Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Tie The Tie

14 Nov 2007

One of the cooler things to wear is a nice suit with a tie. But unfortunately, the art of tie-tieing is not a given to all men… ask around in the girly part of your circle of friends. Many of those will have to help out their hubbies or boyfriends. Although I do find that a sexy idea (it has something ‘mothering’ which is soooo cute), a real man should be able to get this done on his own. A simple search on youTube for ‘how to tie a tie’ yields 92 million results, all with one simple flaw…every one uses a male model (usually an old dude or a web geek) to do the instructing. While this approach may be perfectly functional, its just not all that fun. has taken it to the next level. Beautiful women are the stars of these tasteful instructional videos. What better way for the young guys to learn how to be a man than from a totally hot actress? Ties are hotter than ever before… Some Tie company or fashion label should endorse this. :-) | How To Tie A Tie | The Full Windsor Knot.

More fun at


A Round Of Link Love

21 May 2007

The following people have requested or deserved link love, and so I’ll post them here and add them to the favorites page. Thanks for doing whatever you did, and good luck with what you’ve started!

Thanks for reading and blogging!


Ultimate How Much Are You Worth

26 Feb 2007

Yawn. Another tool to help you measure how much you’re worth. It’s a mix of the domain name analyzer, a domain traffic tool, a domain whois tool, a domain history, a domain popularity, domain appraisal (site value report), a link value appraisal (link value report), pagerank check, an inbound links count, an indexed pages check and more.

It basically pings a lot of services you already knew of, but now in one time. The only thing I find useful about it is that it gives you a sort of overview about the backlinks you have.

dnscoop logo

The tool is definitely made to make money, because the links to Google’s AdSense and TextLinkAds that are given after the analysis are referrer links. First they measure how much you’re worth, then they tell you how much you can make, and then they offer you to sign up. Clever.

Via: Seth Godin

Other tools previously featured on Marketing Thoughts:


Live From The IAB Blog Event (3)

22 Feb 2007

Sven Marievoet from Adhese gives a presentation about how they have a growing portfolio to advertise in blogs. Currently they manage 60 blogs, and they’ve already ran a number of campaigns which turned out to be successful. Although Adhese got quite some negative feedback when they first started, they’re beginning to make a change in the opinion of those who didn’t think it was possible.

There’s still a lot to be done, but they’re on their way. The main thing that caused their growth is the personal approach they maintained, to contact every blogger single handedly over email and negotiate the ad placement.

(disclaimer, Adhese runs ads on this blog from time to time)

Kris Hoet from MSN EMEA: Everyone is a customer.

How can a company engage with bloggers? How to connect and build long term relationships? There’s a lot of blog trackers and product trackers out there (technorati, tailrank, …)

The first thing you should do is READ! If you don’t care for reading blogs, don’t bother contacting them to promote your brand. Use RSS readers to track your bloggers, follow links to discover more blogs. Comment on blogs, where it makes sense. Don’t kill a bad blogpost, but stay factual.

Stay on track of your comments with tools like or, don’t comment to never look back. People will answer and expect you to come back and follow the conversation.

Set up meetings, invite people to come over and get to know you and your purposes. It helps to get your message out. Word of mouth is still the most powerful form of brand communication. It’s a natural thing that needs to grow in a natural way. Forcing it, or even worse: trying to force it, will lead you further from your goal than you’ll ever wished for.

Kris closed with some cases like the guy who got to drive with an Aston Martin because he wished for it, the Gillette 5 blades disaster and the famous Dell Hell.


Live From The IAB Blog Event (2)

22 Feb 2007

Julie Opstael from Skynet presents a number of social interest cases, she works as a product manager of ‘Blogs’ (yes they have a product category for it) at Skynet, one of the leading blog platforms in Belgium.

She presented a lot of human stories, to illustrate that behind a lot of blogs, real people with real stories live their daily lives and are willing to share it. It’s not always about the high traffic numbers, but very often about ‘what’ is written and for whom. A lot of people write for a small audience and love that, they don’t feel the need to become famous. They do meet in small blogger events, and they love to socialize, but most of all, they love to blog.

The funny remark here is that Skynet started with an ‘everything about skynet blogs’ blog and that shortly after that their ‘top blogger’ started with a mirror blog which is called ‘bloggers about skynet blogs’. Every official announcement the Skynet team launches on their blog gets an instant feedback on that blog, and it’s most of the time razorblade sharp. A nice example of how blogging works.

Jesse Wynants from i-merge and Gunther Boutsen from Fishtank are talking about the conversation that ‘happens’ when people use blogs. About opinions everyone has and everyone’s dying to share with the rest of the world.

People blog to become an authority, to be invited to speak at events, to connect with others (clients). People want to meet other people, bloggers want to meet other bloggers. Companies want to create transparency and want to share their ideas, their thoughts. Companies want to share knowledge, engage in conversations. CEOs blog to share their vision.

This presentation is really interesting and in fact goes a little too fast to live-blog. For every reason of blogging, they give an example. They give tips to blog like: create a style, send lots of linklove, set up a schedule, blog every day and keep up the frequency, write original content and don’t copy-paste too much. Personalize your blogposts and blog so that people can identify theirselves with you and your life. Try to organise a battle, start a debate and invite people to participate.

One of the best links I just discoverd is the IKEA hacker site, the perfect example of what ‘anti-consumerism’ means. This blog tells you everything you can do with the stuff from IKEA when you don’t want to follow the papered how-to guidelines. Sweeeet :)

You can also use technology to make it more easy to blog. You can use tools like Flickr, and blog those pictures. With tools like LiveWriter you can create posts offline in an editor that looks and feels like Office Word. You can use Media (audio and video) to make your content more catchy, or aggregate content from other bloggers or users or from yourself (, podcast feeds, video feeds). You can use widgets to make your blog look more ‘alive’ and to discover new things you weren’t aware of yourself. If you start moblogging and send pictures from your mobile phone to your laptop, the spontaneity increases and gives your blog a more ‘human’ face.

If you use metadata, you can strengthen your content and give it date/time/location tags, so the content has more context.

Then Jesse talked about degrees of participation. First degree is just the IP’s, the readers who come by and don’t interact. Next you have the Subscribers, the fans, those who keep coming back and are dedicated readers. Lastly there’s the groupies, the user group who interacts. These are the most valuable people, the ones who drive your community. These are the ones you need to love and praise.


Live From The IAB Blog Event

22 Feb 2007

What can the 1 million Belgium bloggers do for you?

Maarten Schenk, Six Apart. Blogging since 2002, that’s worth a t-shirt.

A lot has changed in a short time. Back in 2003 people thought it was either a forum, some sort of Geocities homepage or a community site. Nobody understood the purpose of RSS. But nowadays, the word weblog is in the daily news, all the major newspapers have blogs with RSS feeds, or are launching them as we speak. Companies treat bloggers like journalists… They’ve come a long way, and they’re here to stay.

Introduces ‘Blogoloog‘, a pet project that ran out of hand. Blogoloog is basically a rough project setup that runs on an old computer at Maarten’s little house. It has a full index of a number of Flemish blog services, and keeps lists of the blogs that have been updated recently. The list has been completed with ‘tips’ that have been dropped in Maarten’s comments.

Stats today:

40.000 blogs, between 9.000 or 12.000 outgoing links, 4000 daily blogposts…

Most of the blogs are hosted with free services. The backend of the state of the Flemish blogosphere looks like this (in order of all-aroundness): MSN Spaces, Skynetblogs, Bloggen, Blogger, Seniorennet are the most popular services. But, self-hosted blogs and foreign blog services are under-represented, so it’s difficult to keep track of the exact online activity.

MSN Spaces is overrepresented, because feeds of this service contain also the updates in picture galleries, which are very often more updated than the actual blogs.

A lot of popular blogs choose for self hosting, because they can avoid third party advertisement and by using paid services, they have more control over their uptime and the backend on which the blogs run.

The popular blogs of the Flemish blogosphere consist of small “blog clubs”, it’s the same people who react on each other’s blogs, add the same blogs to their blogroll… Much like it happens with the international A-listers.

The number of blogs keeps growing, because it’s become really easy to publish for anyone.


Live Blogging At The IAB

22 Feb 2007

After a short while of inner combat, I decided to go to the IAB meeting at the buildings of DePersgroep, one of Belgium’s leading media holdings. I tailed my fellow-EMEA-colleague Kris Hoet from our office in Diegem to here, and right now I’m waiting for the show to start.

From what I’ve heard, there’s going to be 6 presentations of each 10 minutes, all about blogging. What better way to cover that than to live-blog the entire thing?

There’s a Flickr account where everyone can upload pictures and a dedicated blog where we can cross-post our thoughts. Pretty good organized, this event.

It’s been a happy rendez-vous with a bunch of ex-colleagues from i-merge and I also saw Robin Wauters and Ine ‘Wow’ Dehandschutter and Herr Tom De Bruyne, the 2.0′d devil of the famous interactive agency. Also Maarten Schenk from SixApart and Jesse Wynants, who’re both going to give their best on stage.

Let’s see what the show brings. I’m looking forward to this.


Blog Dinner With Nice People

15 Nov 2006

There’s a bloggers dinner on the 17th of November, which is Friday (this week). Tom Raftery one of Europe’s better known podcasters (Jeven award winning) will be over and would love to meet with some Belgian bloggers… He has talked with a hell of a lot of big names in this space, those podcasts are available at and his blog is

Simon McDermott from will be your host, and he’s inviting Belgian bloggers to attend. If you have nothing planned or are able to switch some appointments, you’re welcome to join the group at the Strofilia restaurant, which is near Place St. Catherine (Brussels).

Check here for restaurant info

Drop a line to Simon asap if you’re planning to come. [simon at attentio dot com]