| by Flemming Funch|
I hadn't paid good attention, but yesterday and today has been the Le Web 3 conference in Paris. I see many people I know and normally enjoy to listen to in the speaker list, and it sounded like the kind of tech conference I would enjoy going to. ... But, reading some of what people are saying in their blogs, it sounds like something went awfully wrong. The program was changed in the last moment, some people were bumped and replaced with several politicians who delivered political speeches. Most notably Nikolas Sarkozy. Ha, yes, everybody in France knows who he is. The top cop, tough interior minister, candidate for the presidency, and one of the most hated figures in France. Allowing him to speak at a cool tech conference is an obvious disaster asking to happen. Read an overview of commentary on the conference, and links to more, from Tom Morris. Sounds like my friend Loic LeMeur screwed up there. He was the main organizer, and, well, I would normally have expected him to be more savvy than that. Looking around at the various blog comments on the conference, it sounds like pretty much everybody hated Sarkozy, and they're pissed about having the conference they paid for highjacked for political purposes.
....[Later:] Loic has a long post responding to the criticism and giving his take on it. I think I agree with him. It is worth the risk to open up a conference like that to the outside world, including politicians. Like, Shimon Perez also attended and apparently gave an inspiring speech, and good things came out of that. As Loic said, the main mistake was maybe to not ask for feedback from the audience before changing the program. Most people would probably have said "Go ahead". Bloggers hate not being part of the process.