Renault at LeWeb: Lovely Lounge and the Twizy Test Drive [en]

[fr] J'ai testé la Renault Twizy pour vous, très sympa! Vidéo bientôt, avec du français dedans 🙂

Update 14.12.2011: here’s the video, thanks so much to Charbax!

Remember last year? I fell in love with the Renault Twizy that was on display at LeWeb. Andrea had lent me his 7-14mm lens and I thought the playful electric car was a great subject.

LeWeb'10 First Day 20 - Renault Twizy

This year, we’re not just looking at a prototype. We’re looking at the real thing, and you can sign up for test drives at the Renault lounge (or try your luck dropping in). Here’s a little corner of their lounge, by the way, nice and cozy for a little sit-down before or after listening to what’s going on on the main stage.

Renault lounge at Le Web -- cozy!

And here’s the car on display:

Twizy Car at LeWeb'11.

So, I got to test drive the car this morning — thanks a lot to German for accompanying me there personally and taking the photos. (German manages blogger relations for Renault, official partner of LeWeb this year). Charbax was around too, and he shot a video of my test. It will be online soon! (Warning: mixture of French and English in the video ;-))

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First thing, special seat-belt. In addition to the normal seat-belt, you get a second one on the other side. “So you don’t fall out,” said the kind guy helping me in. What I see first, though, having been in a couple of accidents (bumping into the car in front of me, don’t ask) is that at least with this set up I’ll get “straight” whiplash, and not the nasty twisty trauma that comes with the traditional seat-belt. But most probably, I won’t get into any accident with this lovely Twizy.

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To start the car, press down on the brake pedal (and not the gas pedal as I embarrassingly did, yup, that’s me realizing what I’d done, below), and turn the key. You don’t hear anything, but the engine is on.

Twizy Test Drive at LeWeb

And off we go! It’s fun to drive. You can actually accelerate!

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Photos are a bit blurry? That’s because I was moving fast. The guy on the left told me to slow down, oopsie 🙂

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Already over, but I enjoyed myself!

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Thanks a lot for the drive! I think that if I have a car again someday, it will look more like this one than like those I’ve had in the past.

LeWeb'11 Is Underway [en]

[fr] LeWeb, édition 2011!

I would not be doing my job if I didn’t drop you a note to tell you I’m at LeWeb. But you know that, don’t you?

The conference is well underway, and I’d like to invite you to keep up with what’s going on through the Nespresso Lounge, a collection of Twitter activity of speakers, participants, official bloggers, startups, and general chatter about #leweb, and the posts a bunch of the official bloggers are producing during the conference.

If you’re wishing you were there, pick up the live video feed and pretend you’re in Paris!

LeWeb'11: Open For Official Blogger Applications [en]

[fr] Comme chaque année à cette époque, vous pouvez demander une accréditation "blogueur officiel" pour LeWeb.

Thanks to your recommendations, we’ve started inviting bloggers and podcasters to LeWeb’11 as “Official Bloggers“.

From now on, you can of course also simply apply to be an Official Blogger. Arne and Fred will take care of reviewing applications.

Please read the introduction instructions (those given for recommendations are worth a read too) and fill in the form carefully, as it makes it easier for us to deal with the hundreds of applications we get each year in a timely manner. Thanks in advance!

Applications now closed.

Recommend Bloggers (and Podcasters!) for LeWeb'11 Accreditation [en]

This year again, I’ll be overseeing blogger accreditations for LeWeb — but I won’t be alone. Frédéric de Villamil and Arne Hulstein have agreed to jump on board and help me with the selection process. A big thanks to both of them, we are now a team!

By the way, did you know that LeWeb is now a 3-day conference? It will take place on December 7-8-9th 2011 in Paris, and the theme this year is SOLOMO, Social-Local-Mobile. If you’re not eligible for a blogger accreditation and thinking of attending, get your ticket before September 30th to take advantage of the summer offer and get over 800€ off the full ticket price! (There are also special prices for students, freelance developers, and startups — check the bottom of the registration page.)

The process is pretty much the same as last year:

  • first, we’re asking for recommendations (particularly of bloggers or podcasters we might not know about, and from language groups we’re less familiar with)
  • second, in September, we’ll allow any blogger or podcaster to apply for accreditation through a separate form.

As much as possible, we’ll be dealing with submissions as they come in — but do give us some time to process them. Each blogger or podcaster we select based on your recommendation will be contacted directly (we’re aware they might not have heard of LeWeb or know that they were recommended!)

A reminder of what is expected of official bloggers, and the kind of profile we’re looking for. They should:

  • have a passion for content and reporting
  • commit to attending and covering the conference (it’s in English!)
  • have significant reach and influence inside their community.

Of course, they also need to have a proper, publicly accessible, established blog or podcast (that is theirs or at the very least, that they contribute to regularly). Having a huge number of followers on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ is great, but doesn’t make you a blogger. Just like having a huge rolodex doesn’t make you a journalist. (Check out Live-Blogging vs. Live-Tweeting at Conferences.)

Although the accreditation allows to attend the conference for free, we cannot cover expenses.

A note about the recommendation form: this is not a popularity contest. Please do not ask your friends to nominate you (some of you did so, last year). We don’t care how many times a name is mentioned. It just gives us more (annoying) work to have to go through 20 submissions of the same name. You’ll be able to apply for an accreditation directly in September. Our objective here is to:

  • discover important bloggers/podcasters we might not know of
  • make sure we do not miss anybody we absolutely should be inviting.

There, now that all this is said, here we go!