Six years and still no Top10 list

Customer: Do you have Soul?
Rob: That all depends.

This private blog is online since six years now and during this time I have covered a lot of topics that touched me one way or the other. Love, music, politics, environment, computer….yes, I even wrote about cars the other day.

And yet there’s still one blog post that’s been idling in my drafts folder since early March 2008 and will probably never be published unless I just start writing about it:

My Top 10 list of music videos

I’ve never published it for various reasons. One certainly being that such a list will have to change over time, so to define such a list for good is almost impossible. It’s not like the above mentioned list of Top 10 cars which only includes classics. No, a list of most-loved music videos is a temporary love affair that becomes diluted by the constant penetration with new music videos.

I tried this the other day with a list of Top 10 favorite songs. I went through my music library, copied all relevant mp3 files in an empty folder, uploaded them, listened to my selection and realized I got it all wrong:

[edit: content removed]

TOP10 lists suck. Why? Because in the end you’ll realize that a selection almost isn’t possible and that if anything at all, it will just define the moment or a certain period.

It’s not the list that matters, but the selection process while searching and deciding which songs are eligible for such a list. And in the end you’ll just compile it for your own satisfaction and desire to have a Top10 list somewhere out there – on the internet or burned to a CD in your shelf.


FireShot Pro capture #43 - 'MobilePress - Enable The Mobile Web' - mobilepress co za

Following my other mobile blogging related posts, both my colleagues @AfriGadget – Frerieke & Erik – adviced me to take a closer look at a wonderful (new) WordPress plugin called MobilePress.

“MobilePress is a WordPress plugin that will render your WordPress blog on mobile handsets, with the ability to use customized themes.” – We’ve seen this feature with others before, but – as the author correctly points out: “Plugins exist, but, at best, contain sneaky ads and backlinks and are not all together well written.” I do share those feelings regarding the WordPress Mobile Plugin as mentioned earlier.

Despite of MobilePress being just the right choice for the mobile accessibility of your WordPress-based blog, I am still using the out-dated WPhone Admin Plugin because MobilePress (currently) lacks one important part: it automatically chooses the right rendering option based on the browser.

Now – I would like to choose that myself! WPhone does that by providing a “use mobile admin interface” checkbox on the WP login screen.

Mzeecedric and I recently had to look for a solution to a low-bandwidth blog-access issue and ended up using WPhone. I would, however, prefer to use MobilePress (also because it’s from SA, yay! :-) once such a “use mobile admin interface” functionality is integrated so that blog editors can actively choose a low-bandwidth login to the WP backend while using a normal browser.

(It’s btw interesting to see how a plugin is used for another purpose – something else than what it had been designed for. See M-Pesa in Kenya and how it is used these days.)

never change a running system

The missing ability to run a simple cronjob on my 1&1 hosting package actually contributed to the decision to eventually move all my domain names and sites to another server.

Kwaheri, 1&1…
I don’t know about 1&1 in the US, but here in Germany where they started many years ago (I had become their customer in 1999 when they were still called, 1&1 = United Internet AG just suck. It’s their web hosting package that doesn’t provide enough flexibility (limited amount of MySQL dbs, no cronjobs, etc.) as well as how they treat their broadband customers. Back in 2004 when flatrates were introduced to the DSL market in Germany, the flatrate option was only made available to new customers, leaving those with an ongoing contract (min. 24 months) stuck to a volume- or 20h/month contract. And the worst, really worst, part on 1&1 is their so-called customer service. Whoever does their L1-support should be fired and kindly asked to stay away from computers.

Technically, though, 1&1 is great. During all those…9years?? with 1&1, I never experienced any server failures nor speed issues.

And it’s not that I or other customers never told them to improve. The management @ 1&1 (United Internet) obviously never studied The Cluetrain manifesto. Did I already mention how much I hate their customer service? Well….

Anyhow, the missing cronjob and limited number of available databases (5, which already was an improvement to the previous 3!), my good mood on a thursday morning and the perspective to be paying much less in future (I’ve spent like ~2.8000 € on hosting services since 1999 alone) eventually led me to switch to a cheaper and much more competent web hosting service. Not the cheapest – and maybe I could/should have switched to one in the US instead (who btw also often have some hidden extra costs), but one that just delivers. Fast. The way I like it.

As a consequence of that, I’ll be moving (done!) all of my domains and sites from the old server to the new one in the next few days. Let’s hope it all works out, especially the database backups. For those of you trying to get in touch with me via e-mail: try my gmail address or twitter account (@jke). Thx!

It also means that I’ll be implementing some changes, or rather – I’ve thought about changing a basic issue that has been bugging me for quite some time now:

change of name / blog title
My online presence under the nickname “Kikuyumoja” started off in early 1997, with my own home page residing under different URLs (AOL,, Rhein-Main.Net, until I managed to register in early 1999, quickly followed by and

While searching for an adequate blog title way back in June 2005, I chose to continue using “Kikuyumoja’s realm”. My blog was accessible either via or even via .

Now, imagine the situation where someone asks you what “Kikuyumoja” actually means. That is, to me it’s just a name, but to many others it’s either “Kikuyu1” or “Kik-Kuuu-ju-moh-jha”. Something that remains difficult to explain. And yet it’s just another (sort-of) brand name like WhiteAfrican, Afromusing, Mentalacrobatic, tHiNkEr’S rOoM to name just a few.

So please allow me to ask the following questions:

1. What do you – dear reader – think I should do? Change it from “Kikuyumoja’s realm” to just “Kikuyumoja”? “Kikuyumoja’s”? “JKE”? “Kikuyumoja Inc.”? “Kikuism”?

2. I didn’t use as the starting page of my blog, as I am currenty hosting different sites on my webspace of which some are accessible via
So I was wondering: should I configure my blog to take as the ultimate starting page and force other sites on to use their own domain names? Much like it already is the case with Solved!

3. How long does it take to load my blog in areas where there’s no broadband available? Should I maybe reduce the amount of posts shown on a single page? And what should I do with that blogroll? Do ppl still need it? Will I need it or may I just kick it out?

4. What about those Google Ads on my site – are they offensive in any way? I’ve noticed some advertisement for Asian dating services on my blog – which is kinda strange. I understand that GoogleAdSense isnt the only advertisement programme out there, but they at one time in the past at least helped me to *pay lunch* – so I thought about keeping their ads inside my blog.

Ah, so many open questions. Comments on these are highly appreciated!

Thank you.

[EDIT: DAMN….will still have to do something about that UTF-8 issue…argh!!! Fixed!]

[EDIT2: just registered kikuyumoja.COM after 9 years of – and although I do not think Kikuyumoja is such a good name, it still is a brand).

How to get your NGO online…

Disclaimer: Not a real post for now, but I’ll post it anyways…just a lose collection of thoughts (so that I don’t have to keep on repeating myself on this topic).

Obed, my colleague from Zambia, founded an NGO some years ago. Today he told me that his NGO actually requires a website.

At this point, most people will just hire someone who takes care of this and prolly lose some US$ down the road. Also, once the website is up and running, it doesn’t really imply that things are perfect. What he’ll then need is someone who does the site maintenance (admin) and who prepares all online content (content editor).

In order to get your NGO online, you will need:

a) a domain name
The shorter, the better; maybe best .org for an NGO; domain names are relatively cheap; if you have a CreditCard (!) or a PayPal account payments may be easier & cheaper (this CC thing really IS an issue!)

b) webhosting
1GB webspace, 1MySQL database, 1 FTP account, etc. = simple packages will do for most requirements; webhosting often includes one *free* .com domain name; there are some free webhosting sites that do / do not display advertisment (which you may not be able to control); user/server ratio often isn’t visible (= how many users/domain packages actually share one server? = perfomance index), service hotline?; backup = you are responsible for your own backups, especially with cheap webhosting packages; depending on your financial situation, you can manage to obtain all of this for *free* or pay a monthly fee. There are hundreds of providers/resellers out there + websites that give an overview of what customers are reporting on the actual quality of the provided service.

c) the right *software*
WordPress :-) if you want to install a WordPress blog on your server and customize it, or if those standard templates on are ok with you. WordPress, a blog “software”, instead of an advanced Content Management System (CMS) because it will be easier to manage & often just does the job. comes with a HUGE community and many free templates that can be further modified.
Any other blog software will certainly also do, however, it just helps to illustrate the fact that this publishing platform is sufficient for most websites (see d)).

d) an idea of what to put online
Most crucial point. Who will be in charge of the online content? What do you want to put online? How many static pages? What kind of pictures? The person in charge of online content will probably also need to rescale pictures and trim them for online usage (lower dpi resolution), no need for 2-3 MB pictures that directly come from a digital camera. Apply a licence to your works (=> CreativeCommons) so that ppl will know how do deal with your (!) online content. Create a document and define what you want to publish online and how you want to interlink it – in short, create a concept. This will help everyone involved to see what the target is.


Bottom-line: getting YOUR page and YOUR mission online isn’t a matter of experts anymore. What you will need to figure out is how much money you want to spend on this, how the site should appear (layout) and who will be in charge.

I am mentioning all these *basic* facts (to most readers – I assume that most of you are running your own blog?) because it’s just SOOOOO often that you see a brother from somewhere who’s doing a wonderful job within his organisation, but is totally overwhelmed by the (relatively simple) job of creating a decent website that draws a clean line between horrible MS-Frontpage or MS-Office documents (converted into HTML/XML) and a smooth little website based on a sweet WordPress *simple-CMS* package.

Also, you’re not alone on this. Pls feel free to visit to connect with others and discuss on how to promote your works online.