Archive for ‘liquid modernity’

October 11th, 2011

Tribes’ problems: destroying Social Media spreading and discoveries

by Laurent François

Many observers are talking about a threat in Social Media: as Mark Schaefer writes on SMT, Twitter would be dying as an information tool, because of the tribes themselves.

Affinity groups, if they have a lot of advantages in real life (solidarity, network effects, business possibilities…), also have a big problem on social web: they tend to only promote themselves.

Mark notifies some negative elements: “auto RT” for instance, propagated by communities of allies, give the feeling of a giant new kind of ad space. Auto RT helps bloggers to appear in a very competitive market; but value added is very low, as it pollutes our attention. It’s a kind of necessary thus pervert leverage, because of Google too, which focuses on live search and dismantles the access to relevant archives…

Communities filter new entrants (arent’t hashtags anoter discriminative barrage?) and also filter external sources (besides important news as a tsunami or a war…). It reduces to a certain extent the quality and quantity of information.

Natalie Rastoin et Camille François summarized the main issue of this hyper-personalization + hyper-tribalization: what I want to get as a consumer is not what is necessary to access as a citizen.

3 main examples today:

  1. the very bad coverage of the new Huffington Post in French: communities of journalists + media-related spheres polluted my timeline, without really informing me
  2. the Mashable article on the new Facebook for iPad has been RT 10 times during the last 5 minutes (I only follow 760+ Twitter users, which is already enormous for a single man…)
  3. no info on Karachi affair

2 conclusions:

  1. curation is now a kind of investigative work; it requires a huge amount of time. I’m wondering if I’m not going to leave mainstream tools like Twitter to focus more on “1 to 1″ lunch with relevant people
  2. because of Twitter becoming mainstream, and linked to its real core business, entertainment, I’m now wondering if I’m not going to dive into more “underground” or hidden netwroks
December 14th, 2010

Sometimes, I have nothing to tell you. The marketing of silence in Social Media

by Laurent François


Billions of online conversations, rising there and on my tweetdeck. Huge delay to read them all. Impossible mission.

And suddenly a friend or a contact pops up in a more private window. Telling me that an article must be read, that a talent is rising. That a project has a just been launched.

That’s the strong come back of the OFF in our digital world. What is rare is costly: bringing the perfect information to an individual is the top service.

Sometimes, I have nothing to tell you online. Nothing as it’s too demanding in terme of available time. It’s not only a question of brain availability, but brodcasting capability. It’s the big difference with Le Lay principle some years ago: in our attention economy, it’s not only about being fed by incredible amounts of signals; it’s about being able to filter, synthetize, send, forward.

In this silent world, this dumb conversation, the one that does not leave a digital footprint in search engines, is very worth.

At the end, the true influence could be in measuring the ability for someone to be invisible. A little bit like luxury brands, that cultivate distance, whereas they’re omnipresent in the form of conversations .

One worry: if monitoring online conversations is at the end not so complicated, entering this silent world is going to be a big challenge. Even with Wikileaks-agents. It’s obviously on. It’s obviously off.

June 4th, 2010

When the curator becomes more important than the creator in #SocialMedia

by Laurent François


Infobesity, millions of tweets. Data, information. During the last 10 years, we said that in order to make our contents valuable, we needed to make them viral. During the last 5 years, we realized that critics & aggregators were probably key in the value process of the social web. How to tag & sort relevant contents? How do I “fix” the web somewhere ?

Now there’s something more important than tagging and labelling the web: we need to really structure it.

What’s a structure?

A structure is “a fundamental and sometimes intangible notion covering the recognition, observation, nature, and stability of patterns and relationships of entities” (Wikipedia).

What it means, in a very pragmatic way: giving a sense to someone.

It’s the difference between the shelfs in a library which sort the books (like the tags) and the explanation a sociologist can give you about a specific topic, which is based on the books he read the competences he injected to create value (like the curator).

This curation is now emerging. It’s time to add value to our web experience. To give “archive experience”.

I found this fantastic quote on Thien Nguyen’s blog:

And I guess that Thien & Margaret are right: the witness is now in how we structure the conversations.

May 6th, 2010

Give real world a chance in Social Media

by Laurent François

A thought, briefly written, inspired by a client who’s also a great source of inspiration.

We need to give real world a chance in Social Media marketing. While we’re fed by pervasive feeds, billions of data & info, we need to make a step back. Human beings need to think in a passive way about all the things that influence him. Sometimes, context in which an information is read is not exactly what we obviously think it is: twitter, immediate circles are sometimes a great way to filter information, but sometimes biased them totally. Context can be found somewhere else, out of a linear reading.

Real world to help Social Media. There it is.

April 27th, 2010

What if Social Media strategists were Facebook best dependant allies?

by Laurent François


A provocative thought, but I guess it’s to celebrate the new theme and the new url: CITIZENL.NET

Well well well! Many of us have written about the -oh-so-cruel Facebook who would be drastically killing our rights to privacy, personal life, personal data.

And it’s true.

The big paradox I see is that Social Media experts, strategists, analysts, bloggers, are in a very strange shape. On one hand , we blog that we hate what’s going on.

In the meantime, we sell strategies with Facebook at the very centre.

We’re both reluctant & dependant to Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg knows it:

“This next version of Facebook Platform puts people at the center of the web. It lets you shape your experiences online and make them more social. For example, if you like a band on Pandora, that information can become part of the graph so that later if you visit a concert site, the site can tell you when the band you like is coming to your area. The power of the open graph is that it helps to create a smarter, personalized web that gets better with every action taken.”

What it means: that the social web will be more & more Facebook-related.

The good thing is that when it comes to “social”, it comes to people. And that if people feel that their privacy is in danger, they’ll react.

Teenagers love SMS, Facebook not yet. They try to leave this global pervasive world to shape their own private pervasive world.

Let’s bet on it.