Sunday, June 28, 2009

Adding a signature in Thunderbird

After joining several communities I thought it would be cool if my Thunderbird signature would carry links to my identities in those communities.
This was a much bigger challenge than I anticipated but I will spare you the dead ends I ran into. Here is what finally worked for me:
  • Created a file "ThunderbirdSignature.html"
  • Put in this code:
    <span ></span>
    Contact me...
    <a href="">Xing</a>
    <a href=""></a>
    <a href="">Blogger</a>
    <a href="">Twitter</a>
    <a href="">Facebook</a>
  • Added this file to an account by selecting "Extras / Options" and clicking on the account where this signature applies.
In case you wondered how I got the HTML code into the post: I used a nifty little utility to convert native HTML into a version with escapes HTML characters characters. Unfortunately there is no way to quote or escape a complete block of text in HTML, so you need to escape everything which might look like HTML.

Finding the URL for your profile can be a daunting task, so here are a few hints which might spare you some time:
  • For Xing I found no other way than to select "Start / Mein Profil" and copy the URL.
  • For you can see and edit your profile URL in your profile.
  • For Facebook your URL is It can be set under
  • For Twitter just add your account name after
  • Blogger puts it before the URL:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My first Yahoo! pipe

Yahoo pipes is some real cool way to aggregate, filter and reformat data from all sorts of sources like RSS feeds. Very geekish.
Here is my first little simple but nethertheless useful pipe.
Dan Schawbel is a very active blogger / twitterer and following him on twitter is not easy. Fortunately he puts some keywords into his tweets so its easy to find whats interesting. I found some of his job hunting tips valuable, so I wanted to see only those.
My pipe uses the RSS feed of his tweets and selets those with "JOB" in it. Additionally it sets the "link" item in the RSS stream to the URL which is part of the description, so that I have a direct link to the site (and not to the tweet).
The pipe can be added to a iGoogle homepage; and as I published it, all my readers can use it too.
Looks like a promising technology - at least for some geekish fun!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Amazon beware!

As read here, Google plans to sell e-books. And they are doing it the Google way:
  • No lock-in to some overpriced reader (which is not even available outside US yet).
  • Letting publishers decide over their prices.
Both means: make a platform available but get out of the way and let the users decide how they use it. That' s what we like: no middlemen trying to take control. Imagine: even the Amazon iphone is not available for me!
Amazon sure knows how to move atoms (to the extent that I still don't understand why I should go premium: standard delivery is nearly always next day for me), but they should be careful not to risk being googlefied out of the market as soon as e-books take over.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Is Amazon googlish?

I just published my review of "What would Google do" an While I was writing it I came to think whether Amazon is following those principles Jarvis describes. This certainly deserves some deeper thinking, but I'm sure that Amazon's review system definitely is not googlish.
You may link from somewhere else to a review, but inside a review no links are allowed. That leaves me without a chance to link to other points of interest like a video and a slideshow which both can be found here. That is old school thinking trying to control the user. For the moment I still write reviews for Amazon, but it could well happen that I will switch to a more open platform.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tanzschritte (Dancing Steps) now has its own blog

I moved my dancing steps to a separate blog. It has a seperate audience and is in german anyway.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tanzschritte Update

Updated my Tanzschritte document (in german). New:
  • Submarine (Salsa)
  • Pflug (Langsamer Walzer)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My brother's upcoming concerts

Now for some shameless family advertising. My brother, Martin Schumann, is a great pianist, you should try attending a concert. Here are some opportunities in Hamburg, Germany in the near future:
Publish at Scribd or explore others: Brochures & Catalogs

Thanks to Enviroman for the tip how to embed PDF into blogger.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Deutsche Bahn - will they ever learn?

Good for Deutsche Bahn and other rail companies that there is near to no competition.

What happened yesterday (just look at my tweets..) was a good example how far they still are from customer orientation.
It wasn't the delay of about 60 minutes - things can go wrong.
It was their attitude. They really didn't seem to care.
Worst was that they simply let the train end in Halle although it was supposed to go to Leipzig. Imagine what this would mean to someone who can't walk as well as me.
And I had to go for a voucher for myself - nobody cared to give it to us.

Not everything was bad though: the kept us well informed, although only in german. No chance for foreigners.
But still - they probably lost me as a customer. Going from Hamburg to Dresden takes too long even under normal circumstances.