LeWeb '09: Sessions I'm Most Looking Forward To

LeWeb, the major European conference (the equivalent of the Web 2.0 Summit in North America), just released their complete schedule for the next event happening in Paris on December 9 and 10. The theme of the conference is the real-time Web.

As I wrote about a month ago, I’ve been selected as one of their official bloggers. Here are the speakers I’m most looking forward to:

  • A fireside chat with Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s creator. Will be interesting to hear his vision about where Twitter is going.
  • Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform, Twitter. His background as a “local” expert makes him an interesting speaker for anyone interested in local media.
  • “The Platform Roundtable” with representatives from Facebook, Ning, LinkedIn, Ustream, SixApart, MySpace and Twitter. Expect the discussion to revolve around APIs and open ecosystems…
  • A fireside chat with Robert Scoble. Always interesting perspective as a good observer of the Web scene.
  • Niklas Zennstrom (of Kazaa-Skype-Joost fame). I want to hear more about their new venture in the music industry Rdio.
  • The Money Roundtable with a group of very interesting VCs including David Hornik and Fred Wilson. Expect them to say they’re still cautious but that 2010 should be a good year.
  • “The rise of emotional Web” by Yossi Vardi. Should be a fascinating session.
  • Gillmor Gang Live. Always explosive!

Loic Le Meur, the organizer, often has surprise guest speakers as well. If you want to attend and haven’t bought your ticket yet, you can get a 10% discount if you use the following code: BLOG09 .

LeWeb '09: Sessions I'm Most Looking Forward To

LeWeb, the major European conference (the equivalent of the Web 2.0 Summit in North America), just released their complete schedule for the next event happening in Paris on December 9 and 10. The theme of the conference is the real-time Web.

As I wrote about a month ago, I’ve been selected as one of their official bloggers. Here are the speakers I’m most looking forward to:

  • A fireside chat with Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s creator. Will be interesting to hear his vision about where Twitter is going.
  • Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform, Twitter. His background as a “local” expert makes him an interesting speaker for anyone interested in local media.
  • “The Platform Roundtable” with representatives from Facebook, Ning, LinkedIn, Ustream, SixApart, MySpace and Twitter. Expect the discussion to revolve around APIs and open ecosystems…
  • A fireside chat with Robert Scoble. Always interesting perspective as a good observer of the Web scene.
  • Niklas Zennstrom (of Kazaa-Skype-Joost fame). I want to hear more about their new venture in the music industry Rdio.
  • The Money Roundtable with a group of very interesting VCs including David Hornik and Fred Wilson. Expect them to say they’re still cautious but that 2010 should be a good year.
  • “The rise of emotional Web” by Yossi Vardi. Should be a fascinating session.
  • Gillmor Gang Live. Always explosive!

Loic Le Meur, the organizer, often has surprise guest speakers as well. If you want to attend and haven’t bought your ticket yet, you can get a 10% discount if you use the following code: BLOG09 .

Robert Scoble: Businesses are Seeing Real ROI With Twitter

Robert Scoble, social media observer and blogger, is continuing his Twitter explorations in a post titled “Why Twitter is underhyped and is probably worth five to 10 billion dollars” he published this morning. He’s starting to realize, like I did a few months ago, that Twitter has created a media vehicle for businesses large and small with great potential.

Here’s what he’s seen so far that makes him think Twitter’s adoption by businesses will only accelerate:

  • Books are starting to be published about the phenomenon (for example, TrustAgents, co-written by Montrealer Julien Smith, TwitterVille written by Shel Israel and Six Pixels of Separation, written by Montrealer Mitch Joel)
  • “Businesses are seeing real ROI but aren’t sharing that publicly and, really, they don’t have much else that is working to reach the richest and most educated customers.”
  • ” In each city there are a core group of Twitter evangelists that aren’t pushing anything else to their businesses.”
  • “Facebook wants into this market (and so do others) but they aren’t understanding what makes Twitter attractive to businesses.”

He also suggests a revenue model for Twitter: “Charge for business services. I know businesses would pay for better analytics. Better hooks into their lead generation engines. Better team collaboration services (…). And more features. How much would they pay? Many businesses would pay a hundred a month, maybe even more.”

He offers an explanation why Twitter is better than Facebook for businesses:

  • “Facebook doesn’t have a way for you to track all mentions of your business.”
  • “Facebook has even less permanence than Twitter does” (content is difficult to access on Facebook once it rolls off the newsfeed page)
  • Facebook is mostly used for private and personal stuff

What it means: the “Twitter” model for real-time conversation seems to be winning (open, asynchronous). As I’ve mentioned before, It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Twitter will become a serious threat to local media publishers in the near future. Twitter needs to be studied and embraced both from a media and a user pattern point of view.

Twitter to Introduce Location-Based Information into each Tweet

According to Robert Scoble who was liveblogging Alex Payne’s presentation at the 140 Twitter Conference, it looks like Twitter will be adding location-based information into each short-form messages that comes out of the site.

Here’s what Robert Scoble wrote:

“He told me they are going to add features that look like friendfeed’s “likes” and “comments.” But he said they would be different, though. Also, during his talk at #140TC he told the audience they would make other changes to support search, including adding location based info to each Tweet.”

via Twitter’s Alex Payne told me that Twitter will be… – Robert Scoble – FriendFeed.

What it means: the introduction of location information into every Twitter message is a definite building block for a very powerful Twitter local search engine that will mine not only user and merchant activities but also news.

Update: now Scoble is liveblogging the presentation from Anamitra Banerji, one of the product managers at Twitter.   “There’s lots of interesting things they could do, he says, around how they filter things that come in.  Categories, types of businesses. Ahh, they ARE thinking about how to get onto Google’s table. Do a search for “Palo Alto Sushi” on Google. Now imagine how a list like that could be used by Twitter. ” I think it’s sufficient proof that Twitter is thinking that local will be key to their future success.

A New Year’s Resolution: More Blogging, Less Tweeting

New Year Resolution

Flickr photo by beX out loud

It’s that time of the year when people everywhere reflect on the year that just passed and think about how they can improve their personal and professional life. I’m no different and I’ve used the last few days to think about that. I’ll pass on sharing the personal stuff but I wanted to discuss the one business resolution I’d like to stick to in 2009:

More blogging, less “tweeting”!

In the last three months, I’ve been quite busy as a startup entrepreneur but I’ve also spent an enormous amount of time on Twitter. More than 1500 updates in the last 5 months, about 10 a day, every day! As a consequence, my blogging schedule has fallen from 5 posts a week on average to 2 or 3. I’m not happy about that as I believe blogging defines who you are and what you do in a much more concrete way than conversation tools like Twitter, Facebook or Friendfeed. According to Techcrunch, even famous blogger Robert Scoble has started questioning the value of the time he spends on Friendfeed. He wondered out loud if it”was such a smart investment of my time.” As Loic Le Meur said last March in a brilliant post, “My social map is totally decentralized but I want it back on my blog”

I started blogging in September 2006 and it has propelled my career to new heights. It has allowed me to share my thoughts with thousands of people, I’ve been invited to speak at conferences and I’ve given countless media interviews on a variety of local search and social media topics, all because of my blog.

Your blog is your home base. It should be the foundation upon which you build your online presence and your personal brand. Twitter is the devil. It tempts you to use it to share quick thoughts. It’s the easy (lazy?) way. You don’t have to sit down in front of your computer to think about your next blog post (it takes me between 30 and 60 minutes to write one), you just spew out bite-sized lines. It does not mean you should abandon Twitter (or Friendfeed). They’re great conversation vehicles but you end up with very ephemeral results. You don’t leave much behind. Twitter is an information stream, your blog is your personal mindspace. Make sure you use them both, but use them the right way.

A New Year's Resolution: More Blogging, Less Tweeting

New Year Resolution

Flickr photo by beX out loud

It’s that time of the year when people everywhere reflect on the year that just passed and think about how they can improve their personal and professional life. I’m no different and I’ve used the last few days to think about that. I’ll pass on sharing the personal stuff but I wanted to discuss the one business resolution I’d like to stick to in 2009:

More blogging, less “tweeting”!

In the last three months, I’ve been quite busy as a startup entrepreneur but I’ve also spent an enormous amount of time on Twitter. More than 1500 updates in the last 5 months, about 10 a day, every day! As a consequence, my blogging schedule has fallen from 5 posts a week on average to 2 or 3. I’m not happy about that as I believe blogging defines who you are and what you do in a much more concrete way than conversation tools like Twitter, Facebook or Friendfeed. According to Techcrunch, even famous blogger Robert Scoble has started questioning the value of the time he spends on Friendfeed. He wondered out loud if it”was such a smart investment of my time.” As Loic Le Meur said last March in a brilliant post, “My social map is totally decentralized but I want it back on my blog”

I started blogging in September 2006 and it has propelled my career to new heights. It has allowed me to share my thoughts with thousands of people, I’ve been invited to speak at conferences and I’ve given countless media interviews on a variety of local search and social media topics, all because of my blog.

Your blog is your home base. It should be the foundation upon which you build your online presence and your personal brand. Twitter is the devil. It tempts you to use it to share quick thoughts. It’s the easy (lazy?) way. You don’t have to sit down in front of your computer to think about your next blog post (it takes me between 30 and 60 minutes to write one), you just spew out bite-sized lines. It does not mean you should abandon Twitter (or Friendfeed). They’re great conversation vehicles but you end up with very ephemeral results. You don’t leave much behind. Twitter is an information stream, your blog is your personal mindspace. Make sure you use them both, but use them the right way.

A New Year's Resolution: More Blogging, Less Tweeting

New Year Resolution

Flickr photo by beX out loud

It’s that time of the year when people everywhere reflect on the year that just passed and think about how they can improve their personal and professional life. I’m no different and I’ve used the last few days to think about that. I’ll pass on sharing the personal stuff but I wanted to discuss the one business resolution I’d like to stick to in 2009:

More blogging, less “tweeting”!

In the last three months, I’ve been quite busy as a startup entrepreneur but I’ve also spent an enormous amount of time on Twitter. More than 1500 updates in the last 5 months, about 10 a day, every day! As a consequence, my blogging schedule has fallen from 5 posts a week on average to 2 or 3. I’m not happy about that as I believe blogging defines who you are and what you do in a much more concrete way than conversation tools like Twitter, Facebook or Friendfeed. According to Techcrunch, even famous blogger Robert Scoble has started questioning the value of the time he spends on Friendfeed. He wondered out loud if it”was such a smart investment of my time.” As Loic Le Meur said last March in a brilliant post, “My social map is totally decentralized but I want it back on my blog”

I started blogging in September 2006 and it has propelled my career to new heights. It has allowed me to share my thoughts with thousands of people, I’ve been invited to speak at conferences and I’ve given countless media interviews on a variety of local search and social media topics, all because of my blog.

Your blog is your home base. It should be the foundation upon which you build your online presence and your personal brand. Twitter is the devil. It tempts you to use it to share quick thoughts. It’s the easy (lazy?) way. You don’t have to sit down in front of your computer to think about your next blog post (it takes me between 30 and 60 minutes to write one), you just spew out bite-sized lines. It does not mean you should abandon Twitter (or Friendfeed). They’re great conversation vehicles but you end up with very ephemeral results. You don’t leave much behind. Twitter is an information stream, your blog is your personal mindspace. Make sure you use them both, but use them the right way.

Facebook Is Just A Game

During the Holidays, I met with my friends and family multiple times and one topic of conversation that came up very often was Facebook. “What’s Facebook?” my mom would ask. “Why are people so fascinated with it” my brother-in-law would add. “It’s useless” or “it’s a waste of time” would also come up very often. The proof of the whole uselessness was the “poking” and the “sending my friends a virtual beer” examples. I tried explaining Facebook the way I’ve explained it many times in this blog but I quickly realized I was getting nowhere. My friends and family members that thought Facebook was useless wouldn’t change opinion even after I explained my big social media theories. “I am Media” did not fly as well in the offline world as in the blogosphere.

What was I doing wrong??? And then it hit me…

Facebook is just a game. That’s it, that’s all.

Yes, it’s a game. Out of the 60M+ monthly active users, most of them are there to have fun, hang out with their friends and reconnect with old ones. Only a few thousands (like Scoble and me) are using it as a broadcasting platform, sharing interesting links, discovering new ways to market products, services and ideas.

So if it’s a game, it must be a complete waste of time, no? No.

Why? People are learning while they’re playing. Remember my blog post showing the speeding up between the introduction of new communication tools? This generation will have to learn two, possibly three new communication tools in their lifetime. E-mail was definitely one of them in the ’90s. And now the next phase of learning is happening right before our eyes and we don’t realize it. Facebook users are discovering social media’s opportunities and pitfalls. They’re learning to blog and micro-blog, post pictures and videos online, They’re learning the proper etiquette in a social media environment. And it’s beautiful to watch.

So, is Facebook relevant today? Yes, like training wheels when you start riding your bike. Will it be relevant in the future? Maybe, maybe not, but that’s not important. The key is that a whole cohort of web users will be ready for the next evolution, the social web.

Facebook Is Just A Game

During the Holidays, I met with my friends and family multiple times and one topic of conversation that came up very often was Facebook. “What’s Facebook?” my mom would ask. “Why are people so fascinated with it” my brother-in-law would add. “It’s useless” or “it’s a waste of time” would also come up very often. The proof of the whole uselessness was the “poking” and the “sending my friends a virtual beer” examples. I tried explaining Facebook the way I’ve explained it many times in this blog but I quickly realized I was getting nowhere. My friends and family members that thought Facebook was useless wouldn’t change opinion even after I explained my big social media theories. “I am Media” did not fly as well in the offline world as in the blogosphere.

What was I doing wrong??? And then it hit me…

Facebook is just a game. That’s it, that’s all.

Yes, it’s a game. Out of the 60M+ monthly active users, most of them are there to have fun, hang out with their friends and reconnect with old ones. Only a few thousands (like Scoble and me) are using it as a broadcasting platform, sharing interesting links, discovering new ways to market products, services and ideas.

So if it’s a game, it must be a complete waste of time, no? No.

Why? People are learning while they’re playing. Remember my blog post showing the speeding up between the introduction of new communication tools? This generation will have to learn two, possibly three new communication tools in their lifetime. E-mail was definitely one of them in the ’90s. And now the next phase of learning is happening right before our eyes and we don’t realize it. Facebook users are discovering social media’s opportunities and pitfalls. They’re learning to blog and micro-blog, post pictures and videos online, They’re learning the proper etiquette in a social media environment. And it’s beautiful to watch.

So, is Facebook relevant today? Yes, like training wheels when you start riding your bike. Will it be relevant in the future? Maybe, maybe not, but that’s not important. The key is that a whole cohort of web users will be ready for the next evolution, the social web.

Data Portability: LinkedIn Now Allows You To Export Your Data

Big storm this week in the blogosphere as Robert Scoble’s Facebook account was temporarily suspended for breaking the site’s terms of service. He was using a new tool from Plaxo Pulse that was extracting and matching Plaxo and Facebook users. As Robert said: “I wanted to get all my contacts into my Microsoft Outlook address book and hook them up with the Plaxo system, which 1,800 of my friends are already on.” Scoble was eventually reinstated but the debate about data portability now rages on (see also DataPortability.org).

Linkedin export function

A few minutes ago, I discovered that LinkedIn now allows you to export your data in various formats (.CSV and .VCF). I don’t know how long they’ve been offering this feature (not long I suspect) but it’s an extremely smart move to position themselves as the definite business-oriented social network. Bravo!