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Invitation New Year Drinks 23rd January 2014

We hope you had an awesome 2013 just like we did and we would like to wish you all the best for 2014! Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are right now. To thank you for all your love and support for ZEEF, we will organize drinks at our HQ in Amsterdam for all ZEEF users on the 23rd of January 2014.

This event will be hosted in corporation with Plot. During this gathering there will be drinks and snacks available and the opportunity to discuss and share your experience with ZEEF.

Last year was an incredibly exciting year for ZEEF in which we achieved many of our goals. The year 2014 will be an even more exciting year with even more ambitious goals. Our CEO Klaas Joosten will tell us something about the future of ZEEF and highlight our achievements of 2013. Afterwards there will be time for Q&A and networking.

Tips and tricks will be shared about how to improve your ZEEF page and how to start monetizing your traffic. But most importantly we want you all to have a lot of fun during this evening.

Last but not least, we would like to remind you about the iPad mini competition. The ZEEF page that receives the most likes, shares, tweets etc between the 1st of December 2013 and 31st of January 2014 will win an iPad Mini. You can view the current top 5 most shared pages here. For more info about the competition, check out our blog.

Program

17.00 – Welcome drinks
18.45 – Talk Klaas Joosten
19.00 – Q&A
19.15 – Networking
21.00 – After party tba

Location

ZEEF HQ
Parooltoren – 8th floor
Wibautstraat 129
1091 GL  Amsterdam

We are looking forward to seeing you the 23rd of January!

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Share your Page and Win an iPad Mini

So you have created your ZEEF page or you’re thinking about creating one, great job! Now it is time to share it with the rest of the world. To stimulate you in sharing your page we have set out a prize competition. The ZEEF page that receives the most likes / shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus between 1st of December 2013 and 31st of January 2014, will receive an iPad Mini Retina 16GB.

So what are you waiting for, start sharing your page and win!

Conditions

  • We count the difference between your score on 1st of December and 31st of January.
  • It is not allowed to buy likes from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus.
  • There will be no discussion on who the winner is.
  • The winner will be announced in February 2014.
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Goodbye Links2Start

Links2Start has been around for a while, now it’s time to say goodbye. Our founder Klaas Joosten had the idea for Links2Start/ZEEF in 2003. Klaas describing his vision: “I believe it is time for human knowledge to advance where algorithmic search seems to have reached its limitations.”. To validate the idea and several assumptions he started building an early prototype in 2007 called Links2Start. Links2Start will no longer be available from today and you will be redirected to ZEEF instead.

History

Over the last couple of years Links2Start grew from a basic startpage script to a platform which was optimized for usability. Several assumptions were validated using Links2Start, for example the CTR of Embedded Link Blocks. Google AdSense had a CTR of 0.85% compared to a CTR of 3.76% in the test.

At the beginning of this year, the J-Development team could finally start work on ZEEF. Although starting development on ZEEF from scratch, we gained a lot of knowledge from Links2Start, which allowed us to make quick progress. Our work bore it’s first fruit with the launch of ZEEF nearly six months ago.

Links2start in 2008

Links2start in 2008

Links2start in 2010

Links2start in 2010

Links2start in 2013

Links2start in 2013

ZEEF in 2013

ZEEF in 2013

Contributors

A large group of people contributed to Links2Start, either by developing the platform or by creating pages. Without these people it would have been much harder to start ZEEF! We want to especially thank the following people:

  • Jeroen Bouwmans, who wrote the system on which Links2Start was based
  • Clifort Bendanon, who developed parts of Links2Start
  • Ighmelene Marline, who developed parts of Links2Start
  • Djaimy Hoogerwerf, who made it possible to add favicons
  • Clyde Verner, who tested conversions and maintained the system
  • Brian Heese, who implemented the search
  • Marcin Citowicki, who worked on a new version of Links2Start
  • Bas van Oostveen and Iskander Schrijver for their feedback
  • And all interns who worked on Links2Start

A big thanks to all Links2Start contributors!

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Optimize your chance on Internships and Jobs

For me it was really difficult to find an interesting internship. During my search, I noticed that not only students had trouble finding interns, but companies also seemed to be having difficulties finding the right interns. The usual way of applying for an internship or job used to be a resume and a sign up at LinkedIn. ZEEF allowed me to create a Personal Page and helped me to build a professional resume at ChristinaButerLozano.ZEEF.com.

As an International Communication Management student, I am working hard to create a successful future for myself. Living in the Netherlands, it’s hard to stand out of the crowd with only a degree. You need the right skills, experience and USPs. I found it hard to prove my skills, qualities and competences. I know what to say and how to come across professionally during job interviews, but how would the interviewer know if what I was saying was true? Just a piece of paper and what I was saying were not enough, how could I really stand out from the other students?

Recruitment internship jobsInitially, LinkedIn helped me because I could add skills and projects and people could endorse me. The problem is, every LinkedIn member has both skills and endorsements listed on their profile.

I didn’t feel like it was striking enough as everyone can just fill in the same pre-defined sections! At ZEEF.com I had the option to create a subject about myself: Christina Buter Lozano. I could add as many link blocks and links as I wanted on any subject I wanted.
After a few minutes of brainstorming I quickly added the following link blocks: About, Work experience, Education. I would have loved to have been able to add all this information to my LinkedIn profile but I couldn’t as LinkedIn limits you to a number of pre-defined categories. As I finished the categories I could copy and paste the URLS in the blocks. Linking to my information means that anybody can easily view and verify it. I also added links to my general resume and LinkedIn profile.

You know why? Because I can also add personal sections  to my personal page. The first thing ZEEF is asking you, is to link your LinkedIn.
I can now show my Personal Page, which contains all the needed qualitative info about me and my career. It’s a nice, clear and professional site map about me as a professional. Check it out yourself: ChristinaButerLozano.ZEEF.com.

Benefits

  • It’s better than LinkedIn because I can add as many sections as I want.
  • It’s better than my Curriculum Vitae because it’s clickable, so it contains more information and is easier to verify.
  • I can add all my work, certificates, diplomas, research, company pitches and everything else on one single page and to create a clear and strong professional overview to attract companies and get a nice job.

After publishing the page I felt like all my qualities and skills were communicated in a more professional and innovative way, ready for a successful future. Every positive related professional aspect of me was added to this personal profile, I got the feeling I did everything to show the best of me. Of course I’ll keep LinkedIn, it’s viewable in the social networks at my personal page. Everything you need is included!

Additional reading

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Press coverage and downtime this morning

We sent out a press release to the Dutch press yesterday about our founder Klaas Joosten. It is being picked up really well with publications at large Dutch marketing blogs like Emerce and Adformatie (Thanks!). We also expect an article in one of the bigger Dutch newspapers tomorrow. Unfortunately we also experienced some downtime this morning, was this related?

The article in Emerce focuses on our embedded link blocks and explains both the similarities and differences between ZEEF and Startpagina. According to Emerce, the ‘magic’ of ZEEF is connecting advertisers to our lists. These articles have given us a nice increase in visitors and (more importantly) they have also boosted the number of high quality pages being created! As expected, a number of these pages are in Dutch. We are still focusing only on the US market for now, but we will start accepting Dutch pages around late 2013/early 2014.

Just an hour after the article at Emerce was published, ZEEF.com experienced some downtime. Although there were a lot more visitors on the site than usual, it appeared this wasn’t related to the downtime. At the time ZEEF went down, we were receiving a large amount of suspicious traffic from Bulgaria on our TechCrunch page. After blocking the offending IP addresses, ZEEF was stable again. We are working on a number of improvements to protect ourselves against this kind of problem. The timing was very unfortunate given the amount of attention we were receiving at the moment.

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Join our expert dinner

Meet ZEEF team members and other ZEEF experts!

Every month we will organize dinners to share ideas with our experts and talk about our passions. We would love to see you at our next dinner!

If you’d like to be part of this, read about our upcoming dinner that’s taking place on November 7th. If you won’t be able to join this time, check out this overview where we will add upcoming dinners every month.

At these dinners we will give tips and tricks about your ZEEF page and would love to get your feedback to improve ZEEF according to what you want and need. Next to this, you can share thoughts and experiences with fellow ZEEF experts and team members.

Eat to Meet is a new startup that brings people together at one table. Payment for the dinner is done individually at the restaurant.

Join us on November 7th!

When? Thursday, November 7th, starts at 19:00

Where? Badhuis, Javaplein 21, 1095 CJ, Amsterdam

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Content navigation versus content creation

Everyday experts in every industry write and publish a lot of great content online. As the amount of content keeps increasing incredibly fast, how do you find the best content out there about a specific subject? We believe that experts are the key to solving this problem.

Our vision at ZEEF is to bring structure in this information overload. That’s why we aim to provide ZEEF subject pages with link blocks that are categorized and ranked by experts. These blocks of links help consumers navigate to the best content about a specific subject. We do have a feature to add blocks of text. But these should preferably be used for providing extra context to your ZEEF subject page and not to publish content, as that is not what we’re trying to achieve with our platform. To give you an example we will show you how an expert first used ZEEF as a content creation platform and, after receiving our feedback, as a navigation platform.

Above is a screenshot of a ZEEF subject page consisting primarily out of content. This page was created by Steve S. Ryan, Ph.D, publisher of A-fib.com and author of the book Beat Your A-Fib. Since we practice what we preach, this subject page did not meet our requirements to be published. As it was clear someone has put a lot of effort in this subject page, it would be a shame to dismiss this subject page completely. Instead, we contacted Steve about why we believe content navigation is a problem that we should solve instead of providing more content.

After our feedback and a bit of our help, Steve did a really great job at transforming his content page into a content navigation page as can be seen in the next screenshot. Now, the page is well organized, links have a clear and short description and each link block has a clear title. This makes it easy to navigate through the page. Page after feedback about Atrial Fibrillation

With this post we hope we’ve explained why we believe in the importance of content navigation and why ZEEF is not about content creation. There are already a lot of beautiful products out there to create content, an overview of these products can be found on the Web Publishing subject page by Robin Good.

 

 

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ZEEF officially released!

Last week was an awesome week at ZEEF with 3 highlights: a new version of ZEEF.com,  a completely new company website and our Launch Party. With these three events we kicked off our product and made it available to the public.

ZEEF.com

ZEEF.com

The latest version of our product ZEEF.com was launched last Wednesday. This version contains a fresh new design, loads of bug fixes and some nice improvements. Most interesting are that we now use secure HTTP for everything and all pages now also work correctly on mobile phones and tablets. Smaller things include the possibility to easily like and share pages and better notifications on e.g. link suggestions.

We received a lot of feedback and for the next version we will be working on making ZEEF even easier to use.
Continue Reading →

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How are top 10 lists created?

I believe the best information can be found through experts.

Why? Because today the world wide web has evolved into a jungle for consumers, making it increasingly difficult and time consuming to find the best and most reliable available products and services online. When searching for products or services out of your daily comfort zone (e.g. eye laser surgery), consumers have to rely on the algorithm of search engines. Advice or reference from expert editors, bloggers and peers would be highly appreciated in the decision making process. Next to this, SEM (Search Engine Marketing) has become a big game with high investments to obtain a first page position in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Today, not the quality of content and services, but SEO optimization techniques make the difference in ranking.

That is why we believe that expert ratings are beter than algorithme ratings. We tested our assumption with the key word ‘buy laptop’ and another example ‘repair dishwasher’. We only changed the order of the links not the content and we found out that 70% of the consumer preferred the expert rating above Google.

Algorithme rating versus Expert Rating

Last wednesday I was at Mini Seedcamp Amsterdam where the top 10 startups were pitching. Since I am a big fan of the ‘lean methodology’  I thought: “let’s test my assumption that these 10 startups can be best rated via an expert”. Below you will find the result of this expert rating.

My top 10 startups - Mini Seedcamp Amsterdam

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