Posts tagged ‘digital citizenship’

May 23rd, 2011

The reasons why I won’t go to eG8 in Paris

by Laurent François


As you may know, President Sarkozy decided to invite some bloggers, web professionals and many other stakeholders to a “web” version of G8, “eG8 Forum“.

At first sight, the invitation is quiet interesting; many decision-makers in the same place, talking in front of a crowd of professionals. There’s not so many events like this in Europe at the end. But after a while, I’ve decided no to go to eG8. My main fear: going to eG8 is a way to recognize this entity and their panels as the very leaders of the world wide web and of all the things that are rising in Social Media, e-commerce, e-politics and more importantly: e-citizenship.

  • I don’t agree with the list of participants. As Jillian C. Work writes on her blog: “absent from the list are civil society and human rights groups” (except Reporters Without Borders). We do have to repeat that innovation, creativity, big ideas, do not come only from the major companies which will have something to tell. Where are the Yoani Sanchez, micro-finance people, social gaming industry, social businesses’ owners? Nowhere
  • I don’t agree with the PR purposes of Publicis. As La Quadrature du Net writes on their networks, the ACTA will be signed in the meantime of the eG8, which means another round of protectionist waves and wars worldwide. I could do agree if I trusted government on digital exchanges. Basically I don’t, as the democratic mechanisms to control such developments & rules by the People are absolutely vague and dangerous. Consulting main companies and more networked people don’t mean we’re going to be safe. The PR statement to promote a “shared and sharing event” around G8 is such a joke; things are already signed and negociated, we’ll only be PR promoters on our spaces for the G8
  • I don’t agree with Nicolas Sarkozy claimed effort for an open discussion with web professionals and /or stakeholders. I had been invited with Nathalie Kosciusko Morizet when she was still in charge of the French Development of the Digital Economy; her engagement was certain and her positions pretty interesting. But Nicolas Sarkozy constant effort to ruin her political developments is another sample of the non-credibility of his faith for open-conversations
  • I don’t agree with the absence of European Union and more generally regional unions in the roundtables of eG8: G8 is another affair of States, of Nations. It’s about to be a non-sense in our hyphenated world

In terms of digital and real influence, we need to be straight and sharp on the value propositions these guys are going to make. Because digital consequences are no longer “virtual” but truly impact our daily lifes.

February 7th, 2011

Social Media: what’s going on in 2011? An introduction to Social Media issues

by Laurent François


As you may know, I update every six months a presentation called “Social Media what’s going on?”.

This is a deck which aims to explain quiet easily the main issues on our social world. One big change thanks to Pierre Bellanger statement; the Internet is not a content-holder in itself.

Well: please RT as we say!


September 17th, 2010

Why Diaspora project could work

by Laurent François

Citizens! I had a conversation this week around net neutrality and some French entrepreneurs around the table did not believe at all that Diaspora could defeat the “big” Facebook. Well, big, if you think twice, you can easily remember it’s a younger network than my own studies period, so as “evidences of relevance” are not so…evident.

Moreoever, I like the MySpace example and the Facebook one. In the early ages of Facebook, no one could think there’d be a massive translation from a network to another. It was in a sense pretty easy in the MySpace to Facebook in France, as MySpace was mostly perceived as an entertainment platform for us against a “friend management system” for Facebook. Different usages, so as a market gap that was filled. Something absolutely different in the US where MySpace was an interpersonal network, a true Social Network on your whole life. And it finally happened: people moved to Facebook, or added Facebook to their digital identity. And Facebook & MySpace can now be synchronized.

For Diaspora, the challenge is big: be able to mobilize general public to move to is platform, against the Facebook one. Something complicated as every mobile device providers pre-install Facebook or Twitter.


There’s been a wide PR coverage about new Facebook competitor. Every single news magazine diffused interviews, opinions, articles, about this new player. There’s been a great mobilization online, from diverse communities: the founders are not just “geek” people, they’re also like us: citizens, fed up with Facebook Califorinia laws. Fed up with this Teddy Boy called Mark Zuckerberg who wants to control our social graph.

There’s obviously an explicit expectation. And when it comes to social networks, explicit networks play a great role. For instance, if Viadeo, the French professional network, worked so well, it’s because during the summer of its launch, the salesmen & founders called their C+ friends to join the platform. For explicit reasons. They transferred their whole address books. Then they added or made implicit networks play the prescription mechanism on its own. On a daily basis, anytime I meet an interesting professional contact, based on my experience, I can decide to explicitely add someone.

On Diaspora, there’s both an explicit reason to join, and an implicit mechanism which can lead to a massive interest from the general public.

  • there’s been an engagement program towards the traditional Key opinion leaders & towards disruptive ones like bloggers
  • there’s a clear value proposition: a Facebook without Facebook Manichean attitude
  • there’s a tricky tactics: not directly opposing Facebook to Diaspora (either join us either leave us) but progressively demonstrating why it’d be better

There are strong business opportunities for developers to join Diaspora model, as Diaspora released today its source:

  • you can be freed from Apple or Facebook constraints
  • you can also get enough audience to make your great service worth
  • you can go directly to your relevant public
  • you can avoid legal issues therefore money waste on privacy questions

For me, as a citizen-consumer, I see many interests:

  • I don’t lose my social capital if I move to Diaspora
  • I can probably get great applications & services, and to be fair, I don’t give a shit if it’s on Facebook or else, if it works on my smartphone and if I can get access to all the resources I need
  • It’s a manifesto for a more fair market. And I like fair & true view principles

Maybe I’m too Android-minded. Maybe.