Recommended article: Great content isn’t the same as long-form content

Here’s a Moz article on the current trend to write long-form articles.

Great Content ≠ Long-Form Content

Long-form articles need to be well-researched. Just going for length is not going to work.

“Create content that helps people.”

It’s fun… writing about long-form articles in very short blog posts.

Barcamp Bodensee 2016

Last Saturday I attended Barcamp Bodensee in Konstanz.

barcamp bodensee

Here are some brief notes and thoughts on sessions that I attended:

Ask a digital teen
Barcamp attendees asked a 15 year old what apps and web services he uses. Youtube, Gaming, TeamSpeak, Discord app, some Whatsapp, Google Calendar. No TV. No Facebook. His school doesn’t allow the use of smartphones on the school grounds.

Digital strategy for non-profit organizations
Digital strategy means finding a way to connect CMS and CRM and accounting and payment apps and processes. CiviCRM was recommended; if offers connectors for WordPress and Drupal. There’s an association called “Software für Engagierte” (in German only). QuickBook, Collmex were mentioned for accounting purposes.

Getting Things Done
A certified GTD trainer offered an intro to David Allen’s method. Mind like water. Some very useful tips. For example, to do lists aren’t enough. Lists need to be sorted and categorized. Actionable items and next steps instead of just listing the project. Tasks that take less than 2 minutes should be taken care of immediately. Cos it takes more time to get back to these mini-tasks. Related links:

http://www.taskinator.de/

http://www.next-action.de/

Intro to Snapchat
Useful intro to a social network that is growing fast. The speaker encouraged us to sign up to learn how influencers are using Snapchat for storytelling.

 

Messaging
Messaging apps are probably going to change in 2016, c.f. Facebook’s recent announcement. E.g. possibility to order services and buy products via chat like in Asian chat apps, Line and WeChat. We went off on a tangent and collected a comprehensive list of messaging apps….

all the messaging apps that we could think of

I’ve learnt a lot at barcamps in the past and recommend attending one or two if you can. The same content will cost you $$$ at a commercial conference and lots more nerves. Barcamps are fun and way more relaxing.

Useful check list for your new WordPress site

I found this list of useful tips on launching a WordPress site:

Things to watch out for are:

  • fast hosting
  • search-engine optimized theme

WordPress is working on a new codebase:

The new WordPress.com codebase, codenamed “Calypso,” moves WordPress.com away from MySQL and PHP. It’s built entirely in JavaScript, and communicates with WordPress.com only using our REST API.

I don’t know how this will play out for self-hosted sites. You can use Calypso functionality via Jetpack. The benefit, that I read most frequently, is that the Calypso editor is well designed for writers.

See also:

What is WordPress Calypso and what does it mean for self hosted sites?

Museum Unterlinden in Colmar

On my daily bicycle commute, I kept noticing art posters, labelled Le nouvel Unterlinden. Today, I saw a Designboom article, shared by someone in my community, discussing the newly renovated museum in Colmar.

Connection made.

Advertising works. Both print and online.

It’s February already

I listened to the latest episode of The Big Web Show this weekend. The topic was interaction architecture. Here’s a tweet pointing to the show:

On Sunday evening, I saw this tweet, which describes exactly what happened to our content/our attention.

Maybe a good candidate for my Twitter Poetry collection?

Best snapshot of 2015?

Here is an attempt to find my best snapshot per month for 2015.

January 2015

michiru

February 2015

#wettstein bridge after the #fasnacht cortege on wednesday evening

March 2015

ein brunnen in basel

April 2015

Vespa speedometer

May 2015

Chichewa for English speakers by Nathaniel Maxson

June 2015

naturbad riehen

July 2015

das leben ist besser wenn du lachst

August 2015

the view from my hotel room

September 2015

wassermelone

October 2015

belchen, schwarzwald

November 2015

Fish and chips

December 2015

beautiful puppy

The method:
I quickly scanned through my photos on a per month basis and selected a photo based on number of views or memories or both.

History:
See past summaries for 2014 and 2013 and 2012 and 2010.

Reasons to blog

I saw this article today on the benefits of blogging:

  1. Blogs refine your thoughts
  2. Blogs reward the creator
  3. Blogs amplify your humanity
  4. Blogs connect us to our tribes
  5. Blogs give introverts a voice
  6. Blogs reward the “new age” publishers
  7. Blogs embrace the experimenters
  8. Blogs accelerate discovery
  9. Blogs open up a world without borders

I’ve written about the reflective power of writing. E.g. here.

I bet, there were similar articles about writing ever since writing was invented.

It’s quite difficult to carve out a space in our multimedia world to sit down and write and reflect and create. Many times I just feel like I am part of the echo chamber. Not adding any value. Not going deep enough.

One reason to keep your blog going is digital memories.

The weather was beautiful today. Sunny and warm. I tried to capture the day and hold onto the moment with these snapshots.

Walking down the stairs:

Photo

Crossing the river Rhein at the Kraftwerk:

hello basel

This bicycle colour is cool:

hell-blau

Looking down:

muster

Just like in San Francisco, the fog moved in at around 5 pm:

der nebel kommt

Autumn colours:

leaves

I am continuing my Vine experiment. Here’s the new water fountain in Riehen Dorf:

Video isn’t easy. At all. This Coschedule blog post mentions some tools to explore:

  • Video Hance (iPhone)
  • QuickCast (iPhone)
  • ScreenFlow (desktop tool)

Always a good resource, Hubspot lists video ideas to try out for your business.

What tools or apps can you recommend? I’m on Android.

By chance, I learnt that there is an edit function in Vine.

A vine a day

I’ve started using Vine on my 2nd generation Moto G. I haven’t bought a tripod or started editing vines. Some recent shots:

Everyday typography:

Chiperoni ku Basel (drizzle rain in Basel):

Velo culture:

Whoooosh:

Referral traffic from social media has dropped

I saw this Bufferapp article on declining social media traffic.

We’ve lost nearly half our social referral traffic in the last year

I say. No wonder. Everybody is online, creating tonnes of content. Most people are too busy to read, let alone follow so many data streams.

Many web pages don’t get any traffic at all. A few sites get all the traffic.

Interesting read. I recommend reading it.

My tip: don’t share or comment on articles that you haven’t read. Even bots can do that. Be human.

And. If you do like an article? Comment, share and write a blog post on it.

If you’re on Facebook and want to see better content, I recommend following Robert Scoble’s advice. The filtering is improving. And this week’s announcement on Facebook Search means we may have a viable alternative to Google Search. At some point in the future.

Lucky chiperoni.ch. It doesn’t need to grow traffic.

Have a look at my photos on Flickr.

walk this way

Handheld shapshot taken along the river banks of the Rhein

Here is a handheld shapshot taken along the river banks of the Rhein during dusk yesterday evening:

Basel hat keinen See

When I moved to Basel many years ago, some of my conversations went like this:

Nchenga at Chiperoni.ch: I really like Basel. It’s got a lot of cultural events, museums, cinemas for a city of this size. It’s well-connected, has a great public transport system, just the right size, etc.

Swiss counterpart: Basel doesn’t have a lake.

I heard the same comment several times. Until it occurred to me.
Many Swiss cities are located near a lake. Zürich, Geneva, Lausanne, Luzern, Lugano, Locarno. A sizeable city needs a lake.

The future of blogging is … plogging

I found this Wired article discussing Facebook’s recent Notes update for long-form content and Medium.

Apparently, “plogging” stands for platform-based blogging.

Related link: What Andrew Sullivan’s exit says about the future of blogging

Riehen – Brombach – Schopfheim – Haagen – Riehen bicycle tour

I cycled to Schopfheim. An easy tour about 20 km one way. Going I went via Brombach. Coming back I cycled on the other side of the Wiese river via Lörrach-Haagen.

Riehen – Brombach – Steinen – Maulburg – Schopfheim – Haagen – Riehen

There’s one stretch between Steinen and Höllstein where the bicycle route follows the busy main road, B317. Loud and lots of fuel fumes and particulates.

I missed one turn-off between Maulburg and Schopfheim and cycled the path up to Wiechs instead.

Category: easy
Length: about 40 km

Some snapshots:

schopfheim

#rasenmäh #sheep grazing

damwild

P1150766

frischer apfelsaft

You are not the user

Via the #confluencecon hashtag, I found some good background articles (thank you @ruthburr, @danlovejoy for tweeting).

Take the time to understand your user. It will decrease the risk of creating an an unfavorable experience and give you an opportunity to turn them into your greatest advocate.

A reminder of research tools that I can use to learn more about the people that will use a website or app is provided in this article.

Above all else, there is no excuse for designing based off assumptions—in the immortal words of Jakob Nielsen: “Leaving the user out is not an option.”

Some new marketing tools mentioned in this slide deck by @ipullrank and a call to understand marketing technology:

Some new tools mentioned in the slides above:

Klipfolio

Orange

Fullcontact

URLprofiler

Postman

Personyze