4 years with a Surface Book. 4 months with its successor, the MacBook.

Finally, 4 months ago, the new MacBook was on my desk. To conclude my experience with the Surface Book, a small comparison of the two systems. It should be said in advance that there is no such thing as the perfect laptop. Perhaps the last 3 posts gave the impression that a MacBook is the measure of all things and has an almost sacrosanct status with me. Far from it, but it is clearly the better compromise compared to its Microsoft predecessor. Let’s jump in.

One of the last Intel-MacBook-Mohicans

I deliberately ordered another of probably the last MacBooks with Intel processors, because I obviously didn’t want to miss the benefits of the Windows world. Locked up in Parallels, Windows 10 – disconnected from the rest of the MacBook – is allowed to lead a merry existence on the computer. This crutch became necessary because my declared favorite program, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, doesn’t run on the Mac.

I also didn’t feel like porting all my Access databases to an OS X solution. The virtual machine worked great, but was a big resource hog. Until the week before last, in 2 consecutive lecture blocks (3 hours, mostly PowerPoint presentations), a 100% charged battery was completely drained.

After some analysis, I had identified the culprit and since then I have had enough battery life for a full day of lectures. Another solution that is good for even better battery life: I present my lectures outside the virtual machine using Keynote. Now I have almost the excellent battery runtime of the Surface.

Summary MacBook vs. Surface Book

The quality of the MacBook is undeniably excellent, and the dimensions and weight are much more portable compared to the clunky Surface Book.

So far there have been no unpleasant surprises, I’ll hold off updating to Monterey for a few more months. We’ll see how the device performs in the next few years. Probably my last work notebook. All in all the better compromise.

Personal Branding for musicians.

Personal Branding für Musiker. Ein Artikel auf Delamar.

Already in August this year I wrote an article together with Thorsten Sprengel from delamar on the topic of self-marketing for musicians. Shortly after my vacation – end of September – the article was published. Since I already have my own opinion on the topic of Unique Selling Points of musicians, the actual topic was no problem thanks to my study (https://christianzich.com/category/personal-branding/).

A challenge, however, was the search for good examples. Mr. Sprengel gave me this task right at the beginning of our cooperation. O. k., I thought to myself, it won’t be easy; but I’ll do it. It shouldn’t be that difficult to find a few highlights in the vastness of the social networks. Far from it, I was really surprised how boring musicians are positioning and marketing themselves most of the time.

There’s particularly little to learn from the superstars. Their accounts are perfect, mostly without surprises, corners and edges and thus somehow stainless steel brushed, but boring. The superstars have so many followers because they were already famous in the pre-Instagram era. They are interesting not because of their content, but simply because they have a very high profile. Nevertheless, I found some examples. More about them on the following page:

Selbstvermarktung auf Instagram, Erfolgsgarant für Musiker? https://www.delamar.de/musikbusiness/selbstvermarktung-auf-instagram-61098/

Stay tuned, more stuff is on the way.

More about Personal Branding…

Personal Branding for Artists – the entire study.

Personal Branding, die Ergebnisse der Umfrage/Personal branding, the results of the survey

After publishing all the results of the Personal Branding Study for Artists last month, it’s time to summarize all the posts in one place, or comment on the links.

The 9 parts of the entire study:

  1. Personal branding survey, the results of the survey. Part 1.
  2. Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 2.
  3. Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 3
  4. Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 4.
  5. Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 5
  6. Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 6.
  7. Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 7.
  8. Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 8.
  9. Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 8.

Stay tuned, more stuff is on the way.

More about Personal Branding…

anding…

Personal branding for DJs.

Ein Artikel im DJ Magazin über Personal Branding für DJs; An article in the DJ Magazine about personal branding for DJs

Last week on Saturday came a very special gift from the professional association Discjockey e.V. (https://www.dj-magazin.de/) A few copies of the current DJ magazine, packed with interesting articles. Of course, I was especially pleased to see the publication of my article on personal branding for DJs.

Based on my study (Personal Branding for Artists – the entire study.), I worked out many tips and suggestions during the summer on how to market yourself better as a DJ. More will not be revealed, reading it yourself is fun.

Stay tuned, more stuff is on the way.

More about Personal Branding…

4 years with a Surface Book – already angry today? Part 3

Welcome to the third part of my ordeal with the Surface Book. Without much preamble, we’ll get right into it.

Disillusionment part 5: the Windows Time Machine Clone.

I really liked Time Machine on my old MacBook. It always worked smoothly, in my case with a network hard drive. With Windows 10, there would theoretically have been something similar, but after just a month I gave up. It worked a maximum of once or twice with the network hard drive, then there were only error messages, but no more backup.

The disillusionment part 6: Fan.

It felt like the fan started at every little thing. And so I spent many hours with an annoying noise on the desk. My self-assembled desktop computer runs so quietly even under load that I can listen to music alongside, together with my Surface Book this was not possible at all. This was not a problem with the MacBook before, it got warm but never loud.

The disillusionment part 7: the audio quality.

My MacBook never had problems with a trouble-free playback of audio files. The Surface Book, on the other hand, always produced a permanent, clearly perceptible noise – regardless of whether with or without the docking station – so that undisturbed music enjoyment at work was not possible. Especially not with the loud fan. For the preparation of my THD DJ course, I always had to use my desktop computer, which was quiet. Apparently, Microsoft developers never listen to music. Nevertheless, my Surface Book was shown on the Microsoft website 4 years ago together with a DJ. In the context of audio performance, I could always have a good laugh at this depiction. It was probably a futile attempt to position the product similarly to a MacBook.

Disillusionment part 8: the quality of the device itself.

The quality of a MacBook is indisputably great. Nothing bends, the screen has a straight line, the device is simply super stable. The Surface Book, on the other hand, is definitely not worth its price. The tablet-panel showed a clearly visible bend at the upper edge. Should not really happen in this price range.

These were the main reasons for switching back to the Mac. Beyond that, there were many other minor annoyances that ultimately led to the switch. Now I’m happy to give the Surface Book back to our lab engineers at the THD after the move. Finally, here’s a three-month field report on how my new MacBook is working.

Stay tuned, more stuff is on the way.

4 years with a Surface Book – already angry today? Part 2

Welcome to the second part of my ordeal with the Surface Book. Without much preamble, we’ll get right into it.

Disillusionment part 2: tablet and laptop? Really?

The second reason for me to buy the Surface Book was the possibility to use the tablet independently from the keyboard. However, this was often associated with error messages, the operating system usually complained about an unstable connection when re-connecting the tablet. The usual solution with Windows: shut down and restart, sometimes awkwardly delete the drivers from the device manager and have them reinstalled. The main reason why I almost never used this feature in the end was the battery life of the tablet part. After 2 to 3 hours at most, the stove was off. My 349 euro iPad runs a complete day during intensive use. Minimum.

Disillusionment part 3: the performance of the Surface Book.

My Surface Book has a Core I7, theoretically the basis for a fairly high-performance device. Wrongly thought, the Surface Book was surprisingly slow in many things and that from the start. Whether this was due to the operating system or the hardware, I definitely cannot say. But what was interesting to me was that my favorite Dragon NaturallySpeaking software worked faster and smoother in a test with my now 8-year-old MacBook in a Parallels Windows 10 virtual machine than it did in the Surface Book. How embarrassing is that?

The disillusionment part 4: Windows 10 itself.

While Windows 10 worked amazingly well on the Surface Pro, on the Surface Book it had random dropouts, especially when combined with the docking station. The LAN connection disappeared at regular intervals, switching between the high-resolution screen and my stationary monitor did not work until the end. The operation with pen and fingers also showed quite clearly that Windows 10 is still more of a desktop operating system and less of a tablet operating system. You always come to a point where you need a mouse or a keyboard, quite in contrast to the iPadOS.

On top of that, the OS still has a problem with high resolution monitors. I was so often annoyed when all of a sudden an app appeared in a micro-window with micro-font. Sometimes the start menu disappeared in nirvana or only 200 pixel large single letters appeared. The same principle over and over again: log out and log in again or restart immediately. Simply annoying.

In the next days the third and final part will come, stay tuned.

4 years with a Surface Book – already angry today?

Macbook vs. Surface Book

4 years ago, I started a new 4-year relationship with a business notebook full of joyful expectations. I was happy to get rid of my business MacBook and eagerly awaited the first generation of Microsoft’s Surface Book. At that point, the press was just gushing with excitement. Some editors even used the term MacBook killer. Based on the articles, it was clear to me that this device was exactly the laptop I had always been waiting for. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, but now there will be no spoilers. On the contrary, we’ll start with my (joyful) expectations.

The starting point and my expectations

I was always looking for a computer that could be operated with a pen. I like to draw, and I wanted to be able to correct study papers, drafts for articles, etc. myself in the computer, thus saving the environment by not having to print them. In 2012, I enthusiastically jumped on the Apple bandwagon and bought an iPad, but the pen operation didn’t really work well, as it was never really provided for by the manufacturer in the first generations.

Therefore, I flirted with the Microsoft competition, the Surface Pro. At the beginning, it was rather a disaster, but in 2016, the device seemed mature enough for me to give it a try. Let’s keep it short, I wasn’t 100% thrilled, but in the computer industry, you can already be happy if 80% is achieved. Windows 10 worked surprisingly well, the pen usability was okay. Therefore, the expectations regarding the Surface Book were quite high: a tablet PC and a notebook, and pen-operated as well, what more could you want. I also hoped that I could finally escape the Windows bellyache on the MacBook. Shortly before the end of the summer term 4 years ago, the time had come, the Microsoft MacBook killer was lying on my desk in a very fancy package. When unpacking it, my anticipation knew (almost) no bounds, especially with the list price of about 2900.- Euro.

Disillusionment part 1: where is my pen?

Disillusionment set in relatively quickly. While the deviation of the expected pen position to the actual position was relatively small on the Surface Pro, it was sometimes up to 5 millimeters on the Surface Book, depending on the app and the day’s mood. Drawing was impossible, and sketching, writing, and correcting was always a vabanque game and source of perpetual annoyance.The starting point was sometimes too far up, too far down, too close to the previous word or too far away from it. After a year and a half, I stopped searching the Internet for calibration options and silently simmered away.Most annoying were the failed calibration attempts, which usually ended with me having to uninstall all the drivers in Device Manager and reboot it.

In 2019, I bought the first affordable iPad with stylus controls and was really excited because the expected position of the stylus matched the actual position of the stylus 100%. The entry price of the Apple tablet was about €450 with stylus and everything worked on the first try. The list price of the Microsoft product was 2900 €. My iPad has already got a successor in the meantime, the iPad Air 2020. I never had to calibrate, the pen was always where it should be as expected. Actually, I should sue Microsoft for loss of life.

More in a few days, stay tuned.

Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 8.

Why unfollow an artist on Instagram? The eighth and final part of the survey results on personal branding for artists.

What are the reasons for unfollowing an artist?

We are entering the final spurt. An empirical study on social networks would definitely be incomplete without asking why people unfollow. Let’s jump in.

No surprise to me personally, the main reason for unfollowing is that the artist simply posts too much advertising. Number 2 is also obvious – if you review the previous results. Apparently, fans and followers on Instagram expect a permanent stream of new, creative ideas from an artist. If he/she no longer delivers that, he/she is almost certainly uninteresting.

Diagram What are the reasons for unfollowing an artist?

A little surprise for me is number 3, but understandable. Numbers 4,6,8 also indicate that loss of authenticity and closeness to fans and followers will lead to termination and virtual friendship. The logical conclusion from this is that artists – especially if you are successful – should remain genuine and continue to interact with their fans and followers at eye level and without artificial distance.

Surprising for me also that the loss of the “certain something” of an artist lands relatively far behind in the ranking. Personally, I had expected this to be a more significant reason for unfollowing.

This brings us to the end of this series on personal branding for artists. But an end is also a beginning. A beginning for every artist who can now critically scrutinize their own Instagram account and optimize his or her own unique external image. Good luck with that, I personally will now start to actively distribute the results of this study in the social networks and dedicate myself to the exciting possibilities of artist marketing.

English translation of the questions:

01 too much advertising or sponsored posts.
02 the content of the artist bores me, because he posts the same thing over and over again.
03 the artist has a strongly differing opinion from me and expresses it constantly
04 the artist does not seem authentic anymore
05 he/she posts too much
06 the artist is too arrogant
07 the artist simply gets on my nerves
08 the artist is too aloof
09 the artist becomes increasingly uninteresting for me
10 the artist has lost his/her “certain something”.
11 she/he posts too little
12 there is too little interaction between the artist and his/her followers
13 the artist is too distant
14 other reasons

Stay tuned, now it’s really getting started.

More about Personal Branding…

Personal branding, the results of the survey. Part 7.

What character traits make an artist attractive? The seventh part of the survey results on personal branding for artists.

Personal Branding for Artists. What are the right character traits for an artist.

Last week I was so busy with personal branding on my own behalf that I didn’t even get around to publishing the next results of my empirical study. In the last two article we were focusing on imagery.

But now we’re back in the loop. Let’s take a look at what character traits an artist needs to show in order to be attractive to fans and followers.

As you can see in the chart, there is one front-runner: artists should be humorous. This means, of course, that candidates who take themselves and their art too seriously cannot appear so attractive. English translation of the questions below.

Personal Branding for Artists. What are the right character traits for an artist.

Behind this front runner, there is a plateau with 3 rather heterogeneous character traits. Unsurprisingly, if you look at the other results, in 2nd place is creativity. Has a lot to do with the work of the artists, boredom should not arise. A surprising 3rd place was taken by the characteristic of an artist to make fans and followers think. An exciting challenge, which can be seen in the actual work (music, painting, etc.), as well as in the self-presentation of the person (private life, travel, hobbies, etc.). The 4th place is also a surprise for me personally, because the fans and followers expect a person with weaknesses, a normal person. Here you can excellently show the stony path to being an artist yourself, as well as the ups and downs of your private side (if you want to).

The perfect character: approachable, humorous, positive thinking, and being more normal than excentric

Rank 5 is an excellent complement to rank 1. What could be better than the combination of humor with a positive world view? Conversely, this means that artists who enthusiastically whine, lament and are too serious tend to have a harder time.

Number 6 also complements number 4 excellently. An approachable artist who also shows weaknesses puts him at eye level with his fans and followers, combined with the subliminal statement “look, I’ve remained a completely normal person”. This is a great way to communicate credibility and authenticity.

The next surprise is 7th place. I would have expected the participants to prioritize these qualities of an artist significantly more. Now this does not mean that the activity itself is devalued, only other character traits are prioritized higher.

Places 8, 9 and 11 also landed surprisingly far down the list. This means nothing other than that the fans and followers what of the artists do not expect a mental striptease and that also the interaction with the fans and followers is not valued as highly as one would assume in view of the character of Instagram.

Also a surprise is the second to last place. If you look at a lot of artists’ Instagram accounts, you realize that they might take their art far too seriously and thus could have a lower level of attractiveness.

English translation of the questions:

  1. I like humorous artists
  2. I like creative artists
  3. I like artists who make me think
  4. I like artists who also show weaknesses sometimes
  5. I like artists with a positive way of looking at the world
  6. I like approachable artists
  7. I like artists who show what they can do
  8. I like artists who openly show their feelings
  9. I like artists who engage with their fans
  10. I like artists who always surprise me in a positive way
  11. I like artists who are attractive
  12. I like spontaneous, impulsive artists
  13. I like artists who like to party
  14. I like serious artists
  15. Miscellaneous

That’s it for today. There will be more next week.

Stay tuned

More about Personal Branding…