have embarked on this journey. In the early days we struggled to find enough capacity to fulfil the same set of requirements as those set for large corporate companies.
But last Thursday, at the end of an exhaustive and extremely taxing assessment process, we were informed that our governance had earned us a further three years of certification (subject to annual audit of course!).
From those very early days we have worked each year to be ever more self critical, to learn from our faults and take corrective action while simultaneously striving to be a learning organisation and an improving organisation.
MOMO case study
Earlier this year we were pleased to be approached by the Centre for Acceleration of Technology (CAST), an organisation devoted to supporting small charities and start ups to use tech for good. We told CAST our story of developing a thriving information security management system (ISMS) that sits at the heart of everything we do at MOMO.
You can read their case study here.
Are you experienced in sales or account management and looking for a new challenge? Do you want to join the MOMO team, a multi-award winning social tech business and make a positive impact on society?
If you are an enthusiastic and customer focused person come and join the MOMO team, a growing business in the tech for social good sector.
We are growing both in the UK and internationally and now need to increase capacity in our sales force to ensure MOMO continues to expand its customer base. Although this role is home-based it will require you to be available travel in the UK and abroad.
Working for MOMO is inspiring. Not only does MOMO allow you to play an active part in developing the company’s future, its size also enables you to demonstrate and develop a broad range of skills that a traditional larger company wouldn’t be able to. MOMO is an agile, energetic and a positive place to work.
Natalie, current employee
You will be looking to join a young ambitious company where you can use your initiative, develop your skills and be part of a highly performing, small dynamic team.
Job Title: Business Development Lead
Based in: Flexible (UK only)
Hours: Full time
Salary: £30k basic plus bonus
Please apply now with a two-page CV and 500-word statement explaining your desire and suitability for the role to firstname.lastname@example.org
For a conversation about the role please call Jill Thorburn – Director on 07738087962
5pm, 9 July 2018
Interviews will be held in London on Wednesday, 18 July 2018
- Support the business development manager in generating sales of MOMO products to local authority children’s services, independent service providers, schools and other organisations in the UK and overseas
- Build outstanding relationships with all contacts supporting them to join MOMO
- Work closely with account management to maintain relationships with existing customers and gain repeat business
- Feed learning gained from your interactions with sales leads into the continuous development of MOMO
- Be MOMO’s eyes and ears in the marketplace, gathering information regarding competitors and identifying new business opportunities
- Alongside the business development manager manage the first point of contact for potential customers
This is a developing role and the tasks required to carry it out will evolve as MOMO develops and your skills grow. These are core tasks you’re likely to be performing:
- Working with MOMO colleagues to ensure consistent lead generation
- Selecting targets and making sure you’re talking to the key decision makers
- Prioritising sales opportunities and carefully choosing how much time and effort to expend on each one
- Engaging with, and progressing warm leads along the sales cycle
- Listening to customer needs and challenges and presenting MOMO products in ways that make the sale
- With support from the business development manager negotiating the terms of agreements and closing sales
- Support the development of MOMO’s marketing materials: ensuring they are always up-to-date and using your creativity to find new ways to generate positive attention
- Developing tools and resources to educate and support leads to overcome their internal challenges to buying MOMO
- Working closely with management and development team, sharing marketplace learning and customer requests in ways that support continued product improvement
- Keeping a watchful eye on marketplace shifts, technology, and regulation changes
- Monitoring competitors and making recommendations to the business development manager
- Tracking sales metrics and reporting data to the business development manager on a regular basis
- Reviewing your own sales performance to meet or exceed targets