A tribute to the good tech people in Brussels

My head has been stuck in boxes for several days after my family’s move from Brussels, Belgium to Oslo, Norway, so not much time for blogging lately. But as I’m taking a break from the moving chaos, I wanted to give a huge tribute to some of the great people with an online presence that I’ve met while I’ve been in Brussels.

As social media really exploded during the three years I stayed in Brussels, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and my own blog proved themselves useful tools to find and get in touch with people who shared the same interests and tech curiosity as myself. I established a Facebook profile back in 2006, a Twitter profile at the beginning of 2008 (thanks to Marius Eriksen, @meriksen who told me about this wonderful new tool), and started my personal blog in 2007 after blogging for a while at Dagbladet.

I’ve met plenty of politics and media nerds in Brussels, but one of most techie politics geeks I met in Belgium was Jon Worth. This energetic, multitalented webdesigner and political blogger is always juggling several projects, and the Atheist Bus campaign is his most famous project so far. Together with Jon, I’ve been doing project under the techPolitics umbrella (where I also met Stefan Happer and Jan Seifert). I hope to see you in Oslo soon, Jon!

Jon also introduced me to Finn Myrstad, a fun and skilled team members  from the Norwegian consultancy the Brussels Office. He is blogging about EU matters with a special focus on Norway’s relationship to the EU.

It was a joyride to meet all the fabulous girls at Brussels Girl Geek Dinners (an event for tech interested girls), and especially the founder, the inspiring and impressive Clo Willaerts (@bnox on Twitter). How she is able to turn all the BGGD gatherings into such professionally events is beyond my understanding and very impressive. Among the cool girls I met on these geeky events were Katrien Cattoor, probably one of the fastest running female bloggers in Belgium, as well as Karen Van Godtsenhoven,(@KarenVG83) retired model and fashion journalist turned tech journalist (what a fascinating combination!).

Another smart and deep tech girl I got to know is Helena de Groot, who writes elegantly about decoding code as well as heavy economic theory. Keep up the hard work, girl!

Twitter opened up a new social chapter, as it suddenly became incredible easy to follow all kinds of more or less interesting people, see what they were reading, thinking, sharing, discussing, joking about – and even meeting.  One of the first Belgium “tweeple” I met was Christian de Neef (@cdn), who also was one of the movers and shakers of the Brussels Twestival. He has already started organizing his second Twestival, this guy has some serious good organizational skills. Fun and engaging Twestival people are also the web designer Gilbert (@blueclock) and internet entrepeneur Roald Sieberath (@roald).

I’m also very glad I bumped into the hard working and superskilled FarmSubsidy people such as Jack Thurston and Brigitte Alfter on several occations, as well as the blogging EU nerd, Andreas Müllerleile at Kosmopolito. Among the Norwegian blogging EU nerds I’ve come across and had good converstations with are Erik Sandquist, Tor Eigil Hodne, and Jonas Helseth, who are updating the Norwegian Labour party’s Brussels blog. Not to forget the funny Frode Fjeldavli, an EU enthusiastic Norwegian national expert who is on Twitter.

It has pleased me to see some of my  Norwegian journalist colleagues in Brussels testing out new digital tools. Simen Ekern, a commentator in Dagbladet, has started blogging and tweeting, tweeting is also Jarle Roheim Håkonsen (NRK) and Trygve Mellvang Berg (NTB). Freelancer Birgit Vartdal has together with some other Norwegian journalist colleagues started a correspondent blog. Thanks for good coffee breaks with you guys!

Everyone, thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me, and remember to send me a beep when you are heading towards Oslo!

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5 thoughts on “A tribute to the good tech people in Brussels

  1. What a lovely way to end one chapter of your life and open a new one Bente. Thanks for the kind words. It always amazes me how much has changed every time one takes stock of the past few years. Brussels is a special place and I hope you have as much success in Oslo. Good luck

  2. :-) It’s been a lot of fun working with you in Brussels, and I’m sure we’ll manage to make some Brussels-Oslo cooperation work. I’ll try to work out a weekend in October to make the trip north.

    In the meantime I’m still sorting out my new flat here in St Gilles!

  3. Oops, there’s an english saying: more haste, less speed… and I had forgotten I was logged into WordPress with a different account. Hence I erroneously posted the previous comment!

  4. Thanks for the sweet words Blueclock and Jon “Honeyball” Worth:-)
    I assume every language has the saying you metioned, Jon. In Norwegian; Hastverk er lastverk!

    Here are some of the other comments I’ve received on Twitter:

    @cdn: Thank you @benteka! You were one of the first Belgian (!) tweeple I met for real, and also one of the better revelations of this last year!

    @frodef: @benteka takk for hyggelig omtale! Haaper du finner mange trivelige nerdevenner i Oslo ogsaa :)

    @KarenVG83: thanks @benteka!you will be missed at the BGGDs, but luckily not in cyberspace!hope to be able to beep you sometime in Oslo, would b great!

    @finnmyrstad: @benteka thank you very much for your nice review on your excellent blog! http://bit.ly/OU

  5. Hi Bente, thanks for the mention :)

    All the best for Oslo and hope to meet you soon again over here in Brussels or in another corner of the world! (or online of course :)

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