Usually I am not very interested in fashion, but this one's different. For the AW14 (Paris Fashion Week), Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld turned their catwalk into a high-end supermarket. Fully stocked with not just products, but Chanel products. Which is amazing.
As we know what it takes to create an own product (Chromjuwelen Motor Öl), we have to pay our respect for Chanel's work. Btw, they even offer a fake engine oil: Coco Carbone.
"Your stories, your international network, your multidimensional brand Chromjuwelen — DUDES, YOU ARE SITTING ON A GOLDMINE!" — that's what Chris and I often have heard since we launched Chromjuwelen.com back in 2005. But as stated in "It’s time to get focussed" we suspect that we buried — faced with so many funky and irresistible interweb opportunities — our Unique Selling Proposition — STORYTELLING. So it’s high time for digging. First of all for our USPs, then for gold.
We decided we'll to do it publicly, with opened visor. In short: We'll use storytelling to hack our broken storytelling. Virtually as a a self-prescribed therapy. To illustrate our mission, we'll borrow Wendy’s famous claim as our battle cry. 'Cause "WHERE'S THE BEEF?" hits the nail on the head. Especially these days, where the media scene seems to explode and everybody affirms he's making millions. We don't believe the hype.
We've got a long list of topics we would like to discuss, including things like money (of course), reach, trendsetters, language and culture — just to name a few. So stay tuned and let us know in the comments what you think. And of course, we still speak Deutsch. So don’t hesitate.
Andrew, Michael — we feel more than honored to see Chromjuwelen Motor Öl featured on The Lowly Gentlemen and StanceWorks! Now it is up to us to get our classic oil shipped in an orderable amount to the US.
Facebook closes it’s @facebook-email-service ('cause nobody wants it), Germans are ditching WhatsApp ('cause they are paranoid) — and for me it’s time to end up my Tumblr-blog-excursion. We are still in a digital stone age, and you know how it is: "Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try."
I still believe Tumblr is one of the best blogging tools out there, but either I stuffed way too much web finds in my Tumblr or used it in an inconsequent or wrong way. Tumblr works perfectly for our Chromjuwelen Motor Oil blog, but it never worked out as a full replacement for my "Ralf Becker Consultants" business blog.
It’s time to bring ralfbecker.com back. For branding-/marketing-topics, cherry picking and agency communication. "Lose Sight — Lose Fight" is written on the back of my business card of Ralf Becker Consultants. And "Losing Sight" is exactly what happened. With too many channels my communication got more and more frayed. So it’s time to regain the lead again (which is also written on my business card). Let's return to go!
Another MASSIVE PROJECT we are just working on is to rethink our lovely mothership, chromjuwelen.com. In the last eight years chromjuwelen.com got fat, felted and sluggish. When we — Christopher Stegemann and I — started chromjuwelen.com 2005 we had (to be honest) no idea where the business would be. In the meantime we figured out that we aren't that bad in things like storytelling, curating and content strategy. But it seemed we buried our skills, and it’s high time to expose them again. For our fans and readers, and for our clients.
Ha — coming home feels good!
You may — or may not — have noticed that over the past few weeks I have posted less and less. It's not that I have nothing to share (quite the opposite!), it's more due to the fact that I am disentangling my tools for publication and communication recently. Over the last years too many hungry, distracting and disruptive services/memberships had piled up — so a clean-up was long overdue.
One of my main concern was: how to go on with blogging. Fortunately I had some clients asking me the same question regarding their corporate blogs, so I spent some time to do a research.
And another one was: REACH. Starting a blog is like building a city in the middle of nowhere. Which means: after you've done your contentual work you have to run around with flyers ("social media"), hopefully bringing people over to read your brilliant stuff. You need to have a lot of stamina for this grassroots work. And don't forget all those white-/black-hat SEO one-trick ponies telling you what to do (my tip: just ignore 'em all and post awesome stuff instead).
I am glad I finished running this gauntlet, nevertheless I had the urge to move on. But before I explain my decision, why I will move my blog over to Tumblr, here is a quick overview, where I am coming from.
- ralfbecker.com (this site) runs on Squarespace 5. Squarespace's support is awesome and it's high failure safety is tremendous. Even as Sandy boogied NYC, Squarespace kept up their good work. If you are looking for a portfolio site, you should definitely give Squarespace a try. Personally I like Squarespace #5 better than version #6.
- chromjuwelen.com and motorkultur.com, our motherships, are both running on Joomla. Joomla is an extremely powerful open source content management system and has been downloaded over 35 million times(!). But as you can imagine, it's more a flattop than a lightwight powerboat.
- I played around with WordPress as well (of course), but it just isn't doing it for me. I am no coder, and all this plugin- and template-huddle turns me off. Especially the backend — where you spend the most time when you are working — never worked for me. Ok, deciding against WordPresse means you don't belong to the 18.9% of the top 10 million websites that are running this famous software, but I don't mind.
- Several years ago I was responsible for some blogs running on Moveable Type as well, but … err … well …. I think I just forgot about this platform. Which is truly not an indicative that Moveable Type convinced me.
- Of course, there are a ton of other services: Blogger, Jimdo, Jux, Wix (oh boy, what a name), just to name a few of them. And don't forget about Facebug (which became kind of a standard in the meantime like your email address). But I never considered Facebook as a blogging platform. Although I know there are some dudes out there who are just doing this.
Let me now turn to Tumblr. Originally I established our Chromjuwelen Tumblr for just one reason: collecting, clipping and curating inspiring stuff (long before Pinterest came up) and presenting it via Tumblr's stunning "/archive" function. Tumblr has always been good to me. Like a faithful soul, working in the background. My social media work horse for collecting, live blogging (via Instagram) and sharing. In the meantime I even became one of the Tumblr-editors for #cars, which means I can clip posts to Tumblr's own car channel.
To be honest: When I thought of changing my blogging platform, Tumblr wasn't the first thing which came to my mind. Sometimes you miss the forest for the trees. But finally, it sunk in.
- If you are blogging about highly visual topics like CARS, it's all about PHOTOS. Nothing else. The truth is: most of the time your visitors aren't interested in long copies (are you still with me?). Although you might think so.
- "Sharing is caring": It is much easier to share content on Tumblr than it is on a usual blog. Sure — you can install share buttons on your whatever blog. But did you ever use them? I barely. But once you are registered on Tumblr it is just a click to pay respect to a post.
- I love the "/archive" feature on Tumblr, as I mentioned before.
- Tumblr is responsive. Out of the box.
- The templates are scaleable. You can start with a simple (micro-)blog and tune it later. Once improved, it has no need to shy away from any comparison to the above mentioned services.
- Back to that catch-word "reach" — you don't have to annoy your Facebook- or Twitter-buddies with coaxing messages. You are already part of a huge community of 134 million blogs. Just share awesome stuff, get connected, and the rest will follow. Your reach will grow organically. No SEO wizzard needed.
- No provider- and server-hosting-wrangeling, no coding. Same as Squarespace offers. Perfect.
Along these lines: Farewell Squarespace blog, hello Tumblr. A big THANK YOU to everyone that has followed me here on my blog. If you want to stay in touch — which would really honor me — bookmark this address: chromjuwelen.tumblr.com. Or pull the feed in your reader. Or get registered at Tumblr and follow me.
I am going to keep up this site and blog for all the posts already here (even though I may bring some over and reshare) as a sort of archive. As well, this site will remain my "Ralf Becker | Consulting" corporate site. And if this is your first time here, please take a look and then head over to my new digs!