P2P interview #6 with Ouriel Ohayon : " Just saying that the web is social is an empty bottle."

by Laurent François

Ouriel Ohayon was one of the main writer of TechCrunch France. We started a discussion on Twitter around the notion of “social media”. We decided to go further on his argument, thanks to this interview.

  • Who are you and what are you doing? (and you only have 140 signs)

French, Israelian, 36 y old, VC and pianist. 70 signs !

  • You wrote that you “agree with @steverubel all media is social, all social is media. about time to drop that stupid expression “social media” http://is.gd/iecj” . I replied that “social media” could refer to the idea that human beings start a discussion thanks to a technology. You said that ” no it is an empty expression over used. by your definition fax is social”. Can you develop your argument?

There are 2 ways to answer.
Using “social” to qualify media and web in a general manner is obsolete. Web allows you now to not only publish messages, but also to generate information.
There’s not any single website (except some lost minds…) that did not understand that it utterly has to “engage” its visitors in its own life.
The easiest illusration is the possibility to comment, and it goes to more sophisticated tools: active participation (agoravox, ohmynews,…), writing the website or building the site business model (ebay, esty, …).
Then, the “social” dimension is now a standard. I don’t talk about social networks, but about the social graph distribution on websites that basically are not social networks: gamers websites, news sites…We had a very relevant example with CNN that broadcast live Obama inauguration. Some sites, thanks to their sizes, can have their own social layer (allocine for example).

So to say, web is social thanks to its capacity to involve and to the social graph integration in every service we use.

The other thing is that giants like Google, MySpace or Facebook are going to speed up this trend thanks to exportable widgets/boxes/applications like (google connect, facebook connect….)

Just saying that the web is social is an empty bottle. In addition, media love this notion (like “web 2″) because it makes them sell; this expression is over-used, and does not mean anything anymore. It does not describe what’s really going on. The web is far more complex than “social”.
There is the web “at all” and its wide trends. But it’s another discussion.


  • You left Techcrunch France few days ago. Can you share with us your feelings?

TechCrunch changed my professional life, at every stage, and gave me the possibility to extend my network, to get in touch with high-level individuals, whereas I was daily expressing my passion for the web.3 intense and passionating years, in one of the most read technology website in the world. I think that from a professional point of view, launching this blog was the best decision I made in my entire career.
The second best is to stop and to focus on my VC job, a new idea that is a new passion too.

  • If you could achieve a dream or an utopia thanks to the social media, sorry, thanks to the web, what would it be?

A dream? To change my career path and become a producer of music talents. I already help some friends that are musicians, like my friend Yaron Herman (victoire du Jazz 2008 – a French awards). Music marketing is to reinvent

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