The fast track to DIY images

For all my creative photography friends, here’s an article by Moz on how images boost conversion. And a list of tools.

The sample images displayed in the Moz article aren’t very inspiring but the tools look useful.

My toolset? I use Canva and Photoshop at the day job and Pixelmator on my MacBook at home.

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.

Snapshots

Some photos from my Flickr stream:

grenzen überwinden

I’ve got this theory that fresh green colour soothes the eyes and helps to relax.

stream   fencing

I saw 2 cats. Both look somewhat unamused. And ready to pounce on any intruders.

katze

katze

Saturday was sunny and warm. I like this snapshot, taken with my Moto 3 G:

elisabethenkirche in the evening sun

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.

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:

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

Helmet hair

One of my favourite jokes is to walk into the office and complain about helmet hair. I keep saying that I’ll write a confessional book how bicycle helmets ruined my hairdo and life.

I found some stats that show helmet hair is an issue for some bicycle commuters:

Body image issues and appearance accounted for a huge percentage of women who are reluctant to cycle to work. 28% said they didn’t want to arrive at the office sweaty, 19% said they were too self-conscious while 25% in total cited unmanageable hair and helmet hair as the main barrier.

I enjoy my bicycle commute too much to worry about my hair.

velo helm

The reasons to wear a bicycle helmet outweigh the disadvantages by far:

  1. It offers some protection of your brain in case of a bicycle accident.
  2. If you ever have a bicycle accident, you can answer the most common question with “Yes, I was wearing a bicycle helmet”.
  3. Today’s helmets are lightweight and look sporty.
  4. You can have endless conversations on helmet models, which model is the best, and how to wear the helmet correctly.
  5. You can make jokes about helmet hair.

Complimentary link:
I found a link on the history of bicycle helmets. And wearing a helmet is quite a recent development.

velohelm oder beten

10x

Two sites that I read regularly – Moz and Hubspot – analyzed and wrote about their own blog post frequency.

Quality vs. Quantity: A 6-Month Analysis of the Age-Old Blogging Debate

Raising the Bar: A Publishing Volume Experiment on the Moz Blog

I am stunned. Flabbergasted.

How will small and medium-sized enterprises thrive in such a content marketing world?

High quality and high frequency.

My prediction has always been that we will return to media empires with gatekeepers guarding the entrances.

Citizen journalists and bloggers will only get a voice when the gatekeepers choose to let them.