Thank you internet!

Though I may be slightly disillusioned by politics lately, there are some things I have really enjoyed during the latest round of French Presidential elections, and most if not all of them, are related to the internet.

1. Twitter
On the first round of voting, the hashtag #radiolondres was widely used around twitter to announce results before the official time of 20h. French TV and media were  obliged to respect an embargo that prevented them from publishing any results before 8pm, but the Swiss and Belgians weren’t. People stared using #radiolondres, a reference to the time when De Gaulle was in London during WW2, to announce preliminary results in coded form, and start launching speculation. Some of the code messages were real, using rugby scores for example (Netherlands vs. Hungary), and others were completely ridiculous (the chihuahua is on the plane). Nevertheless it was hilarious to read, and also exciting to be finding out results before they had been made official. You can read articles about #radiolondres here and here.

I also fully watching the TV debate whilst following people’s comments on twitter, sometimes posting my own about quotes I found particularly funny or shocking, and general impressions about the debate. It’s great to be able to follow simultaneously what people’s reactions are to such a key moment in the elections. Finally, following many links to articles, blog posts and more about the elections, meant I was constantly aware of the latest developments, and reading people’s opinions and analysis.  Continue reading

Hollande won, what next?

From The Economist website

François Hollande has won the French Presidential elections, and now we can ask, what next? The fact that he won wasn’t very surprising. Even if you had only tuned into french politics a few months ago, you would have realised how much the French disliked Sarkozy and wanted him out. Therefore, when presented with the option of either him again or someone else, they naturally chose someone else.

It would seem that for most people, their vote wasn’t really in support of Hollande, but mostly against Sarkozy. This strikes me as a sad choice to be made, though I understand that in a certain way the french had no other option. Perhaps this is the most saddening fact.  Continue reading

Advantages and disadvantages of twitter

The other day I was having a discussion with a friend about twitter, and how I felt it had really revolutionised social media as a business tool. My friend quickly shot it down and asked me how many advantages the tool could really have compared to the disadvantages of serving information on a platter to all your followers. His argument was that finding information before others, or having access to information that only few other people have gives you a strategic advantage in the business world. However, as twitter makes sharing easy, you are suddenly sharing your precious nugget with thousands if not millions of other people. Continue reading