want to be french president? come to le web…

Bayrou at Le Web 3
Originally uploaded by robinhamman.

This is truly extraordinary. Le Web has become, well, something rather different to what I and many other conference goers expected.

Shimon Peres kicked off the morning and now we’re being treated, if you can call it that, to a parade of French politicians making their bids for the leadership of France in the elections being held in early 2007.
Fran├žois Bayrou (in photo), president of the centrist Union for French Democracy has just given a talk that showed he really gets the whole blogging thing. We’ve been told that later today we’ll also be seeing Nicolas Sarkozy, leader of French President Jacques Chirac’s centre-right UMP party, his arch-rival Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal.

What, one could ask, are all these politicians doing at a blog conference turned marketplace for web 2.0 startups? You can read more on that over on my BBC News column.

I shot some video of Bayrou, talking blogs, with my cameraphone. He was, just before he was to answer questions from the floor, some important French media conglomorate boss appeared at the corner of the stage, much to the shock of Le Meur, and step up on stage taking the microphone. Le Meur sort of danced around on his toes flapping his arms for a moment until, much to his credit, the other presenter on stage (sorry, I don’t have his name) called to a stop by cutting off previously mentioned big media boss mid-sentence and pointed out that it was time for the bloggers, not him, to answer questions.

Now Danah Boyd is on – I wanted to hear her but I’ve got to get that video up…

UPDATE: There is now an open letter of protest to the conference organisers.


  1. Sounds quite bizarre, Robin. I trust you got a freebie, as I can imagine you being a little more irate about this turn of events if you were a paying customer!
    Video Danah Boyd if you can – always like her stuff.

  2. Web conference hacked: what’s next?

    The amount of criticism about the way Le Web 3 conference was high-jacked by politicians is stunning. A distinction needs to be made between issues and individuals. I have certainly made quite a few mistakes in this life and will

  3. Video de Bayrou au Web3

    Sur Cybersoc -I shot some video of Bayrou, talking blogs, with my cameraphone. He was, just before he was to answer questions from the floor. En grand format pour les inconditionnels du leader de l’UDF.

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