Great News for Geeks: Felicia Day Launches the Geek & Sundry YouTube Channel

And in other awesome news, Felicia Day has launched her very own and very geeky YouTube channel called “Geek and Sundry”. I can’t decide what I am most excited about, but one of my favorite things is that my online scifi and fantasy book club “Sword & Laser” is getting a video show every other week.

“Geek and Sundry” started with a 12 hour Subscribathon on Sunday using the Google+ Hangout feature. The first shows were uploaded yesterday, including Felicia’s own show Flog, Wil Wheaton’s show TableTop which is all about geeky tabletop games (I squealed inside when one of the players actually called them “German style boardgames”) and Dark Horse a show which features animated indie comics.

And yes, of course I watched all  of the shows, even more than that, I tested my TV’s YouTube integration to watch them in HD on a (kind of) big screen.

Basically, I love it. I love the YouTube channel, I love my TV’s YouTube integration, I desperatelywant to try out Smallworld (the boardgame that Wil Wheaton played in the first episode of TableTop, and if it was ever possible, my geek girl crush on Felicia Day has increased.

As a bonus, they released a new music video featuring The Guild cast and it’s pretty much awesome.

So, yeah, it’s great news for geeks like me and if you haven’t already you should head over to the YouTube channel and start watching now.

Favorite Tweets December 2011

And then we’re off to the new year…

Have a lovely 2012 everyone and keep the good tweets coming. Please.

Favorite Tweets November 2011 – Part 2

Here we go, and that would then be all for November.

Favorite Tweets November 2011 – Part 1

Due to the fact that I favorited more tweets this months than probably ever before, the November edition of the favorite tweets post will be in two parts. So here we go:

I have a whole bunch for a second part. You guys were awfully busy this last month.


(Low-Maintenance) Content Pushing Strategies

A very long time ago when I was pretty new to Twitter I tweeted something along the lines of „You’re allowed to shoot me if I ever announce blog posts on Twitter.“


I would like to point out that this was really a long time ago, especially in internet time where last week is ages ago. Anyway, it seems like I have changed my content pushing strategies, and yes, I will gladly admit that I’ve been announcing new blog posts on Twitter for a little while now. And it works for me.

I started announcing blog posts on Google+ first. It works fine with linking to an article. Google+ will automatically try to find any images in the blog post and I can add a little synopsis which might or might not help others decide whether they are interested in reading what I wrote.

This has worked remarkably well and I’ve noticed quite a bit of traffic coming over to my blog whenever I publish a short blog announcement. After the Lean Kanban Conference I started to do the same on Twitter. This was mostly motivated by the fact that I had gathered quite a bunch of new followers and thought it would be the easiest to share any news about the conference or other agile blog posts via the platform where I knew the chance of reaching the target group would possibly be the greatest.

This, too, worked really well. So I’m keeping that strategy. I will happily link to new blog posts on this blog or my other one via Twitter and Google+. Twitter crossposts to Facebook automatically, so basically I have all my networks covered.

And why am I doing that? When I think about it I am sometimes afraid that it might seem that I’m desperately trying to drive traffic to my blog by advertising new posts aggressively on every platform.

And you know what? Exactly. That’s what I’m doing. It might not be exactly desperately, but yes, it is a bit aggressively and why the hell not. I try to take care when I write articles. I’m putting thought into them. I edit them and then I edit some more. Sometimes I add pictures. Sometimes I add links that I have to look up. In short, the average blog post seems to take at least one hour from starting the first words until hitting the save button for the last time. Often it takes longer.

And yes, I really want people to read it. I also want people to comment and maybe subscribe to my blog. And if there are little things that I can do to get a few more people to come here and read what I wrote and say what they think about it, then I am going to do it. I’m trying not to be obnoxious, so if you’re one of the few following me on more than one platform, this is my apology for you.

See, I’m guessing that most people are only following me on one platform. And especially Twitter is a very fickle thing where something that I wrote last night will most likely be lost in the depths of everyone’s timeline. This goes for Google+, too, whose attention span is not quite as short, but where a single post will still always run the risk of being overlooked in the mass of other posts.

So far I’m happy with  the results and I’m not planning to add any new ways of pushing content. I am  – after all – a little attention whore. I guess you were aware of that, weren’t you? I wouldn’t be here and wouldn’t do the things I do and have done the things I have done if I weren’t. But I’m also trying to be interesting enough and not annoy you more than I have to. I hope I am doing okay.

(And just in case you were wondering: Yes, this low maintenance method of linking to a new article really works. I run a statistics tool on all of my blogs and traffic usually increases after a tweet or Google+ post goes out. I’m trying to tell myself that most of you who come here also read what I wrote and don’t think too bad of it. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to tell me so. If it’s not, just shut up and let me live in my happy little dream world, willya?)

Favorite Tweet October 2011

It’s that time of the month. I like how the tweets look like on my blog, but I only get the links when you read my blog in a feed reader. So, not good, basically. 

Does anyone know of a tool that lets me embed tweets in a Squarespace blog which will actually show up nicely in a feed reader. The internet keeps pointing me to BlackBird Pie but that seems to have been discontinued for the general audience and is only available for WordPress users (unless I’m missing something). So… anyone?

I Have a New Blog

foodblogTo be more precise: I have another blog. And it’s new. There are no plans to abandon this blog, so don’t worry.

It’s also in German and it deals mainly with food stuff. I had the urge to get back into cooking and writing about food and restaurants and other foodie topics, but I didn’t want to mix these things into this blog. This blog will remain the place for all the developer, technology and geeky topics in my life.

The reason why it’s in German is that I felt that it was easier for me. Also, since I plan to write about the local foodie scene where I live I want it to be easily approachable for anyone who needs some tips and suggestions and it’s likely that they speak German, too.

I admit though that mostly it was a gut decision.

You can visit it here:

It has no fancy name so far (and probably never will have, but you never know) and a custom theme that I haven’t really personalized but which I love a whole lot.

So, go check it out. If you are a non-German speaker and see something you would like to know more about, just tell me and I can see whether I can add some kind of English summary or provide you with a recipe in English or whatever it is you need.

And for all the other things I do on the internet, there’s always my page at

Favorite Tweets September 2011

Found a plugin that works for me. Unfortunately most of my favorite tweets are in German. But I hope you can enjoy it a little bit at least. (Or a lot if you speak German.)

The Obligatory Google+ Blog Post


There have been enough articles about Google+ on the net, so I’m not sure how much more you can possibly take, especially since I don’t think I can add anything sensationally new to the story.

Basically the fact that I’ve been pretty active on Google+ should tell you enough to know that I’m liking it a lot.
What does it for me is the simplicity of the design. Facebook confuses me to no end with all the different status updates coming from all kinds of sources and now that I have Google+ as an excuse the only real reason to log in there is to play Farmville (So what? I can’t have a guilty pleasure?). Basically half of the time I don’t understand why Facebook is doing what it’s doing and I never had the motivation to find out.
However, it is only fair to say that I don’t believe that you really should compare Facebook with Google+. What I can do with Google+ is pretty different from what I can do with Facebook, it just happens that Google+ tends to my needs a lot more than Facebook – which I mostly signed up for because it was the one place that all our Vietnamese developers were and which I mostly stayed on because I got hooked on Farmville.
Since I also have a blog as well as use Tunblr and Twitter I already had everything I needed to share whatever I feel like sharing with the rest of the internet.
Facebook in that way is really more a place where I connect and interact with people I personally know. For me it never was and probably never will be the primary place to share information or exchange opinions.
Therefore since most of my activities on the web are in one way or another interest driven, I never really took to Facebook. Apart from commenting on others‘ posts and pictures, adding a status update every now and then and harvesting watermelons, most of the content comes from add-ons that cross-post whatever I initially have posted on other services.
With Google+ though, I start to see my Tumblr account in danger. I use Tumblr mostly to quickly share funny or cool stuff I find on the internet. This is also something that Google+ is insanely good at. I’ve heard people saying that they think Tumblr is still way more powerful in its options. While this might be true, this is not really an issue the way I use it, so for me switching to Google+ would probably just make my life easier.
I also noticed that I use Twitter a lot less since I have Google+, but I would guess that it’s not in the same kind of danger that my Tumblr account might be in.
The simple reason why I prefer Google+ is that interaction and feedback there is extremely good. On most posts I get at least one +1, a share or comment. It feels so rewarding to know that people read and like what you say and little attention seeker that I am this makes me happy. After less than two months I already am in more circles than I ever had followers on Twitter or Tumblr. I don’t want to define myself by the number of people who claim to be interested in what I say, but it helps to stay motivated.
Mostly the concept of circles works better for me than the bidirectional relationships of Facebook, which to me always felt like making some kind of friendship commitment that I’m not always completely happy to make. The sad truth is that a lot of the status updates of my friends are of no relevance to me. Google+ at least at the moment is a lot more about content and information which I enjoy a lot more than reading about one of my high school friends heading off to their vacation.
There are a couple of other things that work extremely well, like the automatical photo upload from Android phones. I had turned it off initially because I was unsure but now I use it all the time and love it. Nothing like getting home, logging on to Google+ and having all the pictures I took right there to share.
I hope Google+ stays as focused as it seems right now. Since I can control the content of my stream I’m hopeful that this will be the case. I also hope that they stay true to their idea of simplicity and ease of use. I tinkered around with Google Games for about 30 minutes last night and was amazed how well it worked with the integrated social aspect. Angry Birds does a terrifically well job there – try it and you’ll know what I mean.
And in case you want to find me… here I am on Google+.


Language Decisions in a Connected World

Sometimes I get the feeling that the world is growing bilingual. What I mean by this is that I constantly live in two languages alternating between the two all the time and without really spending a lot of thought about it.

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one and I notice that for a lot of people in and from Germany who spend their time on the internet it probably is the same. Ever since the rise of the DVD and the internet we have access to media in foreign languages that we didn’t have before. I remember the thrill of being able to watch a movie in English back in the nineties or actually finding the book you wanted in English at a bookstore.
Now it’s normal to have the original audio for any movie you watch on DVD or BluRay and you can order pretty much any book you like in the original language from amazon or other online retailers.

But most of all there’s the internet. With the pages I visit regularly, the discussions I have and the online media I consume via YouTube and podcasts I would guess that I spent at least 50% of my time consuming content in English – a language that I didn’t start to learn until I was nine years old. I actually think it’s more than 50%, but I don’t really have a way to measure it.

This also means that I constantly have to make decisions about in which language I write whatever I choose to share on the internet – and it’s not always an easy decision.

In short, decision about which language to use boils down to a few simple parameters:

a) How many people to I want to reach?
b) Where are these people?
c) Is there a specific group of people I want to reach?

And finally there’s gut feeling or the simple case of something sounding better in either German or English.

I think I tend to write in English more often for the simple reason that I assume that most anyone who is interested in what I write is capable of understanding English, so I don’t run the risk of somebody not understanding what I’m writing about.

The only place where I stick to one language exclusively and by my own decision is this blog. Since I put more effort in these articles than for most anything else I publish on the web, I want my posts to be available for as many people as possible and not put up any language barriers.

The other place where I use English only is on goodreads, but this is due to the fact that in the forum I’m active in discussions are in English. I’m pretty sure there are discussion boards where people write in German, I’m just not a part of them.

As for the other places I write and publish stuff, tumblr I think is 99 to 100% English because it’s mostly reposting of things I found.

Twitter and Google+ though are both. These are incidentally also the sites where I actually interact with other people so sometimes the language choice is easy, since I’m reacting to something and naturally use the same language. Here though I sometimes deliberately decide to use German instead of English.

Sometimes it really is a question of what I think sounds better… especially with Twitter where I have to shove content into the space of 140 characters, this is really comes into play. Sometimes I use German because I really think what I write about will be mostly interesting to people from Germany, since they can relate better to what I write.

And here’s another thing: Sometimes it feels like I’m drifting away from my own language. I notice that since I read and write so much in English I start to think in English, too. Which I think is totally weird, since I’ve never even lived in any English speaking country. But I guess I expose myself to this language so often and on such a regular base that it just becomes second nature to me.

As a consequence I might decide to use German, because it still is the one language where I have next to no doubts at what sounds right and what does not and where I am still most confident in making puns and playing word games. This also might mean that not all of you understand what I’m writing about, but I’m okay with that.

What I would like to know is how other people who grew up with English as their second language only handle their language decisions on the web? Do you make conscious choices or does it come naturally? Do you have your own native language pockets which are unaccessible to people who do not speak that language?

Also, for the native English speakers, are you aware that a lot of people out there are deliberately shoving their native language aside and actually using a second language to communicate on the web? Because sometimes I forget myself that this is technically a foreign language for me, I’m just so used to using it that I don’t think about it anymore.