The Belgian weekly newsletter T-Zine has just published an article about the site of the Belgian National Institute of Statistics (N.I.S./I.N.S.). This government agency publishes census data on population, employment, investments, …
Quickly browsing through some numbers shows e.g. that Belgium has the lowest % of people working between 50 and 64 years old in the European Union (we’re at 40%, Sweden is at 72%), which might indicate that we allow ‘pre-pension’ (retiring at 50 or 55) too easily.
The site also have a very complete list of links to the world’s country statistics, so if you want to know
- how many inhabitants Belarus had in 2002 (9.940.000 – it’s way bigger than Ireland and I didn’t even have a clue where it was!)
- how popular mobile phones are in Malta ( 290.000 phones on a population of 395.000: 73% penetration rate – Belgium is at 83%)
- who the European Internet early and late adopters are (in 2001, Iceland had 69% of its citizens that were Internet users, Greece 13%)
it’s a great place to start. They even have a RSS newsfeed, I kid you not. Do not make fun of Belgian e-government.
On a related topic, I was trying to find out if this mentioning of the site in T-Zine had led to Belgian Blog activity.
Searching on Technorati and Feedster on ‘statbel‘ gave me nothing, so I started looking to other blog search engines.
|Search on …||‘statbel’||statbel.fgov.be||George Bush
|Blogdex||0||0||25 results (only shows 1st 25)||Not really impressed|
|Bloglines||108 results||108 results (same)||36.981 results||Very thorough, I was suprised.|
|Feedster||0||0||21.886 results||Unreliable (down 50% of the time)|
|Technorati||0||15 results||1.110 results (last 7 days)||Scored bad on keyword, but better on URL search|
|Waypath||0||0||26.367 results||Looks nice, but not impressed with the results|
Basically the answer was: no recent related blog activity, but certainly the statbel.fgov.be site has been referenced in the past so Technorati and Bloglines seem to be the better sources for searching.
- In Google one could use “site:.be“, but 1) Google is not ideal for blog-only search, and 2) not all Belgian bloggers have a .be domain (blogspot.com users, for one)
- Luk Van Braekel has a map of Belgian Bloggers @ lvb.net, but that list of Belgian blogs is not public and is not complete (currently 85 blogs – Luk, you can probably guess how I know ;-).
- Blogwise has a list of Belgian blogs, but you can’t search them and the list is not complete (currently 218 entries – LVBlog is not there)
- one can search on Dutch words like ‘statistieken’ in order to limit the results to dutch-written blogs, but this might also include .nl blogs (God forbid) and excludes Belgian dudes that write in English (pompous bastards).
- none of the blog search engines supports geograpical searching
Makes one wonder, is there an opportunity for localised (European) blog search?
PS: I’ve added all the above mentioned blog search engines to my StereoSearch page.