Wednesday, December 13, 2006

When I went to LesBlogs in March of 2005, it was to meet people that I followed or connected to in the wonderful on-line world of blogging.

Coming form a corporate background, lesBlogs was a fascinating event and experience to me, meeting up with 250 other ‘egocasters’ that published ideas either in (video) blogs or podcasts and had opinions about everything….
Virtual all of the attendees were active producers themselves and only very few were there to understand more about without being actively involved themselves. (We where still at the point that we had to explain to the outside world what blogging was. It was a ‘geek’ thing, considered to be very niche at the time…)

Key issue at the event was electricity to power up all the laptops in the room as everybody was blogging or commenting all the time …. I had never seen so much digital material being produced and discussed online before.

Many of the people attending would not have believed that the pace of web2.0 developments (we did not have that term then by the way, we were still talking mainly technology such as ‘blog’…) would be as high as it has become….

Within 24 months from LesBlogs, new media (let’s give that ‘container’ name to the output of the ‘egocasters’) have grown big and Leweb3 showed that in most insightful ways. Let me share some examples:
• At Leweb3 there were almost as many journalists from mainstream media as attendees at LesBlogs….
• I do not think that there were many (if any delegates) that came without a capturing device.
• At many instances mainstream media were interviewing/being interviewed by new media at the same time…
• Some of the new media have become in quality as good as the mainstream media as for example the video-reporting by Vpod or the podcasts of Nicole Simon
• Many of the attendees of LesBlogs have moved on at high speed and are now in the full attention of mainstream media and have achieved a lot, people like Loïc LeMeur, Tarik Krim, Rodrigo Sepulveda, Jason Calacanis, Gabe McIntyre, Mena Trott and many of the others on the LesBlogs photostream
• Peres and French presidential candidates showing up to explain their viewpoints (Peres was the overall visionairy hero and Bayrou was the clear winner of the presidential candidates. Not from a political standpoint, I have no idea what the candidates stand for, but from his openness in discussion with the crowd)….

My own tipping point panel at LeWeb3 (am I allowed a little inflated ego?) was about whether communities are replacing the media. The conclusion was that we are probably experiencing communities that are creating media and media that are becoming communities or at the minimum adding community aspects. In short the lines are blurring… rapidly, to come to new formats hat will be more interesting for all.

To me LeWeb3 was a ‘sign of the times’ and a ‘tipping point’ that we are in a ‘converging’ media/community/technology era and the individual and communal elements are moving fast, but not always fully aligned.
To experience just that, was already very useful and insightful to me.

But there were so many more things expected and unexpected going on all the time.
After the two days (that felt like a rollercoaster with men in suits, kilts, orange shirts and women with furry hats, great dinners with fellow Dutchmen and people from all over the world, parties, companies with business models and buttons (like Fleck) and those post stickers, but before business concepts (like IPmedialabs), ….)
I look back very satisfied at my stay in Paris, where I found many new and old friends, got new insights and saw the convergence and growth in front of me.

There was negative feedback too. Some of that criticism I can understand, but I think it depends on mainly on the starting point/expectations/involvement how the perception of LeWeb3 will be.
If you like a hot rollercoaster ride with many surprises, French culture and food, great company, fun, the openness to express whatever opinion and an open space for egocasting, then accept the mix of what’s on offer…

LeWeb3 will never be like LesBlogs again, and that is simple fact to me. All elements are moving too fast for that and there is no return path.
(Although I did not expect that lesBlogs would transform as fast as it has by the way.)

For the next edition of LeWeb it will be challenging to create a rollercoaster of the same impact again (US presidential candidates?).

I am therefore very interested to see what Loïc will create for us the next time, the feedback will probably only challenge him further in his drive to make things happen….

If you want adventure without risk, go to Disneyland, you can find one near Paris too. If you want a little more excitement give the chef the opportunity to experiment in the ‘cuisine’…

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