Tag: leweb3

Le Web3 2007 – a big hit!

After last year’s Le Web3 experience, my expectations for this year’s Le Web3 were very low!

However, Loic, the conference’s organiser obviously took all of the criticisms of last year’s conference on board and delivered a fantastic conference this time out.

The talks were great, the venue was perfect, the food was delicious, and the networking opportunities were tremendous. I had conversations with Michael Arrington, Robert Scoble, Marc Canter, Stephanie Booth, Hans Rosling, Loic, Lee Wilkins, JP Rangaswami, Doc Searls, Laura Fitton, Dave Sifry, Jeff Clavier, Martin Varsavsky, Dave Weinberger, Om Malik, Rodrigo Sepulveda and many more too numerous to mention.

There were one or two minor issues, the wifi was poor but as Loic had contracted and paid Swisscom to make that work the fault for that is squarely on their shoulders.

From a speakers’ perspective I was surprised that the organisation charged with the AV only had a single wireless mic. This delayed my getting onstage as I had to wait while Janus Friis came offstage and had his mic removed before I could mic up and go on. Even more incredibly though, the AV crowd didn’t have a wireless ‘clicker’ to move the slides forward! This meant that I had to stand at the podium pressing the right-arrow key on my laptop to move the slides on! I like to walk around when I am giving a talk so this really interfered with my ability to be natural onstage.

Other than those minor issues, the conference was a roaring success. I didn’t hear any delegates say that they were disappointed that they had attended.

Kudos to Loic, Geraldine, Cathy Burke and their team.


These next few weeks and months are manic busy.

I think I need to clone me!

Are Six Apart losing it?

Six Apart are the US based company who make blog software TypePad, Movable Type, and Vox.

Loic Le Meur, is the Eurppean head of Six Apart. Loic was also the organiser of the recent Le Web 3 mess and has written a blog post (and emailed attendees) his side of what happened in Paris last week.

The post is one long non-apology and a textbook example of negationism.

For instance, in the post Loic mentions that there was a standing ovation for the politicians – there was, for Shimon Peres, when Loic himself asked the delegates to stand to show their appreciation. There was no standing ovation for either of the French presidential candidates. Why?

  1. They were foist on the audience at the last minute (at least we had 24 hours notice that Shimon Peres was coming)
  2. They addressed the audience in French (Shimon Peres addressed the audience in English)
  3. Unlike Shimon Peres, they demonstrated a clear lack of understanding of the Internet (Sarkozy, yet again demonstrating the mental acuity of a brain damaged slug, even went so far as to say he wants to “control it”!)
  4. Unlike Peres, Sarkozy even refused to take questions from the audience

But it is not just Loic, Mena Trott was at Le Web 3 as well. Mena is the president of Six Apart and, as such she addressed the audience at Le Web.

Mena’s presentation was one of the shortest of all the talks. She got on stage, spoke for about five minutes, and rushed off again taking no questions.

Now, if blogging is supposed to be about conversations, here we have two principals of Six Apart doing old-school, top down, I know better than you and damned if I am going to listen to you or take your opinion into account.

Guys, if you want to seriously damage the reputation of your company, keep this up.
Shel hit the nail on the head when he said:

But if I went to a rock concert to discover the lead off group was a string octet playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I would be confused and disappointed. As so many of Le Web 3 attendee seem to have felt.

On the other hand, if you want people to continue to take you and your products seriously, learn (or re-learn) what blogging is all about. Engage, have conversations, ask people’s opinions instead of ramming your ideas down their unsuspecting throats. Then you will start to earn back all the trust you lost in Paris.

See also Ewan Spence’s excellent response to Loic’s post.

Gapminder.org's incredible data visualisation

One of the revelations for me of the Le Web 3 conference was hearing Prof. Hans Rosling‘s presentation.

Everyone I spoke to mentioned his talk as being the highpoint of the event.

I checked out Gapminder.org, the site he mentioned where you can access all the data he presented and it is incredible. The interactive charts there are astounding.

Here is a screenshot of Ireland’s health versus its wealth from 1960 to 2003. Notice how Ireland’s health fails to improve from 1994 onwards despite significant growth in wealth.

Chart of Ireland's health vs wealth from 1960 to 2003

The two countries at the top of the healthcare leagues (as measured here by % childcare survival to age 5) are Sweden and Singapore.

An early, less polished version of the presentation Prof Rosling gave at Le Web (the one he gave at the TED conference) is available here.

Sam Sethi's personal blog disabled by Loic?

Ben Metcalf is reporting that Sam Sethi’s Typepad personal blog has been disabled.

Typepad is the company Loic Le Meur works for and Sam recently wrote a post on Techcrunch UK critical of the Le Web conference organised by Loic.

This definitely sounds too incredible to be true – it will be interesting to see how this one is explained.

Sam says his account has been deleted on Twitter.

via Ewan

[UPDATE] – Ben left a comment below to say they haven’t disabled Sam’s account.

Sam Sethi fired for not deleting a comment?

There is a post on the web2ireland blog claiming that Techcrunch UK’s Sam Sethi has been fired by Mike Arrington!

The post author, Paul Walsh is very close to Sam so I would put a lot of faith in this post.

My sources are telling me that Sam was fired for refusing to remove a comment from the TechCrunch UK site. The comment in question was one where Loic Le Meur called Sam an asshole for putting up a negative review of Le Web 3. The comment has since been deleted.

Sam put up a post on TechCrunch UK saying he and Mike had parted ways but that post has been deleted also. I found it in my RSS reader and it said:

Following yesterday’s post about Le Web and Loic’s retort. It seems Mike Arrington has disagreed with my post and opinion believing my actions to be vindictive towards Loic. What was said between Mike and I will remain confidential but suffice to say I can no longer remain with TechCrunch UK & Ireland. It is a very sad after all the work that has gone into TechCrunch UK and Ireland. I wish all of the UK and Irish entrepreneurs well. I will be personally blogging back at http://www.vecosys.com and looking for something new to keep me busy. Bye �

I was just starting to enjoy Techcrunchuk after a slow start and cant believe that Michael would come down on Loic’s side on what I thought was a very fair and balanced post regarding Leweb3

Sam seems to confirm this version of events on Twitter.

Sam doesn’t seem to be answering his mobile and I have emailed Mike to try to get his side of the story – if I hear back from either of them I will update this post.

I know both Mike and Sam and have a lot of respect for both of them so I find this particularly hard to believe.

[Update] – Mike has clarified his reasons for firing Sam on his Crunchnotes site:

The actions that resulted in his dismissal were additional comments he wrote on that second post, announcing “that TechCrunch UK will be doing a series of seminars and a conference next year as well as a series of smaller meetings in conjunction with friends & partners which have been in the planning for sometime now.�

These events were not discussed with me, and certainly were not approved. The fact that he announced and promoted them while trashing a competing event was a clear conflict of interest and was not appropriate. I do not consider this to be ethical behavior.

None of this had to be aired publicly, but Sam chose to write a final post on the blog after he was terminated stating incorrectly that he was being terminated because of the original post. He has also written publicly that he was terminated because he would not comply with my demand to delete a post. That is not accurate. This is driven entirely from Sam’s ethical lapse in trashing a competitor while simultaneously promoting his own events. That’s not acceptable – readers will not be able to determine if he actually believed what he wrote about the conference, or rather exaggerated his opinions to futher his own business interests.

Le Web 3 – I want a refund

Here is the text of an email I just sent to Le Web 3 organiser Loic Le Meur:


I am furious at the way you arbitrarily decided to change the Le Web conference schedule without any notification to the people who paid good money and took valuable time out of their schedules to attend.

I decided to attend the conference based on the published schedule. The schedule as published was very different from the conference which actually took place. This is false advertising as far as I am concerned.

I would like a refund of my money because I wasn’t given the conference I paid for.

Yours sincerely,


It will be interesting to see what, if any response there will be. Has anyone else asked for a refund?

Le Web 3 renamed Loic (pronounced Le Week)

There are a lot of people at the Le Web 3 conference who are going away from the event extremely angry. Someone at lunch today said tht the conference should have been named Loic instead of Le Web.

Why? Nobody was too annoyed when the schedule was changed to allow Shimon Peres address this morning.

What really annoyed everyone was the fact that the conference was completely hijacked and changed from a conference about new web technologies into a presidential campaign for the next French election. Two of the candidates, Nikolas Sarkozy and François Bayrou were parachuted in to the conference schedule at the last minute, displacing other speakers.

Worse than that, at a conference where the majority of the delegates were not French, the two political candidates addressed the audience in French (and Sarkozy didn’t even take questions).

I have heard many people speculate that this is conference organiser Loic LeMeur’s way of furthering his own political ambitions.

The conference that was delivered was not the one which was advertised. It is not the one I paid for. I think Loic owes an apology for bringing so many people to Paris under false pretenses. I wonder will anyone ask for a refund…

UPDATE] – I see Nicole’s post on this is now at the top of Techmeme.