For future reference:

It’s not stupid to have a stated goal of starting several ventures that will fail, or asking three stupid questions a week, or posting a blog post that the world disagrees with. If you don’t have goals like this, how exactly are you going to luck into being remarkable?


Missing Lift 09

The top 3 ways to follow Lift 09, if you’re not in Geneva:




See for example @afromusing’s talk:

basel biking

Biker’s Rant

An intense heading for a small observation, while cycling home from work:

I noticed that many drivers and other cyclists make a lot of assumptions. A sincere road traffic faith that everything will work out in the end.

For instance, I signaled that I was planning to turn left, and pulled across the road to the middle of the road. A car came hurtling out of nowhere and narrowly passed me on my right side. The driver didn’t slow down to wait until I had reached the center line.

Kind of scary.

Another situation: I tend to leave a little bit of space between my bike and any cars parked along the curb. Not much. But some room in case a car door opens suddenly. Some of my fellow bikers are really clever and try to overtake in the tiny space between me and the parked cars, instead of on the left side. Happened yesterday and today. Weird. Especially since the road was clear.


About northern France

Finally got round to seeing “Chez les Ch’tis

guess which film?


I was laughing out loud.

Other links of the day:




Sempé at the Cartoon Museum in Basel

I went to see the Sempé show today. I had seen parts of it during the Museumsnacht, but the small museum was over crowded and I decided at the time that I’d come back another day.

museumsnacht basel

My French grammar books at school were illustrated with cartoons from Le Petit Nicolas.

It wasn’t really quiet today either. There was a museum tour while I was there, and the lady presenting had a very loud voice that you could hear on all floors. It’s a small museum. I learnt that Sempé went through a depressive period after his friend committed suicide. Following this tragedy, Sempé didn’t publish any work for 6 years. And only managed to recover by listening to music.

I learnt that Sempé required at least 2 weeks time for one his “New Yorker” covers.

And I learnt another French expression for money: pognon: Used by a couple sitting on a pier, in front of them a yacht harbour and the setting sun to describe the scene.

I like Sempé’s subtle humor. His illustrations are sentimental and nostalgic, even though they often point out and criticize disparities (e.g. between rich and poor, urban and rural).

A very enjoyable show, open ’til 13th April 2009.

I also liked the cartoons by Nicolas Mahler, another exhibition.

General marketing tech

It’s the Small Gestures

In a world full of advertising and sales pitches, it’s the little things that count.

Like a handwritten note on the bottom of the fitness center’s invoice:
Bisch fleissig

The owner of the fitness center is a tough business woman. No discount. No rebate. No nothing. But she does build relationships. Which is the right approach.

I mentioned in my previous blog post that building communities is hard work. And I mentioned the Flickr example. While googling for the quote, I stumbled across the fact that George Oates was fired at Flickr in December 08.

While I don’t want to delve into something I know nothing about, I just can’t help feeling that this is a bad marketing move. And maybe Flickr is indeed being pruned for sale.

blogger blogging tech tweet wordpress

Hiding in Full Public View

In January my stats dropped to an all time low. There are a number of reasons, I guess.

One reason is that I haven’t been writing much lately. Just an occasional link. Short cross-references to my Flickr stream. That’s it.

Another reason is my retro-style homepage, which points to my other life stream options (Twitter, Flickr, Google Reader, Delicious) and probably diverts (or puts off) a lot of people.

Maybe another reason is the second WordPress installation I’ve added to showcase an idea. Maybe the Google bot doesn’t like this kind of setup. I’m not sure. It’s not duplicate content.

Although I think I am still listed.

It is surprising because I have over 4 years of content here.

Fact is I could start a confessional style blog and publish details galore. And only five people would read it.

Because the amount of information floating around the Internet has exploded. Gone are the times where a blog post on a specialized topic would get hits.

Somehow I find this strangely comforting. I can hide in full public view. Hide on the Internet.

And the other message hidden in there is that building communities is hard work.

As enterprises try to follow their customers and consider integrating Facebook and Twitter into their marketing programs, I think it’s important to hold up some warning signs.


There are no quick wins in this.

You’ll need Scoble-like marketing resources. Using a video-only communication strategy is not the answer. People are different. Some like screencasts. Some like text.

Scoble says:

Truth is that if you want to build an audience on the web you must use EVERY tool available.

You’ll need to walk the fine line in your choice of communication (no marketing glib, no sales talk, no PR gobbeldygook, a real personal voice, useful and good content at frequent intervals). I read somewhere that the first Flickr team greeted every new sign-up personally.

You’ll need to have a clear community policy.

And above all you need to be aware that you’re giving your data to a third party.

Twitter / Home

Everything you publish on the Internet is up for grabs. Everything.

I’m not saying that enterprises should not invest in social media. I’m saying enterprises should carefully consider the costs. Maybe that’s a possible business model for Twitter… corporations pay for the ability to export their data and contacts at all times. A service agreement for data?

What happens if Yahoo sells Flickr to a stock photo agency?

As I watch the demise of Technorati and Xing, I keep getting reminded of Adam Greenfield’s talk on “Everyware”.

As we used to say in Blantyre: Amakhala scared.

If you’re here and reading this. Thank you. I’m not here for the stats. I’m here to learn. So far the positive effects outweigh the negative bits by far. And I believe everybody needs to become aware of this ocean of data that surrounds us and become a social media expert of sorts.


Building a profitable company

I’d like to share this video on building a profitable internet business. The presenter’s voice sounds kind of high strung, but he does address a couple of good points.

(via Twitter)



i went photowalking.



In my web stats

Found this phrase in web stats:

what is the meaning of the african word chiperoni

See “What is Chiperoni?”.

africa Malawi-related

Malawi’s Languages

I stumbled across this very interesting post and comment on Chingoni, Chilhomwe, Chisena and many more.