You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2007.

Sport.be, Belgium’s most famous sports portal, recently launched a free blogging service for registered users. It’s the first time a blogging service based on Six Apart‘s Movable Type platform is deployed in Belgium on this scale.

The sports website was started almost 5 years ago, with the merger of the teams behind Sport24 (the ex-Planet Internet Belgium website became obsolete when the company was sold to Scarlet) and Belgiumsoccer.com. It operates from Paal (Limburg) and reaches an average of 60 000 unique visitors per day, with a total daily pageview count of 700 000. The company behind the website (Sport.be NV) is backed by a sole investor: Bob Verbeeck, CEO of sports marketing house Octagon.

Here’s a screenshot of a test blog I created:

sportbe-blog.png

Gert Van Goolen, General Manager of Sport.be NV, says the blogging service will help them retain their readership by building an online sports fan community. At this moment, the service is only available in Dutch. The French counterpart is expected to go live in 2 weeks, and the company’s dedicated to roll out other services that involve participation from the community alongside.

If you’re curious to know what they have in store, keep watching this blog for updates on further developments!

sportbe-site.png

Advertisements

The European ICT Prize is the most distinguished award for innovative products and services that represent the best of European innovation in ICT. The Prize is organised by Euro-CASE with the sponsorship and support of the European Commission.

On 16 March 2007, the EC will hand out Grand Prizes to 3 companies, carefully selected out of 70 nominees. They will be given a check of 200 000 euro. Since the creation of the Prize in 1995, there has never been a Belgian Grand Prize winner.

Maybe this year? These 2 Belgian companies made the nominee list:

  • Algonomics, a Ghent based bioinformatics company, spun off the University of Leuven
  • Attentio,  a Brussels based ‘market intelligence’ company specializing in measuring and analyzing data from various social media (blogs, forums, news sites, …)

Watch this blog for an detailed profile of Attentio soon! In the meantime, check their blog.

Did you ever get a job thanks to a friend, family member, (ex) co-worker or just someone you happen to know (aka ‘your network’)? Did that person get paid for referring you?

Statistics tell us that the answers to those questions should be respectively Yes and No. But the chance of the answer to the second question being Yes instead is getting bigger every day.

Getting rewarded for getting someone in your network a job is something that’s mostly limited to ‘internal referrals’, meaning you get paid by your employer for filling in an open position within your own organization. But things are changing. Often characterized as ‘Recruitment 2.0’, websites who enable you to get rewarded for referrals and thus monetize your network by filling up open positions, are popping up here and there. Known examples are SpotaJob (The Netherlands), Yorz (US), Zubka, h3 (both UK based), JobMeeters (France), etc.

And now the first Belgian Recruitment 2.0 website, Xpertize, is officially launching later this week (that’s right, our first scoop!).

Xpertize.be is a Brussels-based startup that was founded about 3 months ago by 3 young entrepreneurs, with 0 euros in VC funding. The 3 founders combine startup experience with recruitment market knowledge. One of the founders, Axel Lannoy, started up M Cube which was acquired by E-Zone in September 2005, while Cedric Van Kan was an active founder of JustForYou, now part of Belgacom Skynet). Vincent De Meerleer is a law graduate who brings in the recruitment / headhunting market knowledge.

This is how it works: Xpertize allows ‘Connectors’, people with an extensive professional network who share contacts from their network via the website, to get rewarded each time someone in their network fills up an open position within a registered organization. The rewards range from 500 to 3 000 euro, depending on the profile of both job and candidate. Xpertize claims that this system also benefits the companies looking for people, because ‘Connectors’ will want to maintain their credibility within their own network, which leaves more space for quality contacts rather than clutter. The speed of the process and the fact that companies don’t get charged if the position isn’t filled after all, are other elements that could be in the interest of companies. If the right candidate is found, Xpertize will charge the recruiting company 12% of the gross yearly salary.

Personally, I think RSS feeds (or automatic e-mail updates) for new job offers should be added, and I’m always suprised to see a young Web 2.0 startup without a blog.

UPDATE: RSS feeds are being implemented in the near future, and there IS a blog: http://xpertize.wordpress.com (see comments).

At this moment, there are already 1 600 Connectors registered in the database (and growing), and over 80 open job positions listed. While the startup is self-financed, the founders have already hired 1 staff member, and welcome external investors to make further developments and an expansion abroad possible.

xpertize.png

Bart Claeys, who is also the founder of BarClaey, and Antwerp-based design and development company, has recently celebrated CreativeSkills’ first birthday.

CreativeSkills is a portfolio website for the Flemish creative community, ranging from product developers, engineers, architects, web designers, 3D modellers, interior & furniture designers, and so on. The website allows registered users to showcase their portfolio, trainings and software skills. It also features a job board for the creative industry, which seems to be updated regularly (there have already been 12 15 positions added in Jannuary 2007 alone).

There’s an RSS feed available offering updates for both new job offerings and new users.

Registered users can be searched via a large designer tag cloud, and Bart Claeys has also put his Google Maps knowledge (one of his previous experiments is a map of all Belgian train stations) to good use by offering both a CreativeMap as a JobMap.

CreativeSkills has already gathered over 1 300 profiles in 1 year. The website generates revenue trough Google Ads, E-mail sponsoring and some display advertising; addings open positions to the job board is free of charge.

Personally, I think the site lacks a search engine where you can search names, education and software skills from users. Other stuff that comes to mind: individual RSS feeds per user so you can receive updates to specific portfolios, more personalization of user profiles, a flash video upload tool, a slideshow feature of portfolio images, more community features (like the ability to add friends to a network, sending public and private messages, allowing comments on other users portfolios, etc.).

UPDATE: Bart checked in to remind me of the fact that CreativeSkills is still in Beta, but that there are several new functionalities and tweaks in the pipeline already. Furthermore, the networking, video uploading (example) and messaging features have already been added.

CreativeSkills also has a blog.

Also worth noting: CreativeSkills has won an award with the governmental campaign “Jij Bent Flanders Future” (= “You Are Flanders’ Future”)

creativeskills.png

From the ‘about’ pages:

“Mobiya is a first-mover and patent pending person-to-person communications system that enables mobile social media in classified advertising. The company develops and brings to market, mobile messaging services and technologies. Specific technology focus areas include interactive and transactional systems for online classified advertisements, social networking and community portals.”

Status: Live on Mobiya.be, but maintaining Beta status

Financial details: Not available (yet)

Operating from: Ghent, sales office in the UK

Website and / or blog:

Website: Mobiya.com

Blog: Mobiyalog.com

Mobiya

… but with a slightly different approach. This blog aims to review Web 2.0 applications and services, specifically originating from Belgium.

Web 2.0 (although the term itself is subject of some debate) = next-generation of internet-based services that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users. If you’re looking for a more extensive explanation of the term, please visit this definition, published by Tim O’Reilly (who coined the term).

I hope good things come out of this blog. Please don’t hesitate to send in any review requests, announcements, remarks or questions via the contact page.

More information about myself and Web.2point0.be can be found on the ‘About’ page.