Beoordelen of meedingen? Meedingen!

De afgelopen week is er al veel geschreven over The Next Web kaarten die weggegeven worden. Ik schrijf nu met opzet “weggegeven worden” in plaats van “die wij weggeven”. Dat komt omdat ik intussen zelf ook de smaak te pakken heb gekregen. Het lijkt me namelijk erg interessant om bij The Next Web aanwezig te zijn. De onderwerpen zijn interessant, de sprekers prima en ook onder de bezoekers zullen er veel interessante mensen zijn.

Over de afgelopen maanden heb ik al een aantal ideeën gekregen voor interessante startups. Sommige echte internet services, anderen een combinatie van een internet service met een product of duidelijke dienstverlening. Het wordt nu dan ook tijd om er actie op te ondernemen. Om het in het Engels te zeggen; “Put your money where your mouth is”. Ofwel, ik ga me ook in de strijd om de kaartjes werpen. Hoe? Dat is nog even onduidelijk. Het wordt een video, maar wat daarin precies gaat gebeuren moet ik nog bedenken. Daar ga ik vanavond voor zitten. Wel is duidelijk wat het gaat worden. De domeinnaam is al geregistreerd en de naam voor de startup staat vast. Nieuwer kun je ze niet vinden. Ik ben benieuwd of ik The Next Web ga halen.

Even voor de duidelijkheid, ik heb verder geen enkele invloed op het weggeven van de kaartjes zelf. Dat zal gebeuren door jullie; de mensen die gaan stemmen op de video’s die geplaatst gaan worden op PitchStorm.tv. Ik zie er naar uit.

TNW kaarten weggeven nu via PitchStorm.tv

Gisteren werd bekend dat Lucien Burm ruimte heeft gemaakt voor het weggeven van de kaarten voor The Next Web. Op PitchStorm.tv staan tips over het pitchen van je ideeën, dus wat dat betreft is het een hele logische plaats om de competitie te laten verlopen. De filmpjes die op de verschillende grote video sites worden geplaatst (bijvoorbeeld YouTube en Vimeo) worden hier verzameld en daar komt dan ook de mogelijkheid om te stemmen. Daarnaast hebben ook de regels een definitieve plaats gekregen op de site. Op de pagina met de regels vindt je ook het formulier om je in te schrijven en mee te dingen naar de kaarten. De sponsors hebben ook een speciale vermelding gekregen op de site. Zonder hen was het niet mogelijk geweest dit te doen.

Dus, waar wacht je nog op. Startup, start pitching!

Mono or bi-lingual?

Ik zit er al weer een tijdje over te dubben. Moet ik nou in het Engels of in het Nederlands schrijven op mijn blog. En twitter dan, mijn tweets in het Engels, of in het Nederlands. Die laatste is makkelijk. De tweets gaan in het Nederlands. En het voordeel was te merken bij de Dutch Bloggies waar ik woensdag veel mensen tegenkwam die direct wisten wie ik was.

Maar nu het blog. Ergens is het een rare vraag voor een blog dat dagelijks door maar een heel klein groepje mensen wordt bezocht. Heb je dan internationale aspiraties? Nou ja, misschien nog wel eens. Maar de vraag is of je je daar dan ook op moet richten. Aan de andere kant is er maar een erg beperkt clubje mensen dat ook daadwerkelijk Nederlands schrijft. Maar ja, dat is dan ook wel weer de omgeving waarin je woont en werkt. Het blijft dus gewoon dubben. Het ‘Support your local startup!’ verhaal heb ik in het Engels gedaan. En het werd ook best goed gelezen. Maar ja, het is wel een Nederlands initiatief en degene die het lezen zullen Nederlanders zijn en Nederlands spreken.

Aspiraties laten varen dan maar en eerst in het Hollandse aan de slag? Er is genoeg te doen, maar het publiek voor Engelstalige blogs is natuurlijk wel veel groter. Aan de andere kant, de concurrentie ook. Misschien toch maar gewoon een muntje opgooien.

So, what’s it going to be? NL or EN. Feedback?

Startups, get started!

On the 18th I suggested that it would be a great idea if companies that run well donate money to get startups to The Next Web conference in Amsterdam. The idea has taken the Netherlands by storm. Walking around the Dutch Bloggies on Wednesday, everyone seemed to know about it. And rightly so, as we currently have a lot of tickets on offer! Of those tickets 3 have special conditions. 1 is for a startup from Arnhem and 2 need to go to startups related to education. The others are open to anyone!

So, get cracking on a video showing your startup. Tell us why you need the ticket and why everybody cannot do without your startup in the future. Who knows, you might get an email telling you you can spend the two days at The Next Web totally free!

So, what is a startup? Wikipedia says:
A startup company or start-up is a company with a limited operating history. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets. They have an uncertain future, and may result in a spectacular success, or failure. The term became popular internationally during the dot-com bubble when a great number of dot-com companies were founded. A high tech startup company is a startup company specialized in the high tech industry.

We have decided that a startup can be a bit broader for this competition. It can be that you are just starting up, but it can also be a pitch for a great new idea you have. Anything to do with internet, mobile internet or other ict related services has a chance to win. But you need to take it seriously.

The video can be a maximium of 3 minutes and needs to draw people to your startup. And it is alright to practice. If you want early feedback, post your video in the comments on this page or on the related blogpost of Erwin Blom. The final result needs to be in on the 28th of March, which leaves you a week. You can find all the details on PitchStorm.tv. So why are you still sitting there, get your camera out and get going!

@advany has already released his first beta for the competition video. Are you the next startup?

Maximum exposure

Yesterday Corné Wielemaker showed his trust in social networks. As his company Maximum is looking for both an Interactive Accountmanager and an Interactive Art Director he decided to post them on twitter. To make sure more people see it, he also posted the job openings on his blog. And that was different. Because, even though he did use more than 140 characters, the whole post was done in a minimalist style to say the least. With a call to action without an address but the opportunity to reach him through one of the social media sites he is active on. It is going to be interesting to see what the response will be.

Bij Maximum zijn we op zoek naar een Interactieve Accountmanager en een Interactieve Art Director. Mocht je willen weten of één van de functies iets voor jou of voor een bekende van jou is, neem dan contact met mij op via één van de socialmedia sites waarvan de links op dit weblog staan.

And the winner is… …me.

Yesterday was the day of the Dutch Bloggies. And I was there. Unprepared, unexpected, but I was there. 18 blogs were awarded in 18 categories. 250 people where in the Atrium in The Hague to witness it. And I am not going to tell you who won. I am also not going to tell you about the jury, the countless hours of judging and reading blogs and I am not going to tell you about sponsors or media coverage. I am going to tell you about twitter.

Highlights of my day yesterday were walking up to a restaurant picked by @raaphorst. Spending time eating with @eef, @arjanh, @erwblo and others (forgot the nicks, comments please…). Or going to Pavlov half an our before the bloggies and chatting to @leolovestwtr and @marlooz about how natural it seemed to be twittering while talking to others. And nobody in the group thought it was strange. Sitting next to @phoef during the award ceremony I felt both on the backchannel as well as in the Atrium. A nice combination of being close to people there and yet not sitting next to you. And after the awards there was the time meeting so many of the twitterazi I am connected with.

The evening was great. For me the main thing was just being there and being with a group of friends who I never met before, except for on twitter. And it proved to me once again that relationships can build online and extend naturally into ‘real life’. I had a great time. Thanks @frankmeeuwsen for making the evening happen. And to @erwblo for inviting me over. Mostly to talk about the Support your local Startup! rules. But I guess we’ll have to do that online again today.

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.

=====BREAKING NEWS====

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 PitchStorm.tv.

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 marketingfacts.nl. 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?

Marketingsmurf

Naar aanleiding van de smurfen actie van de Abert Heijn kon ik me toch even niet inhouden. Een sterke marketingactie die veel mensen naar de winkel trekt. Jammer dat de poppetjes deze keer kwalitatief minder sterk zijn. Er schijnen makkelijk armpjes af te breken en zo. Een twintig jaar geleden was er ook een marketingactie met smurfen van een supermarkt. Ik weet alleen niet meer welke.

Als hommage aan de marketing mensen die de smurfen marketen, de marketingsmurf. In paarse broek natuurlijk.

Marketingsmurf

Start the bidding

Yesterday I blogged about the unexpected enthusiasm for baanzoektmv.hyves.nl and the matching baanzoektmv.nl 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 baanzoektmv.nl which I registered as I am the current owner of the two hyves baanzoektmv.hyves.nl and mvzoektbaan.hyves.nl. 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.