Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My books in 2013

This is what I've read in 2013:

Adapt by Tim Harford (2011)
I'm Feeling Lucky by Douglas Edwards (2011)
Wie Gelooft die Coureurs Nog? by Hans Vandeweghe (2013)
De Man zonder Ziekte by Arnon Grunberg (2012)
Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes (2008)
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (2008)
Black Hole by Charles Burns (2005)
Drive: The Surprising Thruth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink (2009)

Monday, 23 December 2013

My 2013 Spotify list: I'm getting old

Here's my list of songs for 2013. You can listen to it clicking here: Lista 2013 Stefvanef

It's the same set-up as every year: the first 5 tunes are from my favourite albums of this year, the others are a list of nice songs. 2013 hasn't been the incredible year like 2012 was, but there has been some wonderful stuff to listen to.
When I was making the list I realised that neither Iron & Wine nor The National would have been on this list if I were 15 years younger. Guess I'm getting older, since they are going top. Even during The National's concert I was thinking: what happened with all the rock-bands I used to like so much?

But there is still that younger Stefvanef within this list, with some great noise and desturbing music, like tunes from M.I.A., Madensuyu, Death Grips and - hell yeah - Fuck Buttons.

Enjoy listening.

Big thanks to DJ Yolapongo, his friend Deniz and den Humo for the tips.

Click on the image to see it large-scale.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Ryanair and Conversion Rate Deconstructing

This year we are not flying Ryanair, even if it was cheaper to fly with them. I left the buying process on their website at one particular place without finishing the process.

Everybody who works in e-commerce deals with the same problem: lots of visitors start your on-line buying process, but a lot of these visits don't end with a completed sale. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to optimize this buying funnel to get more people to finish their sale. It often comes down to a specific step.

The last time I tried to buy our flights on, I knew exactly when I decided not to finish the buying process and buy somewhere else. So I'm writing this post for the guy responsible for Conversion Optimization for the ryanair website: this is the step where it went wrong.

When I wanted to add pieces of luggage to my flight, I saw a combo indicating 2 options. I didn't look too careful (nobody reads on the web, we all just scan), so I thought I had the following 2 options:

1 piece: 50€
2 pieces: 70€ 

This sounded OK: the second piece came with a discount

Of course I wasn't thinking clearly, this is nothing like Ryanair. So I looked again and saw what it realy was:

1 piece of 15 kg: 50€
1 piece of 20 kg: 70€

Say what?

So this combo summed up the whole Ryanair experience: I already saw how I would be checked and re-checked and then be asked by some unpolite and unhelpful groundstaf to pay more, just because I came with 20,9 kg. So no humiliation for us this year: we paid more with another airline and get spared the Ryanair-way.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Infographic: Email Marketing

In 2012, I was happy to be part in the creation of the following infografic on Email Marketing.

The complete process of Email Marketing
Created by Ventura24 and Internet República

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

My films in 2012

Here are the films I've seen in 2012

Shutter Island by Scorcese (2010)
There will be Blood by Paul Thomas Anderson (2007)
An Education by Lone Scherfig (2009)
A Single Man by Tom Ford (2009)
La Môme by Olivier Dahan (2007)
Days of Heaven by Terrence Mallick (1978)

Moneyball by Bennet Miller (2011)
Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen (2011)

Red Lights by Rodrigo Cortés (2012)
Les Triplettes de Belleville by Sylvain Chomet (2003)
Hugo by Martin Scorsese (2011)
Die Fälsher by Stefan Ruzowitzky (2007)
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Stephen Daldry (2011)
The Departed by Martin Scorsese (2006)

Hodejegerne by Morten Tyldum (2011)
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol by Brad Bird (2011)
Good Will Hunting by Gus Van Sant (1997)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by Tomas Alfredson (2011)
The Avangers by Joss Whedon (2012)
Dark Shadows by Tim Burton (2012)

Transformers by Michael Bay (2007)
Batman - the Dark Knight Rises by Christopher Nolan (2012)
The Breakfast Club by John Hughes (1985)
Rundskop by Michael R. Roskam (2011)

Alien by Ridley Scott (1979)
Aliens by James Cameron (1984)
Prometheus by Ridley Scott (2012)

Lo Imposible by Juan Antonio Bayona (2012)
The Terminator by James Cameron (1984)
The Cabin in the Woods by Drew Goddard (2011)

Looper by Rian Johnson (2012)
Never Let Me Go by Mark Romanek (2010)
The Game by David Fincher (1997)
Jerichow by Christian petzold (2006)
Skyfall by Sam Mendes (2012)
Capote by Bennett Miller (2005)
De Rouille et d'Os by Jacques Audiard (2012)

Soul Kitchen by Fatih Akin (2009)
Limitless by Neil Burger (2011)
End of Watch by David Ayer (2012)
Amour by Michaël Hanneke (2012)
The Hobbit by Peter Jackson (2012)
No Country for old men by Joel and Ethan Coen (2007)
The Life of Pi by Ang Li (2012)

Thursday, 27 December 2012

My 2012 Spotify list: never too much of a good thing

To keep it simple: 2012 was a brilliant year for music, full of new discoveries for me and with too little time to listen to everything worth listening to. The first few months of 2012 were just OK, but once Alt-J launched their album, the avalanche of high standard music kept coming and coming. No need to stop just yet.

Best Album 2012:
Fragrant World by Yeasayer

Best Song 2012:
Sometimes I Forget You've Gone by Dirty Three

Here is my list of 2012: like every year a combination of best albums (Alt-J until Two Gallants) and a mix of favourite songs. You can listen to my list of 2012 on Spotify over here: Lista 2012 Stefvanef

Apart from Yeasayers, great albums came from Kendrick Lamar (who said there is no variance in rap?), Alt-J (what a debut), Peter Broderick (subtle, perfect pop transformed into an internet address), Bill Fay (Respect for such a comeback), John Talabot (perfect summer album: volume at 10 and wind blowing through the curtains on a hot afternoon), Actress (best electro/beats/noise since Burial) and Two Gallants (hurray for the twisted guitar-bridges in their songs).

Two Gallants, The XX and Azealia Banks got extra points for some really good concerts in 2012, which helps to get in the list.

Florence is in the list since I got so disappointed by "Ceremonials" in 2011. In 2012 she came back strong with her Unplugged. Glad to have her back.

A lot of stuff  like Mala, Nick Waterhouse, Django Django, Soulsavers and Dylan, didn't make the list because there was some much else of high quality. Still happy to listen to you guys.

Deception of 2012 The Ting Tings, no discussion there.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

My books in 2012

Should have read more in 2012, I know. But I blame Coursera: I was reading quite a bit up until I enrolled into 2 Coursera courses and haven't picked up since I finished. I've enrolled on more courses for 2013, so maybe this list won't exist next year, let's see.

Poor Economics - Stefvanef 2012
Poor Economics was the most amazing read of this year. It challenges what we all think about poverty and how it can be beaten.

This is what I've read:

Freedom by Jonathan Frazen (2010)
Scorecasting by Tobais J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim (2011)
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)
You are not so Smart by David McRaney (2011)
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (2011)
Poor Economics by Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and Esther Duflo (2011)
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (2000)