« Dès que l’on parle télévision, les politiques font des bêtises » – MEDIAS VIE POLITIQUE

Dominique Wolton :
Orange promet une télévision personnalisée à chacun de ses abonnés. Qu’est-ce que cela vous inspire ?

Les rêves d’ingénieurs se heurtent souvent à la complexité de l’individu et de la société. Le plus simple dans la communication, ce sont les techniques ; le plus compliqué, les hommes et la société. Etre un génie des télécoms, ce n’est pas être un génie des contenus. Les contenus, c’est de l’artisanat. Chacun son métier, la maîtrise des tuyaux et l’intégration de l’informatique et des télécoms ne font pas tout. De toute façon, il y a des budgets-temps et des budgets tout court. La crise financière va le rappeler, comme elle va rappeler la fragilité des sociétés et de leurs unités.

FacebookedOk that’s a lazy pun, but in a great article in Wired (great writing too), we learn that Mark Zuckerberg turned down the Yahoo! offer for $1 bn, and that the company might be valued more than $ 5bn.

Zuckerberg, 23, might became the youngest billionaire in US historyif he would IPO FB.

Some stats : 36 M subs, +1M addition per week, and more notably, a lot of 35+.

Another striking thing is how much you can count on people’s laziness :
So, 3 days after the feature launched, he posted a 485-word open letter to his users, apologizing for the surprise and explaining how they could opt out of News Feed if they wished. The tactic worked; the controversy ended as quickly as it began, with no real impact on user growth.
FB introduced new features that would in the company eyes increase the value of the company and then present the change to its users with an opt-out possibility. They have just done the same with the Google Search indexation  …

 Another interesting point : The site’s nearly 40 million active users generate more than a billion pageviews a day, but ad clickthrough rates are low. An estimated half of its $150 million in revenue comes from an advertising deal with Microsoft.

Ok right, we are like touching the top of the virtual worlds here.

Let’s sum this up :
Scobleizer is a famous blog about tech, written by Robert Scoble, a guy that used to cover blogs for Microsoft and who is now blogging and authoring and hosting a video show. He is also twittering and quite often refers to good articles and ideas around the Silicon Valley. Now he is refering to an article of Danah Boyd (i love the name), quite a celebrity in all tech things related to social networks. Now she is writing about Facebook, which is also pretty far away in terms of reality (or not ?). What does she say ? Basically, she cannot get the fuss around Facebook (I am utterly confused by the ways in which the tech industry fetishizes Facebook), since it has many limitations blah blah.

What is my point ?
It boils down to this : I am tech fan and all the fuss around internet passionates me.  Facebook is becoming something in my life : I think I have spent 1 hour receiving new notifications, new messages on my wall etc… and answering them and keeping the ball rolling.

Was is it somehow useful ?
honestly, I cannot deny I got back in touch with people I had lost from sight, or that I did not know that well, and now they are like “people I know better” (at least we share something…). So yes, I gained from not making cold calls I would not have made anyway. I gained from those social interactions, I am falsely feeling supported by a whole community around me.

But is it my job ? not really, or by the farthest extent yes.
I am being drifted into this ? yes, sure even though as I’ve said, it might be relevant socially and a smaller level, professionnaly.

What is sure : technology is enabling and altering my routine life. What makes me really unconfortable is that during the time I spent enriching my social experience of FB and my knowledge of something that may alter the web portal industry,
I have less time for other things that might as satisfying (finishing work earlier, enjoying the day light, spent time with other disconnected people).

I am sure we are living a revolution around the on-line world (whatever the exchange is), I was not part of the first e-revolution (too conservative ? too young ? no idea ? no guts?), and I am not really part of the new wave that came after 2001 (already got a job that I like ? no idea ? no guts ?) but I tend to reassure myself (I still lean forward on entrepreneurship and on setting “one day” my own company) by saying that this might be a way to stay alert and ready to move on the next thing…

In the meanwhile on these glorious days, I keep reading stuff that I tend to be interested in, but that don’t really matter in my life…. Is it serious, doc ?

 picture : Le Penseur (the Thinker), originally uploaded by filtran.

ecommerce-panorama, originally uploaded by danielbroche.

Hummm, makes you think..

Very interesting by Bear Stearns, about What Should Yahoo do regarding Social Networks ? (thanks Olivier)

Main points :  

1 – Leisure Social networks (MySpace, FaceBook, …) could progressively take on the usual generalist portals thanks to their open API and incremental add of new applications.
2 – a very strong growth in terms of subscriptions, use and page views (rising prime page CPM level from $4 to $18in 2016 !)
3 – If social networks come from youth, it is no longer exclusive : out of the 70 M of unique visitors on MySpace, 42% have between 35 and 54 years old (34% for FaceBook)
4 – not a US phenomenon : 56 and 63% of FaceBook and MySpace users are located outside the US.
5 – If Yahoo! bought out FaceBook, this could dramatically improve their efforts to targeted marketing thanks to the tons of personnal information everyone share with one another.

Some data :
> June 2007 in the US : 70 M VU for MySpace, 28 M for Facebook (respectively 109 M and 47 M if you take into account the international aspects)
> 51% of the time spent online by 13-24 year old is on user-generated content websites.
> Internet Ad market share made by Social Networks could reach 12% in 2011 (vs. 5% in ’07e)
> Facebook value could reach $bn 4.5-7 based on a EBITDA multiple of 45x.

This slideshow echoes also a note on TechCrunch on the coming opening of the FaceBook infrastructure following the first dent made by people using the FaceBook interface made for the Iphone on Netvibes … (opening as in “not having to log in before using Facebook services”).

Social Networks (aka SN) is fuzzing all around, but for some reasons : the tremendous growth of those social platforms raise questions.

– Is it always all about community ? Can’t some sociologist show that the way that start-ups are built reflect particular aspects of the American Culture and not necessarily how every society is functionning ? therefore doesn’t the US export via another channel its Weltanschauung?

– Everybody is focusing on the growth of those platforms ? where are the analysts of the Web Dumpster (or as TechCrunch calls it, the Terminal) ? not necessarily analysts of the dot failures, but the analysis of the old glories that faded away : old networks, old unescapable websites (you name them). Lessons could be as interesting as successes. (ok Darwinian theory is just fine but don’t we need some refinements here?)

– Don’t people have a work life anymore ? (there would be plenty to say about that last one).

What do you think ?

Remember this old commercial : we are internet

Via GigaOm (which I am rediscovering) :

Microsoft has $28.2 billion in cash and short-term investments, Google has $11.9 billion, eBay $3.2 billion before its new credit facility, etc.

 For additional information, Yahoo! has $3.2 bn as well.

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