Archive for May, 2006

May 30th, 2006

In between trips

I haven’t been on the road for a short eternity; I’ve slept every night except one in my own bed this year. Currently there is not much business travelling and bootstrapping two companies takes its toll.

Thus, I’m glad to inform you that we have been indeed travelling and we’ll do it again in the very near future.

Last Saturday we had an ad hoc trip to Turku to see my sister’s family. My parents were there, too, so we had a small family reunion. They were planning to have a day cruise to Ahvenanmaa (Åland) and back, but someone had jumped off the ship during night and the cruise was cancelled — as the ship was delayed for picking up the guy.

We drove there in the morning, had a nice lunch, spent some time together, had a sauna and finally drove off in the evening. Very relaxing. The next day was spent busily doing everything we planned to do on Saturday…

Next weekend, we’ll go to Tallinn for two nights. I’ve been there several times before, but never stayed overnight. We’ll take a speed boat on Saturday morning, have most of Saturday, the whole Sunday and Monday morning to spend in the town.

I’m hoping to have good time in shops, walk around the old town and have good meals. The hotel has Internet connections, so I may write some instant thoughts there.

May 23rd, 2006

Article in ITviikko

I haven’t had time to inform my dear international readers that recently ITviikko, one of the IT newspapers published in Finland, devoted a whole page to my thoughts on how Internet services are developed around and with communities.

The article is now available on Exove blog, but only in Finnish.

In a nutshell, the article discusses the following topics:

  • A lot of recent successful Internet services are based on community features, such as flickr.com or Wikipedia.
  • The community provides almost all content.
  • The community may also manage the service.
  • The biggest challenge in community services is to bootstrap the community and feed the growth.
  • The community cannot be controlled; you may try to steer it to the desired direction.
  • The community probably develops to a suprising direction, and the end result may be much better for everyone.
  • Community services fit also to b2b business; the stakeholders of corporations form communities.

Shopping near the airport

Jumbo shopping mall has a dualistic nature; the new part looks very polished and dandy, and the older part is sort of a metal barn.

Inside Jumbo (older part)
The location near the Helsinki-Vantaa airport makes the mall a good destination for people sleeping in an airport hotel, as after checking in you can still go and shop for a couple of hours (until 21.00 that is, except on Saturdays and non-summer Sundays, excluding Sundays on December :). Confused? Good. That seem’s to be the aim of the lawmaker in Finland.

Anyhow, the mall has Stockmann department store, several clothing stores, including Zara, and a couple cafés and restaurants. One of the perks is Classic Pizza Restaurant that makes the best pizzas I’ve encountered in Finland.

www.jumbo.fi, Vantaanportinkatu 3, Vantaa, Finland

May 18th, 2006

Exove.com opened

The website of my current company Exove is now open at both exove.com and exove.fi.

The whole site runs on top of WordPress that has been patched somewhat to support two languages within a single installation. Compared to Nomadig.com, Exove’s site has extensive amount of WP pages for static content. The Exove blog is not on the top level, but it has been moved one level down with an extension.

WordPress has been improved a lot during the two years I’ve been using it. Back in the old days, I had to hack the WP itself to get more advanced tricks to work, but now I just need to install a plug-in and configure it properly. The theme support has removed a real pain and it allows the site to stay visually the same even if the WP is upgraded.

Exove has an extensive amount of theme modifications, as the system supports two languages using one WordPress instance. The language is selected based on the domain name, and a few tricks have been used to make sure that English and Finnish pages do not get mixed up. All of them are on the template level, so the system should be upgradeable easily.

The company specialises in designing and implementing Web 2.0 services for digital marketing. Our specialties include corporate blogging and community based services that drive the stakeholders and the company to work together and create added value with an exceptional rate. We provide also consulting and training.

If you are interested in our services, please get in touch with me.

May 13th, 2006

Visiting children’s festival

Kalliola family visited Hups children’s festival in Länsiauto-Areena nearby Tapiola, Espoo. Aapo was a bit too young to enjoy most of the stuff there, but the visit was still worth of it.

First and foremost, there were no admission and almost everything was free. And people were given all kinds of stuff from the stalls. There was a free “restaurant” that served pasta with tomato sauce, sparkling water and some dessert. Another “restaurant” provided food for smaller babies.

The free restaurant, full of people
We toured around the area and collected some freebies. Most of the events and stalls were for 3-6 years old, so we skipped them. Finnish children’s heavy metal band, Moottörin Jyrinä (Engine Röar, maybe?), was the first performer and there were two other later. The band plays heavy metal classics with new lyrics. The messages are changed to suit children better; the band signs about washing teeth, cleaning up your room or climbing to a tree.

Moottörin Jyrinä and the fans
They were playing quite loud and Aapo was drowsy, so we decided to leave after listening a couple songs.

On the exit gate we got a bag full of goodies. Just because we were there… Most of the stuff that we got were samples, but nevertheless I’m all for these kind of events. You don’t pay anything, but you come and go whenever you like, you get free food, cookies, candies and drinks, and then people give you stuff. And I like this not just because it’s nice to get something for free, but I’m tired of paying something every single time we go somewhere.

Bargain books

Kirjatori is the biggest bargain books chain in Finland. They buy excess books from the publishers and sell them on low price. All the books are new, though sometimes they have been sitting in a warehouse for years.

Kirjatori in Jumbo, Vantaa
The store in Vantaa is located in the newer part of Jumbo shopping mall, on the second floor quite near Stockmann. It is a replica of other Kirjatori stores: fully packed with books and no frills whatsoever.

Note that the books are not always cheapest here, but you can find good deals in the normal bookstores, too. Most of the books are in Finnish, but there is usually a few in English.

www.kirjatori.fi, Vantaanportinkatu 3 (in Jumbo shopping mall), Vantaa, Finland, +358 9 2709 0599

May 10th, 2006

Helsinki Cruise Guide opened!

Helsinki is one of the most favourite destinations for cruise ships sailing on Baltic Sea. Most of the ships stay just one day, and the tourists do not have too much time to spend in Helsinki.

Some of them have booked readymade trips from the travel organiser and have their day fully set. Others are more advanterous and explore Helsinki by their own. I, of course, would prefer the latter.

The only downside is that you might not see the most interesting things, if you don’t know what to look for. Or you can spend too much time finding a restaurant or a café.

To help these modern day urban explorers, I’ve compiled a special Helsinki Cruise Guide that contains some of the best restaurants, cafés, shops and sights in Helsinki. In the guide, you can find exclusive, popular, and economical choices for having a meal or a coffee, or buying some Finnish stuff for yourself or for the people back home.

The guide can be found at www.nomadig.com/travel/cruiseguide. Have a ball!

Centrally located sandwich bar

Kamppi shopping mall has several snack eateries on the ground floor, serving the busy commuters to and fro Espoo. One of the more appealing one is Gusto sandwich bar. They provide sandwiches, salads, sodas and coffees.

Gusto sandwich bar in Kamppi shopping mall, Helsinki

The sandwiches are good and quite okay in size. Not huge, but not too small either. There is enough stuff inside to fill your stomach, unless you are already quite hungry. There is a lot of different sandwiches to select from and the prices are decent.

Gusto is not very strong on the sweet side of dishes, and I had to bought a couple of cookies from the next counter…

Gusto, Urho Kekkosen katu 2 (in Kamppi shopping mall), Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 321 6280