France is famous as a romantic country. I’ve never been there but I can make a bet those who were Would say it is true. The country however toped the headlines with news about strikes and street violence withing the last year. The new French zeal – blogging – however is much more likeable.
The International Herald Tribune reports that French brought their passion online to line among world’s most intensive bloggers.
Why the French embrace blogs more than other European nations? Explanations according to the newspaper are range from technical to historical and cultural.
The Internet ratings company Comscore, reveald that 60% percent of French online users visited a blog in May. Bretons are ranked second with 40% with Americans holding the 3rd place with about 30% of internet users who went to a blog’s page in May.
Online audience measurement agency Nielsen/NetRatings said that French bloggers has spent more than 1 hour in June in France’s top blog site. Americans kept their attention on any blog for 12 minutes, Germans 3 minutes.
French are leading the race by the number of the blogs as well. 3 million of them have created a thei own blogs, according a study released in June by the ratings agency Médiamétrie.
“You cannot be elected president of France without a blog,” said Benjamin Griveaux, director of Web strategy for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister who in 2004 was among the first politicians to start a blog. “Blogs have not replaced traditional media, but they are absolutely necessary for every politician.”
Some even harbor a faint hope that flourishing online discussions might curb the French population’s penchant for taking to the streets in protest.
“With so many blogs, I’m hoping for fewer protests and strikes in Paris this fall,” said Loïc Le Meur, a pioneer French blogger and European managing director of the blog-hosting company Six Apart. “If people can express themselves online, then maybe they don’t need to block the streets.”
French blogs stands out in other measurable ways. They are noticeably longer, more critical, more negative, more egocentric and more provocative than their U.S. counterparts, said Laurent Florès, the French-born, New York-based chief executive of CRM Metrix, a company that monitors blogs and other online conversations on behalf of companies seeking feedback on their brands.
“Bloggers in the United States listen to each other and incorporate rival ideas in the discussion,” he said. “French bloggers never compromise their opinions.”
They also passionately debate why they blog so much. One common explanation in the blogosphere is that there are so many French Internet surfers to begin with. Last year the number of French people online passed the halfway mark of the total population of 61 million, with 85 percent of Internet users in May using high-speed broadband at home, according to Médiamétrie.
Some cultural theories offer a cultural explanation by saying that blogs are natural outgrowth of the French character. In other words “French have very large egos and love to speak about ourselves,” explains the French blog Le Meur. It proudly posts an image of International Herald Tribune on its home page swanking it has been mentioned on the newspaper’s front page. of course anyone would do it!
The other good reason French to be so good in blogging is that the country had its own text-based computer network in the 1980s. At that time there were no WWW.
The main reason blogging to become so popular is that you don’t need to be an university professor to maintain a blog. Blogging give a chance to anyone to express themselves and to talk about the things they like. From gossips to physics, you can find thousands of blogs, some of them more popular than leading national newspapers.
Poeple love to read. Poeple love to write
The most important thing about blogging is that there is no “nobody”. Everybody is somedody there and everyone who can post something interesting of just helpful becomes popular.
Cyril Klein, marketing director of Scanblog, a blog-monitoring company says that French consumers doesn’t have many vents to say what they want. The blogging filled the gap. “The French culture encourages people to express unhappiness and criticize.”, says Mr. Klein. Maybe this is the reason that French protesters used blogs to coordinate their violent activities in the Paris suburbs in November 2005.
Blog cluture is a real phenomenon and would be studied very carefully. It emerged at times when the globalized world looked so close but at the same time very very alienated.