About social computing in France

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This morning I found this very interesting note on headshift, about the French comission report on immaterial economy I mentionned in a former post. The author’s view of the “french paradox of internet” is very close to reality and points out very important facts :

• “that the number of “major” blogs in the US is not comparable to their French counterparts.”  I really agree. Despite France counts a lot of bloggers, most of them are “this-is-my-life” blogs. Very few expert blogs…but it seems to me things are slowly improving. But the fact is 80% of my Google Reader is made of english written blogs…and that’s also the reason why I try to maintain this blog beside my french one even if I could satisfy with the success of the later… enterprise 2.0 experts don’t speak french

• ” Web is only one part of the change, mobile is very strong (much stronger than in the US).”  That’s true. I’m always surprised by the gap between France and the US on this point. Mobile is now a part of everyone’s culture and people are endlessly trying to do more and more things with their mobile…and a lot of businesses are growing around that.

• “The very nature of social computing in organisations, i.e. free-lancers initiating bottom-up approaches based on local experiments and progressive diffusion, usually nor are welcome, nor are encouraged.“  Nothing to add.. except I feel things are changing. Organisations know they have to take social computing into account but they’re affraid of what it will imply. They’d like social computing without social computing effect.

• “French Senior management is computer literate to a very limited extend” You can even see top managers who ask their secretary to print their emails… You can’t see social computing’s benefits if computers are not a part of your professional culture. But then again we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of middle managers are web 2.0 savvy and try to educate their superiors. And in a few years they will be those who will decide. But can we afford waiting a few years ? But is that typically French ?

• “Result is that they regard web 2.0 users as people who lose their time and dedication to the company instead of providing them to be an internal source of innovation” : always the same discussion about making business now and preparing the future. Both have to be done at the same time but most managers only have a short term vision. McAfee’s note on the pursuit of busy-ness proves both side of the ocean are concerned. As I always say, knowledge workers need new metrics, a lot of people agree with that, but who will take it into account et build no way to measure productivity.

• “Communities of practices are poorly regarded and knowledge sharing is rarely addressed.” If you share knowledge you lose power… but isn’t it the same abroad ?

In fact the vision of the french paradox is right. But I’m not far from thinking things are the same in other countries.

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Bertrand DUPERRINhttps://www.duperrin.com/english
Head of Employee and Client Experience @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
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