Archive for ‘P2P interviews’

February 16th, 2009

P2P interview #7 with Chang Kim (Google) : " web plays a big role in social relationship in Korea"

by Laurent François

Chang Kim is a great Korean blogger that I daily read

  • Who are you and what are you doing online ? :)

My name is Chang Kim and I work at Google’s Korean office. On the online, I write a blog called Web 2.0 Asia (http://web20asia.com) that deals with web innovations in Korea and in the rest of the Asia.

  • What made you start blogging ?

I was one of the organizers for Korea’s first Web 2.0 Conference back in 2006, called “Next Generation Web 2006″. I was responsible for inviting foreign speakers. One foreign speaker hailing from the Valley was asking the audience questions like “How many of you have heard of the term Web 2.0?” or, “Do you know what Flickr is?”. Being asked such basic questions in a room packed with web industry experts, I felt Korea’s web industry is perhaps very little known outside of the country. In fact, Korea had been ahead of many other countries in terms of broadband infrastructure and accordingly created many new web based business models. But the problem was that not many people made an effort to introduce those early Korean web innovations to people outside of Korea, probably due to language barrier and the necessity of tenacious, dedicated effort. So I decided one day to start the effort, and here I am.

  • I know that you travel a lot abroad: if you had to briefly explain the social web in Korea, what would you say?

Turns out I don’t really travel that much these days :) But anyhow, web plays a big role in social relationship in Korea. Now the rest of the world (including US) has pretty much caught up, but Koreans have embraced social networking (mostly through Cyworld) since the late 90’s. That was possible because Korea was a highly wired country even then – helped much by the aggressive government effort to put in place the nationwide broadband infrastructure. But now Cyworld and social networking service seems to be stalling a bit, failing to create new value other than checking out what friends were doing (their photos etc). Meanwhile, on the other hand, social media including blogs and citizen journalism have seen a dramatic growth in Korea during recent years. For example, during the massive anti-US beef import rallies last year, many people did blogging and video casting at the scene – still a relative rarity in other countries, I assume.

  • If you could achieve a dream or a kind of utopia thanks to social media, what would it be?

I want to see everyone having their media page – a URL – and use it for identifying themselves. When you give a business card today, it contains telephone number, email address, and physical address. Why not a URL of your own blog or homepage? I think everyone will soon become a brand / media. When we were running a startup, the best way to find good people was to follow/read that person’s blog, not looking at resume — so your URL best represents you. Putting in good content over a long time isn’t something you can do in a short time. Of course there will be a privacy issue, but there will be a privacy controlling system where you can easily distinguish public content and private content.

February 4th, 2009

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

January 21st, 2009

P2P interview #5 with Tugce Esener (history of advertising) "It shouldn’t be hard to find that one person who hates your product/service/whatever"

by Laurent François


Tugce Esener is the author of the brilliant history of advertising, that she broadcast on Slideshare. I asked her if she was OK to answer some questions for our P2P interviews, and she kindly answered “YES” !

1- Can you introduce yourself in few words and tell us what the hell you’re doing in social media like Slideshare and Facebook ?
Curious, helpful, dedicated Lecturer! Teaching at Kadir Has University on Integrated Marketing Communications and Marketing Strategies. Getting MA in Istanbul Bilgi University on Marketing Communications. So I search, dig, evaluate, summarize and share.

2- What are the main trends in social media that are happening in Turkey ?
More or less the same everywhere. But we as marketers (in Turkey) are just starting to discover the goodies social media is offering. Some viral campaigns, a bit of blogging integrated communication trials and lots of fuss about it all being free. We recognize that internet advertising isn’t just banner ads on popular sites. SEO is on the rise. Viral is the new “cool guy” on the block. Facebook and other social platforms are a place to experiment.
I guess 2009 will be a year of reduced marketing budgets and more experimenting on social media. Discussions of “Should we tweet or blog? Is facebook good for our brand?” will become more popular. Starting local or interest based social platforms will be the new hype. But the ones who get through 2009 will have a better understanding of consumer needs and will engage the marketing idea with the products via social media.

3- What should a brand do right now if it had to start a communication strategy?
More listening less talking! Communication starts with understanding.

4- Do you think that every brand has the possibility to start a conversation with consumers?
One way or another, yes! Maybe not through internet, but there are other ways to start a dialogue. It shouldn’t be hard to find that one person who hates your product/service/whatever or the one that is secretly in love with you. Either case it will be more helpful than a board of marketeers who are desperate to get a raise and go buy that dream car.

5- If you could achieve a project thanks to social media, what would it be?
I would love to see some real interaction with consumers. Not via fake blogs or pushy press releases sent to bloggers but with real consumers and real feedback. And how about doing some good to the people who are actually listening?
As for personal wishes, I would like to use social media tools to update marketing professionals who are still stuck in 1900 (Killers vs Poets). Because its not a good time to write a song or aim at ducks.

Thank you !

More about Tugce Esener:

tweet me: http://twitter.com/tesener
feed me: http://friendfeed.com/esener
read me: http://www.mienotes.com
know me: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tugceesener

December 17th, 2008

P2P interview #4 with David Alston : " I like to use the analogy of a phone to illustrate why companies should be listening to their customers"

by Laurent François

  • hello David ! Could you introduce yourself and tell us how comes you’ve started blogging ?

Hi Laurent – I’m the VP of Marketing and Community for Radian6, a social media monitoring platform used by brands and agencies of brands to track what’s being said about them online in social media. I have been blogging for 5-6 years about various sites and locations that I found that I thought were valuable to share with others. I had been using this early blog as more of a delicious linking site (before delicious came along). However it was just this past year that I created a new blog for my passion regarding social media and it’s use for marketing, PR and business and general. This new site is www.tweetpr.com . I put it together as an outlet whenever a new idea, concept or analogy struct me on how social media could be used to engage with customers, advocates and influencers.

  • Social media…everybody talks about social media, but people like Tom thinks that nothing really happened in 2008. Do you agree with this statement ?

Well, if you look at the past 4 years and what Tom refers to each year each technology is about new ways for consumers to talk. I would propose that 2008 was the year of listening. We saw an explosion in the use of the word, “social media monitoring”, in 2008. Companies have begun to realize that with all of these easy to use tools for talking consumers are sharing their experiences about brands at an ever growing pace in social media. There are a number of concrete cases this year where brands that failed to listen and engage online felt the pushback from the online communities where their customers congregate. And if 2008 was the year listening applications took off then I’m hoping that 2009 will be the year of engagement, the next step in the evolution.

  • How do you think we can convince CEOs that if they don’t go on social media, they’re missing something ?

I like to use the analogy of a phone to illustrate why companies should be listening to their customers and potential customers in social media. Please keep in mind that I also don’t see social media as a “media” but as a two-way channel capable of growing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders. So the questions I like to ask to big on my phone analogy are: – If your customers are calling on the phone do you let it ring? If they are emailing you with orders do you delete the emails? If someone is in your store with a megaphone and yelling negative things about your brand over and over to you just ignore that they are there? Do you throw away all of the ideas placed in your suggestion box at the end of each month without reading them? Of course the answer is an emphatic no for each. So why then are companies completely ignoring customers and potential customers who are “calling them on the social media phone”? People are blogging, tweeting, posting videos etc..on their product questions, customer needs, brand complaints, new product ideas etc…right now. People do this because they want to be heard and recognized. They want a conversation. When companies don’t listen and don’t reach out to these people they are basically saying these customers don’t matter and their opinions and needs are not their concern. Not only that but everyone who follows these people also see that the company doesn’t care and that perhaps even worst that the concern he or she has maybe is true afterall. And the final kick in the brand’s assets is that Google and other search engines love fresh, relevant content and chances are these posts may appear on the first or second page of results when searching on that brand. Frankly, I haven’t met a brand yet that once they’ve heard this analogy has immediately prioritized finding their own strategy for listening and engaging in social media.

  • If you can achieve an utopia thanks to social media, what would it be ?

People now have many ways to communicate with each other. They don’t have to stick to simple one-to-one or one-to-many direct communications. The next generation relies very little on email for example, something used by the majority of the older generation. People relate to each other through communication and shared experiences. My hope is that all brands understand this and begin the conversation with the customers they hope to keep and future ones they hope to attract.

  • Thanks a lot David, and have a good week !
December 15th, 2008

P2P interview #3 with Olivier Bassil : "Luxury is very specific, but it’s also very generic in its scope, and it can apply to everyone and everything"

by Laurent François

Olivier Bassil is the Co-Founder & Managing Director of SQUA.RE :

SQUA.RE is the first and only community-generated TV site dedicated to your ideas of Luxury, Style and Inspiring Lifestyle. Whether you are a socialite, a trendsetter, or even a company who has an interest in featuring your own channel, or whether maybe you just like to watch, if you are in any way interested in the “Luxurealism” of this world, then SQUA.RE is for you.

He accepted to answer some questions for Social Media [re]loaded

  • Olivier : can you introduce yourself in few words ?

I am a 26 year old entrepreneur living in London. I love connecting with people and my passion is my work in media and luxury.

  • What’s the positioning of Squa.re compared to ASW ?

While SQUA.RE shares the exclusive community aspect with A Small World, we have a different goal and concept. We wish to gather and showcase the most inspiring content online, and therefore we are really interested in members and companies who can contribute to our main channels, in the view of sharing these with a much broader base of viewers. SQUA.RE and ASW can fully co-exist as they have different goals and directions.

  • Many observers start talking about “Bespoke” as the marketing key-objective : is it the spirit that is driving Squa.Re ? If so, how can you provide to a whole community of individuals a unique treatment ?

The way you achieve this is by keeping your community niche and focused. We are stricter every day about the relevance of our members, and really, an ideal member is someone who can contribute with a channel featuring great original content. I try and stay connected on a personal level to all members, it’s part of my job as community leader, and I take it very seriously.

  • Do you imagine diversifying the platforms for Squa.re, for example a high-life Twitter-like ?

Yes. The next versions on SQUA.RE will feature more and more features catered to the general visitor, in order to give her/him a fully personalised experience in luxury online. I feel this is something everybody is interested in, one way or another. Luxury is very specific, but it’s also very generic in its scope, and it can apply to everyone and everything.

  • If you could achieve a digital utopia thanks to social media, what would it be ?

It would be an online experience that is smooth, complete and addictive, a platform that combines exclusivity at its basis with open-mindedness and visibility to the public at large, a platform with something for everyone, in a very quality focused, consistent and editorially strong way.