Archive for ‘P2P interviews’

November 30th, 2008

P2P interview #2 with Alek Boyd : "a relationship based on lies, baseless presumptions, resentments and utopias normally does not last very long"

by Laurent François


Alek Boyd is a famous blogger and activist who decided to campaign for freedom of speech against Chavez. He also built up VCrisis. Alek accepted to answer some questions for Social Media [re]loaded.

# Hello Alek! Could you introduce yourself in few words and tell us what you’re doing?

Hi there, I am a Venezuelan blogger cum civil and political rights activist. Currently I am in charge of operations for the Human Rights Foundation.

# How internet and more precisely social media help you for your activities? And can you also explain what’s the purpose of VCrisis?

Internet is the true revolution. Is a leveled-playing field where citizens, or social media, can voice contrasting opinions and break myths, peddled by the establishment, on equal terms. All that is needed is a good understanding of how internet works, and how the different tools available can help reach wider audiences, without having to conform with editorial criteria that do not always reflect reality objectively. It has helped me tremendously in unmasking many lies, distortions and misinformation, spread throughout the years by the Chavez regime and his apologists worldwide.

The purpose of Vcrisis was, precisely, to expose a side of Venezuela’s reality, in English, that, at the time, was almost non existent on the web. For let us remember that the love affair between Chavez and international public opinion was in its initial stages when I started blogging in October 2002. Fortunately a relationship based on lies, baseless presumptions, resentments and utopias normally does not last very long.

# I discovered you thanks to Yoani Sanchez: do you suffer from the same difficulties to blog in your country and if so, how do you use social media to broadcast your message?

No, Venezuelans bloggers are free to say what they want, when they wanted. There are no restrictions, barring broadband problems or electric blackouts. Yoani can only dream about the freedom that we have in Venezuela. For instance, my blogging activities led, in 2006, to presidential candidate Manuel Rosales hiring me as a consultant, through Penn, Schoen and Berland. As such, I shadowed him around the country for the entire length of the campaign, a first in Venezuela and, as Daniel Duquenal says, perhaps anywhere in the world. Yoani couldn’t possibly have done that, however important a blogger she is, simply because there have not been elections where an opposition has filed candidates in Cuba since the dictator took over in 1959.

Therefore blogs are great tools for broadcasting messages, and, provided these messages resonate with people, then one can get to do extraordinary things. The prospect of bloggers, on either side of the divide, being allowed close and constant access to presidential candidates is unprecedented, but only through social media could I have achieved that. Fascinating stuff that will become reality in years to come.

# If you could achieve an utopic project thanks to the Web, what would it be?

If I could make common sense common, through free, web-based education programs and applications geared for everyone, I would die a happy man, for most of the problems in this planet of ours are solvable, just by applying commonsensical approaches.s

November 10th, 2008

P2P interview #1 with Jeff Pulver : "I believe that if we communicate more, we are one step closer to world peace"

by Laurent François


I met Jeff Pulver last October in Athens. I was pretty impressed both by his height (remember I’m a little Frenchie) and by his strong vision on social media.
Jeff Pulver is one of the world’s most recognized “pioneer of the VoIP industry and a leader in the emerging TV on the net”.
He’s also very famous for his “Breakfast with Jeff Pulver (and friends” all over the world. And I hope he’ll have the idea to organize one in Paris soon…and today I’m pretty proud that he answered some quick questions for my first “People to People interviews (P2P)”.

  • Hello Jeff : can you introduce yourself in few words ?

A few words – here is my twitter bio – “Technology Anthropologist”; Entrepreneur; Early-Stage Seed Investor; speaker, Living in Social Media (more info at http://pulver.com/jeff)

  • What made you start blogging ?

I had been publishing my own monthly “report” since Aug, 1996 and in July 2003 I morphed my monthly newsletter into a daily blog.

  • Have you seen some major changes in the US blogosphere this year ?

None that I have been paying attention to. It is nice to see some of the mainstream sites support twitter and engage in video discussions.

  • In Europe, there’s a major debate between bloggers who start publishing paid articles and others who think it undermines the whole community’s reputation and credibility. What’s your opinion ?

In the world of social media – I talk about the 3 “R”s –
– Respect – we exist based on the respect others give us and the respect we show others.
– Responsibility – we have to take responsibility for what we write and what we do.
– Reputation – this is how others look at us and evolve over time.

If we spam our readers + friends in our social graph, we lose friends and followers. As long our friends + readers are ok with seeing commercial content, than it is up to the writer and their readers to come to terms about this.
On a personal basis, I see both side to it. In the end, if we abuse the relationship we lose our ability to have a voice and we will not be heard.

  • Do you have 2 ideas of what will change in 2009 ?
  1. Internet Video / Internet TV – platforms will evolve which will add context to video content and enable commerce.
  2. Social Media – more people will start to understand how the evolution of social media will change the way we communicate. Social media moves from trendy geek to more mainstream.

My biggest trend for 2009 is something I call “Life 3.0″ – and it deals with how we are presented in the evolving digital / semantic web.

  • If you had the chance to change the world thanks to social media, what would you do ?

enable a platform to effect real change with open communications. I believe that if we communicate more, we are one step closer to world peace.

Thanks a lot Jeff, and let’s discuss it @ le web 08 next December !

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