Underestimating the power of gratitude

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I recently stumbled over a short article by Christian Jarrett which was titles ”Underestimating the power of gratitude – recipients of thank-you letters are more touched than we expect”. It made me stop and think about how important that actually is for me always. It is not even much of an effort to say thank you in a short email to my attendees, partner and speaker at beyond tellerrand. I am happy that many of those I have written a short note to actually come back to me and thank me for this note then again. Partners (other people also say sponsors) tell me, they are surprised to get such a lovely note with a short wrap-up about my impression of their booth and that I even picked some photos for them. I think that is the way it should be, isn’t it?

[…] our fear of awkwardness can lead us to misjudge what is in our own best interests, such as underestimating how much we will enjoy interacting with strangers.

In the article, I read, that often misjudgement and underestimation of what those short emails can do are the reason for the possible sender not to send those emails.

I can only encourage you to simply start doing this, if you not already do it. It is not much work to quickly write a short thank you in an email, tweet, blog post … whatever. Even a short call, if you think that you should get in touch to say thanks was never easier than these das: pick up your mobile phone and do it. You’ll be surprised how much a positive reaction to your action will give you.

Speaking at WWRUHR meetup in Essen

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Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of speaking alongside my friend Bastian Allgeier, who is the mastermind behind Kirby, a CMS, which I love and use, whenever possible.

When I chat to Bastian, it always amazes me, how much our Products have in common. Sure, his is a CMS, a product he sells and where people work with and create their website and I run an event – not a product really. But you know, the problems we face, the questions we ask ourselves when sitting in our studios and thinking about how to improve and move our product forward … all this is quite similar. Maybe because we both care so much about what we do and love to see our little babies grow and see that other people like what we do. But I also think that any product or business, if you run it on your own, faces the same things: problems, questions, tasks and more. Every time I speak to Kai Brach, who publishes a magazine called Offscreen, it is quite similar.

Maybe this also is the reason why people keep asking me to speak about what I do and that there are people who also listen to what we speak about ;) – they are maybe facing the same things.

Anyways, I am very happy, excited and humbled that Maik Wagner invited me to speak at his event. Especially along with Basti, who’s work and passion I admire and I always enjoy sharing the stage with him.

The WWRUHR meetup is taking place on Thursday 27th (next week that is) and it would be lovely to see many people to chat with and share ideas and experiences (talks are going to be in German!). See you there …

Information and registration

Live Conversations

Got a call from someone with an app for my partners at @btconf to get in touch with the attendees and to start and lead conversations. 🙄

I really prefer if they chat from face to face. Attendees to each other or also to partners. No need for an app to do this!

Sorry for being old-fashioned …

My Photos From Smashing Conference in Freiburg 2018

On my short stopover here in the studio, before leaving for Paris, I managed to get all photos from Smashing Conference Freiburg 2018 ready to be published. It was the 7th edition in Freiburg since Vitaly and I started this event and I still in love with Freiburg and the Historical Merchants' Hall there, which is the venue for the home party of SmashingConf.

Photos show the band El Flecha Negra and the audience dancing to their performance
El Flecha Negra was the fantastic band kicking off day two – click to get to the full album

The weather played well for us and we had three lovely days during the event. Not only does this play towards the general mood of the attendees, but also the light in the venue is wonderful. With just under 300 participants, the audience is a bit smaller than in New York or San Francisco, which makes making contacts even easier. The friendly and good atmosphere shined through and I am already looking forward to the next edition in New York.

Find my impressions of SmashingConf Freiburg 2018

On the Road Again

Summer break is over. You can see this on those many events taking place since with the end of August and beginning of September. I myself love travelling to meet people I know and to make new friends. And – of course – to attend events with inspiring and enlightening talks.

Tomorrow morning I am off to Brighton for ReasonsTo, an event of my long-time friend John. I love the show John sets up and am very much looking forward to meeting a lot of people I know (I have already seen so many people posting, they are in the UK and Brighton already) and I am excited to see those, I haven’t met before – on stage and next to it! Not to forget, that I love Brighton and being there more than once a year since about 13 years now.

After this, I am straight off to Freiburg for SmashingConf in Freiburg. This is the hometown party of Smashing Magazine since 2012 and the place, where it all started – the magazine and the conference. It is close to sell out (by the time I write this, one ticket is left) and I am looking forward to be back in Freiburg, the lovely medieval town in the Breisgau.

From there, I pick up my kids and we are off to Paris to meet Mozilla and others for three days. Excited to be there as well ;)

Are you at any of those destinations? If so: let’s meet. You should know my email address and also easily find me on any of the social media marketplaces. Ping me and I am looking forward to a chat and meeting you.

The End of an Era: No Typo Conference Anymore

I have been at a good number of Typo conferences in Berlin. Often times it clashed with my own event or other events I wanted to attend in May. But in 2005, when I still organised the Flashforum Konferenz, I attended my first Typo with the subtitle “Change”. A few more followed and especially the last four years, I attended Typo, also because the Berlin event scene came closer to me, since I run beyond tellerrand in Berlin for 4 years now.

Graphic showing the advert of Typo Berlin 2005 with the subtitle Change
The look for Typo Berlin in 2005 – with a Flash based website

A few weeks back first rumours made the round, that this year’s Typo could have been the last one. Looking back, I can say, that the atmosphere this year has not been the same as in the years before. The exhibition felt empty and not filled with lively booths and activities as in the years before. There is still no official announcement on the Typo website, but 4 days ago already the Page magazine has written a short article with the title “Keine TYPO Berlin 2019” (translated: “No TYPO Berlin in 2019”) and now Benno Rudolf, the Event Marketing Manager of Typo, posted a note on Facebook titled “End of TYPO Berlin”.

So, bit by bit it is clear, that another well-established event with tradition ends. Benno writes:

In mid-June, as part of its efficiency program, Monotype announced its intention to part with some unprofitable products, services and initiatives, including the events organized from Berlin, with the TYPO Berlin conference as its flagship.

An attempt to organise the event with a different team and approach was started, but up to now led to nothing and time plays against anyone, who thinks about organising and running a Typo event in 2019. Benno says:

Due to the advanced time and the fact that the TYPO team and me are leaving Monotype, we at the moment see no chance for a TYPO 2019, nor can we predict whether a TYPO or a resulting new design event will later continue the 23-year tradition.

For me personally, it always was a great pleasure speaking to Jürgen and exchanging about speakers, new ideas and plans we had for future events – but I am sure with the loss of Typo this is something that stays. I enjoyed meeting a lot of people in Berlin each year – often only at Typo Berlin. Now it is on me to keep these connection alive!

This leaves me with saying thank you to the team that was responsible for running Typo. I cross my fingers, that leaving the Monotype team will lead you into a good future.

Inclusive Components: The Book

Heydon Pickering has turned his blog about Inclusive Components into a book. If you think ”Why should I buy the book, if it is just the blog turned into a book?” – well, it is not just the blog. The content is updated and demos are different and new. Plus you support a great person with buying the book. He has written the well-sold Inclusive Design Patterns book and whenever I see him speaking, he is one of my favourite speakers during an event.

Screenshot of Heydon’s website showing the book graphic and a portrait of Heydon
Inclusive Components: The Book by Heydon Pickering

Heydon himself says about the content of this book:

Inclusive design is not about wrong and right, but bad to better. You'll learn plenty of tips from Inclusive Components, but you'll also adopt the mindset to go on and make even better components.

I think he has done a great job with this book. A small book, full with practical tips and advice. And my advice for you is: Go and buy this book!

Yes, You Can Also Find Me on Mastodon Now

As I am always curious, I of course have Mastodon accounts now:

I was wondering which the kind of social media icon would be that someone adds in the footer. This one or this one or a completely different one? ;)

Anyways. You find me and beyond tellerrand there as well now, if you prefer Mastodon.

Going Offline by Jeremy Keith

Photo showing the book “Going Offline” and a cup of coffee on a wooden table
Going Offline by Jeremy Keith

I know, I am late to the game, as Jeremy’s book called Going Offline was released in April already. I just simply never found the time to go and read it. Now, having had three weeks away and being in Italy’s Tuscany, I finally got the time to read it.

I did not expect anything else than a good read, to be honest, as I know Jeremy for quite some time now and know that he cares about what he does. Would it be running/organising events, like dConstruct or Responsive Day Out, making music with his band, or – of course – writing books and articles.

The books from A Book Apart are short books on a specific topic. Usually you can eat them within a day or two. Same with Going Offline. It took me a little more than one day to read it and even though I don’t have any clients to work for anymore, hence I am not involved in any projects, I try to keep myself up to date.

Jeremy’s way of writing certainly helps, as a specialised or technical book on a topic like Service Workers, could certainly be one, that bores you to death with dry written explanations. But Jeremy has a friendly, fresh and entertaining way of writing books. Sometimes I caught myself with a grin on my face reading things like …

Comments are a great way of leaving reminders for your future self, like Guy Pearce in Memento or Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall.

… or …

You could even write the whole thing on one line if you want to be the James Joyce of JavaScript.

… just to mention two examples.

The book starts at the very basics of working with Service Workers and gives you a really good starting point if you never done anything with Service Workers, or even have never heard about it. It also might help you to get rid of some prejudices you might have about using Service Workers, in case you have any. Jeremy divided the book into 9 chapters, starting with a basic introduction into the concept and starting with and preparing your website for Service Workers:

  1. Introducing Service Workers
  2. Preparing for Offline
  3. Making Fetch Happen
  4. Cache Me If You Can
  5. Service Worker Strategies
  6. Refining Your Service Worker
  7. Tidying Up
  8. The Offline User Experience
  9. Progressive Web Apps

All chapters are coming with a lot of code examples and tips and explanations on how to get to your first Progressive Web App. No matter if your visitors are in a city with great internet connection or somewhere, where – like for me in Tuscany – is nearly no reception and no wifi.

In short: go and read Going Offline!

Summer 2018

Three photos showing landscape of Tuscany in Italy, where I spend my holidays
Tuscany, Italy

In case you wonder, why I am slow with emails these days: vacation!