If you’re a regular visitor, you’ve noticed the new button in the sidebar. It’s E.Factor‘s, a social network for entrepreneurs. First of all, we’re really glad that E.Factor decided to sponsor us, as it allows us to write more and cover almost all the important tech conferences. I thought I owe to you, dear readers, to elaborate a bit on why E.Factor and The Next Web Blog is match made in heaven 2.0.
I’d like to coin a new term here, namely “qualitative social network”. Now I owe you a definition, which I’ll definitely give you, yet I’d like to address a negative trend first: the devaluation of professional social networks. I don’t know about yours, but my LinkedIn and Facebook contacts lists are stuffed with not just weak ties, but really weak ties. Like people I’ve met for thirty seconds in a conference hall or PR folks who have randomly added me to their
spam mail list. E.Factor seems like a reaction to this, as the founders Adrie Reinders, Roeland Reinders and Marion Freijsen have built a network that focuses on quality instead of quantity.
The purpose of the E.Factor network is to connect investors with entrepreneurs. With features like live chat, video, classified ads, multimedia ads, and finance requests, members can connect, promote, and find funding. Moreover, the service has an old school business model. Marion Freijsen explains: “whilst other networks have to rely on advertising revenue or struggle introducing a sustainable business model at a later stage, E.Factor combines new technology networking with an old-school business model based on premium membership fees, technology licensing via its’ satellites, and fees for a variety of services.”
Besides generating revenue, these fees make sure that members have a feeling of commitment towards E.Factor as some sort of self-justification for the expenses. Thus a member is more active and – together with the 46999 other members, forms a happy crowd. And not just because E.Factor will soon offer them health insurance, 401(k) plans, physical lounges, and.., hopefully, a new design.