Drip by drip

For future reference:

Marketing is never about a hammer hitting plate glass.

It is almost always about the accrued power of a thousand drips, drips that accrue, drop by drop until they overwhelm the status quo and break through, starting a flood.

The first drip is very exciting, of course. Everyone lines up to cheer.

It’s the last drip that’s lonely. Most of the time, everyone has long left the building, lost interest and moved on to celebrate some other first drip. The penultimate drip gets criticized… are you still working on that?… that’s not so great… is that it?… but then, the drip that comes next, the last drip, proves once and for all that you were doing the right thing all along.

I could write a long blog post on this.

I could sing a reggae song that has the same message.

mac tech

Opening .MHT Files on a Mac

Executive summary:
Best tool to open .mht files on a Mac is Opera for Mac.

I regret deleting Windows Vista.

Last week I was sent a .mht file. And now I’m searching the Internet for a solution how to open this proprietary Microsoft file (my perception, but according to Wikipedia it is actually a proposed standard).

MS Word 2004 for Mac said something like this “is not a valid archive”.

I found this forum entry at Mac OS Hints.

The GraphicConverter way didn’t work for me. Only a small graphic file displayed. The rest of the content did not display. BTW, I’m not too fussed about GraphicConverter anyway. Maybe you use GC, if you only want to extract the images…

Convert & Modify

I’d recommend the Stuff It Expander way:

  1. Get the free version of Stuff It Expander and install it.
  2. Drag and drop the .mht file to the Stuff It Expander. Stuff It will create a folder with the same name as your file. Within this folder, there’ll be several files with the endings 00, 01, 02, etc. The first of these files is usually the .html file, while the following are image files.
  3. Add the ending .html to the file labeled 00 and open with your standard browser… é voilà . Funziona.

phpinfo().mht Folder

Another (probably simpler) way is to get File Juicer.

The easiest way to read .mht files is to install Opera on your Mac. Open the file to see the contents directly. No further renaming or converting required.

Opera browser: Home page

Executive summary:
Best Tool = Opera for Mac

marketing tech tweet

On Following Tweet Streams

I recently talked to Persillie on the difficulty of following people’s tweet streams. Esp. if you have a limited time budget and can only tune into Twitter every so often.

For example, I follow Kathy Sierra’s stream at Twitter. You can see quite a few of her 140 character statements in my Twitter Favorites.

Re: “PR is Dead?” meme–PR has same issue as UI design: it’s NOT something you can slap on afterward. Must be baked into product.

“Job happiness” should not have a single point of failure… but too often it ALL depends on your current boss. Bad managers REALLY suck.

Things Smart People Do: Martin Fowler (software dev pioneer) said he went to a ‘passionate users’ talk *because* he “doesn’t like the topic”

Powerful template 4 learning: “I will do Project A, to ‘force’ myself to learn Skill B” rather than “I must/will learn Skill B” @hrheingold

PR/marketing should fail when it’s about “getting word out”. If they’re about helping “users kick ass”, we’re good. Less pitch, more teach.

I see a huge overestimation of the importance of “social” in marketing/PR or product dev in general today.

etc, etc…

The difficulty arises when other Twitterers ask questions and Kathy responds. I don’t see the question and it gets much more difficult to follow.

Twitter is like a cocktail party. The music is so loud, sometimes you only hear parts of the answer.

Are there Twitter tools that help with this? The only tool I can think of is Twitter Search (formerly Summize).

marketing tech

Techniques for Reviewing a User Interface

I like this quote:

The GUI is the only contact the user has with the application.

that I found in this presentation:

which I found while surfing thru my Sitemeter stats.

An obvious fact. Yet…

When talking to software developers, I often hear complaints about the quality of code (especially if somebody else programmed the app). While I understand that wild, unruly code creates maintenance problems and is more error prone, I would expect the same care, investment and commitment on the GUI level. At the very least.

See also Leah Guren’s presentation at In Other Words on “It may be GUI…”.

blogging flickr General Photos

Blogging is so 2004

LOL at this Wired article!

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.

I agree with the author. Blogging is so 2004. For the record: I installed WordPress on this server in September 2004. Time to pull the plug.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr instead.

(BTW I’m still the top entry at Google for Boring Flower Snapshot)

be bold, be strong!


africa Malawi-related

BBC on Fish Farming in Zomba

Recommended reading:

BBC’s James Morgan on fish farming in rural areas of Zomba district, Malawi.

It’s a perfect circle. “Or what we call an integrated agriculture-aquaculture (IAA) system,” says Joseph Nagoli, of WorldFish. “This isn’t high input fish farming. This is simple and sustainable.”


Handmade in Switzerland


Mlle A. points to online marketplaces for handmade products in Switzerland.


Strategic Technologies for 2009

Stumbled across this 5 seconds ago:

1. Virtualization
2. Business Intelligence
3. Cloud Computing
4. Green IT
5. Unified Communications
6. Social Software and Social Networking
7. Web Oriented Architecture
8. Enterprise Mashups
9. Specialized Systems
10. Servers – Beyond Blades

Will be interesting to watch how this evolves.

basel General

Portes Ouvertes this weekend

Last minute pointer:

Kunstschaffende aus Basel und der Region öffnen alle zwei Jahre an einem Wochenende ihre Ateliertüren, um einem interessierten Publikum Einblick in ihr Schaffen zu gewähren.

Portes Ouvertes is happening this weekend. Various Basel artists are taking part. A great way to see how artists work.

Hat tip: Martin Gyger, who is also taking part.


Yesterday’s fave

flickr General

From Riehen to Grenzach Wyhlen

Here are the snapshots of the second architecture tour that I took part in:

We cycled from Tinguely Museum in Basel and stopped at various points in Riehen and Grenzach Wyhlen.

Heard about Hans Bernoulli and his Garden City idea to provide improved housing for the working class as well as a patch of ground to grow vegetables and fruit. The wooden houses he built in the Landauer Quartier are apparently still in a good condition. The lease for the Landauer area will expire in 2012 or 2013. And already there are prototypes what this area could look like (mostly high rise buildings and blocks).

We saw how a small Riehen house from the 1930s was renovated to accommodate for an aging family member in need of medical care and special attention.

Next, we cycled up the hill and stopped at a couple of Riehen villas before rolling across the border to Germany.

One building that really stood out was a brand-new gallery/studio building in Wyhlen by Gerner Gerner Plus, an Austrian architectural office.

The last building of the day was a private house designed by Askari Architekten from Lörrach.

It was interesting to listen to the owners and architects. It seems that if you really want to build and invest, you also need to become a lobbyist and persuade local authorities and politicians.

africa blogger Malawi-related marketing tech

Appfrica Interview on MTN Uganda

Just a quick note to point to an interesting interview with an official of MTN Uganda at:

Appfrica: Interview With MTN’s Erik van Veen – Part 1

These points caught my eye:

(…) revenues per user, are very low in Africa by international standards, and require a low cost operating model if the Operator is to be profitable. If you look at East Africa, new customers joining the mobile category spend about $4 per month ”“ that is not a lot!

(…) I see Asian, especially operators from the sub-continent, playing a bigger role in Africa as they have been able to survive in cut-throat, highly competitive, low tariff environments in their home markets.

(…) And then you have to deal with the cost of doing business in Africa. Infrastructure and productivity remain major hurdles that add costs to the P&L. Our own success, relative to other companies in most African economies, has backfired on mobile operators in Africa, where governments see these as an easy source of tax income. In East Africa, excise tax (read luxury tax) has been institutionalized within the mindset of financial ministerial policy on tax. Uganda has the 2nd highest tax burden on mobile services in the world, Tanzania 3rd. Just think about it ”“ in Uganda we hand over nearly a third of the cost of every call to the government. What a shame!

It is a short sighted initiative that is impeding growth of the ICT industry.

Very interesting read!

Quick side notes:
There was a recent article that Malawi is considering to add (or has already added) a 10% tax on all airtime. I can’t find the Daily Times article online any more (note to myself: make a screenshot next time) See this Daily Times article. (Unfortunately this link is broken in the meantime.)

There’s also White African’s catch phrase to keep in mind.

architecture General Photos

Architecture Tour “Birsstadt”

As seen previously on my Flickr stream, I stumbled across this poster:

quoi de neuf

I took part in two architecture tours this weekend organized by Architektur Dialoge as part of the Les Journées de l’Architectures.


I’ve uploaded a couple of snapshots of yesterday’s tour through Basel-Land. It was “off the beaten track” and lots of fun. During the tour we got a sense of the upcoming challenges as the various municipalities continue to grow and expand from a city planning point of view.

Today’s tour will have to wait til tomorrow…



blogafrica flickr General Photos tech

Tagaroo and other links

Pêle-mêle off the top my head:

In my daily reads, I stumbled across a WordPress plugin called Tagaroo. It reminded me of Zemanta. I haven’t tried it out. But I guess the interesting part is that it is being sponsored/developed by media giant Thomson Reuters as part of the Calais project.

As usual I’ve been taking lots of snapshots. Faves of the week include:


the wiring

Oh and yeah, I know what this year’s Christmas card will look like:

christmas card 2008

I tried out some night photography which was a lot of fun. Found out that I’ll need a good, lightweight tripod to pursue this more seriously.

The Swiss consumer magazine K-Tipp published the results of a chocolate degustazione.

Resultate der Degustation

I downloaded hours of video podcasts on CSS.

African bloggers in Amsterdam:

Picnic 08 (an annual tech. conference held in northern Europe) had a special Africa track called “Surprising Africa”. There’s a short video featuring the speakers here (via tweet).