LOL has evolved into a gesture in France

August 10, 2009 at 10:09 am | Posted in Web 2.0 | Leave a comment
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Angelika Storrer, a professor at Dortmund Technical University, gave a talk about chatspeak yesterday at the Web as Culture Conference in Gießen, presenting visual evidence that LOL has meanwhile evolved into a gesture in France:

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Boosting Your Blog Traffic, pt. 2: A Little Help From France

May 13, 2007 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Blogging, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment
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On the 23rd of April, I published a little post about the results of the first round of the elections in France, titled Elections in France: the results. It was nothing special, and I do admit that my resolution of coming up with one post per day is not showing an utterly favourable effect on the quality of my posts. What the heck.

A week later I began noticing that this post attracted a tad more attention than it had attracted while it was ‘fresh’. The obvious reason: People were expecting the results of the second run-off of the French elections.

On Sunday the seventh of May, the day of the second round of voting, I noticed in the afternoon that the traffic on this particular post was going up to something like 70 (which is a lot for one post on my blog). I was about to leave home to meet a friend, so as a kind gesture I included a link to a page on LeMonde.fr where the results could be expected. Since most visitors were probably British or American – neither nationality known for their proficiency in foreign languages – I don’t think this was of very much use to them.

When I came back some time past 9pm and checked my blog I gasped: 1002 hits on just this post! And it did not even contain the results! I felt a bit sorry for the people who had come to this page in vain, so I quickly began editing and updating it. But the traffic had since long begun to falter, and no more than 78 more hits came in over the following five days.

What does this mean for the blogosphere? It means, the hype about grass-roots journalism not withstanding, that blogs are no good for current news. On the contrary, it shows that current news events, just like allusions to sex and a bit of pornography in your tagging, can be instrumentalized to boost your blog traffic.

I did obviously not instrumentalize the elections in France consciously, but it is easily explained how I could have done that: The majority of visitors came in not via wordpress tags, but via search engines. How? Because the original post was two weeks old and thus old enough to have entered the search engines.

This was the first boost. The second wave of traffic was ushered in by the startpage wordpress.com, where blogs and posts of the day are featured. It needs a bit of a foundation in terms of traffic to get onto this page, but once you’re there, you’ll get even more. Or as the German proverb would have it: ‘Der Teufel scheißt immer auf den dicksten Haufen’ – ‘The devils picks the biggest turd to crap on’.

The post ended up in the top five posts, and the blog in the top 20 blogs of the day, with my ugly mug appearing somewhere on the wordpress front page for a little while (as a thumbnail, but my mug nonetheless).

So: If you want to use a current event to increase your blog traffic, be sure to have a suitably titled post published two weeks ahead of the time of the event, so that search engines can list it, and then hope to enter the wordpress.com top 20.

This involuntary traffic operation had one positive sideeffect though: 217 people in the past seven days were directed to my ‘End Guantanamo’ page. And every visitor on that page COUNTS! This effect can partly be assigned to the End Guantanamo banner you can see on the side-bar, but mainly to the workings of another public opinion tool like digg.com.

Which one? I’ll tell you tomorrow. And this time, it wasn’t me who submitted the page:-)

P.S.: This post is part of a series. Here is the first part.

I Have a Dream: The Black Future of France

May 7, 2007 at 8:38 am | Posted in Elections, Politics, video | Leave a comment
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Martin Luther King would have liked this, I hope you like it, too:

Found on Paris Noire sur Blanc (Paris, black on white, NO, not Paris Hilton!), originally created by leCRAN (Conseil Representatif des Associations Noires= Representative Council of Black Associations).

Elections France – Results: Sarkozy 53,1%, Royal 46,9%

May 6, 2007 at 8:43 pm | Posted in Elections | 1 Comment
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SARKOZY ROYAL

Sarkozy achieved the third best result in a second round of voting in France. Better results were only achieved by Charles de Gaulle in 1965 (55,2%, in a run-off against François Mitterand) and in 1988 by François Mitterand (54%, against Jaques Chirac). Currently 52 years old, he is going to be the youngest president of France (Charles de Gaulle, 68; Georges Pompidou, 57; Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, 48; François Mitterrand, 64; Jacques Chirac, 62; Nicolas Sarkozy, 52). Sources: Le Monde, Wikipedia)

Sarkozy announced that the United States “can count on our friendship” (“les Etats-Unis “peuvent compter sur notre amitié” Source: Le Monde).

After the announcement of the results, supporters of the socialist candidate gathered at the Place de La Bastille, disappointedly as could be judged from slogans like “Sarko facho” (pronunciation close to: sarKAUGH faSHAUGH, meaning: Sarkozy, the fascist) [Source: Le Monde]. In that context, I would once more like to propose the much cuter nickname Nicolas Narkozy, N.N.

Royal asked her 17 million voters to “continue together” and to “keep up the confidence, keep your enthusiasm alive, stay mobilized, other democratic encounters are waiting for us. […] What we have undertaken for France is going to bear fruit, that I am sure of.”

“Gardez confiance, gardez intact votre enthousiasme, restez mobilisés, d’autres rendez-vous démocratiques nous attendent”, a-t-elle lancé à ses partisans, avant de conclure : “Ce que nous avons entrepris pour la France portera ses fruits, j’en suis sûre!” (Source: Le Monde“)

It’s also worth the while to have a look at Le Monde’s map of the results by district (département): Départements in which Sarkozy got the majority of votes are baby boy blue, départements where Royal is leading are coloured baby girl pink. Those who don’t know where to place Paris: It’s the shaded area in the middle, the département bears the name Île-de-France (not very legible in this map). The purely pink/blue coloured big map might be a bit misleading, as the candidates could not ‘win’ individual districts: The votes all go into the same pot. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find two smaller maps which are a more accurate representation of the results, presented in shades of blue / shades of pink.

Carte Departements

Articles in English: “Sarkozy takes French Presidency”, The Guardian (More articles about France in The Guardian)

Elections in France: the results

April 23, 2007 at 6:36 am | Posted in Elections | 9 Comments
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EDIT (06/05/07, 9:00pm): NICOLAS SARKOZY 53,1%, SÉGOLÈNE ROYAL 46,9%
SARKOZY ROYAL

Sarkozy achieved the third best result in a second round of voting in France. Better results were only achieved by Charles de Gaulle in 1965 (55,2%, in a run-off against François Mitterand) and in 1988 by François Mitterand (54%, against Jaques Chirac). Currently 52 years old, he is going to be the youngest president of France (Charles de Gaulle, 68; Georges Pompidou, 57; Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, 48; François Mitterrand, 64; Jacques Chirac, 62; Nicolas Sarkozy, 52). Sources: Le Monde, Wikipedia)

Sarkozy announced that the United States “can count on our friendship” (“les États-Unis “peuvent compter sur notre amitié” Source: Le Monde).

After the announcement of the results, supporters of the socialist candidate gathered at the Place de La Bastille, disappointedly as could be judged from slogans like “Sarko facho” (pronunciation close to: sarKAUGH faSHAUGH, meaning: Sarkozy, the fascist) [Source: Le Monde]. In that context, I would once more like to propose the much cuter nickname Nicolas Narkozy, N.N.

Royal asked her 17 million voters to “continue together” and to “keep up the confidence, keep your enthusiasm alive, stay mobilized, other democratic encounters are waiting for us. […] What we have undertaken for France is going to bear fruit, that I am sure of.”

“Gardez confiance, gardez intact votre enthousiasme, restez mobilisés, d’autres rendez-vous démocratiques nous attendent”, a-t-elle lancé à ses partisans, avant de conclure : “Ce que nous avons entrepris pour la France portera ses fruits, j’en suis sûre!” (Source: Le Monde“)

It’s also worth the while to have a look at Le Monde’s map of the results by district (département): Départements in which Sarkozy got the majority of votes are baby boy blue, départements where Royal is leading are coloured baby girl pink. Those who don’t know where to place Paris in the map: It’s the shaded area, the département bears the name Île-de-France (not very legible in this map). The purely pink/blue coloured big map might be a bit misleading, as the candidates could not ‘win’ individual districts: The votes all go into the same pot. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find two smaller maps which are a more accurate representation of the results, presented in shades of blue / shades of pink.

Carte Departements

Articles in English: “Sarkozy takes French Presidency”, The Guardian (More articles about France in The Guardian)

*********************************
Previous post 21/04/2007: There’ll be a second round run-off between Sarkozy (31,11%) and Royal (25,84%). As always, both consider themselves winners. Both scored twiced as many votes as their predecessors in their parties, Chirac and Jospin.

Report by The Guardian: “Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s rightwing former interior minister, last night stormed to one of the most impressive first-round victories in French presidential history, making him favourite to beat the socialist Ségolène Royal to the Elysée in a fortnight’s time.”

Facts and polls provided by Le Monde: “Nicolas Sarkozy a obtenu 31,11 % des voix au premier tour, Ségolène Royal 25,84 %, François Bayrou 18,55 % et Jean-Marie Le Pen 10,51%. Tous les résultats, département par département“.

“Compte rendu: Les premiers sondages pour le second tour donnent tous Nicolas Sarkozy vainqueur.”

“Analyse: M. Sarkozy et Mme Royal ont obtenu deux fois plus de voix que MM. Chirac et Jospin en 2002.”

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