There used to be a time I wasn’t aware of how valuable a link can be. Now I am. Since I got my head into SEO and started making money of my websites through advertisements, I recognize how much value a link is: it could mean a big difference in terms of income.
But not all links are equal. Some are really valuable while others are of less value. My links from my Flickr profile for example are of no value. Flickr censors the hyper links with a “no-follow” attribution. This means that search engines pay much less attention to those links. The pain for me is though that my photos are used quite a lot over the Internet, and hence I receive a lot of links to my profile. While those links technically belong to me, Flickr doesn’t share the value of those links with me.
So I have been thinking how I can still make use of all the value that sharing my photos on the Internet brings. And there is a way. I hunt down websites that use any of my photos and ask them kindly to change the back-link from Flickr to the photo-galleries on this website for example. Or if there are photos on it about Istanbul, to my Istanbul website. Like this I will build up a better ranking for those websites directly and sharing free content pays off directly.
History lives further in the present as things from the past are part of where we are right now. Writing about Istanbul for my new Istanbul website makes me wonder about my old stories and photos. Where are they?!
The challenge leads me into rereading thiose old stories and looking back at my photos. I am actually very happy about this. Because what a waste otherwise it would be that those things from the past would just be in a drawer, never to be looked at again.
O.k. I must confess. I am a geek. There, that’s it. That’s the confession. I may have never told anyone, or maybe no-one has noticed before but I am in fact a geek. I have always been one. Actually I think we are all a bit geeky. One just has to come out.
So, just to make sure I won’t forget, I started a new project with my fellow geeky friend Kasper. We call this project Green Geek. Because green is also what we are. Why? Because green people taste better…
Ha, talking about having fun with food. On this photo you can see me talking to an audience that is just about to eat the food that I rescued from the bins. We are in a theatre in Leiden, during a theater-talk-show on sustainability where we served our dumpster-dinner ( “No Waste Dinner”) for just over 80 people.
It was great fun to give my statement in front of such a wide audience. Most of them didn’t see it coming: that I actually got the food that’s on their plates from bins, but we got some great feed-back. And most importantly, people loved the food we made.
Jobs and me don’t go well together and the only reason why I liked my last job so much was because of the hitchhiking. I did it twice a week, up and down to Den Haag without much troubles. I had great rides, received fantastic stories and shared many things with the more than 50 drivers within 6 weeks of working and hitching. I even started writing about it in Dutch on a new webpage that I called “hitching works“!
And as if it was bound to happen: the day I had quit my job again, the day I was on my last day of hitching to work, I got offered new work by one of my drivers. I could not have been two seconds later at my usual spot as I was instantly picked up by her. Barely 15 minutes later she offered me to work for her, by making a television show about sustainability…
The show is already made and even broadcasted. It was a great success. The presentors and other members of the team were very happy with the work done and there is even the possibility to make more shows for them after the summer. And in addition, during this last day of hitching to and from work, I even got offered a bottle of wine by my final driver who dropped me off at my house.
Hitchhiking definitely works.
My biggest desire in life is to help enabling a world free of hierarchies. So when I did accept a job this year, I was only slightly enthusiastic. I needed some solid financial base and yes I was ready for a challenge but a corporate job was not on my list (at all). In the end I was relatively o.k. with giving it a green light for a while, until I would have at least build up some cash-reserves again.
There are good things about my job. I learned a lot about marketing, I got to understand the technologies that enterprises use to brainwash us, I traveled a bit, worked with some fine people and I learned a lot from them. But, there is so much more to life than just jobs and career.
So when to quit? There is never a better moment than now and I feel now is that time. There are so many useful things I can better direct my attention to, and there are so many more things I still want to accomplish in the near future, that most of my time in this office is wasted. And in the end, what is so useful about working for someone else‘s profit?
Why is it that people in the US look so surprised when I tell them I rather walk 20 minutes than taking a cab or bus? This was one of my surprises while in Boston. We all know that the average US-American is less healthy than the average European, but still – it is as if they don’t care at all!
If not for the heartbeat-collective and Matrixpoint I would not have enjoyed Boston that much. I was over for a week to the States, enjoying great views of the city from a 17th floor many stars hotel, for my j-o-b. I was thankfully pointed into the right direction by Anu and Sky, making it possible for me to actually make my trip something useful and slightly less boring.
While John gave me lots of insights on the birth and death of CS 2.0, the Heartbeat Collective gave me a lot of inspiration for projects and ideas, adding more roots to them. I was especially happy when I learned about the rhizome collective, and the urban farming projects they do. Somehow I also discovered that -though the US has a lot of toxic soil- apparently there are some really beautiful flowers growing there.
Some other things that come to mind when thinking about Boston: carving pumpkins; pirates; Obama equals hope; the radio-stations played great music but were full with bullshit in the mornings; food is cheap and there are vegetarian meals everywhere; people don’t walk, don’t cycle, but they do talk a lot; I am not born for bowling (nor my j-o-b).
Check out more stuff I wrote while in Boston here
While my house is still a coming and going of friendly and creative people from all over the world, since some months there has clearly been a shift. The people that have been staying here in the past months are now rather focused on projects, creating new concepts and starting initiatives, while still supporting the ones we have already been involved in. Some examples:
And there is yet more to come. Bewelcome if you feel like participating, or stay over for a while to help working on whatever social project that you are involved in or that you want to create. We have a nice and creative working environment here.
For two years now I have been using hospitality exchange networks while traveling and also to host travelers in Barcelona and now Amsterdam. This added a new and really nice dimension to my life. Thanks to the people I met through hospitality exchange, I extended my vision, scope and aspiration.
I never felt like volunteering for these networks though (couchsurfing.com and hospitalityclub.org). How they are organised simply does not inspire me: they are top-down structured and volunteers hardly have impact on how it is run.
But since a year there is a network that does want to be member-driven: BeWelcome.org. I joined its volunteers last weekend in their yearly assembly when they select the yearly board, do some brainstorming and make plans for the coming year.
I hitchhiked to Essen (Germany) with four cars and had an excellent and very inspiring time. Obviously, since it is a new network there is lots of work that still needs to be accomplished but I am looking forward doing my share for this first hospitality network that wants to be truely democratic (ie. member-driven or grassroots), transparant and opensource – one that is not only able to facilitate hospitality exchange but also able to share the access to the buttons and empower volunteers.
alcohol in blood…
My first working day,
my value is added,
and my belly hurts.
lost a job
because of adding too much value
at the bar
fall back asleep
let’s remain one piece
A bug in my ear.
Brushed my teeth
but no help against the buzz.
Sun comes up,
rays of light.
through sounds of waves.
Can we have one meeting …
managing the journey?
And coffee helps.
Waves come in
And the sun
on my Mediterranean balcony
warms me up.
My new job,
the first in 13 months,
brought me to Malaga and Munich
Yet to come:
My towel is with me.