Blogging Web 2.0 Expo Europe: une opportunité pour blogueurs [fr]

[en] It's been a while now: Suw Charman-Anderson, Nicole Simon and I have been plotting lately to design "Blogging Web 2.0 Expo Europe", a blogger outreach programme for the famous O'Reilly/TechWeb conference Web 2.0 Expo Europe taking place in Berlin on October 21-23.

Suw has written a great post about the programme we designed:

The way the blogging programme will work is that we’ll ask participants to do these few things between now and 6th October:

  • publish at least 4 Web 2.0 Expo-related blog posts, podcast episodes or videocasts, e.g. announcement of the event, speaker information, speaker interviews, or any other event-related stuff
  • encourage readers, friends, and/or community to register for the event
  • display the Web 2.0 Expo logo on their blog, with a link to the registration page, until the day of the conference

We think that’s pretty easy, but to help you along, we’ll provide participating bloggers with:

  • event badges
  • a 35% discount code to share with readers, colleagues and friends
  • access to information about the event suitable for re-blogging, such as announcements and speaker information/interviews (when possible)

In return, bloggers will get a full conference pass that to either use themselves or give away to readers.

But that’s not all…

Head right over to Strange Attractor to read more about what's going on.

Any European blogger can ask to join the programme. So if you have a tech/business audience (it doesn't have to be huge), get in touch as soon as you can -- particularly if you have a local audience or blog in another language than English!

Cela fait un moment que je complote avec Suw Charman-Anderson et Nicole Simon pour mettre sur pied “Blogging Web 2.0 Expo Europe”. Quelques explications, car même si le nom est merveilleusement bien choisi et très explicite, il y a quand même quelques détails qu’il ne faut pas passer sous silence.

L’idée est de rassembler une communauté de blogueurs européens enthousiastes qui parleront de la conférence et motiveront leurs amis/lecteurs/collègues à s’y inscrire. En échange, ils reçoivent un accès gratuit à la conférence (qui, entre nous soit dit, vaut quelques jolis sous!)

Vous avez certainement déjà entendu parler de la conférence Web 2.0 Expo Europe, co-produite par TechWeb et O’Reilly Media. Mais oui, vous savez! Le fameux “web2.0” qui sature nos ondes, à la base, c’est le nom d’une conférence. Elle est destinée aux web designers, développeurs, product managers, entrepreneurs, investisseurs, marketeurs, consultants et stratèges qui exploitent les opportunités offertes par les technologies du Web 2.0. La conférence aura lieu à Berlin, du 21 au 23 octobre prochain; John Lilly (Mozilla), Martin Varsavsky (FON), et Tariq Krim (NetVibes) font partie des orateurs principaux.

Web 2.0 Expo Europe 2008

On demandera aux blogueurs prenant part au programme de:

  • publier au moins quatre billets, podcasts ou videocasts au sujet de Web 2.0 Expo Europe (par exemple annonce de la conférence, informations sur les orateurs et l’agenda, interviews d’orateurs, ou toute autre information liée à la conférence) d’ici le 6 octobre.
  • encourager leurs lecteurs, leurs amis et/ou la communauté à prendre part à la conférence Web 2.0 Expo à Berlin
  • afficher le logo de la conférence sur leur blog, ainsi qu’un lien vers la page d’inscription, et ce jusqu’au premier jour de la conférence.

Pas trop compliqué, non? On fournira aux blogueurs:

  • des badges à afficher sur leur blog et à distribuer à leurs lecteurs
  • un code de rabais (discount) de 35% à partager généreusement avec lecteurs et amis
  • accès à de l’information facile à publier, comme des annonces, la biographie des conférenciers et des entretiens avec ces derniers lorsque c’est possible.

En échange de leur participation, les blogueurs recevront gracieusement un passe pour toute la conférence, qu’ils pourront utiliser eux-mêmes ou donner à quelqu’un.

Mais ce n’est pas tout… Les blogueurs qui auront assuré la meilleure promotion (tant en matière d’efforts que de résultats) verront leur passe transformé en “Premier Blogger Pass”, ce qui leur donnera un statut “presse” à la conférence, incluant entre autres accès à la salle de presse et la possibilité d’interviewer les conférenciers en direct. Nous annoncerons les gagnants de ces “Premier Blogger Pass” et confirmerons l’attribution des passes conférence le 7 octobre prochain.

Puisque les code de rabais (discount) sont uniques, nous pourrons savoir combien de personnes chaque blogueur aura référées. Nous venons d’avoir le feu vert pour offrir quelque chose de spécial (et d’excitant) au blogueur qui aura généré le plus d’inscriptions, jusqu’à la fermeture des inscriptions.

Quel genre de blogueurs recherchons-nous pour ce programme? On veut ratisser large, donc on cherche des blogs européens, publiés dans n’importe quelle langue (on veut de la variété, pas juste des blogueurs anglophones basés à Londres), touchant un public qui pourrait être intéressé par la conférence. Donc, que vous soyez un des blogueurs-star de votre niche ou un blog moins connu avec un public réduit mais enthousiaste et qui se jetterait sans autre forme de procès sur le rabais que vous leur offrirez… Prenez contact!

Ce que nous recherchons, c’est de l’enthousiasme, de la passion, et du pouvoir de persuasion. C’est votre capacité à persuader autrui de s’incrire à la conférence qui compte!

Le nombre de places dans le programme est limité, et nous comptons le lancer officiellement dès mardi 9 septembre prochain. Agissez donc vite si vous voulez une place, et on vous le confirmera dès que possible.

On prévoit déjà de vous annoncer quelques ajouts (positifs!) au programme en cours de route, et bien entendu, on est prêtes à prendre en compte votre feedback pour le faire évoluer de façon participative. N’hésitez donc pas.

Je résume:

  • vous avez un blog, un public (quel que soit sa taille) qui pourra être intéressé par Web 2.0 Expo, et l’idée d’une entrée gratuite à la conférence ne vous déplait pas? le programme est pour vous!
  • vous connaissez des blogueurs qui pourraient bien être intéressés par la perspective d’une entrée gratuite et même d’un Premier Blogger Pass pour récompenser leurs efforts à promouvoir la conférence? montrez-leur cet article et mettez-nous en contact!

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Kathy Sierra: Keynote (Web2.0Expo, Berlin) [en]

[fr] Mes notes de la keynote de Kathy Sierra.

*Here are my notes of Kathy Sierra’s keynote, quite different from [yesterday’s workshop, which I also blogged](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/11/05/kathy-sierra-creating-passionate-users-web20expo-berlin/). My notes are probably incomplete in some spots and may contain mistakes.*

Finding Web 2.0 Opportunities (Kathy Sierra)

**1) reduce guilt and fear**

most of the time, people feel like they suck, like it’s their fault. Sometimes, making the product easier is not always the answer. We need to reduce that kind of feeling/face. How about using facial recognition to see when users are pulling a face? Or even simpler, have a WTF?! button.

Help, FAQ and user manuals do not solve WTF faces. People writing help and FAQ think you’re happy to use the softwa
re and a bit intellectually curious about using the software. Not true! Assume that most of the time, our users feel in WTF mode. Even if your software is easy to use, it might be they’re pulling that face because of what they’re *trying* to do with your tool.

FAQ/Help aren’t wrong, they’re written for the wrong place of the curve.

Recognise that people are miserable, feel they suck at what they’re trying to learn. Let people off the hook for feeling bad that it’s their fault. Books teaching something shouldn’t make people think they’re stupid.

“Appartments for rent: dog required.” In the US, so hard to find a place to live when you have a dog.

“Please walk on the grass, hug the trees, smell the roses.”

“What kind of genius? young, early, or late bloomer (Doc Searls).”

A lot of 2.0 stuff (like Twitter) increases the guilt, because you *have to keep up*. *steph-note: I realise I’ve been letting myself off the hook quite a lot regarding that.*

Being an expert is generally just a matter of focus, not a matter of natural talent.

How to write a bestseller? Choose a title that lets people off the hook. “The perfect mess” or “Everything bad is good for you.”

**2) Don’t “bait and switch” on the relationship**

Don’t start out all nice and interested and seductive, and in the end push away. How do you treat your ongoing users vs. the users you want to capture? The difference between how sales reps treat customers or prospects is often huge and the wrong way around. Documentation quality.

Web 2.0 Expo 3

Take the marketing budget and throw it into user learning. It’s not always a problem to not have a marketing budget: teach your users to kick ass.

Every time you think of something that you might do for marketing, think about what would happen if you applied that to user learning. Huge example: camera brochures and material. Glossy brochures that are all about taking great photos — which is the reason people buy cameras! — and afterwards, manuals that teach me to be a tool expert, which is not what I want!

Serendipity Curve. Introduce randomness. Excessive customisation and tailoring strips out the delight of discovering something unusual and unexpected. Encourage people to make connections between your stuff and seemingly unrelated things.

Roger von Oech’s “Creative Whack Pack” (*steph-note: looks really good!*)

**3) Make it real/Make it important**

Why are we here? We still need physical presence despite all our technology. A huge part of our brain is devoted to our hands and mouth.

Smell is really important **steph-note: shows cup of coffee on slide, it does something to our brain** but not just smell. Skin was meant to be used.

A real present trumps a virtual gift (not that the latter isn’t meaningful!!) Think about how you can give something in the real world to your users, related to your product. In the US, the UPS guy is a hero. He’s a sex-symbol. Physically impossible to not smile when you see the Amazon box on your doorstep.

Philosophy of Electric Rain:

– users should do something kick ass within 20 minutes
– the process of buying, downloading and installing feel like you’re getting a special present. E.g. a real human answers the tech support. We don’t expect that!

Unboxing! “geek unpacking porn” Look at pictures of other people unpacking their new geek toy. *steph-note: I almost did that with a Flickr photo of my new macbook and roomba.*

People are actually coming up with ways to make those pictures more seductive. These things matter!!

Even if you’re working in bits, and all “virtual”, find something you can send to your users offline. People always care about the t-shirts.

T-shirt First Development. ThinkGeek. It’s not enough to send it to them, give them a way to show that they’re wearing the t-shirt.

Don’t make this mistake:

Web 2.0 Expo 4

There are women or smaller men in your audience. They won’t feel like they kick ass in an XXL t-shirt. Yes, even if it’s not cost-effective.

Remember we’re not ready to leave our bodies behind just yet. “Real” sex still trumps the “virtual” kind…

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Kathy Sierra: Creating Passionate Users (Web2.0Expo, Berlin) [en]

[fr] Workshop de 3 heures animé par Kathy Sierra. Comment rendre ses utilisateurs passionnés.

*Disclaimer: theses are just my live notes of [Kathy Sierra](http://headrush.typepad.com/)’s workshop. Though I try to be accurate, they may contain mistakes or be incomplete. Please don’t hesitate to link to other notes, reviews, or relevant material in the comments.*

Not passion like being attached to your iPod, but more passion like how we invest energy into our hobbies.

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 2

There are techniques we can use to achieve that…

Kathy is going to draw techniques from many domains, who all have a piece of the puzzle:

– hollywood 🙂
– cognitive science
– neurobiology
– psychology
– learning theory
– design
– game design
– advertising

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 3

Passion: music, photography… that level of passion. Think of something that you have a passion for, or have had a passion for. Here’s how to tell if it was: you want to keep getting better, you want to learn more, practice more… that’s a real passion.

People with a passion:

– show off
– learn
– continuously improve
– spend time
– …

Reverse-engineering passion. Look at common attributes of things people have a passion about (e.g. people want to keep learning and getting better). How can we drive passion rather than wait for it to happen?

Where there is passion… there is a user kicking ass. Nobody really get a passion about something they suck at. Challenge: what to do in the period where users still suck.

One of the reasons people pursue passions is that it gives them a higher resolution experience. You see things differently when you’re passionate. You see more details, things that others don’t notice.

The Kick Ass Curve:

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 5

Between the first time and the suck threshold is the real challenge, because that’s where we’ll lose people. Strategies to keep pushing our users up that curve, and not just when they get past the point where they no longer suck. The faster you can get your users past the Suck Threshold, the more likely you are to have passionate users.

So, how fast can we do that, and how?

But… the problem is that people don’t want to be experts *at* a tool, but experts at what they can do *with* the tool. They use the tools to *do* something. That explains why documentation is all wrong, because it focuses on teaching the tool.

Good example: photography site which focuses on the results people want, the photos they want to be able to take, instead of on the camera.

Kathy, seeing slow-shutter speed photo of waterfall, understands why she needs to ditch her point-and-shoot, because she needs control on the shutter speed to be able to take those kind of pictures. And that’s what she wants to be able to do.

**We don’t want to be tool experts.**

Before our customers buy, we treat them well with glossy brochures, and as soon as they buy they get an unpalatable tech manual for their camera.

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 6

What if your product isn’t something people can use to do really cool things? (Showing a picture of Coldplay.) If we look, we can see what people might be able to use it for that they’ll get excited about. So, Chris Martin of Coldplay is very interested in fair trade. He helps people get involved in the cause. (Oxfam.) A band can help people become passionate about their work, their music.

Another example: Red Bull. Kathy likes Red Bull, but she doesn’t want to become an expert at what’s in it! So Red Bull are helping people become passionate about other stuff, not the drink — music, for example.

Bottom line: whatever you have, whatever your business is, you can have passionate users. They don’t have to be passionate about your product.

Imagine Nikon sets up a really cool site to teach people about photography. Learning is a drug for the brain, so this feel-good feeling is going to be linked to Nikon, who is behind the site. Passion spills back to the tool/brand. (That was a bit of psychology…)

**THE important question: what do (or can) you help your users kick ass at? (answers are not: the tool, the interface).** The stuff your tool allows to do.

What if you make trash bags? Well, you can sponsor a festival, do something completely unrelated. But you could have little films with creative use of trash bags, and then you create tutorials to teach people to make kick-ass films with those trash bags. *(steph-note: sounds way more lame when I write it than when Kathy says it.)*

**Big question: how do we actually make that happen?**

It all starts in the user’s head, and the user’s brain is not our friend.

Our brain has a little logic, and lots of emotion. Our brain thinks we’re still cavemen. Our brain has a big crap filter, and not much gets through. Your brain cares about that which you feel. Chemistry! Mind has one agenda, but brain has another. Imagine, trying to learn from a dry textbook even though committed to studies and the test… but the brain isn’t into it. Any moment though, something could wake the brain up (smell of pizza, cute guy).

What does the brain care about?

– things that are just a little weird, that are just out of expectations
– scary things
– sex
– little young helpless innocent things (baby, puppy)
– play, joy
– humour (bunny suicides…)
– faces
– things that are not quite resolved, some mystery, want to know the rest of the story (hand hiding face)

To keep people reading, you need to make sure their brain stays awake.

The brain doesn’t care about

– generic clichés (bride and groom kissing, no-no, whereas groom biting bride’s shoulder…)

Trick the brain!

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 7

**Conversational beats formal every time.** It can be subtle!! *steph-note: this what I try to explain to people about writing in “blog style”.*

Leading theory about that: the brain can’t tell the difference between a real conversation and something written in conversational tone. “God, a conversation, I have to keep up my end, pay attention.”

**Rule: talk to the brain, not to the mind.**

To read: “A mind of its own” by Cordelia Fine (How your Brain Distorts and Decieves)

Prepare the brain so that when people see this they think “ew, bad”:

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 8

Hey… all this was just about getting people’s attention! We still need to get past the Suck Threshold.

Where are my users on the suck / kick ass curve? If your tool is easy to learn, can they spend a lifetime getting better at what they do with it?

Who do snowboarders go back the second day? The first is so awful! Because there is this picture in their mind of what it’ll be like to kick ass at it. People persevere because they have an idea in their head of what it will be to be really good at it. Another reason is that they see a path, a series of steps to getting there.

People stick at something that’s stuff because there is:

– compelling picture
– clear path
– easy first step

How easy depends on how much value they perceive they’ll get. Sometimes just giving an e-mail address is too big a step.

Who is describing this “compelling picture” for your users?

Why? Who cares? So what? If people are to learn something, they have to keep turning the pages of the book. We need to get past the brain’s crap filter when we’re explaining.

It’s an exercise:

– My tool does X
– So what?
– Well, if you can do X, then it means you can do Y
– And so what?
– etc…

(when you feel like killing the other for being so thick, you’re getting close t the meaningful stuff: “you’ll never have sex again”, “you’ll lose your job”)

Keep asking why.

Now, we need to get users to *learn*.

Learning increases resolution.

“RTFM” expresses how we feel about our users. If you want them to RTFM, make a better FM!

All the money goes to enticing, sexy, motivating, advertising brochures. And after… when it’s time to learn, nothing left.

**Learning Theory**

Facts — information — understanding. Need more understanding. We tend to teach too many facts. *steph-note: cutlery noise from outside coming in through open door is really annoying me*

The more they understand, the less they need to memorize.

Because a choice is asked, our brain starts doing more processing.

Smackdown Model: throw two equally compelling, strong, arguments at somebody, and the brain is forced to start processing.

Words + pictures > words. Even drawing a picture on a napkin and taking a photograph of it.

Look for “oh crap!” and “oh cool” moments.

*steph-note: tiring*

“just in time” is more effective than “just in case” learning. But be careful, you don’t want to always prevent them from scraping their knees.

Who can help you help your users learn? Where are the resources? *steph-note: other users!* Kathy: “community” 😉

However, nothing of that matters unless you manage to keep your users engaged.

*steph-note: break-time, good!*

Should read the book “Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience”.

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 10

What is it like to be in the flow state? You don’t really notice that time is passing. If you have lost time, either you were abducted by aliens, or you were in the flow state. You *just keep going*. For people to be in the flow state, a very delicate balance needs to be achieved:

– knowledge and skill
– challenge

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 11

What turns the brain on?

– discovery
– challenge
– narrative
– self-expression
– social framework
– cognitive arousal
– thrill
– sensation
– triumph
– accomplishment
– fantasy
– fun (?)

Fun does not have to mean funny.

What breaks flow state, state of enchantment? Think of the user as under a spell. Suddenly realising that they’re using this tool to achieve what they’re doing. (Oh, crap, where’s that button?)

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 12

Don’t make me think about the wrong thing. Just make me think about the interesting stuff. Make it hard to do the wrong thing, and easy and natural to do the right thing.

Techniques to make the flow state happen and remain there. How do we keep them coming back?

Nobody does this better than game developers. Video games! Always trying to get to the next level.

User experience Spiral:

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 13

Motivational milestones. Make sure the users know where they’re going.

Differences between girls and boys and video games:

– boys: getting to the next level is the aim
– girls: getting to the next level, but what for?

Are there any new superpowers that I’ll get at the next level? If done right, the payoff gets bigger for each level. Gives you a chance to paint the next compelling picture of what they’ll be able to do.

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 14

Levels have to be small at the start.

What are levels for web development?
Online communities?
Flickr users?

What are your level superpowers?

Frequent rewards. Lots of small benefits. User as *hero*. Who/what is the helpful sidekick/mentor? How will the hero be changed?

The Tribe…

e.g. 37 signals: “getting real” — so people who are into 37 signals products identify with this “getting real” attitude. Mac: “think different”.

Music video, shot just in living-room and shows what all the money that could have gone into making it could be used for in the third world:

What part of your product is (or could be) part of a user’s identity? (meaning)

Site where people photograph their iPod in various settings. People holding one company’s book in various locations.

So, how can your users show that they belong to the tribe?

If you want them to talk… give them something to talk about. LOTR stuff in calendar OSX (*steph-note: dig around that*).

e.g. on cover of one of Kathy’s series books, same girl as on [this site](http://www.vagisil.com/teencenter.shtml)– lots of talk!

Figuring things out (insider info) is social currency (whuffie). Everyone loves to be the one to tell you about… X.

Find interesting stories. Give users treats. Things that they can talk about. Give them social currency that they can use elsewhere. Legends, stories, people. Where there is passion, there are people.

Once you get to a certain level, people start trying to figure out who will play you in the movies 😉

founder/creation stories, user-as-hero stories? You don’t want to make it about you… people are passionate about *themselves*. First thing to look at: testimonials. They should be about how great these users are as a result of using the products. People want to see themselves reflected in the testimonials.(Not about the product of the founders.) The more first person language in reviews (about a book, eg.), the better. What’s important is if something good happened to the user, not what they think about you.

**Community**

– forums?
– study groups?

at the least, a blog with comments…

Javaranch registration terms of service: “Be nice”. Users have to agree to that. If people aren’t nice, how do you get them to answer and ask questions? How quickly can you make it possible for people to ask and answer questions?

No dumb questions. Don’t allow people to say “that’s already been answered 50 times”. It’s OK to ask a question again. Never shun somebody for asking a question.

But the most important factor is actually **no dumb answers**. Try to get people to convert to answerers as fast as possible. Information on “how to answer questions”. When people answer a question, make sure they feel encouraged because they’ve done it.

Tutorials on how to make tutorials.

**How to know you’ve got passionate users**

When people stop criticising you, but criticise your users. A bit unsettling, but that means you have passionate users. “Cult?” “Sheep?”

Then, give your users some sort of defensive weapon.

If you try to satisfy everybody, you delight and inspire nobody.

**Tips and trouble on the road to passionate users**

Levelled products (iMovie is free, FinalCut isn’t — so you start with iMovie thinking you’ll never need more, and at some point you’ll outgrow it; problem though: big gap between the two from a usability point of view). Good strategy, however.

“Dignity is Deadly”

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 15

Startup: individuals
Corporate: consensus

Apes become smarter as they work together. Humans become dumber as they work together. (“Wisdom of Crowds”)

We tend to think our ideas are amazing, but our users think they’re tolerable.

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 16

Listening to users: what they say is not what they want.

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 17

User priorities

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 18

When you ask them to prioritize, and when you ask them to also explain, you get very different results.

The greatest cause of user pain:

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 19

Making things better can in fact make them worse. If a simple thing is nice and flow-inducing… No need to improve it by adding tons of features.

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 20

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 21

The Secret…

It doesn’t matter what they think about you… (It’s not about you, and it’s not about what you do). All that matters is how they feel about *themselves* as a result of their interaction with you, your product, your company… *steph-note: thinking that Lush testimonials are spot-on, they really have passionate users and I’m one of them.*

**The user must have an “I rule!” experience.**

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 22

Remember: your users are real people.

*Thank you, Kathy. It was great to have a chance to see you.*

Web 2.0 Expo, Kathy Sierra 23

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Two Panel Submissions for SXSW Interactive (Language Issues) [en]

[fr] Il y a deux propositions portant mon nom pour SXSW -- merci de voter pour elles! Sinon, dates et description de mes prochaines conférences.

Je cherche aussi un "speaking agent" -- faites-moi signe si vous en connaissez un qui travaille avec des personnes basées en Europe. Merci d'avance!

Oh. My. God.

I just realised, [reading Brian’s post](http://www.brianoberkirch.com/2007/09/13/gum-flapping-youve-been-warned/), that I haven’t blogged about the two panel proposals I’m on for [SXSW Interactive next March in Austin, Texas](http://2008.sxsw.com/interactive/):

* [Opening the Web to Linguistic Realities](http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/544) (co-presenting with [Stephanie Troeth](http://www.webstandards.org/about/members/steph/))
** A basic assumption on the Internet is that everybody speaks and understands one language at a time. Globalism and immigration has created an even more prominent trend of multilingualism amongst the world’s inhabitants. How can the WWW and its core technologies keep up? How can we shift our biased perspectives?
* [Lost in Translation? Top Website Internationalization Lessons](http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/349) (panel I’m moderating)
** How do you publish software or content for a global audience? Our expert panel discusses lessons learned translating and localizing. Leaders from Flickr, Google, iStockphoto and the Worldwide Lexicon will tackle various marketing issues; how to translate the ‘feel’ of a Web site, and; best practices for software and content translation.

As you can see, both proposals revolve around the use of languages on the internet — and as you know, it’s one of the topics [I care about](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/06/22/what-do-you-care-about/) nowadays. I’ve spoken on this topic a few times now ([BlogCamp ZH](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/25/blogcamp-multilingual-blogging-session/), [Reboot9](http://www.reboot.dk/artefact-773-en.html), [Google Tech Talks](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/10/talk-languages-on-the-internet-at-google-tomorrow/)) and I’m looking forward to taking things further with these new chances to toss these problems around in public.

80 or so of the [700+ panel submissions to SXSW Interactive](http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/) will be selected by public voting and actually take place. That’s not a lot (roughly 10%). So **please** go and vote for these two panels (“Amazing” will do) so that they make it into the selection. I really want to go to Austin! (Can you hear me begging? OK, over. But please vote.)

Other than that, I have a few more talks planned in the coming months:

– a [talk on corporate blogging](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/11/corporate-blogging-talk-draft/) in Zürich ([MScom alumni Jour Fixe](http://www.mscomalumni.ch/news/events_full.html?events_id=47), private event) [Sept. 24]
– future jobs of the web (evolution of the “webmaster”) at [BlogCamp Lausanne](http://barcamp.ch/BarCampLausanne#Proposed_Sessions), and probably a second session either on languages or [teenagers online](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/09/09/informations-et-prevention-adolescents-et-internet/) [Sept. 29]
– a talk on being a blogging/social media consultant in Europe for [BlogOpen](http://blogopen.eu/) in Novi Sad, Serbia [Oct. Nov. 10]
– [Multilinguisme web et problèmes associés](http://2007.paris-web.fr/Vendredi-16-novembre#booth) in Paris for Paris Web [Nov. 16]

My [proposal for Web 2.0 Expo](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/09/another-multilingual-talk-proposal-web-20-expo-berlin/) didn’t make it, it seems, but I’ll probably submit something for [Web2Open](http://web2open.eu/).

And, as [you might have heard](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/273739252), **I’m looking for a speaking agent**. If you can recommend any good speaking agents who work with European-based speakers, please drop me a line or a comment.

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Another Multilingual Talk Proposal (Web 2.0 Expo, Berlin) [en]

[fr] Une proposition de conférence sur le multilinguisme et internet, pour Web 2.0 Expo à Berlin en novembre. J'ai un peu laissé passer le délai, mais advienne que pourra.

I’m sending in a (very late) talk proposal for [Web 2.0 Expo, Berlin](http://berlin.web2expo.com/). Here’s the description I sent them, for my personal records, mainly. We’ll see what happens.

**Title:** Waiting for the Babel Fish: Languages and Multilingualism

**Short description:** Languages are the new borders of our connected world, but our tools make them stronger than they have to be. Most people are multilingual: how can language-smart apps help us out of the Internet’s monolingual silos?

**Full description:** The Internet is the ideal space to reach out to a wide public. However, if geographical boundaries are non-existent, linguistic barriers are all the more present.

Localization is a first step. But though most people and organizations recognize the necessity of catering to non-English audiences, some assumptions on how to do it need to be challenged. For example, countries and languages do not overlap well. Also, most people do not live and function in exclusively one language.

However necessary, localization in itself is not sufficient in getting different linguistic communities to emerge from their silos and mingle.

Multilingual spaces and tools will weaken the linguistic borders by allowing multilingual people of varying proficiency to act as bridges between communities otherwise incapable of communicating.

Till today, unfortunately, our tools are primarily monolingual even when correctly localized, and multilingualism is perceived as an exception or a fringe case which is not worthy of much attention — when in fact, most human beings are multilingual to some extent.

**Previous incarnations:** for the record again, previous incarnations of this talks (or, to put it slightly differently, other talks I’ve given about this topic):

– [BlogCamp ZH](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/25/blogcamp-multilingual-blogging-session/), March 2007 (with video)
– [Reboot9](http://www.reboot.dk/artefact-773-en.html), June 2007
– [Google](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/10/talk-languages-on-the-internet-at-google-tomorrow/), July 2007 (with video)

**Speaker blurb:** Stephanie Booth lives in Lausanne, Switzerland and Climb to the Stars,
The Internet. After a degree in Indian religions and culture, she has
been a project manager, a middle-school teacher, and is now an
independant web consultant. More importantly, she’s been bilingual
since she could talk, has lived in a multilingual country since she
was two, and been an active web citizen in both English and French
since she landed online in the late 90s.

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