Reflecting on Les Blogs 2.0

Worthwhile being there is how I’d sum up my experience of Les Blogs 2.0 in Paris on Monday and Tuesday.

I didn’t get there for day 1, arriving only in the evening (and so made it to the blogger bash), but I did spend day 2 listening, learning and conversing. Meeting new people, and re-meeting those you already know, is always a treat at events like this, and Les Blogs 2.0 was no exception. I was especially pleased to meet three people who I’ve wanted to meet for a while but not had an opportunity until now – Shel Israel, Suw Charman and Jeff Clavier. It was also a real pleasure to meet and chat with Salim Ismail.

Of course, the list of people I wanted to personally meet far exceeded those I actually managed to. It’s just impossible to get to meet and talk to everyone you want to at such an event.

Plenty has already been posted about Les Blogs 2.0 by many of the participants, so for wide commentaries on varying aspects of the event, do take a look through those posts for unique views – check the collection at the Technorati tag ‘lesblogs.’

One of the reasons I was at Les Blogs 2.0 was to moderate the panel discussion on podcasting, video and photo blogging. A terrific panel as the photo below shows.

Well, sort of: can’t see everyone’s faces. So, from left to right – Bertrand Lenotre, Roy Lindeman, Olivier Dufour, Jian Ni, and Gabe McIntyre.

The trouble with being the moderator of a panel is that you’re up there and not sitting in the audience tapping away at your keyboard to capture your thoughts, as all these folks were doing:

So I don’t have a detailed commentary about the discussion – but you can watch the whole thing as Maarten Schenk video’d it.

(By the way, I took these photos from the panel stage with my brand new Nokia N70 cameraphone, or rather, ‘multimedia device’ as Nokia calls it. I’d agree with that – an outstanding device. But no digressing for the moment about cool gadgets: a post soon about my N70. If you click on either pic, you’ll go to the bigger versions on Flickr which form part of the overall Les Blogs 2.0 photo collection there.)

One major point that did emerge from the panel discussion concerned what’s coming next – and that’s video – and what’s holding it back from rapid mainstream adoption. The tools are here now – hardware, software, networks, places to publish content. Big hurdle – lack of a universally-common file format.

And some perceptive commentary by Elizabeth Albrycht:

[…] Communicators need to be thinking about video. One of the guys behind the cameras at Les Blogs, Rodrigo Sepulveda, said that people are used to using video cameras. They use them at weddings, to film their kids, etc. It is more natural to many people than writing. Therefore, video blogging is potentially explosive. And what happens when people start video blogging their use of your product? Remember Kryptonite? That was all started by a video. The emotional impact of video cannot be denied, and communicators need to be thinking about how to use video and respond to video.

A few random conference thoughts –

  • The new sound of conferences – The quiet background sound of multiple hands tapping on multiple keyboards. And, there is a difference between the sound of a Mac and any other computer.
  • In the six months since the first Les Blogs, last April, it seems that everyone is now a podcaster, while many others have bypassed audio and leapt straight to videocasting.
  • The backchannel – A playground for kids. Juvenile with puerile content but a great temperature-tester that gives you a real sense of what people feel about what’s going on in a conference at a particular time. The trick, though, is determining that temperature from amongst all the inane and wholly off-topic chat that goes on.
  • The wireless network in place was awesome. It was the first time I can ever recall seeing the wi-fi signal strength meter on my laptop (one of those very cool Konfabulator widgets) showing 100% the whole time. I don’t get that even from my home wireless network! Mind you, I was sitting right next to one of the many Linksys routers 😉

Finally, a word of thanks to Loic le Meur for making this all happen. Simply terrific.

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10 thoughts on “Reflecting on Les Blogs 2.0

  1. Neville, it was a real treat to finally meet you, and I look forward to meeting again soon in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Zaragozza, Copenhagen or wherever the conference circuit will lead us. And why not do a podcast one of these days :-).

  2. Hey Neville, great to meet you too. Think of me next time you’re downing a beer in Amsterdam. I never asked you why you live there, but it must be due to your height 🙂

  3. I intercepted Loic’s censorship temptation earlier but today he makes it clearer apart from the fact that he didn’t dare to publish – on his english blog too – his tendancy for accepting only bows …
    Here is Loic’s original french post:
    Here the Babelfish automated english version:

  4. Thanks Jeff. That podcast idea sounds good… Salim, I’m here because of the beer, not my height 😉
    Interesting comment, Ray. That Babelfish link just gives errors. So, would you care to explain a bit more so I can understand what your point is?

  5. Neville,
    You are taller than I had imagined you to be, but just as nice as I had guessed. I look forward to having our paths cross again–for a longer period of time.

  6. Thanks Neville. Thanks for all your help and panel.
    Ray, you’re a great troll… Don’t worry I’ll explain it all in english too when I have more time to posts not only links on what I see and on the contrary to what you say, also balanced summaries with criticism and suggestions in.

  7. Great work on the Panel Nev! To bad we didn’t get to discuss some more stuff further. We’ll hav e to do that in Amsterdam some time soon.

  8. Me too, Shel. And I wish you and Robert every success with Naked Conversations. The book is just the start, though, judging from the continuing conversations on the book blog.
    Loic, it was a pleasure being part of Les Blogs.
    Gabe, as we’re neighbours in the same city, definitely!

  9. I hope there is follow-up to the audience comments about the serious problem with standards between devices. It is still difficult to share bits of a podcast with a friend (Bits I liked) and the recording devices for podcasters are going in the wrong direction. I am running a survey of recording devices and there is something wrong with all of them. I will publish the results in Jan and start campaigning to manufacturers. Where is the simple blogcaster recorder….push to record. Another button to post.
    Frankly, I wasn’t too impressed by the presentation of Naked Conversations. It was too unstructured – and I think it ignored the huge range of talent in the audience from all over the world. Global Voices, on the other hand, was inspiring. I thought the efforts by IHT to bring in the French bloggers in the conversation (by excellent translations) helped to show that there’s fun and successful stuff happening outside the English speaking world.

  10. Jonathan, that was a good discussion point on the panel re lack of video standards. Great if you’re researching it and I’ll look forward to seeing the results of your survey.
    Re Naked Conversations, I didn’t see that presentation on the Monday. Whether it was any good or not, the book itself is definitely worth getting.

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