Trois heures pour se mettre à bloguer [fr]

Ça fait un moment que j’ai envie de mettre sur pied ce genre d’atelier/cours/séminaire à Lausanne. Je l’ai dit et répété: ouvrir un blog et apprendre à y publier des articles, c’est facile. (Par contre, je le dis et répète aussi, le [blog dans un contexte d’entreprise](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/07/blogs-en-entreprise-un-peu-en-vrac/), ou politique, [c’est loin d’être simple stratégiquement](http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xpc5q_ctts-necessite-dune-formation-blogs_blog).)

Je pense que le fait d’être en train [d’organiser une journée de conférences pour 100 personnes](http://climbtothestars.org/tags/going-solo/) me donne du coup le courage de me lancer dans des plus petits projets qui me paraissaient pourtant insurmontables auparavant.

L’idée est la suivante:

– une demi-journée / soirée de cours (3h)
– on y ouvre un blog sous wordpress
– on apprend à publier un billet (basique)
– on prend note du [kit de survie du blogueur](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/02/25/blog-pour-les-nuls/)
– ça s’adresse a priori aux particuliers
– max. 10 personnes

En gros, les gens arrivent avec rien d’autre que le désir d’avoir un blog, et repartent avec un blog en état de marche sous le bras.

J’ai un lieu où faire ça (salle informatique équipée — on pourrait aussi imaginer une version où les gens viennent avec leur ordinateur portable, dans un lieu avec wifi).

Reste à:

– fixer une (des?) date(s) — le soir? le samedi?
– fixer un prix (faut que ça reste abordable, mais que je m’y retrouve)
– publiciser tout ça.

Voici un peu ce que je pense, pour le moment (et votre avis sur ces idées m’intéresse grandement, donc):

**Date**

Histoire de laisser un peu le temps de “faire la pub”, je dirais que je peux prévoir 2 dates (un soir et un samedi après-midi) dans quelques semaines, par exemple le samedi 5 janvier et le mardi 8 janvier — ça vous paraît trop tôt?

**Prix**

Là, c’est dur. Quand il m’arrive de donner des cours particuliers de blog (oui, oui — je fais prof de blog à mes heures perdues) ou même (ouaille!) d’informatique, je facture entre 100-150CHF de l’heure (en général, selon qu’il y a ou non là-dedans une touche de “consulting” à des fins professionnelles, et aussi selon que la personne en question m’est proche ou pas — j’ai des tarifs “amis/famille”, quand même).

Selon ce raisonnement, 3h de cours reviendrait à 300CHF, mais des cours particuliers ou en groupe, ce n’est pas la même chose et ça ne peut pas se facturer autant. 200CHF? Est-ce encore trop? Pour une personne qui a envie de faire un blog, ça me paraît encore “beaucoup”. 150CHF? Qu’en pensez-vous? Avez-vous connaissance de cours de formation spécialisés qui fonctionnent à la demi-journée? A combien? Est-ce que je suis à côté de la plaque?

**Pub**

Je commence déjà en parlant de ce projet sur mon blog, mais je cherche à toucher des personnes peut-être moins “connectées” et surtout, Lausannoises (ou environ). Je vais faire des flyers, demander aux gens que je connais d’en parler autour d’eux, je peux faire passer une dia/pub au cinéma Bellevaux, en informer la ville et la presse… Vous avez sûrement encore d’autres idées bien meilleures.

**Ça marcherait, ce truc?**

Franchement, j’oscille entre “oui bien sûr, regarde la quantité de personnes qui veulent que tu leur montres comment bloguer” à “jamais les gens paieront pour ça, c’est trop simple”. Je me dis que le meilleur moyen de savoir, c’est d’essayer.

Allez, hop!

*Après, on pourrait faire des cours avancés… je pense aussi à organiser moi-même des conférences pour parents d’ados (ados et internet) ou sur les [blogs en entreprise](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/07/blogs-en-entreprise-un-peu-en-vrac/) (elles ont eu grand succès à Zurich), et aussi une formation plus technique à la maintenance WordPress (upgrades, bidouillage de thèmes, plugins, comment ça fonctionne, base de données)…*

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Photography: Being the Model [en]

[fr] Une chose qui m'énerve fréquemment, ce sont les médias qui désirent me faire photographier pour illustrer leur article, mais qui ne considèrent pas "normal" que le photographe me donne une copie des photos faites. C'est mon image, merde.

Branching off on the [Lane Hartwell–Richter Scales story](http://technorati.com/search/%22lane%20hartwell%22) to react to a paragraph of Lane’s post [Please don’t steal my work](http://fetching.net/2007/10/please-dont-steal-my-work/):

> Along with this, everyday I am hit up with requests for me to give people photos I have shot of them. I’ll be shooting an event and people will push their business cards on me and tell me to “email them the shots”. When I politely explain that I won’t be doing that, and why I won’t be doing that, they usually get nasty with me. If I tell them they can purchase a file or print from me, 9 times out of 10 I never hear back from them.

Lane Hartwell, Please don’t steal my work

Just to make things very clear: I’m not taking a stand on the issue at hand here, which I believe is far more complex than “she’s right” or “she’s wrong”. I’m just reacting to one paragraph of her post, because it reminds me of something that pisses me off regularly.

I see **no reason whatsoever** for which I should not have the right, as the person on the picture, to have a copy of the photograph that was shot of me. This happens to me *very regularly* when I’m interviewed by the press and they bring along a photographer to shoot a few pics to illustrate the article: I ask the photographer to e-mail me the shots, or at least those which made the cut. So far, three actually did it — and I thank them very much for it. Most of the time, I never hear from them again.

And it pisses me off.

Why should the photographer **own** a representation of me? I’m not saying I should own it exclusively, either. The photographer has the rights to the image, but I consider I should at least have the use of it for my personal/promotional use.

Same goes for events. If I’m at a conference, or giving a talk, and I let you photograph/film me, consider that I’m CC by-nc-sa. If you take a photograph of me and “all rights reserved” it, that means I am not allowed to use it in my blog, for example — as far as I understand things.

There is something of a joint ownership in a photography. I’m not saying I’ve figured it out. I’m somebody who takes photographs (though I don’t make any money out of them), so I understand the point of view of the person taking photos, but I’m also (frequently) photographed, and I don’t like being dispossessed of my image.

Thoughts and discussion welcome.

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Headache: Picking a Date for an Event [en]

[fr] Une journée de conférences nécessite un lieu et une date. Le lieu étant fixé, la date a été source de quelques maux de tête -- en particulier pour choisir le jour de la semaine.

Je me suis arrêtée sur vendredi, qui est un jour léger côté business, en général, et qui permet aux personnes faisant le déplacement de rester à Lausanne pour le week-end, rentabilisant ainsi le voyage. Je trouverais également bien que l'on organise un barcamp à cette occasion.

Concrètement, je pense au 9 mai. Voyez-vous des conflits? Y a-t-il des choses prévues à Lausanne à cette date, déjà? 1000 paires d'yeux valent mieux qu'une. Je compte sur vous pour me dire si j'ai raté quelque chose.

When you [organise an event](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/14/announcing-going-solo/), not only do you need a [location](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/16/picking-a-city-for-an-event-lausanne/), you also need a date. You know, things happen at the intersection of time and space.

A rough glance at the calendar made me choose early May, as it’s far away enough to give us time to put things together (some people have gasped at how short it was, but I’m sure we can pull it off), and it’s also kind of empty on the conference front. I’ve asked around and gone through upcoming, and that time of the year seems pretty conflict-free.

Then, the trouble starts. We decided to go for a one-day event to start with. This means that we expect people to fly in for **a day**, which… well, might seem “not worth it” to some.

My initial idea (which, after much detours, I’ve come back to) was to hold the event on a Friday, so that people could stay an extra day or two during the week-end to make the trip worth it. I even thought about motivating the local [barcamp community](http://barcamp.org/) of the city we’d be holding the event in to place a barcamp on that week-end.

Then, the headache started. Maybe Friday wasn’t such a good day after all, because with a week of work behind them and stuff creeping up to be dealt with before the week-end, we would suffer lots of defections. So, how about Monday? Well, Monday is usually a heavy business day, and people are all sluggish from the week-end, so they might drop out too. So I sent out a quick poll on Twitter, asking people what seemed the best day to organise an event for freelancers.

Needless to say roughly each day of the week and week-end was suggested, along with very good reasons for or against each one.

In the end, I listened to the voice of reason, impersonated by [Suw](http://chocolateandvodka.com/), telling me there was no perfect day and that the most important thing was to put on a great event, with valuable content that would make it worth the trip for people to come, and that this would be the deciding factor for people rather than the place and day of the week.

In addition to that, I got feedback from a couple of tech event organisers who said that Friday could be quite good for one-day events. So, Friday it will be.

Let’s get practical: I’m looking at Friday May 9th, but before I set it in stone and we book a venue for that date, I’d like to know if you see any conflicts (1000 pairs of eyes are better than one). Is there anything with that date I haven’t thought of?

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Picking a City for an Event: Lausanne [en]

[fr] La journée de conférences Going Solo que je mets sur pied pour mai avec deux autres Lausannoises aura lieu à... Lausanne. Si Lausanne était mon premier choix (j'aime ma ville) je craignais que cela soit un choix plus émotionnel que raisonné. S'adressant à un public européen, nous avons donc pensé à Paris, Berlin, Londres... Mais finalement, ce sera Lausanne. L'argumentaire, en bref:

  • Facile d'accès: on sort de l'avion à Genève, on saute dans le train (200m de la douane) et 30-40 minutes plus tard, on est à Lausanne.
  • Organisation plus aisée: nous sommes les trois de Lausanne, donc on évite tous les problèmes liés à l'organisation d'un événement à distance. En plus, on connaît les entreprises locales, ce qui peut ouvrir des opportunités de sponsoring. Je compte aussi approcher la ville pour leur proposer de soutenir ce projet.
  • Lausanne est un cadre magnifique, la région autour aussi. Si on se déplace pour une journée de conférences et qu'on veut en profiter pour se relaxer durant le week-end, c'est le lieu idéal.
  • Plus abordable que Paris, Londres, ou même Genève.
  • Ville à taille humaine, bons transports publics. On ne passe pas 1h à se rendre à un autre endroit de la ville.
  • Changement bienvenu des "villes de conférences 2.0" habituelles!

A bientôt à Lausanne, donc!

When you decide to organise an event, other than having a good idea for the content/audience (ie, “what’s it about? what kind of event?”), two things you need to figure out quite quickly are *when* and *where* it’ll happen. This post is about the “where?” question.

My initial reaction when I took the decision to go ahead with [this wacky “organising events” idea](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/16/why-events/) was somewhere along the line of “great! I’ll do it in [Lausanne](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/collections/72157600210597000/)!”. A bit of a selfish reaction, as it makes things easier for me, and I really love Lausanne.

Next, I started thinking. Who is this event going to be for? Where is the highest number of people likely to come for my event? Maybe Lausanne is my favourite personal choice, but it doesn’t necessarily make business sense. From the start, I’ve thought of my event as **European**, with the idea to attract people from all over the continent. So of course, I expect attendees to travel — but there is always a high local population at events, as the absence of travel lowers the barrier to entry (cost, travel time, stress).

Well, quite possibly, the answer to that question (where is the highest concentration of freelancers in the tech industry in Europe?) would be “London”. On the other hand, London is horrendously expensive (isn’t it?), so, why not something nearby, like… Brighton? Cheaper, but still rather easy to get to.

At that point, I decided we needed a choice of cities, and we should check them out for venue options and hotel pricing, to see if anything stood out. Obviously, we’d need to pick cities which are easy to get to from other places in Europe. So, for starters… let’s look at London/Brighton, Paris, and Berlin. Paris is very close to London with the Eurostar, and Berlin (Germany) is cheaper than both London and Paris, but it’s still an Easyjet city. Because, if you’re in Europe, chances are you’re going to be flying Easyjet or some other low-cost airline. (I should think about asking them to sponsor the event, actually…)

So, armed with those three options (London, Paris, Berlin), I set off to [Le Web 3](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/12/news-from-leweb3/) to start talking with possible sponsors, and also to bounce ideas off my friends and peers. To my surprise, quite a few people said “but why don’t you do it in Lausanne?” when I mentioned the location wasn’t set yet. So, I started thinking. Because even if Lausanne is a personal, almost emotional choice for me, it doesn’t mean it cannot also be a good business decision.

Let’s look at Lausanne as a possible city to host my event, with a cool business mind:

– First and foremost, it’s actually **really easy to access**: get off your plane in Geneva airport, walk 200m from customs, hop on the train (yes, the train station is *inside* the airport), and 30-40 minutes later you’re in central Lausanne. (You’re in for at least the same kind of ride to get to central London from LGW or LHR, or central Paris from CDG.) Geneva airport is an international airport which is easily reached from all over Europe, [with Easyjet for example](http://www.easyjet.com/EN/routemap/). However, it’s way less busy than CDG, LHR, LGW, which makes the arrival/departure experience much more pleasant.
– **I live in Lausanne**, and so do my two main partners-in-crime: holding the event in Lausanne will make organisation much smoother for us, and allow us to ensure we don’t bump into any issues with the venue due to managing things remotely. Not to mention opportunities for sponsorships by local businesses — being locals, we know who they are and have existing connections we can use. There are also many important companies settled in the Lausanne area, like Nestle, Philip Morris, or Orange Switzerland. *And* it’s the Olympic Capital. (OK, drifting off-topic here…)
– [Lausanne](http://www.lausanne.ch/) is **a beautiful city**, in the midst of a beautiful region: it’s on Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), but as opposed to Geneva which is at the end of the lake, Lausanne is in the middle. The view over the lake and mountains is just breath-taking. If you’re coming for a one-day conference and plan to spend a nice week-end somewhere while you’re at it, Lausanne is ideal. The city is lovely and walkable, France is 20 minutes away by boat (just across the lake), and the surrounding countryside and lakeshore is also worth a visit (for example, [Le Lavaux](http://wikitravel.org/en/Lavaux), Unesco world heritage site, is just to the east of Lausanne). I’ll be digging out photos to convince you to come if you’re not sold yet ;-).
– Even though Switzerland is a rather expensive country (by European standards), holding an event in Lausanne is going to be **more affordable** than London, Paris, or Geneva.
– Lausanne is a **human-sized city**: it’s the [fifth most important city in Switzerland](http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villes_de_Suisse) with 120’000 inhabitants in the city itself. It has everything one needs, but it’s not so large that you can get very lost in it or spend insane amounts of time commuting from one part of the city to the other. Public transport is very efficient.
– Finally, Lausanne will be **a welcome change** for all of us on the “2.0 conference circuit”, as it’s not one of the usual “conference cities”, and probably a city you haven’t visited before much (which is a pity! you should!).

Check out:

– [Official Lausanne website](http://www.lausanne.ch/)
– [Official Lausanne tourism website](http://www.lausanne-tourisme.ch/)
– [Lausanne on WikiTravel](http://wikitravel.org/en/Lausanne)
– [Lausanne on Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lausanne)
– [Lausanne Flickr Pool (photographs)](http://www.flickr.com/groups/lausanne/)

So, here we go. [Going Solo](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/14/announcing-going-solo/) will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland — I’m looking forward to welcoming you all here in a few months.

Now tell me — did I do a good job of selling you Lausanne as a conference-city? 🙂

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Why Events? [en]

[fr] J'explique dans ce billet pourquoi je me lance dans l'organisation de conférences-événements. (Le français c'est ambigu: une conférence ça peut être un blabla par une personne, ou bien une journée entière avec plusieurs intervenants. Je parle de ce dernier cas de figure. Faites signe si vous avez un meilleur mot.)

J'ai perdu le compte des conférences auxquelles je suis allée assister au cours des derniers 18 mois. Au point que j'en ai un peu marre, j'avoue. Les organisateurs de conférence commencent à avoir l'habitude de lire mes critiques au sujet de leurs événements, donc je sais qu'on va m'attendre au contour.

Donc, je commence à voir un peu de quoi c'est fait, ces fichues conférences. C'est l'occasion de me lancer dans un projet un peu plus à long terme que ce que je fais d'habitude, de m'entourer de personnes compétentes (parce que finalement, je me rends compte que j'en connais une pile), et d'utiliser ma connaissance du milieu web/tech pour monter un programme qui non seulement tienne debout, mais danse la valse.

Donc, voilà. Comme je l'ai déjà dit, cela ne veut pas dire que je mets un frein à mes activités de consultante ou de conférencière (j'ai d'ailleurs des idées à ce sujet que je vais développer dans un prochain billet).

The idea of [starting a company](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/11/13/im-starting-a-company/) and organising conferences like [Going Solo](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/12/14/announcing-going-solo/) is the result of a conversation I had a bit over a month ago, just before Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin.

Even though it sounded like a wacky idea to me at first, organising events now really seems like the “right thing to do” today. I’ve been to more conferences during the last 18 months than I can remember, so I’m starting to get a good sense of the ingredients. I have a good network. I have a “generalist’s” view of the web/tech world. I’m also a detail-oriented person. It’s also time I became more active in my professional life (ie, “taking things into my own hands”), and I like the idea of building something over the long term (well, long term by my standards).

If you’re a reader of this blog, you know I’ve become a bit [conference-weary](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/10/06/too-many-people/) lately. I’m also known (to conference organisers, at least) for my sometimes nasty (but heart-felt!) feedback on their events. So, rather than continue complaining, I’m going to organise **conferences I’d like to attend**. I’m perfectly aware that given my track-record for finding fault with conference organisation, you’re all going to be waiting for me when I do mine. So be it ;-).

I believe it isn’t possible to please everybody: my intention isn’t therefore to organise the “perfect event”, as I know that it doesn’t exist. However, I’m strongly committed to getting **all** the basic stuff right, and to providing something slightly different from what already exists. More will unfold about that over the next weeks.

I’d like to state again that **I am continuing with my speaking and consulting business** (I actually even have plans for it in the near future, particularly in Lausanne). I know organising a conference is a lot of work (and luckily I’m not alone for that, I have two great partners and a bunch of very precious advisors), but that doesn’t mean I’m dropping everything else while I organise it.

*Going Solo* will be my first event, but I already have ideas for events to follow on other topics. The responses so far to my desire to organise an event for freelancers and very small businesses as been very encouraging, and has caused me to start thinking about what else I could set up for this audience/public (which I’m part of).

So, please, keep the feedback coming — I’m off to start writing my next post. (Feeling like a serial blogger just now.)

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Twitter Advertisers and Friend Collectors [en]

[fr] Sur Twitter (voir mon guide si vous êtes perdus!), je laisse en principe qui le désire me "suivre". Par contre, je bloque sans merci ceux qui n'ont rien capté et qui utilisent Twitter pour envoyer des messages ressemblant à du spam, et ceux qui collectionnent les gens à suivre comme des trophées (à moins que ce soit des gens de "mon monde" que je connais). Donc, oui -- non seulement je ne m'amuse pas à suivre ces gens foncièrement inintéressants, mais en plus, je ne désire pas figurer dans leur tableau de chasse.

I’m approaching 500 followers [on Twitter](http://twitter.com/stephtara). That means that nearly 500 people have asked to be able to track my updates — and I haven’t blocked them.

I’ve blocked many people from following me, even though my updates are public, and anybody can read my tweets/twitters on the web.

Who do I block? Blatant advertisers and friend collectors.

When I get a notice that somebody is following me on twitter, I quickly go to check out their stream (sometimes a backlog builds up, but that doesn’t change much to the process).

If I know/recognize the person and I want to keep track of them, I’ll follow them back (I’m pretty loose about who I follow on Twitter, though I do stick to people I know in a way, people I’d like to know more, or people that seem very interesting in what they tweet).

If I don’t recognize the person, the first thing I do is check how many people they’re following. If they’re following 500+ or 1000+ people and their name doesn’t ring a bell (ie, they aren’t one of the 2.0 mass-networkers gravitating around my world), I block them. I see no interest in being part of their faceroll collection. None at all. So yeah, of course, I get less followers, like that (but I’m not in any race or anything).

If they don’t get busted because of my “friends limit”, I take a quick glance at their twitter stream. If it’s tweet after tweet of self-promotional crap or ad-linking, I block them too. Why anybody would use Twitter to try to convince people to follow their spam is beyond me — probably, they haven’t got a clue what Twitter is about, and are trying their same old spammy techniques there without realising they’re mostly useless. Anyway, I’m not interested in being associated with people like that, so I block them too.

Who is left? Well, normal human beings. If you’re reading this and you have a clue (ie, you don’t believe in spamming people or making collections of people/links/whatevers to win the contest), then you run very little chance of being blocked :-). Feel free to [follow me on Twitter](http://twitter.com/stephtara)!

*PS: [Robert](http://twitter.com/scobleizer), [Loïc](http://twitter.com/loiclemeur/), [Jeff](http://twitter.com/jeffpulver), and other authentic super-networkers out there: you’re part of my world, I don’t mind being in your collection ;-).*

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Website Pro Day, deuxième! [fr]

[en] Website Pro Day, first edition, was such a success that we've set the second one for December 28th. If you're not in Lausanne, no problem: grab a friend or two and lock yourselves up to work on your professional online presence for the day. Let us know, so we can send you some good encouragement vibes!

I'm also planning the World Wide Paperwork and Administrivia Day (WWPAD for short), which will be held in participants' homes (obviously): sort those receipts and send them to the accountant, pay those bills, file those contracts, purge the piles of paper lying on your desk or in your drawers... Let me know if you're interested so that we can choose a date together.

Ils y étaient, ils ont vaincu! De gauche à droite: [Anne Dominique Mayor](http://annedominique.wordpress.com), [Olivier Tripet](http://b-spirit.com/blogollie/), Stephanie Booth (bibi) et [Julien Henzelin](http://julienhenzelin.typepad.com/) sont ravis d’avoir pris le temps de travailler ensemble, loin du bureau et dans une atmosphère détendue, sur leurs sites “pro”.

Website Pro Day 1, Lausanne

La première édition du [Website Pro Day](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/10/31/une-journee-pour-bosser-sur-nos-sites-pro-website-pro-day/) a en effet rencontré un tel succès que nous avons décidé de remettre ça le 28 décembre. Vous pouvez [vous inscrire sur Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=6369349379) si vous voulez vous joindre à nous à Lausanne pour venir lustrer votre plumage numérique.

An Afternoon in San Francisco 85 Il s’agit donc de consacrer une journée à l’avancement de sa présence professionnelle en ligne. Oui, je sais, on a toujours plus urgent à faire :-).

On fait aussi des choses sympa comme manger de la soupe, ou discuter d’idées nommées par exemple “Coworking Léman” (plus à ce sujet dans un prochain billet).

Si vous n’êtes pas sur Lausanne, mais que l’idée vous tente, prenez le taureau par les cornes! Attrapez un/e collègue qui a les mêmes besoins que vous, et mettez sur pied votre propre Website Pro Day dans votre ville. Le même jour si possible, comme ça on peut tous s’encourager mutuellement!

Pour ceux que ça intéresse, je suis également en train de mettre sur pied le World Wide Paperwork and Administrivia Day, qui sera consacré (chacun de son côté, là) à avancer dans le triage de paperasse, le remplissage de formulaires administratifs, les coups de fils qui attendent depuis des plombes, le triage des quittances à envoyer au comptable… bref, vous voyez l’idée. Si ça vous intéresse, faites signe, et on posera une date ensemble.

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Fresh Lime Soda Episodes 8 & 9 [en]

[fr] Deux épisodes de notre podcast Fresh Lime Soda que vous avez peut-être ratés.

Whoops. Unless you’re directly subscribed to [Fresh Lime Soda](http://freshlimesoda.net/), the podcast (audio, video, depending on the circumstances) I co-host with my friend [Suw Charman](http://chocolateandvodka.com/), you have probably missed [episode 9, FoWA and Lace](http://freshlimesoda.net/2007/10/22/fresh-lime-soda-episode-9-fowa-and-lace/), as well as [episode 8, What on Earth is Mornington Crescent](http://freshlimesoda.net/2007/10/03/fresh-lime-soda-episode-8-what-on-earth-is-mornington-crescent/).

Yup, they’re not fresh from yesterday either. Busy schedules for both Suw and I, but keep your fingers crossed, we have a recording date for the next episode set mid-January.

If you haven’t clicked on the links above, let me bring you the podcasts to your doorstep. First, [episode 8](http://freshlimesoda.net/2007/10/03/fresh-lime-soda-episode-8-what-on-earth-is-mornington-crescent/), which is audio:

  • video is easier and more entertaining
  • what the heck is this Mornington Crescent thing? (the game on Twitter, blogged by Suw and Lloyd)
  • delusions of privacy: private and public Twitter feeds; ORG-discuss mailing-list archives
  • permanence of digital media (teenagers, adults, and nekkid pics!)
  • “breaking down the walls between the silos of our lives”: Facebook as a business networking service?
  • social network fatigue and contact groups (note, though, this feature has been announced for Facebook) since we discussed this; we need Structured Portable Social Networks
  • centralizing e-mail in GMail and multiple inboxes (Suw might like Xobni)
  • the psychology of e-mail: subtle differences between “inbox” and “archive” (and a sprinkle of GTD — check Merlin Mann’s Google Tech Talk about e-mail)
  • what will I do tomorrow? Suw’s “campaign to get more done” and Steph’s nine to twelve
  • keeping track of time whilst watching Sky News and answering e-mails

You may download the MP3 of Fresh Lime Soda, Episode 8 or listen to it using the player below. (15Mb, 44min)

Second, [episode 9](http://freshlimesoda.net/2007/10/22/fresh-lime-soda-episode-9-fowa-and-lace/) (video!):

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Arghl! Du spam par SMS! On fait quoi? [fr]

Il y a quelques minutes, la sonnerie de mon portable m’informe qu’un nouveau SMS m’attend. J’avoue que c’est assez fréquent, avec [twitter surtout](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/09/13/manuel-de-survie-twitter-pour-francophones/). Mais bon.

Je regarde mon SMS, toute curieuse, et… Un message m’invitant à obtenir des SMS gratuits ou que sais-je, depuis un numéro court.

Reviennent des souvenirs du temps où je bossais chez Orange: des histoires de numéros courts qui se comportaient mal, de clients spammés…

J’appelle Orange, service clientèle. Je demande à qui appartient le numéro court, ils me donnent le nom de l’entreprise et le numéro de leur service clientèle.

J’appelle, j’explique (poliment!) que je viens de recevoir un SMS du numéro court xyz, et que j’aimerais savoir comment ils ont eu mon numéro de téléphone. La gentille dame au bout du fil me demande mon numéro, fait quelques recherches, et m’informe qu’en 2006 j’ai envoyé un SMS contenant la lettre “b” au numéro zxy, et que j’ai reçu en retour un SMS en anglais disant ceci et cela. Et bien sûr, elle a spontanément dit qu’elle allait faire stopper les SMS publicitaires.

Nickel!

Je récapitule:

– prendre note du numéro court en question
– appeler son opérateur pour demander leur numéro de contact
– appeler le numéro de contact associé au numéro court et demander comment ils ont eu notre numéro (si ça nous intéresse)
– demander l’arrêt des SMS.

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Badges at Conferences [en]

Laurent Haug blogs about [conference badges](http://liftlab.com/think/laurent/2007/12/13/badges/) and his desire to make [LIFT](http://www.liftconference.com/) a badge-free conference.

Funny, I was also thinking of badges at LeWeb3. But actually, the main thing I was thinking was: when are conference organisers going to stop making one-sided badges dangling at the end of a thingy that is designed to let them rotate freely?

I personally like badges and would be quite unhappy without them, because I’m a *very* bad physionomist. I index “person data” by name. Dozens of times at conferences, people come up to me saying “hey, Steph, how’ve you been?” — sometimes their face looks familiar, others it doesn’t even ring a bell. Half the time, I’m saved by the badge. I catch a glimpse of their name, and all I know about them, our shared history if we have one, comes back to me. I index people by name.

So, take away the badges, and I have to use the awkward “excuse me, before we say anything more, would you mind telling me your name, because I’m so bad with faces?” — I do it (I’m not one of these people who can pretend very well), but I really prefer the badges. I’m one of these rude people who’ll turn your badge around to read your name — but the presence of the badge makes it easier, because it suggests that we’re going around reading people’s names.

Also, I know a lot of people online without knowing their faces, and badges do help with that.

There are things I do not like about badges, though. I’d like to highlight two of the “cons” Laurent points to, because I agree with him:

> – Chest navigators. People who walk through the conference starring at badges looking for keywords like “CEO”, “Facebook” or “Press”, usually for bad reasons. You end up losing your time with these 95% of the time.
> – Misconceptions from titles. This is especially painful for people working for big companies where you HAVE to have a lousy and arrogant title. From a really cool dude I met at Leweb working for Microsoft: “People see Microsoft on my badge, so their crap filter goes up one level. Then they see Marketing and they start to draw strategies to get away from me”. The guy is brilliant, open, helpful, all the opposite of the stereotype that his badge could push you into.

Laurent Haug, “Badges”

I would definitely go for the following:

– get rid of “castes” on badges
– get rid of formal company names or job titles: let people choose what they want written on their badge
– print them on both sides!
– look for creating solutions like headwear — or maybe stranglers?! — to get badges off people’s chests
– absolutely avoid pin-on or sticky badges (as a woman, I have to say I really don’t like putting them smack on my breasts, I’d rather have something hanging around my neck)

Some thoughts in the “Devil’s advocate” department, though:

– there are situations where it *is* useful to know what company the person you’re talking to works for, or what position they have
– badges printed on only one side are handy: write something on the back, stick business cards in, or the programme of the day
– no badges adds serendipity to networking, which is good.

Feel free to share your badge thoughts and experiences.

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