3 simple ways to make your page even more beautiful

ZEEF is a platform where you collect, rank and categorize your links, and we work hard to make it nice and simple. However, it is you who make the final visual layout and the design of your page. In this post we would like to show you some simple solutions of how to improve the design of your page and make it even more beautiful.

  1. Shorten the names

First of all, try to put as short names of the links and of the blocks as possible. Leave maximum three words describing the main content of the link. If you see that the names of several links are very similar – use the name of the website instead.

Hint: DO NOT repeat the name of the page in the names of the links.

Look at the example below (don’t focus on content, the main thing here is the difference in visual presentation): we only removed “Dominican Republic” from the names of the links, and it became so much cleaner!

ZEEF page before          ZEEF page after

  1. Think of the structure of the page

When people see the ZEEF page for the first time, first of all they read the title of it, and then – the names of the blocks. The description of the page is needed, however it is not always visible. Therefore, the best way to show what type of content your page has is to create proper blocks. For example, on the JavaScript page there is a clear structure: from the general information and the basics of JavaScript, to advanced libraries and additional information. Thus, try to put the most general and important blocks on top of the page, so the visitors have a clear idea about the topic of your page and its content.


  1. Use non-distracting headers

Flat design is valued for its minimalism, that is why it is especially useful in ZEEF pages. Use monotonous and simple headers for your blocks and avoid too detailed pictures which may outshine the links. If you cannot find such pictures – better leave your blocks without headers at all.

ZEEF page with flat pictures


4 Tips to gain traffic in ZEEF

Once your ZEEF page is published, it is time to share it with the world. There are multiple channels, many different audiences to reach and many formulas to attract potential visitors.

Consequently, it is not always easy to figure out what’s the most effective way to share your content. Besides our Sharing Guide, we would love to lend you an extra hand! Here are 4 simple tips that have proved to be useful for us and some of our top curators to gain more visibility:

1. Mention the Twitter accounts of the users/companies that appear on your list

 They will be likely to retweet it to their followers. Give Twitter a try it!

2. Post your page in Facebook groups about the topic

It’s one of the easiest and most direct ways to share your page. Everyone appreciates useful information, don’t hesitate to explore Facebook in search of the perfect group to contribute to.


There are endless Communities about a large range of topics in Google + , therefore you can easily find your target audience. Besides, linking your page in one of these groups helps to rank higher on Google Search.

4. Embed a list on your blog

It is also a great idea to suggest other bloggers to include it on their websites as a Widget.

These steps are a good way to start receiving traffic in your page. Everyone will appreciate that you share your quality content. For instance, Backpacking Europe gained hundreds of views after being shared in Facebook groups and Google+ Communities about traveling.

As a concrete example, look what a great start had CryEngine by Arjan Pronk right after shared with the 2000+ members of CryEngine Developers Facebook group. Even not being a large group, the page received attention and this was clearly reflected in its statistics. It is very easy to measure your performance, just have a quick look at Top Traffic Sources in Dashboard> Statistics. This way you can ponder which media is the most adequate to share your page.

Remember to choose relevant communities and be natural, sharing is caring! If you’d like to learn more about how to showcase your page in Social Media, check out our Sharing Guide.


These pages reached 10k views, why didn’t yours?

I have added one point to the guidelines, and I think this is the most important thing the curators should think about:

Be useful. ZEEF is not only for collecting the links, but also for helping people searching for information. If you decided to create a page – think first: “Why would people use it? What is the added value of the page? What problems will it solve?”

Unfortunately, there is an amount of pages on ZEEF which do not bring any added value to the visitors and to the platform in general. The reasons for this may be:

  • The curators do not really understand the point of creating ZEEF pages.
  • It is hard to find and filter useful information.
  • The curators get excited about it in the beginning, but then lose their energy and interest and abandon their pages.

According to my research, 80% of the curators need less than 1 day to create and publish their pages, and this does not always lead to the high-quality results. Creation of ZEEF page is never a matter of couple of hours – in order to collect all the relevant links, you have to be ready to make a real research on the topic!

On ZEEF there are some pages which have great added value. These are the ones I am proud to promote, being sure that people will thank me for such a great source. These are Web Design Tools, Online Collaboration Tools, Game Development and so on. These pages contain all the relevant information about the subject, and they look like this:


How organized ZEEF page looks like

It does not even matter what kind of clothes there are: let them be cheap and non-fashioned – I would still love to have wardrobe like this.

These pages are clean, organized, accurate, easy to use, and they are worth to be bookmarked. And most important: these page always have great statistics! People love them, share them and use them.

However, unfortunately, 80% of ZEEF pages look like this:


How non-organized ZEEF page looks like

The sad truth is that there may be cool, expensive and high-quality brands in this wardrobe. But it is almost impossible to find. We are lazy to search for the content. Instead, we want the links to be served on a silver platter, and even though the curators of ZEEF pages organize their links, they still make it too complicated.

For example, the page Digital Culture looks like a nice page, it has a great content and the curator spent a lot of time and resources creating it, but:

  • It’s easy to get lost, because there is no clear structure;
  • Some of the pictures are distracting;
  • The links are hard to find and do not make me feel like clicking on them;
  • Plus, it is not very clear what content these links present.

So, what is a good page?

  • It provides tools/sources for solving users’ problems (e.g. online collaboration tools).
  • It provides the best places, best products, best tutorials, best anything people look for. It can never be 60 “best” links! If you make a list of all the shops – do not call it “best shops”. And if you want to make a list of best shops – do not put all the existing links in the list. Choose top 6-10 – this is what your visitors expect from you.
  • It has everything related to the topic, but nothing extra.
  • It has short and readable links – and they should “force” the visitor to click on them.
  • It is structured and not too long (has less than 30 blocks).

How to increase the quality of the pages?

Plain information, texts, reviews and other articles are very easy to find in Google. For ZEEF there is no point competing with giants, so why to look for texts on ZEEF if we have Google for it? Instead, we should collect tools, places, shops, tutorials, books, programs, apps, cources, solutions – something that is used by people day after day, and something people would even agree to pay for.

The aim of ZEEF pages is to help people by collecting the best solutions for their problems (not just information) and by presenting them in a nice way. Thus, before creating the page, first of all, think about the benefits of using your page and it’s informativeness, structure, and names of the blocks and the links. If you already have your page on ZEEF – read the Guidelines and update your page right now!

We do not filter the information anymore, we collect the best tools and solutions to the problems people face!

gza winners optimized

And the Golden ZEEF Award goes to…

This week marked the end of the Golden ZEEF Award contest! In all, 49 pages from 42 people participated in the contest with topics ranging from Web Development to Bellydancing and  Feminism to  Backpacking Australia.

We’re happy to announce the two winners of the Golden ZEEF Award contest! It was a close finish, but the winners for each category are…

Page Quality Score Model (Based on our algorithm ranking)
Education Apps for Kids by Katie Willams!
Participant’s vote (Based on the human judgement of participants in the contest)
Awesome Websites by Daniel Alessi!

The ultimate aim of the Golden ZEEF Award was to test our page quality model which was executed by participants sharing their ZEEF pages with the rest of the world.

The quality of ZEEF pages are ranked on factors such as views, clicks, thanks, shares, follows, suggests. These statistics are then calculated together in our algorithm which can then let our system assign quality rankings to pages. To test the validity of our quality score we asked participants to share and promote their pages to see whether their high quality statistics correlated with the human judgement of the pages in the contest.

The contest really opened our eyes (and hopefully the participants’!) on what truly defines quality and also the best ways to share ZEEF pages.

So why did the page with most views and clicks not win? Our algorithm gives a lot of importance to Shares and Thanks statistics, since they indicate how much visitors value the page content. It is true that the amount of traffic is a relevant factor to take into account, but doesn’t necessarily talk about the page’s quality. As a result, Educational Apps for Kids has a higher position in the Quality Score Ranking.

To all the competing pages, thank you very much for participating in the Golden ZEEF Award. With your participation, we’ve received lots of valuable input and feedback which will help us define our Page Quality Score model. You will all receive a golden ZEEF Award medal on your page and our winners (Daniel & Katie) will receive the exclusive Golden ZEEF Award badge on their winning ZEEF pages plus some awesome prizes.

On behalf of the whole ZEEF team thanks so much for your time and effort in helping us develop a website where you can find quality information through people.profille picture


Page Star Rating

At ZEEF, we believe that people are the best assessors of quality information. Consequently, they should also be considered as the best judges.

golden zeef award-star ranking image

We have been discussing what makes a quality page and which human engagement indicators we should take into account when considering this. Over the last month, the Golden ZEEF Award has provided us with new insights about how users perceive the quality of ZEEF pages and how our algorithm performs in terms of evaluating different pages. At the moment we are taking two inputs into account to rank the contestants:

But what about the whole ZEEF community?

During the last phase of the Golden ZEEF Award, we are previewing a new feature: the Page Star Rating. We would like to increase the amount of human input to our quality score through a quick and intuitive way to rank the pages where any user can participate.

page star ranking image

Since the contest is going through its last stage, we are not going consider the Page Star Rating results when determining the winner of the Golden ZEEF Award. With extra human input from the Page Star Rating, we’re keen on improving the page quality score model.

Currently, the Page Star Rating is only available for Golden ZEEF Award Pages. Should it become a new feature? We are very excited to test this method and to hear your feedback about it.

Start ranking the Golden ZEEF Award pages!



Golden ZEEF Award

Golden ZEEF Award 2015

We believe we can advance where algorithmic search seems to have reached its limits by using human knowledge to sift through the overload of information. Participate in the Golden ZEEF Award contest to help us create a human page quality score and get rewarded for your help and knowledge!


Through means of this contest we want to pilot our quality score model based on human interaction. After transparently testing and improving the page quality model during the contest, our goal is to accurately define the quality of all ZEEF pages in the future. This way you’ll be able to find best information on the web in a heartbeat. As such, we would like to ask for your help by participating in the Golden ZEEF Award of 2015!

Quality Score

With your input, we would like to create a “human page quality score” based on engagement indicators, but most importantly, humans. With your input and during a fun, interactive contest, we want to determine the best page quality indicators and see if we’re on the right track.

We’re currently looking into the following mix of human engagement indicators for our human page quality score (we’re of course open for other suggestions!). An overview of the metrics we believe define a quality page can be found on our dedicated Page Quality Score page. 2015-03-09 10-46-45


Throughout the contest we’ll be testing our “human page quality score” against an actual human ranking of pages. This way we validate if we’re on the right track so you will always find the best information. At the end of the contest there will be two winners:

  1. Human choice: hand-picked by participating curators
  2. Human page quality score: picked by our new page quality score model

We’ll also give you a sneak preview of our new badges feature by allowing contest participants to collect some of the first exclusive ZEEF page badges! Everybody is allowed to participate and has an equal chance of winning the following rewards:

  1. The exclusive Golden ZEEF Award badge on your winning page!
  2. € 300,- cash, an iPad or a Chromebook
  3. € 500,- worth of SEO consultancy and ZEEF page promotion

There will of course also be rewards for the runner ups!


  1. Create a new subject page. Participate with a new subject page or a page you haven’t published yet. This way everyone has an equal chance to win!
  2. Confirm your participation. Submit the link to your unpublished page to the participants block on the dedicated Golden ZEEF Award 2015 page or reach out to me personally.
  3. Promote your page. On March 31st at 11:59pm GMT we will publish all participating pages at the same time. You’ll have the entire month of April to promote your page and win!

Check out for more information about the contest and the other great prizes you can win. All participants will be rewarded with a Golden ZEEF 2015 participant badge on their page!

The team at ZEEF is looking forward to receiving your applications! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Filter Bubbles

Escape the Filter Bubble

The “Filter Bubble” is a result of a phenomenon where an automated algorithm selectively guesses what kind of information a user would like to see based on the information about the user. What are its origins, what are the implications, and how can you escape the filter bubble?

Origin Filter Bubble

In the newspaper era, senior newspaper editors would decide what we would and would not read. Whether we liked it or not, journalism ethics (hopefully) meant we would absorb information covering a mix of relevant, important, uncomfortable, challenging and balanced points of view. In the “Internet era,” personal preference combined with search algorithms decide which information reaches us. This was needed due to the explosion of information on the internet. In September 2014 the total number of websites on the Internet surpassed the magical number of one billion. You read that correctly: one billion (1,000,000,000) websites on the Internet. That’s one website for every seven people on earth; and it’s growing fast. As of January 2015 we’re almost at 1.2 billion websites. To put things into perspective, there were 2.4 million websites in 1998, the year Google went live, and a mere 2,738 websites in 1994, when “Jerry and David’s guide to the World Wide Web” (later known as Yahoo!) was published. That means that at the beginning of 2015 there are almost 1.2 billion websites more than in 2000.

To cope with these exponential numbers, sophisticated algorithms were developed to automatically (and quite successfully) filter our search results. These algorithms were programmed to learn about you and track your personal preferences. In doing so, they collect as much information about you as possible. This information is subsequently used to tailor your search results when using the search engine, without you asking for it. For example, if you were to search for Egypt and you had a search history of traveling, your results will be very different from somebody who’s had a search history of journalism.

Effects of Filter Bubble: internet privacy

Tailored search results sound ideal but you don’t realise that the internet is beginning to hide information from you. As a result, algorithm-based search has brought about an unforeseen problem: our information diversity is decreasing rapidly and it interferes with the universal availability of information. We now choose what we will and will not read. We now decide which information reaches us. And in this, we receive a helping hand from “personalised search.” The more we click on certain topics, the more we get served those familiar topics. Have you noticed your (Facebook) news stream becoming steadily more homogenous? Or that the more cat movies you watch on YouTube, the more cat movies are suggested to you? Things we don’t interact with are simply filtered away until we are effectively left in a bubble. This is your personal filter bubble in action. Below you can find some videos about the filter bubble.

Escaping the filter bubble: empower internet privacy

Can you escape the filter bubble? Yes, if you use the internet completely anonymously. In order for this to happen, strong government regulation would be required to safeguard our privacy. However, with influential companies like Facebook and Google’s business models being all about targeting relevant ads to their users, it doesn’t look like this will happen any time soon. As such, it currently doesn’t look like you can completely escape your filter bubble… However, there are few ways to decrease the size of it. The most effective ways involve reducing the amount of information you provide to search algorithms and luckily there are some practical steps you can take to do this. Below you find a list of resources about escaping the filter bubble.

In the end, I believe it is extremely important for all of us to be aware of how we are affected by the filter bubble phenomenon. Only when we start realising it and know about its consequences can we start taking action to escape our tailor-made filter bubbles.

The Art of Content Curation

Art of Content Curation, Sprout Challenge & Workshop

This week was a fantastic one for ZEEF. On Wednesday, ZEEF hosted their first annual event ‘The Art of Content Curation’, and on Thursday, ZEEF’s pitch landed in the finals of Sprout’s Startup of the Year competition. Next week, we’ll be training a whole new group of curators to keep the momentum going.

Art of Content Curation 2015

We are very proud of the fully booked guest list, the great speakers and the creative dinner at our first annual event. During the evening, we explored content curation from all different sides – the legal aspects, the business value it provides, and how we can use it to enhance learning in our businesses. In addition to the main presentations, companies already using content curation to drive their businesses pitched their concepts. We hope that our event is just the beginning of a much longer discussion.

It may be surprising to hear that there wasn’t a presentation about ZEEF at the event. You may already know that Facebook is hosting a conference on social media, but is not highlighting themselves during it. ZEEF is working towards a similar goal. We want to be a resource and knowledge center for the broader discussion about the importance of content curation, without needing to highlight our own services in the process.

Presentations can be found on the  company page of ZEEF. Pictures of the event are on Facebook. On Monday Susanne Bender will provide a full report about the events including all the pictures. And of course, our guests were tweeting like mad both during and after the event. Check out #ZEEFcom and #AoCC2015 for the tweets. On you can see who were on your table in case you’d like to connect.

We hope to see you all hope you will all join next year at The Art of Content Curation 2016!

Sprout Challenge

To everybody who supported and voted us through to the final stage of Sprout ´Startup of the Year´ competition, we´d like to say a big thanks on behalf of the entire ZEEF team. We’re proud to have made it as far as we did in the contest.

Your votes made us one of the four finalists. The final round of the contest consisted of us pitching to a panel of investors, influentials and Sprout writers on why we believed we should be voted as Startup of the Year. Although we didn’t win, we were voted as runners up in the competition, along with Fastr and Bux Netherlands. Congratulations to Undagrid on winning Sprout´s title of Startup of the Year. To read more about the event, just click here (Article in Dutch).

ZEEF Workshop: creating a quality page

On Wednesday, 21 January, from 17:00 – 19:00, ZEEF will host a workshop about creating and curating a page on ZEEF. Register now!

This workshop will dive into the practice of content curation and demonstrate how you can start curating on ZEEF. Curators of ZEEF will be present and will share their insights to provide you with tips and tricks to help you join the growing trend of content curation. We will be serving beer and pizza! Please join us!

Link Directory: the history and future

Link Directory: The History and Future

“Quality information can be found through people, not machines.”

The link directory was the forerunner of search. But yesterday’s announcement about the shutdown of the Yahoo! Directory marks the end of an era. Why did the link directory become so popular in the first place? How did it evolve? And is there any future for a new link directory?

When the Internet was young, and there were fewer websites, it was easy for people to keep track of information. As a hobby project, Jerry Yang and David Filo started categorizing websites. They called it ‘Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web’. In 1994, they officially launched Yahoo! (‘Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle’). This might feel out-dated, but back then, this personally curated approach was very important. It stood out among the inferior search engines of the time. Due to the success of Yahoo!, other directories soon followed, such as

In 1999, Yahoo! reached its peak, becoming the number one destination to start searching for information. But as the number of websites grew, it became impossible for Yahoo! to keep the directory up to date. And site owners would get frustrated that submissions sometimes seemed to go into a black hole, never to appear. Or, if they were listed, a Yahoo! editor might alter their carefully worded description — which caused them not to show up at all in response to some keyword searches. There were a number of other complications with the ‘old’ link directory systems:

  • Spam
    • Link directories were spammed because back linking resulted in higher search engine rankings.
  • Speed of search
    • Finding a website on a directory took many clicks, in comparison with search engines.
  • Paid listing
    • The link directory required you to pay in order to be listed. That made it impossible to provide a complete (and fair) overview of quality websites about a certain topic.
  • Ranking
    • The listings were unranked. The first website in the link directory listing was not necessarily the best, most viewed etc.
  • One editor per topic
    • Most directories only had a single curator who was responsible for listing all the websites, which made it a daunting task to keep the listing up to date. Additionally, the identity of the curator was not displayed, making it hard to verify his credibility.
  • Broken links / Outdated
    • Single curators, now overwhelmed by the task at hand, caused the listings to become outdated and the links to become broken.

As a result, the people-curated link directory was replaced by an algorithm. It became the fastest way to search for an overview of sites on a specific subject. It became the age of search engines.

The Present of the Link Directory

But everyone knows the limits of algorithms. Smart SEO specialists can bring a site to the top of a search engine result in no time. And that doesn’t say anything about the quality of the information that you’ll find on the sites. Today, there’s no way to tell the quality difference between the #1 search result, and the #3. Or the #20. Even Google admits that search is far from solved:

“You often hear people talk about search as a solved problem. But we are nowhere near close.”

Eric Schmidt, Google

And, despite the advent of the algorithm-based search engine, the act of categorizing and ranking websites (content curation) still remains popular. People like lists of links. In fact, 30% of all blog posts are ‘Top 10 lists’. So it is no surprise that the link directory as an information source is still operational.

The modern day link directory still faces the same challenges challenges that Yahoo! did: objectivity of listings, paying for ranking, spam and broken links. A problem that the modern day link directory can’t seem to solve.. Only multiple curators can reduce complications, and help avoid manipulation, monopolies, and missed opportunities.

Multi human curation is needed if you look at the three major problems on the Internet today:

  • Information overload and the search for quality information
  • Trustworthiness of online information
  • Inability to qualitatively rank search engine results

As often is the case, content curation finds strength in numbers. Multiple curators share responsibility for finding the latest, best and most reliable information available online. And if one curator fails, another curator can pick up the slack.

And  The Future of the Link Directory

Does the link directory have any future? Yes… if they learn from the past. The basic idea of finding information through people instead of machines is still important. It’s human nature to categorize and rank information. And, when it comes to topics they know little or nothing about, people still refer to the expertise of those in their network who know more. The guys at Facebook are well aware of this.

So, how do we provide a platform for the next (r)evolution in search? Is it possible to restore the former glory of the link directory? Is there a future beyond the search engine? Of course there is. And it’s a future that combines the power of the algorithm with the necessary human touch.

Of course, the search still begins with search engines. But then, with human curation, an actual person sifts through those search results, filters out the best content, and ranks it according to quality. To be successful, a future link directory should be:

  • Maintained by active human editors with verifiable credentials – manipulation and fraud may still occur, but everyone will know who the ‘bad guys’ are
  • Categorized and ranked by knowledgeable people (curator and crowd)
  • Searchable and easy to use
  • Equipped with a social review ranking system
  • Open (to suggestions) and freely accessible to edits and suggestions of links
  • Extensive and broad-scope to provide complete information
  • Localized for relevance to specific communities
  • Listings can be distributed via widgets on other websites

Building this kind of a link directory takes time. But by learning from the past, we will be able to build a next generation of directories that will help us navigate through the world wide web. And by working together, we can achieve maximum results from combining algorithm speed with human sensibility.

We are ready to take on this challenge!


reddit logo

Share your ZEEF page with Reddit

Want to develop the reach of your ZEEF page beyond the usual social media channels? Then Reddit is a great platform to share your curated resources to the world.

Described as ¨The front page of the internet¨, the community orientated site has become an ever growing platform for discovering the best content on the web. Reddit´s Bulletin Board design and ability to vote submissions up or down truly let the sites community decide which content gains the exposure it deserves.

Recently, Richard Kraaijenhagen´s Dev-ops Tools page was submitted to Reddit. Due to the quality of resources on Richard´s page the link was upvoted 100+ times ( and counting), raising the exposure and credibility of his ZEEF page within the Development Subreddit.

reddit devops screen shot

Even though Richard didn´t sumbit his page to Reddit (someone else did who found his resources useful) this is a great example of the exposure your ZEEF page can receive when submitted to the site (page currently has 16.7k views – 9th March 2015)

However don´t think you can just create a Reddit account, submit your page and expect your page to be an overnight success, this is not how Reddit works. Due to Reddit´s algorithm system and karma points you have to engage within the community to prove your credibility for the resources you post. (Check out Mashable´s Reddit beginner´s guide).


(Create a Reddit account // How to go viral with your ZEEF page)



dev ops tools 3