» The Digital Lifestyle Day in Munich rocks !

The Digital Lifestyle Day in Munich rocks !

I had a great day today at the Digital Lifestyle Day in Munich, organized by Dr Hubert Burda, Marcel Reichart, Stefanie Czerny, Jochen Wegner of Focus and a very cool and impressive team. The program is great. I had the pleasure to be a speaker on the opening panel with Dan Gilmor, Anina and Gabe McIntyre, moderated by Jochen. The panel video is already up. Just after Dan who summed up his book and talk about citizen journalism in ten minutes (!) I gave an update of the recent blogging developments in France: number of blogs and people reading blogs (6.7 million French blog readers !), corporate examples, citizens examples and of course I talked about blogs and politics and my recent experience podcasting our #2 in Government Nicolas Sarkozy.


We’re looking at you ;-) As always, Heiko took great pictures (there is also an official moblog) and he spotted me here with Christiane zu Salm and Anastassia Michaeli, from German and Israeli TVs, I was showing them the pictures that Heiko was posting live.

VivaneredingEuropean commissioner for information society and media Viviane Reding gave a very interesting talk about innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU. Viviane was very optimistic about the way broadband is catching up around Europe as well as the number of total Internet users and size of the market here. I challenged Viviane about the fact that I really liked what she said but that there was an emergency situation. All the key parts of the web today are dominated by US companies: search (Google of course, MSN, Yahoo) e-commerce (Kelkoo acquired by Yahoo, Amazon), auctions (Ebay), travel (Last Minute now acquired by a US company), voip (Skype acquired by Ebay… I also insisted on the fact that there were not enough entrepreneurs in Europe and for the ones who dare to launch their startups it was difficult to raise seed capital and VC funding. I described the european situation much more as a catastrophy regarding Internet entrepreneurship and as she said that politicians and business people should work together to fix this, I asked Viviane how we could help her to change things. Basically Viviane told me we needed in our respective countries to help our Governments understand the situation and push them to act, France not being a very good example of success on the web either (many french successes, all now sold to American companies). I wish we would see a very ambitious plan to react to our weaknesses. I think we could use these types of conferences (we had 21 countries in the room, 25 at Les Blogs and probably the same at Reboot in Denmark) to launch a pan-european effort driven by entrepreneurs and supported by the media, such as the Burda Group and others. It is great Hubert Burda has put together this conference. I suggested we should at least start a petition with thousands of signatures from entrepreneurs around Europe who want to help and then try to suggest solutions. No promises on my side here, this would take time and I don’t have that much, but here is an idea I just express, your comments are welcome…

 Img Header MoodBesides having the pleasure again to spend time with Hubert Burda, I have also met tens of friends such as Yossi Vardi, who told me that I had polluted (not that bad actually, I am not even in the 3 first pages) his online identity with my posts and Google Juice and he said in a very funny way that we bloggers were like dog shit in the Google results of so many people… !

 Images Cars 7Er 750HlBMW took me for a 15 minutes ride in a prototype hydrogen series 7 that I was not allowed to moblog, just enjoy the fact that it was totally emission free, which is cool because we’ll run out of fuel anytime soon. So I did not take any pictures but I can tell you the power it has even though it is hydrogen powered is incredible. I really liked the engine noise, very similar to a normal fuel engine noise (it was a V12…). I hope these cars hit the market soon so that we stop burning that much fossile energy.

Last but not least, I met new friends at Apple Europe and Germany who had noticed the Sarkozy podcast and gave me a brand new iLife’06 DVD. I have installed it and played a few minutes with the new garage band with its hundreds of effects for podcasting and new podcasting toys such as chaptering, movie and picture integration… It looks like they took out one of the main issue of the earlier version of Garage Band, the limitation to 30 minutes in audio recordings which was not cool for podcasting. Anyway, lots of meetings, lots of cool people, lots of content, Hubert, Stephanie, Marcel, Jochen and the entire DLD team, you rock, thanks, and I am very honored to be on the DLD council.

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  • http://profile.typekey.com/dahowlett/ dahowlett

    Viviane’s response is typically unhelpful. She has had the responsibility for moving things forward in Europe but in reality, the people who are at the top in Europe really have little idea about the positive impact technology can have. ther are a lot of political interests at stake with uneven labour and investment incentives, making it a minefield for inward investment.
    Maybe you saw her differently but in the reports around the Microsoft thing mid-2005, she seemed no more use than a chocolate teapot.
    This is a highly complex issue and to be honest, I despair of EU politicians ever getting it right or understanding.
    I hope this doesn’t sound like arse licking but my sense is that it is people like yourself and others who ‘bang the drum’ in Europe who will have the real impact.
    But…there are some very cool things going on in the business world with real services and applications where I know ‘we’ are leading the way. Myself and David Tebbutt are planning on writing about these and other related stuff around what works and what doesn’t on a new site we’re launching ‘soon.’
    We will be putting new, emerging services to the test in the expectation we can help people make decisions based on what works, rather than only on what looks ‘cool.’
    Lots more I could say about this but we’re not quite ready.
    End of rant!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/JohnHenderson/ john

    Gotta agree with dahowlett, Reding is basically a lawyer with very little grasp on how to extract maximum value from developing online services for Europe. Commissioner Reding spouts about the need for innovative content as one of the key drivers for European integration but then you see her push through the Television without Frontiers Directive which will hamper innovation in exactly this sphere, give her full support to the data retention directive that will cost the ISPs + telcos (or eventually the European consumer) god knows how much and preside over an overall ‘i2010 action plan’ that is a weak restatement of a bunch of siloed policy areas all thrown into one big ‘action plan’ that is completely unambitious. About TVWF, she said at the conference: “At the same time, the modernised Directive aims to create an internal market framework for new audiovisual on-demand services, thus allowing, for example, a video-on-demand provider in Britain to deliver his services to all 25 EU Member States on the basis of UK law only, and without the need to respect at the same time 24 other legal regimes.” All that, unfortunately, is rubbish because the Member States would never allow this Directive to truly promote the country of origin principle due to the national variances in cultural values regarding audiovisual material; thus on the continent we see much more ‘raunchy’ material being transmitted when it would never be acceptable at the same time in the UK. The Directive allows for Member States to enforce stronger rules than given in the Directive precisely because of this, making the statement she gave at the conference a complete lie.

  • http://conciant.com Mcgill

    Yes it’s indeed a point worth thinking that America owns a great space on web in terms of search, sales online communication and what not?. But what’s even interesting is that, according to a reaseach study I read somewhere, it was learnt that US is one of the countries having leaster number of internet users. Now doesn’t that sound pretty embarracing? The country having loads of online services has its users less than any other country. shame on you US lol