Paris Tech Talks and WikiStage launch in Paris

Springtime in Paris and there’s a fresh feeling of innovation in the air.  I recently participated in the launch of two interesting technology venues…

Paris Tech Talks, organized by Ferdinand Boas and Sylvain Zimmer  is a new monthly technology meetup based on the successful New York Tech Meetup concept. I was delighted to attend the debut of Paris Tech Talks, held at Microsoft’s new “BizSpark” center, an acceleration program for tech startups.

Paris Tech Talks is a much-needed networking resource for the local tech community and I’m really enthused about it.  When I worked in Silicon Valley, networking events were both social and strategic, bringing together an exciting mix of technologists. You could eat pizza in a relaxed, informal atmosphere and chat with everyone from programmers to CEOs. Paris Tech Talks had that same positive buzz, à la française.

Speakers kept a steady flow of innovation and information coming…

David Francois from Bitcoin, developers of digital currency, reported that 11 million bitcoins are in circulation. One participant pointed out that bitcoins can’t be regulated so they are problematic for today’s governments. This topic generated quite a bit of discussion.  See a recap of Bitcoin’s presentation on SlideShare.

TechSound demo

You can check out the TechSound presentation to better understand this new invention that just launched on KickStart, but basically it’s a ‘sound language’. You compose sounds as images and send them to people.  The developers at reaDIYmate, Olivier Mével and Marc Chareyron, cheerfully acknowledged that “we are insane, will we get funded? But someone has to do it!”

VideoLAN, a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player, is the most recognized and downloaded French software. I’ll bet it’s on your computer now. We cheered and clapped when Jean Baptiste Kempf told us there is an average of 990,000 downloads a day. Learn more here.

Pierre Couzy from Microsoft presented tips and updates on Twisted and EventMachine. By then it was getting late in the evening and many of us were fantasizing about the pizza which was being delivered at that exact moment. Everyone grabbed a slice and continued chatting and networking.

multitasking participant

Effective multitasking

At any tech event, you’re sure to meet someone who is a colleague of someone else you know…it’s small world, once you get talking.

I realized that one of the reaDIYmate founders owned an interactive agency and I knew someone who had worked there.  We’d met at a different agency and worked on a Unilever project together. I didn’t want to walk up and interrupt the guy as he was eating his pizza and explaining sound language…but maybe I will next time!  :-)

Contact me if you’re interested in info about the next meetup.

Recap en français


WikiStage says it’s not competing with TED or wikipedia

WikiStage premiered in Paris at ESCP Europe, one of the leading French business schools.  In short, WikiStage is not associated with Wikipedia or the TED conferences. Founder Johannes Bittel says his inspiration came from wondering why the information in Wikipedia did not exist in video format, which he sees as a powerful and effective way to clearly, quickly and easily diffuse and share information.  Read more on Bittel’s goals for WikiStage here.

What is WikiStage? (video)

At Wiki Stage events, an expert (which has a broad and creative definition) has 6 or 12 minutes to deliver his or her core message. So it is shorter than a typical TED presentation. In an increasingly info-saturated world, maybe 12 minutes is already approaching the upper limit of the attention span for the average person?  Personally I hope not, but this could be the topic of a future posting.

All 16 experts and artists were trained by professionals to present the essential – and charm the audience. I listened to the slick and speedy speakers and took away some good information.