Photos of the Beyeler Museum in Riehen, Basel-Stadt.
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.
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.
I peeked into the session on no-budget video production. I would like to learn more about this.
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.
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.
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.
Here is a handheld shapshot taken along the river banks of the Rhein during dusk yesterday evening:
When I moved to Basel many years ago, some of my conversations went like this:
Nchenga at Chiperoni.ch: I really like Basel. It’s got a lot of cultural events, museums, cinemas for a city of this size. It’s well-connected, has a great public transport system, just the right size, etc.
Swiss counterpart: Basel doesn’t have a lake.
I heard the same comment several times. Until it occurred to me.
Many Swiss cities are located near a lake. Zürich, Geneva, Lausanne, Luzern, Lugano, Locarno. A sizeable city needs a lake.
I went photo walking again.
I took the S3 from Basel to Saint-Ursanne today. It was beautifully sunny.
BTW, I am planning to work my way thru this little guide by the Swiss Heritage Society.
I finally found the top 500 list of top hardware, telecomm, networking and software companies in Switzerland.
If you know where – it’s easy to find…
Update 29 April 2019:
Mlle A. points to online marketplaces for handmade products in Switzerland.
How many online services did you sign up for, use once or twice, and then never return again?
In my case, that would be lots of ’em. Some of them are really popular services like Digg or Mister Wong, where I just haven’t found a personal use case, or I’ve got a substitute or workaround. While some of them have disappeared, like leze.de or gada.be.
Here’s an idea for a blog post which I’ll update as I go along and find more unused websites in the backwaters of my Internet history.
Sites I tried, but which I don’t use anymore:
- Mister Wong (I keep forgetting the url and typing mrwong.de)
- MyBlogLog (I wanted to un-subscribe, but I didn’t see the corresponding info, and now I’m too lazy and too busy. I don’t like the automatic delurking. Sometimes I want to lurk around for a while to get an opinion on the site…).
- Stumbleupon (I tried this once or twice, got really frustrated by the navigation and the tool bar, and couldn’t find a way to un-subscribe and leave).
- Web.de (changed the policy for their free email service to make it unusable, a clear goodbye from my side.)
- Blog-city.com (the hosted blog service I first tried out when I started blogging in 2003, at the time it had long and frustrating upgrade cycles, the reason that I moved to my own installation of WordPress)
- Blogger (I read some Blogger sites… but I hate it if I need to sign in into Blogger to leave a comment, I’ve got about 2 Blogger logins floating around and I just find it cumbersome).
Sites or services that I visit regularly:
- Gmail, Gtalk…
- Technorati and blogsearch.google.com (mainly due to lack of alternatives, I think there’s lots of room for improvement in both)
- Slug.ch and blogug.ch (for the Swiss perspective)
- Youtube, Revver
- Skype (I recently signed up for SkypeOut and used it to call Malawi, very good sound quality, comparable or lower pricing compared to telecom carriers)
On the content side of things, I read:
- Dooce (you’ve got to have at least one mummy blogger in your Webtwodotoh portfolio)
- Metablog.ch (although recently this blog has slowed down a bit… I guess, Matthias has a lot of other duties)
- Climb to the Stars
- Gapingvoid (all time favorite)
- Google News, and I’ve set up Google Alerts for a couple of keywords.
- WordPress and WordPress.com (WordPress goodness hosted for you)
- Lorelle on WordPress
My favorite RSS feed by far:
it’s official: September 2006 was (a lot) warmer than August 2006.
For the full comparison see:
I just zapped into the making of Vitus on Swiss TV:
A film I really enjoyed. If you get a chance, go see it esp. in dialect…
It’s raining cats and dogs in Basel. I hope this rainy weather will not result in floods and landslides in the mountains.
Yesterday I saw War of Lord* at the open air cinema on the Muensterplatz. I was lucky: it didn’t rain! It’s a good movie and realistic. And the movie definitely brings its message across. Category: Must see.
*an offline commentator pointed out that I got the film title wrong. It’s Lord of War, starring Nicholas Cage.
This looks like a neat idea:
a sling bag with flexible solar cells
See Cybi’s post for details:
completely missed this:
coComment is a Swisscom spin-off… based in Bern.
Stopped by at the Swiss TV blog for the very first time, and do you know what:
Looks like I’ll need to learn more Swiss German dialect to find out what kind of weather’s being forecast for tomorrow.
Just wondering if there’s another European country that has a similar language constellation. I mean, if we consider the German speaking part, there’s:
- Standard High German – variant required to speak with Germans;
- Swiss High German – often mistaken as being Mundart by German visitors. (Typical duh comment: Swiss German isn’t as difficult to understand as I thought it would be);
- And then there’s the various regional dialects such as Basel-Deutsch, Bärn-Deutsch, Zuri-Deutsch. Basically every valley has its own language.
Swiss German has a lot of French loan words. New discovery of the week: couronne as in couronne de Paris. Never heard of the expression before, but Wikipedia had this description.
Agglo and quartier are regular expressions heard often in Basel.
(I know, I know. A very boring blog entry. Nothing new. But I did say “I’m blogging this” at the time 😉 )
A couple of interesting links:
My only hope is that the Swiss German weather will be sunnier than in High German…
If you’re a Basel blogger (or just travelling thru), there’s a meetup on December 15th at 18:30.
For more details, see
Feel free to come along.
Just got back from the Swiss Bloggers meetup in downtown Basel. It was fun sharing experiences and talking about tools and seeing the blogger “in person”. As Bamboozled had announced a couple of journalists came by asking questions about blogs, star bloggers… and the future development of blogs.
Here’s an interesting production playing at the Theater Basel.
The stage is the streets of Basel…
I saw an interview with Dani Levy, and I’m planning to go see the show.
[Update Saturday Oct 30] I managed to get hold of a ticket despite the fact that the show is sold out for the season. Sometimes it helps to voice your leisure plans at work…
The play starts in the courtyard of the city prison. Headphones and rain capes are distributed. And then the entire set, audience, sound and light engineers move from building to building in the St. Johann’s Quartier of Basel. Video and live scenes mix. And there’s an excellent use of the real setting. At times I felt I was witnessing real disputes as a passer-by, in other cases I felt I was watching a movie.
Highly recommended. A great show! Different but not too experimental. Plus you get to know another part of Basel…