Archive of ‘English’ category

Support Your Local Startups!

This morning twitter buzzed with The Next Web. The two day conference to be held on the 3rd and 4th of April in Amsterdam is a great conference to go to. However reasonable the 750 euro admission price is for the two days, there are always people that cannot make it because of the money. So, after some discussion on the discounts that you can or cannot get by blogging about The Next Web, I suggested that owners of businesses that do not need the discount, offer them to startups that cannot get the discount. Get your local startup to The Next Web. Because new startups are the ones that benefit most of all the information on The Next Web.

Luckily Erwin Blom quickly joined in and blogged on the subject. He was the first one to offer 500 euro’s as well. Thanks for doing that Erwin! Then the idea took shape. The startup has to motivate why he or she needs the ticket in a video of maximum 3 minutes. Votes will then decide on who will be receive the tickets to The Next Web. After the visit we expect another video to tell your voters what you picked up and how it is going to affect your startup.

So, a great chance for startups. And not only to gain access to a great conference, but also to gain a new audience.


This article will be updated as new initiatives come in.

The Next Web has committed to doubling every euro of this initiative! Awesome guys!

We have decided that we will be giving away 10 tickets for The Next Web. For the list of the sponsors, take a look at the comments on Erwin Blom’s Support your local startups. Get working on your videos, be a part of The Next Web.

Dutch Cowboys have stepped up to the challenge.

Changed the title from “The Next Web for The Next Startup?” to make sure all blogs run under the same title.

You can now find all the details on entering, sponsoring and voting on

The rise of the dodesfelfo

Last Thursday the Dodesfelfo struck twitter. An unkown concept of a thing, or animal, or food, or… Dodesfelfo was left to everyone’s imagination to describe. And they did. The counter for twitter messages about the dodesfelfo currently stands at 443 and still is rising. And all from a silly typo on my N95 where I wanted to type the Dutch word “onderdelen” but hit the d instead of the o. My T9 dictionary then was nice enough to create the dodesfelfo. And within an hour the discussion had started. Later on t-shirts and a fan hyves was created for the dodesfelfo, which now has 10 members. Karlijn has written an article on Dutch marketing site It also shows her Dutch slideshare presentation showing some of our twitter postings. A great read.

To me the rise of the dodesfelfo symbolises the way in which concepts spread through online social networks. I realise that the Dutch use of twitter might not be entirely to the letter of the original concept, but it allows realtime online networking with people holding the same interests and passions. You choose who to follow, they choose whether or not to follow you. Most of the users are on the forefront of internet and social media in the Netherlands. And it shows. Messages from twitter travel far and deals for everything from work to office space are made through twitter. But personal joy and grief are shared as well. Twitter is almost like offline life, but without the physical restrictions on time and place. A concept that can be used for many to involve others in their life and practice. So far there are only a limited number of users, but the concept for twitter will travel far in coming years to involve people with one another regardless of where they are and when they communicate.

The real you?

Driving up towards Rotterdam yesterday I was confronted with a great example of building an image. I passed a big van in a dark chocolate color which carried a minimalist design. Just the first name of a person and in a smaller font “garden art”. The van and it trailer breathed the image of garden art instead of a gardener. From the old fashioned font used on the van to its special wheels, to the immaculately clean digger on the trailer behind it. Everything tells you that when this man arrives, you are in for a treat. He is not going to cut your weeds and mow your lawn, he is going to create a masterpiece on the thin line between nature and art.

For me it affirmed once again that a great image is a very valueable thing to have. It gets you noticed and it gets you interesting jobs as well. After all, the van did have a Belgian plate. When was the last time you ordered your gardener from another country?

Start the bidding

Yesterday I blogged about the unexpected enthusiasm for and the matching domain name. After some careful thinking and some feedback from some of my twitter friends, I have decided that it is time to start the bidding. There are several ways to put value on a domain, but how to value a social network and its potential? I have decided to let the interested parties decide for themselves. They can send in their bids until the end of Tuesday the 19th of February. So, if you want to join, feel free to get in touch.

The value of names and networks

In my previous blog post I already described I wanted to get rid of a couple of domain names I had registered.  One of the domain names I mentioned was which I registered as I am the current owner of the two hyves and Over time these two hyves have grown and have been going their own way with me loosely steering them. For me the time has come to sell them and to test the power of the network I built, I decided to first try out sending a mail to the members of the group. I know there are quite a few recruiters on the hyve, so it only seemed natural. Within 10 minutes the first five reactions came in. All five offering to talk about taking over the hyves and domain name. I would say this shows potential to say the least.

Flog it – selling off domains

Over the past couple of years I have gathered a number of domain names. Most of them were connected to some sort of an idea at some point. Unfortunately most of them never made it. So, after thinking it over for some time, I have decided to sell some of them. If you are interested, just let me know.

Domain names for sale right now are:

  • (Startyour own wine site.)
  • (Same addres, but with the typo.)
  • (Promote cheap wines.)
  • lifemusic.n
  • (as in

Launching the concept

Over the past weeks I have had several ideas which I would like to see realised. All of them have a web 2.0 feel to them and they are all internet based. Trouble has been that I do not have any real programming skills or ambitions. This means that I will need someone else to do most of the developing and that involves a lot of money. Then the other day I saw Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten send out a tweet about his new initiative. We exchanged some emails and a decision has been made. Yes, I will offer the possibility to work with me on some of the projects in my mind. I am really interested where this decision is going to take me (and possibly you), but it is exciting never the less.

Next up will probably be a restyle of my blog as well.

Spread the love

Even twitter became love ground yesterday. Twitter users could declare each other their love by sending a <3 which would convert into a heart on their web timeline. Gtalk users also saw hearts as gtalk converted the <3 as well. Receivers of hearts could easily respond by using a special “Yes” button in their timeline. Lets just say that it was fun, got some people in a frenzy and generally messed up everybodies timelines by flooding them with love. Joy all around.

Nevertheless, I did feel something was missing. Valentine’s also is the day to send your secret declaration of love to others. Twitter listed your name, so that couldn’t really be seen as an anonymous declaration by any definition. Wouldn’t it have been great if you could have sent a direct message to @valentwitter to say you loved one of your followers? It would have made the excitement even bigger.

But for me… Yesterday, I just left my Valentine’s surprise in the kitchen and when she found it, she loved it.

Happy New Year!

Ok, it’s a bit late, but as 2008 has rolled around, I want to wish everyone a very happy and blessed 2008. Of course there are many things we can expect to see in 2008, but for most nobody will give a guarantee. Oh well. It is going to be interesting to see where our economic enthusiasm will go this year with prices for oil and gold at an all time high. Will environmental friendliness finally hit the main stream buyers? Will we start working from home more and more due to the rise of the cost of traveling? What impact will services like Jaiku, Twitter and online networks have in a time when the economic situation might be changing more rapid than ever? It is going to be an interesting year. I am enjoying it already.

P.S. And blog-wise I might be changing more and more towards writing in English.