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.

Wrong way round

Yesterday morning a cyclist decided to cycle thru one of the roundabouts the wrong way round. During early morning traffic to work. If you’re thinking probably a bicycle courier: This cyclist was a woman in her 30s or 40s.

Nothing happened. No accident followed.

But it still had me shaking my head. Road traffic rules are there for our own safety. A lot can happen at 30km/h. We’re vulnerable. More than we think.

There are enough occasions when we make unintended mistakes. No need to wilfully ignore traffic rules.

(Sorry. Turning into an activist.)

Sicher unterwegs mit dem Velo

Die wichtigsten Fahrrad-Regeln auf einen Blick

Sicher velofahren

ET phone home

I like this blog post on the Crossroads website: Home for Christmas.

ET phone home.

ich bin ein star

Growing up in Malawi, I probably don’t share the same level of contemplative Christmas (“besinnliche Weihnachten”) memories that my fellow German compatriots may have experienced. It’s difficult to emulate some Christmas traditions when it’s over 30 degrees warm.

merry christmas

My mom remembers how I had to learn a lot of english carols in my first year of primary school, many of which she had never heard of. Like Good King Wenceslas. Or God rest ye merry gentlemen. Or Away in a manger. I faintly remember walking to St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Blantyre for carol service rehearsals.

merry christmas

Christmas was a very special celebration for my grandfather. My mom told me about a lot about the Christmas parties he organized for his family despite being very poor.

And many years later, I remember my first Christmas at German uni where everybody in class said they’re travelling home to be with their family. Even the tough-looking punk with dyed red hair and rings in his nose was travelling home to celebrate Christmas with his mom. I was truly fascinated.

last minute

I am thankful for this Christian holiday. And I like some of the traditions associated with Christmas. I just dislike and still rebel against the commercialization.

shop window

I’m planning to attend the Christmas Eve service at Crossroads Basel. If you want to join me, here are the details.

Christmas card...

A fave for http://www.wenger-2-rad.ch/

This is a blog post to say thank you to http://www.wenger-2-rad.ch/.

On Monday morning, I noticed that I had forgotten my bicycle lock at home. Since I don’t have a lockable place to store my bike near work, I hurried to the closest bicycle shop planning to buy a substitute. When I noticed I’d forgotten my purse in the same place where I’d left my bicycle lock.

Great way to start the week.

I usually attach my bicycle lock to my bike rack.

The owner of Wenger 2 Rad was kind enough to lend me a bicycle lock for a day. Without charge. Which is great, ‘cos I already own at least 3 bicycle locks and don’t really need a fourth one to forget.

Thank you Wenger 2 Rad. I appreciate the help.

Ten twenty seven

Sipping coffee. Reading tweets. Faving Flickr photos. And listening to “Klassik-Pop-et cetera” on dradio.de.

Some music references to remember:

Paul Gerhard “Ich steh an deiner Krippe hier”

Mahalia Jackson “Go tell it on the mountain”

Pete Seeger

Johann Sebastian Bach “Ich lasse dich nicht denn du segnest mich denn”

IMG_3869

pasta

blue

Some ancient poetry that crossed my internetz path:

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things

IMG_3654

You know the year is nearly over when the first posts on “future trends” appear. I thought this slide deck quite intriguing:

Heading out to take care of errands. And to take photos of bicycles. Yours truly, nchenga.

Charly Gaul

Observations

On my home from work, I cycled home past 3 large groups of joggers. I saw another group further up and thought to myself: “OK, this will be a group of nordic walkers”. I was wrong. I passed another group of joggers.

Stalemate of the Spambots reminds me of this Lift 11 talk by Kevin Slavin.

(…) the bots have poisoned the stock-trading waters so much that even the bots themselves fear to go in

This Forbes article on doxxing and Reddit caught my attention. Lots of salient points about Internet culture.

Snippets like:

“anything that’s written by (including code) and run by humans is biased, often unintentionally”

or

“there is no such thing as an agnostic, neutral service”

“Social services are moving trains, organisms that we’ve created and infused with our own humanity.”

Wow. Maybe we should just pull the plug. This is larger and more powerful than any sci-fi. Amakhala scared.

On a lighter note, I started a Vespa photo set on Flickr:

Running update

I took part in the Basel Firmenlauf yesterday evening.

Not a very long race at 6.3 km, but for me it was special, since it marked my first running goal for this year. My first public race in a long time. I was very excited.

It was warm and humid yesterday with temperatures around 30 degrees C. Together with over 2600 participants, I set off and managed to keep to my pace. The kilometer between 3km and 4km seemed endless. Maybe because my morning jog before work is shorter? But I just kept going. Kämpfa, Kämpfa. Karbon statt Kondition.

My next goal is 10km. That’s what I decided after the race. Voilà!

I like running cos I see a lot of parallels with work life, building relationships, or even spiritual life. So often I want to stop…

There is a race that I must run. There are victories to be won.

Sunny Sunday

I just got back from a run around the Finnenbahn. The distance is nothing to write home about, but it was a pleasurable experience with temperatures around 18 degrees. Spring is here.

With all the fresh air rushing thru my system, I was in mindblogging mode. Reflecting on all the data I have been consuming here and there.

Yesterday afternoon I tried out new bicycles at a bicycle shop in downtown Basel. I am thinking of buying a new bicycle. My Univega will soon be 10 years old. And a lot has been happening in the bicycle space since then.

mein velo

I read Scoble’s post on reducing noise on Facebook. Useful! I don’t really have the a signal to noise problem on FB, but they are offering more and more control. Which is good.

On Twitter: Did you see that you can now embed tweets?

How to find the embed code:

  • Select a tweet.
  • Click on Details.
  • Click on Embed this Tweet.
  • Copy the code to your webpage.

Although I am quite sure that I will keep my screenshot collection of fun tweets.

The effort to tweak all these corporate social media channels is getting higher than high. Don’t let the social media corporations take over.

Instead of just consuming content, I encourage you to create content. Write a blog, take photos, learn something new, write how-tos, write about your area of expertise, own your own data, participate, enter into dialog, have fun. Here are some ideas:

I am planning to attend BarcampBodensee in June. Anybody else coming from the Basel area? It would be a great opportunity to present an updated version of my presentation on mobile internet usage in Malawi.

So much has happened in this space. And even in a downturn, TNM has managed to increase its subscriber base by 35% in 2011. Compare and contrast those kind of numbers with the saturated markets here in Europe.

The number of Facebook users from southern Africa is increasing despite the high internet access costs. Socialbaker lists 95 820 users from Malawi.

socialbaker stats for Malawi

Leave a comment or contact me if you can provide further interesting data / anecdotes / user behaviour on internet usage patterns in the warm heart of Africa.

Thank you for reading and supporting chiperoni.ch. Alles wird gut.

colorful and calories

P.S.: I missed a LOLCat photo opportunity today: a cat stretched out on the seat of Vespa. Unfortunately I didn’t have a cam with me.

Bike tour to Bad Säckingen and back

I cycled over 60 km to Bad Säckingen via an unwanted detour to Liestal, and then on to Rheinfelden, Möhlin, Wallbach, Stein. I cycled back on the German side via Schwörstadt, Grenzach-Wyhlen.

No mountains. A few hills.

I only took a few photos. Coming soon.

Bike tour Basel to Bad Bellingen and back

A quick blog post to document Monday’s mini tour to Bad Bellingen and back.

I wanted to avoid cycling along the Rhine cos it is so monotonous and boring on the German side (done it before and found it boring). I started ok but somewhere between Märt and Efringen-Kirchen all bicycle path signs took me down to the river. So I ended up on the Rhein-Radweg. On my way back, I took a different route via Istein village.

About 20 km one way. Easy ride.


View Larger Map

Some snapshots

Bicycle parking gadget

If the bicycle parking area is too large, people will forget where they left their bike.

veloparking basel

Like at the Velo Parking at Basel SBB.

This evening a young woman was looking for her bicycle. A couple of days ago a young man was wandering up and down the aisles in search of his bike.

And the same has happened to me as well. I was extremely tired and couldn’t remember in which aisle I had left my bike.

In almost all cases, people grab their cell phone and call someone.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could call your bike and it would identify itself by ringing out loud or flashing a light?

Which reminds me of another cool presentation I saw at Lift 11:

The web of things

A Sunday evening in mid-November

Instead of watching Tatort, I went for a short jog combined with lots of walking. I am still not back in my jogging routine. Yet.

But I am enjoying being outside. It was so beautifully warm today.

And. It is a good way to reflect.

Time for mind blogging.

I like being outdoors.

I really like living in Switzerland. I think it is great that people take such meticulous care of their houses and gardens.

This afternoon I went to see “Wien 1900 – Klimt, Schiele und ihre Zeit” at the Beyeler Museum. I liked the architecture and poster designs. And Klimt’s landscapes.

I didn’t like the additional shopping area they added for Wien 1900 merchandise. One shop is enough.

A couple of Wikipedia links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egon_Schiele
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Klimt

You’ve probably heard of poetry slams. But there are also science slams: 10 mins to present your research project. There is one in Freiburg im Br. on 29th November and 17th January. I would love to go and see one.

The incredibly influential a. of Handmade 2.0 invited me to a new web app called Pinterest. We have been blogging since January 2003. And it has been an incredible journey…. Thank you a. for the billions of emails, links and ideas. I am truly amazed at the amount of data we have collected.

I am still trying to figure out how to use Facebook as can be seen occasionally in my tweets. I worry that a platform like Facebook could replace the web. That would be the end of HTML pages, simplicity, transparency and diversity.

That’s why it’s important to support and use other platforms and tools. Try out WordPress and Drupal. Learn HTML. Write your own articles. Voice your opinion. Become involved. Think before you click re-tweet, like or comment.

It is my belief that after the fragmentation of the media scene and citizen journalism and the removal of the gatekeepers, we will see consolidation and the rise of new media giants with new gatekeepers.