What I love about conferences is the unofficial encounters and spontaneous discussions that are often more interesting than the official presentations – not to name names! At the LeWeb conference this is exactly what happened with John Stokes, partner of the Real Ventures investment fund. I’d often seen him around Montreal but it wasn’t until Paris that we had a real conversation.
I asked John about the differences between startups developed in Europe versus those in Canada. At first glance, projects are similar on both sides of the Atlantic. A pessimistic outlook would explain this phenomenon as a lack of creativity and risk taking, because it’s easier to adapt or copy an idea that works well.
We also talked about the advantages Montreal offers to startups. The multiculturalism of the city is a real asset, since it already fosters internationalization projects. Montrealers are also great connectors, which facilitates the development of partnerships or the search for clients.
From my experience with Seevibes I can confirm that these two points are completely true. This reminds me of a discussion I had with Fred Guarino about how in one direction Montreal is the first step towards Europe, and in the other direction the first step towards North America. I think that the program of the International Startup Festival which is held in Montreal demonstrates this reality.
Second Life is becoming popular once again thanks to the Avatar effect from James Cameron. Anyway, Christopher Ross, aka Legrand, wants to believe in this resurrection. With the help of students from the Temple University of Philadelphia, Legrand projected himself in a connected world where Second Life is the new centre of gravity.
Where was Second Life?
A long time ago, my friend Michelle Blanc tempted me to play with this tool even though I knew I would not be able to spend more than a few hours in Second Life. The same for numerous innovations, I think that Second Life came too soon on the market.
My hopes were definitely higher when it came to the Home virtual space from Sony. Like in Second Life, except for the communication aspect between avatars, these spaces are exclusive worlds that do not interact with communities we live in. To that extend, Facebook is a very successful because it abolished the 3D anonymous avatar in order to offer a trusting space where continents of interactions are built.
Sometimes I feel I am seeing what music from the future will be like when I create my own iPhone radio with Deezer, when I share with friends on Blip.fm, when I download the last podcast from Laurent Lasalle and when I watch my favourite musical channel which I personalized with Youtube and its Autoplay function. In conclusion, I think this is exactly where you will find the future of musical marketing.
Google shares its best practices to index video properly through a complete guide dedicated to Video Sitemap. Here are 3 examples:
1. Make sure that your video Internet address is ‘‘browsable’’
Make sure that the robots.txt file promptly relays your website to search engines so they can index all of the video elements from your sitemap: text page, miniature, video player and content.
2. Specify which countries will be able to access your video
The “restriction” complement has been added recently. Only a few countries will be able to download these videos.
3. Clearly point out all the deleted videos from your website
if any In order to maximise each user’s experience, Google recommends two things every time a video is removed: create a page 404 or insert a tag with an expiry date for a selected video (Video Sitemap: element) or mRSS: ).
Since Youtube is now coming into our home, it has to offer all the possible Internet video quality. Is it exactly what Google did by processing Video Sitemap elements directly into the conventional Sitemap. From now on, Google will process video content the same way it does for text or pictures in a website.
Beyond Sitemap, video referencing should get a step ahead with HTML5. It now includes more semantic elements that facilitate the presentation and better understanding of multimedia contents in general, video referencing included.
IBM just made its tech predictions for 2015. Big Blue’s teasing us with talk about its holographic mobile phone. Its battery will recharge on fairy dust. Back in 2006, IBM predicted instant vocal translation, but we’re still a long way off having this feature in our daily life.
On January 19, 2011 in Montreal, Deloitte will be back with its technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) predictions. What I like about this company ‚Äî besides that it’s an excellent customer ‚Äî is that they manage to guess every year which technologies will dominate in the following 12 months. They have a success rate over 70%. I can tell you, it’s much more difficult than to make predictions for periods from 5 to 20 years.
The same kind of paradox arises with startups. On the one side, those who predict a radical change in consumer habits in the short term can catch the imagination of venture capitalists who perk up and invest millions all at once in marketing so that the service reaches a critical mass to generate potential profitability.
To develop my social TV startup, Seevibes, I admit being part of the other, more conservative camp that begins by seducing the market this year to have the means to revolutionize it within three years. This pragmatic approach is less sexy, but as with Deloitte’s TMT predictions, I prefer basing my work on more credible results.
My prediction for 2011: startups must be more Cash-Cash than Bling-Bling. Let’s get back together in a year and see who was right.
Paper.li is the winner of the startup contest presented at LeWeb’10. During the Inside LeWeb’10 series of startup interviews we spoke to Iskander Pols, co-founder of paper.li, the newspaper that delivers the best stories of your Facebook and Twitter friends.
Our goal is to give you special access to these exceptionally promising startups. It’s a rare opportunity to find out more about their processes, business models and technologies, and discover the motivations that inspired them to reinvent the Web.
It was this article by Cédric Giorgi – originally posted on Mry’s blog – criticizing France for having no pride in its startup entrepreneurs that made us decide to show you why you should love Web startups
How? Post your questions in the comments to this blog entry.
Before and during LeWeb, Benoit and I will also be sharing the inside scoop about Europe’s biggest web conference of the year – the organization, the speakers, the events, the bloggers. You can follow us here:
Because of the blogs I write and post online almost every week, I keep on receiving all kinds of press releases – most of them are inappropriate – that refer to a ‘‘super’’ product, service or event that shall totally change my blog world! For the last few months, I feel like they are trying to impair my “influence”. For example, they promote contests, such as Nissan HyperCube or the opportunity to get the greatest job in the world. Nowadays, customers are even willing to pay for some advice of mine! Furthermore, my interaction within the social networks is gaining in value: I even woke up one day to find that I was quoted in the Stock Exchange!
You are an intelligent public relation agency
If you are a professional of public relations or a manager who tracks influencers, please follow these different steps before contacting me:
Read several articles on my blog and in the ‘‘À propos’’ section
Ask me if the information you want to deliver is any of my interest, topic-wise and location-wise
Ask yourself if I really have time to promote your product/service/event
Ask yourself why I should promote your product/service/event
Refer to steps 1 to 4 once more
Done and done?
OK. I recommend you to join me during one of the ‘‘happy hour’’ encounters so we could discuss and get to know each other (Yulblog, Yulbiz, Camp, etc.). Only then I shall be more willing to promote your product/service/event.
I won’t be pointing fingers at anyone in order not to disillusion any of the new professional workers. Instead, I recommend you to read (yet again) Sylvain Carle’s article that came out last year on all the contact persons he was able to get from the Nissan HyperCube contest designers.
Could I be traded for an airplane ticket?
To tell the truth, I once traded myself for a train ticket. It happened last year when ViaRail sponsored the Montreal PodCamp team so they could get to the Toronto Pod Camp with Via1. We did not have any obligations; we only had to share our experience of the WiFi access during the trip. Each participant shared its most honest point of view. I am taking the opportunity to thank Nadia who was then working in the communication dept. at ViaRail and who put this fun event together.
This week, Virgin America is trying to seduce web influencers with the launch of a new airline company in Toronto. The Toronto-based residents carrying a high Klout score shall receive a free airplane ticket. Klout is a service of Twitter user influence scoring. At the moment, my score is worth 42/100.
Please buy me!
Karl Marx would turn in his grave if he found out that even human beings are now quoted in the Stock Exchange. With Empire Avenue, each person may increase its presence value on the social networks. The Canadian start-up is playing certain games with ego and lure of profit, two sin concepts that are usually quite popular. However, after only a few weeks as a participant, I am simply not into it. Empire Avenue does not seem to take off either.
I start to wonder where this ‘‘human being marketing’’ will take us. I still believe that social networks are definitely not the best place to do so. Reality TV might be more appropriate.
In conclusion, I will give you the same answer I gave to a public relation specialist who asked me to promote a ‘‘revolutionary pocket charger”: I like the ‘‘social’’ in social networks. The smallest dose of ‘‘social’’ during conversations sometimes gives the best results.
NB: I wrote this article with a Canadian movie in mind. It is called: “Un capitalisme sentimental”. The story took place during the 1920’s and talks about the main character being quoted in the Stock Exchange. Simply a must!
More and more companies ask for their customers/consumers to play a part in their communication. Furthermore, they could even ask them to find their brand name and to produce their promotional video.
UGC: no new marketing concept
My first observation is that people are already turning the brands away. For example, you may refer to vodka Absolut, Adidas or the very popular video with Tigers Woods who chats with his father from beyond the grave.
The web surfers learned to become their own media, thanks to the fast and easy access to publishing tools, such as WordPress and social networks like Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. They can easily influence certain market niches.
The brainwave from marketing geniuses – Yes I am one too – is to take the credit for consumers’ creativity to the benefit of their brands. That is how the user generated content was made and began to work in the name of advertising. Ask Loic Lemeur what he thinks about it.
Doritos is an expert in the promotion of UGC contests. The American company did so during the Super Bowl and in Canada during the Doritos Guru. The company asked consumers to pick the flavour for their new product.
News information is worth a lot. Why shouldn’t we ask members of the audience to direct it?
I seriously think that we reached the limit of ‘‘free of charge’’ user generated content. Just like the Sorel-Tracy video contest, it became a must to consider and recognize the work done for the benefit of a brand or a company. Otherwise, I consider that as an act of volunteering and I rather keep on doing it with Île sans fil.
Laurent Maisonnave is a pionner of video interactive communication and a Canadian Web key player.
One hundred projects online, the expertise of Laurent develops effective for over 10 years. From Europe to the Middle East through North America, he has a global vision of the evolution of communication of the Wordl Wide Web.
Founder of Seevibes and actively involved in the heart of Web 2.0, Laurent Maisonnave is present in many communities montrealaises followers of social media. Include the organization Île Sans Fil, meeting business bloggers Yulbiz and conference on podcasting and social media Podcamp Montreal.
Laurent Maisonnave has hosted several video podcasts noticed the Canadian chain of Intruders.TV, and a series Yulblog the oldest bloggers meeting, and more recently the podcast macQuébec.
Laurent Maisonnave is President of Ze Agence, a leading company in the Social Media Marketing and Internet Video fields. Ze Agence boosts brand image, reaches out to target audiences, increases advertising revenues and hikes up the conversion rate on internet. Ze Agence provides companies the rich and powerful media that is Web video and social media.
Laurent is also President of Île sans fil, a Quebec nonprofit organization has developed an innovative technology that allows it to position itself as the undisputed leader in the field of access services of free wireless internet.