When you have over 20 thousand photos on Flickr…

I’ve been on Flickr for over a decade.

And I have over 20 thousand photos.

Imagine.

I didn’t think this is possible.

Memories. Snapshots. Visual notes.

The primary beneficiary is… me.

I love browsing thru my photos.

I love seeing old snapshots emerge in the Flickr stats or in old links or chats.

I realize Flickr might be dying. I hope not. I hope the new owners find a sustainable business model soon. And ways to innovate.

sunset thru the curtain

Cyclists, beware of tram tracks. Dangerous spot on Elisabethenstrasse in Basel

I witnessed a motorbike crash this morning while cycling to work.

I was cycling up Elisabethenstrasse when I heard a loud crash.

A motorbiker had crashed on the other side of the street. At a place where the tram tracks and street don’t leave much space for cyclists and motorbikes.

At exactly the same spot which I’ve previously identified as being dangerous.

Not so long ago, the pavement at the tram stop was increased in height so that now the tram doors open at pavement level.

This means the curb is much higher and steeper.

At the same time, the space between curb and tram track is narrower than before and after the tram stop.

Which means on rainy days, you can easily slip on the wet and slippery tram tracks.

Dangerous.

I usually move to the middle of the tracks, away from the curb.

I think I will cycle a different route. Especially on rainy days.

Life is precious. Cycle safely.

As you can tell i am shocked.

Content distribution strategies on my mind

Brian Dean’s recent study confirmed what many Digital Marketing folks know intuitively.

(…) Brian Dean recently found that 94% of all content generates zero backlinks. And just 1.3% of articles gobble up 75% of all social shares.

Source: Brafton

It’s 2020 and we’ve have been pumping out content for many years.

Algorithms influence distribution.

How do you earn backlinks for your content?

As shown in the above article, the cost of content creation is increasing.

Distribution strategies matter.

schienen
Train tracks

I liked this tweet:

Well, maybe not Medium… Their technical SEO is broken. I personally think WordPress is still a good option.

The tweet conveys the importance. You need to increase visibility. You must find ways to connect.

Where's the zoo?
Bus and tram network

Consider distribution strategies early, ideally when you are planning and creating the content:

  • What keyphrases and questions will help this article to rank well in the SERPs?
  • Did you look closely at the search intent?
  • Always share the link on your social media properties (Organic Social).
  • Can you spend some money on Paid Search and Paid Social to promote the content to your target audience?
  • Can you add a podcast on the topic?
  • Are you planning a video?
  • Maybe, you could offer a webinar and share the slides and the recording?
  • Brainstorm for ideas: How can you earn backlinks on high-quality sites?
  • Build a simple newsletter and share new content with subscribers at regular intervals.
  • Consider contacting journalists and getting relevant publications to write about you.
  • Inform your sales team of new content. Encourage them to send out direct links to relevant content.
sbb train station
Velo courier at Basel’s main train station

I attended Medien-Barcamp 2019 – my notes and comments – #medienbc

Yesterday, I set my alarm to 6 am and jumped on the 7:33 train to Zürich-Oerlikon. On a Saturday. To attend a barcamp on media.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of barcamps, a barcamp is a conference that organizes the talks by itself, on the day, Someone provides some rooms and infrastructure such as wifi and screens. And they send out invites via Twitter and other social media channels.

And that’s how i found my way to #medienbc, the event’s hashtag.

In yesterday’s case, the Medien-Barcamp organizers had access to the rooms of SRF, the Swiss public radio and TV station, in Zürich.

It’s not my first barcamp. I’ve attended many and even presented topics at some. Yesterday I was in listening mode.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

Here’s a brief recap of the talks that I attended:

First, I attended a talk by Markus on Voice User Interfaces. He provided an excellent intro to the rise of voice. He says many new jobs are being created in this space. And I made a mental note to look up SSML.

Fabian and David invited us to discuss how to get more “old” people engaged on social media. The discussion covered a lot of ground:

  • The decline in journalistic quality,
  • The change in speed,
  • The fact that today journalists have access to less proofreading, fact checking and editorial staff than ever,
  • Questions like do users want to see and interact with company content on Facebook (apparently yes, 1 attendee described how a Facebook ad influenced her decision to buy).

Next, I listened to Vincenzo talk about the challenges and learnings of setting up an email newsletter for a small regional newspaper. A very honest and useful talk. His newspaper uses a tool called Revue, by a Dutch startup, cos it’s even simpler than Mailchimp.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

I peeked into the session on no-budget video production. I would like to learn more about this.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

I listened to a talk on analytics. Not new for me, but I was curious to see SimilarWeb. It looks a lot like SEMRush.

We looked at the stats for Nau.ch that had just announced it is now making a profit. The stats showed Nau.ch is investing in organic search. Markus recommended that journalists do keyword research for their articles. I would think that is obvious by now.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

In the last session of the day, I got valuable advice on how to prepare to speak in front of audience or take part in an interview. In my own words:

  • Stand firmly. Before you start presenting, assure yourself that you are standing firmly on the ground and that it will not disappear beneath you.
  • Find ways to relax and stand in an open, welcoming position, e.g. take deep breaths of air, yawn, make funny faces, turn into a loud and noisy monster shortly before your gig.
  • Remind yourself that you are valuable, e.g. imagine you were given a really expensive diamond worth more than 100 thousand CHF and walk thru the busy train station in Bern.
  • Prepare and know the content of your presentation. If you know your topic well, you will be persuasive.
  • It’s about your attitude and posture.
#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

Thank you to the organisers and participants for an enjoyable and fulfilling event. Good food, awesome location, great speakers. I like barcamp sessions cos we can leave out the sales speak and dig deeper. I feel excited and encouraged.

#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019
#medienbc Medien-Barcamp 2019

Cycling anecdote

This morning the traffic lights jumped from yellow to red just as I was approaching a pedestrian crossing. I stopped. A man and a small boy were standing on the sidewalk, waiting. The man turns to me and comments angrily or sarcastically:

Zu müde zum velofahren? (= too tired to cycle?)

I responded that I have a red light.

Somewhat weird comment. And he sounded angry.

Perhaps I didn’t fit in with his view of “rowdy” cyclists that ignore traffic lights.

Flickr: Should I stay or should I go?

Smug Mug acquired Flickr in April 2018. The question every long-term Flickr user is asking:

Should I renew my subscription?

I’ve been on Flickr for a very long time. And seen many ups and downs. Probably more downs. And it’s 2019 and I still use Flickr.

Con:

  • Subscription has doubled in price: 50$ for 1 year instead of 2 years.
  • There is an ongoing downturn in community activity. Group discussions are rare.

Pro:

  • Without VIPs, social media influencers and advertisers, Flickr has become a quieter place far from the crowd. Which isn’t so bad if you don’t need to promote and sell.
  • The mobile app works. Nothing flashy but ok.
  • Flickr supports the main functions I need. Easy, structured photo storage that is searchable and shareable.
  • Currently, no new features are tested on unsuspecting users on a weekly basis.
  • I have nearly 15 years of links and embedded photos that I would need to update on this blog.
  • Sentimental value: faves, comments, tags, memories, stats, links.
  • Smug Mug isn’t Facebook / Google / Microsoft / Amazon.

I have some time until my subscription expires. I have a local copy of all of my photos and I’ve started to pull a backup of my Flickr account.

#biketowork #3rdJan2019 #backtowork #frohes #neues

The question is: Should I stay or should I go? And if I go, where should I go? And does it matter?

the road ahead

Single-origin coffee from Malawi

Roasted Arabica coffee from Malawi tastes great. Here’s my attempt to point to Malawi coffee brands.

Chipunga
Chipunga Arabica coffee. Grows in Mzuzu. Find out more at Chipunga Farm.
Njuli Coffee
Njuli Pure Arabica.  Grows in Chiradzulu, southern Malawi, at an altitude of 1000 m.
Satemwa
Satemwa coffee, grows in Thyolo. Find out more on their website at Satemwa.com.
Mzuzu Coffee
Mzuzu Speciality Coffee. Grown by coffee planters’ cooperatives in northern Malawi. Find out more about the coffee farmers on their site at mzuzucoffee.org

I’d love to see more single-origin coffee on European shop shelves. 

I’m a fan and miss the taste of roasted Malawi coffee beans.

Buying Malawian coffee by Malawian brands supports hardworking farmers and their communities. 

I’m not connected to any of the coffee farms that I’ve listed here. I didn’t receive any money or samples. I’m simply a fan.