31 January 2009

A layoff wiki called jobzzz

Tijs Vrolix, originally uploaded by Wolfr.

What I'm about to post, and did, is probably not going to make me popular with @tijs but frankly...you know. I'd like to start with introducing Tijs for a par. Although I've never met him, I can tell he's a pretty good webdesigner. With good I mean, all the designs are crisp, fresh, and layouts are 'pixelperfect' as I may say. Not to mention the solid rock of Standard CSS written. Splendid. I even follow the guy on Twitter though to me his content is a lil' off on the personal edge to be biting nail interesting. Let's skip the "he" and go for Tijs, seems to be occupied as an Interactive Strategies Manager at NOCUS for a living (or is that full-time job?). His thesis on "the influence of the mobile phone" won the IAB talent prize in 2007. At the very moment, according to his website, he's working on several projects (Twistory, Twiddict, Ttrack and some extremely secret projects that have yet to be announced).

It might backfire on me but I felt the unbearable urge to do so, so I did. And yes, I know my English sucks but bear with me... Tijs is also the administrator of a wiki called Jobzzz. And yes, I must admit, first time I found the wiki (some weeks ago) I was amused. Probably just like many other sarcastic mothers out there. Subscribing to the wikifeed I got updates as the slaughter went on. And somewhere last week it dawned on me. Some of these people that just got pregnant, bought a house or planned their holidays and now get sacked because of this damned crisis. No more sunshine over the rainbow for them I guess. I mean think about it, that list reported about 400 layoffs in total. just for the Belgian Creative and MarCom sector, in about a month... Ok ok, expected, but still. Who'd want to brag with that?

The wiki was set up "Just to get a clear view of what's happening and inspired by what Techcrunch is doing on a US scale" — "Just a little crowdsourcing experiment trying to create an overview of recent layoffs in Belgian creative/marcom companies". Hmmmn owkey, I will not focus on the word 'just' but let me emphasize the word 'overview' if I may.

The TechCrunch Layoff Tracker uses iCharts to visualize the data so it can be read out clearly. There is an overview. Not that I really justify the good means of that list but at least it's well documented, the data is processed, provided with sources and put in a nice list with the possibility to comment on what's happening. The wiki is just a loose record of 'possible' layoffs.

Up so far the wiki is pointless. It is pointless if it doesn't track or process the data somewhere. It is pointless because there are no reliable sources provided. It is pointless because it resonates disrespectful to the individuals involved. And it is pointless because any employee looking to hire any one of these layoffs is left out there in the dark. Except for that one tag-on at the Saatchi layoff entry: "but btw, they're hiring a senior digital creative" (And an Account Director as well, so I've heard)

Anyway to cut the long story short, Tijs, I'd like to turn the wiki around. And I beg you forgive my arrogance for I already did. I've changed the Jobzzz wiki into an unofficial "looking for" message board so all these people who got laid off can start getting a new job anywhere soon.

Thank you and good luck on the new job.


  1. Belgian creative/marcom job posts

    Just because it hurts losing your job. Just because you were too young, new or too old to keep the job. Just because a good job isn't always on the open. just because this damn crisis needs to be turned around...

    A little help each other for a change.

    Please, if you are the employer of an ad-agency, a webagency or a larger media company and you have a jobopening post it here.

    Wiki user to edit: anonymouswikiuser@gmail.com and 123456


    • Company/Agency name: jobopening - contact.thisguyorgirl@werelookiingfor.be

    And please if you are an employee and you know your company is looking but didn't file an official opening (because those things are expensive as well) post here as well.

    The list

    • NOCUS: Senior Account Manager - jobs@nocus.eu

    • Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels: Senior Digital Creative - erik.meylemans@saatchi.be

    • Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels: Client Manager - erik.meylemans@saatchi.be

    • ProximityBBDO: .net .php .asp developer - Jeroen.DePelsmaeker@proximity.bbdo.be


  2. Sorry Lander, I don't agree.

    The wiki doesn't promisse to be a reliable source or time-lapsed view, TechCrunch isn't ether. It's not because you don't like it that you have the right to turn it around.

    There are enough channels for tech sector (Authentic Jobs, Creativeskills, Monster, Job@, etc.) which show the positive side, the wiki gave a different view. Both can be useful, both make sense. As long as you don't take the wiki for the one and only truth it may help to give another perspective you don't find on any other Belgian site.

    In my opinion you better started a discussion on the wiki, that's how wiki editing works. People discuss what's on there to make it better.

  3. You can find/post other creative jobs at:

  4. Dear Frank,

    I am very well aware of the fact that I did not respect the common wiki policy on this topic. But that is of course the reason why I've devoted this whole article on it. Opening the discussion on the wiki without changing it wouldn't have had the same impact inn my opinion. If you are really bothered with this issue, please mark that I've included a screenshot of the former content. So if you really wish to do so you can restore the wiki by typing in the old content from the jpg.

    Kind regards

    PS: I think an entry with a job opening on this wiki has more value to people in need for a job because it cuts out third parties involved.

  5. Respect. I fully agree.

    Btw, if you want to publish a list like that, do it in a proper way and make sure the figures are right. The figures on the wiki were not right. In reality, a far larger number of people are loosing their job in media and communication busines.

    I see a lot of guys working in web development 'boites', semi-digital wannabe-agency organizations, being a consultant kinda guy or some other people bashing agencies because they don't like the advertising agency of today.

    My two cents: if you want the respect and status (and the money) the advertising agencies received the last few years, well... earn it! Do something different, offer an alternative, be more creative, make more money, make the world better!

    But don't be a vulture picking on other people who are losing their job.

  6. Gosh, what happened guys?

    1) let's not try and be too politically correct: there's hundreds of layoffs all over the media every day. Heard anyone complain about that already? The jobzzz wiki was about numbers, nothing personal.
    2) incorrect numbers? Of course: that's what wikis are for, right? Works pretty simple: fix it or ignore.
    3) there's hundreds of job boards, why start yet another (dull) one?
    4) I sure would have appreciated if you'd contacted me before so we could have discussed this over mail or phone.

  7. If this isn't arrogance, I dont know what is:

    "If you are really bothered with this issue, please mark that I've included a screenshot of the former content. So if you really wish to do so you can restore the wiki by typing in the old content from the jpg." (quote from above; and from the wiki)

    So I decided to fire up my OCR software and restored the original page.

    The page with the job posts became a new one (with a link on the frontpage)

    Please, do not destroy wikipages, but create new ones. That's what wikis are for.

  8. Dear anonymous,

    I accept that you have restored the wiki and reset my page in proper wiki-policy. But please, have the guts to speak out nametagged, not anonymously. You look like a coward this way.

    kind regards,

  9. Sorry Grapplica, but can't do that.

    Since you configured this tool to accept anonymous comments, I understand you do not oppose people commenting anonymously (as opposed to the jobzzz wiki, where anonymous attributions are not accepted anymore - sorry, but in that case I will not be able to add any extra data anymore - that's a pitty, cause there is some huge crisis news evolving...)

    You might call my response above cowardish; but since I'm a business owner myself (not in the list; but I have clients who are), I have very good reasons not to reveal my identity concerning this issue.

  10. Dear,

    I understand your concerns about not revealing your identity. Privacy is a public right and it makes a lot of things like 'disclosure issues' much easier to avoid. This is of course why I offer the possibility to comment anonymously. I'm glad you have made clear that this is your reason for posting without a reference.

    kind regards

  11. hi buddy.Privacy should be properly maintained with proper security levels.Twitter followers can also visit http://thetwittersecret.com/ to know about the privacy features in the twitter applications.

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