Thanks! See You at LIFT08 :-) [en]

A heartfelt thanks to those of you who following [blogged about Going Solo]( or voted for [my Open Stage presentation]( I’m actually going to be the first Open Stage talk, [Thursday morning before the break]( Exciting and scary!

[My workshop]( also got enough registrations to be provided with a room, which is nice. I can still accommodate a few more people (up to 15 as far as I’m concerned, but I’m trying to make sure the room is big enough). I’d like to insist again on the fact that this is a workshop for ***people who are not yet blogging*** — you’ll find it frighteningly basic if you’re already a blogger. Also, you will have to **bring your own laptop** as we do not have a computer lab. So, if you’re coming to LIFT08, aren’t blogging yet, but would like to get going, [sign up for the workshop](

I’ve been asked by a couple of people if they could come to the workshop although they don’t have a ticket for LIFT. That is unfortunately impossible, as the workshops are reserved to LIFT attendees (you should [come to LIFT](, it’s really worth it). (The [Venture Night]( and [Sustainable Development Sessions]( are open to non-LIFT public, however.) For those who might be interested, I’m planning to organize similar [Get Started Blogging]( workshops in Lausanne (or elsewhere if there is enough interest). The first should take place on Feb. 26th (details to follow), in French. Again, if enough English-speakers are interested (say 6 people minimum) then I can also organize a workshop in English.

My [discussion session on multilingualism online]( thankfully didn’t make the cut (remember I’ll also be live-blogging LIFT08!!), but I’ll set up an informal meeting for people who are interested in chatting about this.

See you at LIFT!

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Come to LIFT'08 [en]

[fr] Si vous ne pensiez pas aller à LIFT dans deux semaines, j'aimerais vous encourager à vous inscrire pour nous y rejoindre.

J'avoue qu'une des raisons que j'entends souvent de la part de gens qui me disent ne pas y aller, c'est le prix. Un peu plus qu'un iPhone, et moins qu'un vol à destination de San Francisco (à plus forte raison, meilleur marché également que deux grandes conférences technologiques ayant récemment eu lieu en Europe: Web2.0Expo et LeWeb3).

LIFT est un événement extraordinaire. 3 journées dont une de workshops, la fondue, deux événements supplémentaires gratuits (venture night et sustainable dev), ainsi que la fête -- et vous repartirez proprement "liftés". LIFT est une conférence qui change la vie des gens. Elle est au carrefour des questions de société et de la technologie, d'une pertinence incontestable par rapport aux problématiques de notre temps.

J'explique dans cet article plus en détail pourquoi je vous encourage absolument à venir à LIFT (il est encore temps). C'est un investissement qui sera largement récompensé. Quel que soit le domaine dans lequel vous travaillez, prendre 3 jours sur l'année pour s'informer à la source sur les problématiques de notre société liées à la technologie n'est pas un luxe.

The [LIFT Conference]( is taking place in just two weeks from now in Geneva.

If you’re free on those dates and haven’t considered attending, I’d like to encourage you to [register]( and come and join us. It’s really worthwhile. And if [the price tag]( is making you hesitate, think again. Here’s what’s included in your registration fee for this three-day event:

– a full day of [workshops](
– [two days of conference]( (more about that below)
– nice buffet lunches (upgraded since last year!), [fondue]( evening, open bar [party](
– [venture night]( and [sustainable dev]( sessions
– [lots of WiFi](

So, here we are. 850 CHF (that’s $781.50, 530.80€ or £396.30 [as of today]( for three days. Even though it is a sizeable chunk of money for many people (I’m not talking about you lucky ones who get sent to great events like LIFT by their employers), it’s not that expensive, when you think of it (just a little perspective):

– an iPhone: 399€
– the MacBook Air: $1799
– LeWeb3 (Paris): over 1000€
– Web2.0Expo (Berlin): over 1000€
– a cheap flight to San Francisco: $800 (you spend only 2 days on the plane, and it’s way less fun)

Now, as that is out of the way, let’s get to the meat. Why is LIFT worth so much more than what you pay for it? I’d like to add my two cents to [what the organizers already say](

– **new speakers:** the LIFT team goes to great lengths to introduce speakers that you haven’t already heard at all the other conferences you go to. I’m told it’s becoming a habit for other conference organizers to do their “speaker shopping” at LIFT. (Insider scoop, from Laurent himself: Eric Favre, the inventor of Nespresso, is one of the latest confirmed additions to the speaker list.)
– **great talk quality:** heard of [TED Talks]( They gather the best speakers around the world, and last year, started including talks from partner conferences. [LIFT is one of the four events]( they chose to select talks from.
– **at the crossroads of Life and Technology:** this, I think, I the top reason I really love LIFT. It’s about technology, but it’s also about people, society, and the world we live in. It lacks the dryness of the all-tech conference. It’s visionary. It blows your mind and lifts you up. It changed my life, and I’m not the only one.
– **non-commercial:** though I’m not against profit ([Going Solo]( is, after all, a [commercial event]( “A little background.”)), the fact LIFT is a non-profit labour of love does reflect in the overall atmosphere and quality of the event. No pitches or sponsors on stage. It’s about ideas and about us. It’s friendly and welcoming and human.
– **more than the stage:** LIFT is about what happens during breaks, in corridors and doorways. Yes, the most value one gets out of an event is generally in networking. LIFT has however taken this awareness a step further, investing a lot in [LIFT+](, activities and exhibits that populate the “in-between” spaces.

I hope it’s obvious from what I’m describing: LIFT is truly an event beyond all others. It’s well-organized and touches topics which are over-important for understanding the world we live in: technology has taken an increasing place in our society (all societies, actually), and this is a chance for geeks and “humanists” both to take a few steps back and think about the “big picture”.

Still not 100% sure you want to [register](

If you’re used to the conference circuit: LIFT will be a welcome change from what you’re used to.
If you don’t usually go to conferences: if you go to one event this year, it should be LIFT. (Well, you should give Going Solo a go too, but it’s [a rather different kind of conference](

If you are attending, it’s still time to spread a bit of [link love]( for LIFT — have you done it yet?

I’m looking forward to seeing you there. I’m part of the [electronic media crowd](, though, so if you see me [live-blogging]( like mad, don’t be [offended]( if I’m [not very chatty](

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Going Solo Venues, Open Stage, and Link Love [en]

[fr] Sur le site de Going Solo, vous trouverez le récit de mon après-midi passée à visiter des salles de conférences à Lausanne. Ma proposition d'Open Stage pour LIFT'08 semble avoir du succès mais a encore besoin de vos votes.

Je me pose ensuite des tas de question sur les raisons pour lesquelles Going Solo ne semble pas attirer plus l'attention des blogueurs. Est-ce trop tôt? Pas assez d'informations? Ai-je épuisé mon capital social? Est-ce que tout le monde pense que les autres s'en chargent?

Pour que des personnes en-dehors de mon réseau direct puissent entendre parler de Going Solo et s'y intéresser, j'ai besoin de votre aide. Voici la (modeste) collection de liens couvrant Going Solo. Julien a parlé plusieurs fois de Going Solo en français (merci!), mais je crois que c'est à peu près tout côté couverture francophone. Oui, la conférence est en anglais. Mais vos lecteurs francophones ne sont pas tous nécessairement anglophobes, ni les personnes qu'ils connaissent à leur tour.

Que ce soit clair: je ne veux forcer la main à personne. Si vous trouvez Going Solo inutile ou même bête, ne perdez pas votre temps à en parler (ou mieux, en fait, racontez pourquoi vous pensez ainsi, ça m'intéresse). Mais si vous désirez soutenir cette conférence et que ce n'est visible nulle part sur votre blog... Prenez un petit moment pour ça.

Et si vous avez un éclairage à offrir concernant ma difficulté permanent à "rallier" les gens autour des choses que je fais (pas les choses que je blogue, hein, celles que je fais), je suis toute ouïe. Merci d'avance.

Just a note to say I’ve published [a blog post on hunting for venues for Going Solo]( (yes, on the Going Solo blog — what? you haven’t subscribed yet? what are you waiting for?). If you have any thoughts on the points I raise there, go ahead.

In the good news departments, it seems [my open stage proposal about organizing a conference for freelancers]( is attracting interest. It still needs votes though, so if you [want to help make sure I hit the big stage]( and you are going to attend LIFT, be sure to [vote]( (Every vote counts. Thanks.)

*Prepare for slight digression.*

For some reason, I seem to always have trouble motivating people to “spread the word” about stuff I’m doing. There seems to be a disconnect between the picture people send back to me (“Oh, you have so much *traction*, you’re so influent, etc.”) and what actually happens when I try to get the word out about something.

I usually don’t have this problem when it’s somebody else’s stuff. If I sign up for your nice new shiny 2.0 service and like it, I’m going to convince dozens of people to sign up. Twitter. Dopplr. Seesmic. It’s even happening with offline stuff like [the neti pot](

I guess one of the issues is that I’m not really comfortable promoting my own stuff. Some people seem to have no problem doing that — I always feel like I should shut up, and if what I’m doing is really worthwhile, other people will pick it up and blog about it. On the other hand, I am pretty comfortable [page-slapping]( people with my own writings.

So, what is it? Do people underestimate the support I need from the community? Am I one of those annoying people who [ask for too much and don’t give enough]( Do I squander my social capital? Is the stuff I do so lame that nobody has any interest in talking about it? Am I simply just “missing” a little something somewhere that I still haven’t figured out? Am I just not active enough in self-promoting?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about my [technorati ranking]( or about the fact that some of my blog posts have already been around the world three times (my stuff on [MySQL encoding problems]( and [multiple WordPress installations]( have remained popular for years — the latter with spammers, maybe, I’m afraid). It’s more about *stuff I do* as opposed to *stuff I write*.

Take [Going Solo]( I know I haven’t really started pushing it out there, because we don’t have branding yet and the price isn’t quite set. But still. When I [announced it here on CTTS]( (and before that, when I [said I was starting a company](, a lot of people stopped by to leave an encouraging comment or send me a nice tweet. I really appreciated it.

Now, not trying to make anybody feel bad here, but here’s [the coverage of Going Solo]( that I’ve been able to round up (or the [technorati cosmos]( I’m getting into the habit of bookmarking any “coverage” links, because they’re easy to find on the moment, but 6 months later you can forget about it.

Is it because I haven’t explicitly said “Going Solo needs your link love”? (If that’s it, I’m saying it now.) Is it because it’s “too early) — ie, people are waiting for the venue to be set, the full programme to be announced, sidebar badges to be available and the tickets to be on sale? I personally don’t think it’s necessary to wait that long. I’m convinced Going Solo is going to be a really useful event for many freelancers out there. I want to get the word out and create interest for it, also outside my immediate network. And for that, I need you. You’re the only people who can help me reach “outside my network”. Or maybe I’m being difficult, naive, or expecting too much?

I’d like to understand what’s happening. I’d like more people to talk about Going Solo and try to promote it to their networks, of course, but my main issue here is understanding. So any insight will be… more than welcome. If you think Going Solo is worthwhile, but you haven’t blogged about it, it would help me if you left a comment to tell me why you haven’t (yet, hopefully!) blogged about it. Again — I’m not asking for justifications, just insight from “the other side of the fence”.

This week-end, as I was hurrying to get [my LIFT workshop]( out of the door, I was astonished (in a disappointed sort of way) to see how few people had come up with proposals for LIFT. I know people wait until the last minute to do it, but I also realised that I hadn’t really blogged about LIFT this year. I guess I was thinking that it was so popular anyway, a blog post of mine wouldn’t really make much difference. “The others” were already blogging about it.

Then I took a step back and thought of [Going Solo]( — how my frustration that people weren’t talking about it more. So I wrote a blog post to tell people it was [the last minute to send a contribution to LIFT]( Did anybody make one because I blogged about it, I wonder?

So, done with the angst-ridden rambling. I welcome your comments. And Going Solo needs your link love.

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Very Last Moment to Propose a Contribution for LIFT'08 [en]

[fr] C'est la dernière minute pour faire une proposition de workshop, discours, discussion, ou encore participation à la venture night de la conférence LIFT. (Utilisez les liens dans le corps de l'article.) Eh oui, c'est aujourd'hui le dernier jour!

Il est d'ores et déjà possible de s'inscrire aux workshops (j'y propose d'ailleurs une initiation aux blogs -- inscrivez-vous si vous ne bloguez pas encore, ou parlez-en à vos amis non-blogueurs). J'ai aussi proposé une présentation-éclair de 5 minutes au sujet de Going Solo (ça me rappelle qu'il faut que je blogue à ce sujet en français un peu plus en détail), et je pense animer une discussion autour de toutes ces questions linguistiques qui me préoccupent.

Quel programme!

I almost missed [the announcement]( Submissions for [workshops](, [open stage speeches](, [discussions]( or [the venture night]( at the [LIFT conference]( close today! (I don’t know exactly when, but remember that LIFT is European, so it might very well be end-of-day CET.)

If you click on the links above you can already see what has been proposed. I’ve proposed [a workshop (Get Started With Blogging)]( — you can already [sign up for workshops]( by visiting the page of the workshop you’re interested in and adding your name to the page — and [an open stage speech]( in which I want to tell the story behind [Going Solo]( (I also reproduced it [on the Going Solo blog]( — have you subscribed to it yet?).

I’m going to send in a [discussion proposal]( too (thought you could avoid me? tough!) — most certainly around all the [language and multilingualism](/focus/multilingual) stuff that’s been going around in my head lately. I was hesitating with something about [teenagers and the internet](/tags/youth/) but as I see there is already [a workshop on the topic (Teenagers/Generation Y and Technology)](, which I want to attend, I think it’s better to come up with a totally different topic.

Any thoughts?

**Update, 1pm:** sent in proposal for language discussion: [All These Languages! Localization and Multilingualism Online]( — if you’re interested in being one of the “discussion starters”, get in touch (otherwise, please vote for my proposal!)

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LIFT'08 Workshop: Get Started With Blogging [en]

[fr] J'ai déjà parlé ici de mon projet de cours d'initiation aux blogs. J'aurai (si les participants sont assez intéressés!) l'occasion de donner ce cours sous forme de workshop à l'occasion de la conférence LIFT à Genève, le 6 février prochain.

Le workshop est gratuit, mais il faut être un participant à la conférence (je vous invite vivement à vous y inscrire si ce n'était pas encore prévu -- c'est un des meilleurs événements du genre en Europe).

This is something I’ve wanted to do [for some time now](, and I’m happy to kick it off at [LIFT]( provide [a crash-course in blogging for non-bloggers](

I know many people attending LIFT are already seasoned bloggers like myself. Many of you (my readers) probably are. I wanted to offer something to those who are not so *immersed* in the web as us.

So, basically, this is a three-hour workshop to open a blog (from scratch, I plan to use, twiddle the basic settings, learn how to publish, and talk about blogging. I’m always amazed that though the media now sing “blog, blog, blog” in every publication, many people haven’t really had a chance to get near one and see how technically easy publication is.

So, if you know anybody who is going to LIFT and isn’t (yet) a blogger… send them to my workshop 😉

Quoting from the [workshop description](, here’s the stuff it’ll cover:

> First, on the “blogging technique” side:

> – opening your blog
– discovering the various options and settings offered by the blogging tool
– how to publish a post or a page
– linking to blog posts or websites
– organizing one’s content with tags and categories
– managing comments
– choosing a design for your blog and managing sidebar content

> Second, on the “blogging culture” side, we might talk about:

> – blogs vs. “normal websites”
– different uses of blogs (personal, corporate…)
– dealing with openness and conversation in a public space (negative comments…)
– blogging etiquette and ethics
– reading other people and how to promote one’s blog
– other “Web 2.0” tools to use in relation with your blog

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