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Social Commerce: a new way to buy online


As the Paris Social Media Week drew to a close, Social Media Club France organized a conference to address the growing impact of social commerce and some of the new developments in the field. Let’s take a look:
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Highlights from “Social Gaming: a model to follow” conference at La Cantine


This is a guest post from Garrett Goodman, a new media consultant currently working with Citizenside, a French start-up that specialises in increasing audience engagement with its UGC hub solution, the Reporter Kit. This solution uses a proprietory system that integrates badges, grades and points to add a social gaming layer to news gathering.

The event was organized by Social Media Club France and moderated by Benoît Raphaël, cofounder of, blogger at La Social Newsroom, who took the opportunity to pose some important questions to the presenters about real figures and hard facts. Unsurprisingly, the speakers were sometimes less than forthcoming…regardless, there was a lot covered worth sharing with you all.

First up here are the speakers:


Thibault Viort of Weka Entertainment

Thomas Jestin of KRDS

Erwan Guiriec of Click&Game Entertainment and

Dimitri Ducourtieux from IFeelGoods

What’s so exciting about Social Gaming?

During Benoît’s intro, he pointed out that Zynga has 200 million users per month, an impressive figure by anybody’s standards, and although one might be inclined to focus on their virtual goods and the crazy amount of virtual currency changing hands, Benoît highlighted that the real value here was in the database, and all the data that can be mined from each user.

Thibault Viort started off the presentations with a talk on the changes social gaming is causing. He underlined an interesting development: these social games give players the ability to have casual encounters or « daily adventures » with friends they might not see that often, or ever, in real life. They are changing people’s daily routines, and altering with whom and how people socialize on a fundamental level.

3 reasons you have to launch a social game with Facebook

Thomas Jestin, who was perhaps the most animated of the speakers, waxed lyrical about the force of Facebook in the social gaming ecosystem. He was adamant that social games must be on Facebook as an app or on a Facebook connected site. Here’s his reasoning :

3 questions to pose before launching that game

1. How to get members? His answer: buy them with cross-platform promotion and advertising

2. How to get them to come back? His answer: email marketing and regular Facebook news feed updates

3. How to get users to invite their friends? His answer: be awesomely creative, eye catching, and original

Next step: monetizing addiction (see below)

1. Barriers to entry are lower than ever for new users. No more sign-up forms that send emails with special links and all those tiring steps. Just one click, and boom, connected and broadcasting across your social graph. which leads to his next point.

2. Sharing is easier than ever. Last I saw the average Facebook user has 130 friends, meaning every action completed in a game is broadcast to all those people. Huge visibility. Huge potential to attract new members. It’s free advertising via social recommendation, an idea that is core to our operation here at Citizenside.

3. One click pay is on the horizon. With EA’s recent announcement that they make Facebook credits their official payment method for their social games, plus Zynga’s patent application for virtual currency, Thomas was vehement that this is the next big shift in gaming online.

Built-in Constraints and Monetizing Addiction

Next up was Erwan Guiriec, who touched on the importance of constraints in game dynamics. He explained that one simple way to create opportunities for monetization in gameplay is to place obstacles in the way of a player and give them the possibility to pay some small fee to have them removed.

Here’s an example: say you wanted to beef up your character in some fighting game by taking him to the gym. If you have to wait 3 minutes to complete this action for free, many people will be happy to switch tabs and browse around for the waiting period, but enough people would rather just pay 3 Facebook credits and achieve the results immediately. It’s playing on people’s inherent aversion to delayed gratification, and Erwan says it works.

Thomas added here that is was essential not to utilize these constraints to early, players must already be immersed in the world and want to continue enough to endure the delays or pay the fee, otherwise you’re just deterring players.

Virtual Currency worth cold hard cash

WalMart and Best Buy now selling Facebook creditsWalMart and Best Buy now selling Facebook credits

Last up was a presentation about micro-incentives and virtual credits in online marketing and advertising by Dimitri Ducourtieux. He showed how basic concepts like rebates and coupons can be taken to the next level with virtual currency, making e-commerce a more social experience that can have much more impact. Big commercial outfits like Best Buy and WalMart are even selling Facebook credits on their shelves in the form of « credit » cards, making virtual currency not so virtual. Sure these credits are limited in their usage now, pretty much exclusively for games running in Facebook like the uber-famous Farmville, but the future is ripe with opportunities for all kinds of innovation in this space.

We at Citizenside have been interested in game dynamics and adding a « social gaming layer » to news gathering for some time now. We’ve released our own beta points and badges system on and have tailor-made solutions available as plug-ins for our Reporter Kit clients too.

To check out how social gaming can be used for news sites, use the Facebook connect on and get started in no time! See you there.


Beyond Foursquare and Gowalla- A Look at France's Tellmewhere





Location-based social networks seem to be where it’s at right now, and there’s one network that hasn’t quite been able to make its way out of the shadow of American favorites like Foursquare and Gowalla. The Paris-based Tellmewhere may not be getting much press in the English speaking world yet, but it already has more than 500,000 users. Much like its American competitors, Tellmewhere (or Dismoioù as it’s called in France), allows user to “check-in” to the various restaurants, bars, shops, hair salons, and wherever else they choose to visit. Users can review these places and keep an eye on the places their friends check into. Locations are tied to Google Maps and check-ins can be synced with Twitter or Facebook status updates.

A large part of the appeal of apps like Gowalla and Foursquare has been the gaming aspect of checking in. Users earn virtual goods like badges and pins as they check-in to more and more locations.  The competition inherent in checking in has become a bit addictive for fans of the two apps, but skeptics of the apps fail to see the point in becoming “mayor” or a member of the top 10 visitors to their favorite spot.

tellmewhere_recommended Tellmewhere has taken a step back from the gaming side of check-ins and is instead focusing on the ratings and reviews for its database of locations. Because Tellmewhere users are not using their check-ins to compete with other users, they are allowed to rate and review places they are not actually checked in to. This increase in user-submitted reviews allows for what is probably the most useful and unique feature Tellmewhere has to offer: recommended places. Tellmewhere collects information on users’ preferences and uses the preferences of their friends and other users like them to produce a list of recommended nearby locations. Because the recommendations are based on people who are similar to you and not just your friends, Tellmewhere can use information from locals who are similar to you to give you helpful recommendations wherever you may be traveling.

The Tellmewhere app is downloadable in English, French, German and Italian for the iPhone, iPad and Android. Tellmewhere’s business model relies on pay-per-visit offers from local businesses, so you may be able to find a special discount or offer from your favorite place on their site. While the richest database of places and highest concentration of users is definitely in France, the database of places is getting bigger by the day. Founders Gilles Barbier and Romain Ehrhard hope to expand more into the English speaking market as the year progresses. They released a new version of their iPhone app in January and were the first location based network to have an app ready for the iPad.

While Tellmewhere’s focus on location reviews may facilitate one of its most helpful features, it also draws the site into more direct competition with review sites like Yelp and Qype. That’s on top of the growing number of competitors in the location-based network race. Critics of Tellmewhere doubt the network’s potential to truly compete with its gaming competitors without providing users with some sort of incentive to motivate them to check in. It will certainly be difficult for Tellemwhere to convince current Foursquare and Gowalla users to give up their mayorships and pins and make a complete switch to Tellmewhere.

That being said, it’s still very early in the location-based race. There are plenty of smartphone users who have yet to pick a side in the location war, and many will see the value in the exclusive offers and recommendations Tellmewhere has to offer. Foursquare and Gowalla may want to start watching their backs.

For more information check out the Tellmewhere twitters: @tellmewhere and @dismoiou


Viadeo: LinkedIn's French Competitor

LinkedIn may be king of business-oriented social networks in the English speaking world, but in France Viadeo is still number one. Much like its American counterpart, the site allows members to discover new clients, partners and staff, build their professional network and build their reputation. LinkedIn launched a French language version of its site in 2008, but the site has yet to draw nearly as many members as the French born and bred Viadeo.

Viadeo                     linkedin




The features of both sites are fairly similar, as Viadeo was actually inspired by LinkedIn. Back in 2003, Viadeo founder and CEO Dan Serfaty was planning on creating a software program for members of an entrepreneur club to share their business contacts. After receiving an invitation to LinkedIn, he realized it would be far more convenient to create this “software” online. His entrepreneur club invited all of their contacts and members of their alumni networks to the site, and Viadeo was well on its way to the more than 25 million users it has today.

Headquartered in Paris, the company that began as a network for French business professionals has now acquired the Chinese site, Canadian site Unyk, Indian site ApnaCircle, and Spanish site ICTnet. Viadeo itself is offered in 7 languages and even has about 100,000 members in LinkedIn’s home territory, the US. Unlike some of its counterparts, the site is fully localized in all 7 languages it offers. French, German, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch speakers won’t have to worry about knowing French to use certain parts of the site or to understand certain widgets.

Viadeo as a whole is aimed fairly locally at mid and top level companies, while LinkedIn seems to have a more international approach. One of Viadeo’s more unique features is its service for recruiters. After being screened to weed out spammers, recruiters pay a subscription fee and gain the power to perform filtered searches of the Viadeo community that allow them to send their job ads to specifically targeted audiences.

While Viadeo may reign king in France right now, LinkedIn is growing more popular by the day. LinkedIn France took a huge step forward when it partnered with Apec, a site that offers job listings and resources much like Monster, in 2008. Viadeo is not about to give up the French market, or any market for that matter, to their American counterpart. At the end of March Viadeo officially announced that they were partnering with Apec (and replacing LinkedIn’s partnership), and they also recently added 5 open social apps: Twitter, PollDaddy, a document sharing service called Ayos iShare, a service for traveling called Wipolo and Google Presentation.



While there’s certainly been a lot of back and forth between the competitors, for now, those looking to network in France will find more contacts with a profile on Viadeo. Those looking to work internationally should definitely take a look at LinkedIn.

For more information check out the Viadeo Twitter @viadeo or SMC France member and Viadeo Director of PR Nicholas Vieuxloup’s Twitter @vieuxloup


#SMCEDU in France : Social Media in the Classroom


Media literacy is one of the primary missions of Social Media Club, and thus the use of social media in the classroom is a large part of SMC discussions. Here at SMC France, many of our members are teachers or researchers in social media. SMC France co-founder and vice president Alban Martin is one of those teachers. Martin teaches four different classes at CELSA, a graduate school for communications run through the Sorbonne in Paris. CELSA has postgraduate and doctoral degree programs in journalism, communication, marketing, advertising and human resources, as well as a strong research division. Every CELSA program incorporates internships as well as class hours into its degree, and students are encouraged to study or intern abroad. With CELSA’s intensive entrance exam and rigorous academic program, 80% of students find employment within 3 months of graduating.

While students in France and the US have long been crying out for more social media involvement in the classroom, many schools have been hesitant to really take advantage of all the opportunities available through social media. CELSA first opened as a communication school in 1965 and has offered classes in new media for the last four years. Martin’s classes cover topics like viral marketing, online communities, online music, buzz marketing and interpersonal influence. His course on online music speaks almost exclusively of Myspace, eMuleand Creative Commons, and Twitter and blogging are a large part of the discussion in his other classes. Homework can include anything from contacting a music star on Myspace to maintaining a WordPress blog or Twitter account.

Social media use in Martin’s classes goes beyond just what’s mandatory for the coursework. Martin says that about a third of his students follow him on Twitter, comment on his blog, or add him on Facebook/Viadeo/LinkedIn. The students communicate with each other through social media as well. They have a Facebook page and 2 different sites reserved for the class and they tweet through the hashtags #celsa and #misc (Media Informatisé et Stratégie de Communication).

Martin says new media education at the school is becoming more and more popular every year, and rightfully so. As companies begin to utilize social media more and more, social media skills and awareness are becoming necessary requirements to get a job. Personal branding and networking have risen to a completely different level with the social media tools available today. Hopefully programs like those offered at CELSA will start to become more widespread, or students may be left wondering why their schools never prepared them for the realities of today’s job market.


For further information and discussions on social media in the classroom, check out the Social Media Club Education Connection.


Digital Storytelling – A conference from Social Media Club France – April 8 at La Cantine

Thursday April 8, 2010 at 19h00 at La Cantine

The emergence of new digital media profoundly redefined the production of narrative and forever changed how audiences consume content. Interactivity and the multiplication of modes of access are now endless, and allow for a strong public involvement in new experiences, whether those experiences come from the construction of a fictional universe or from some representation of reality.

How are audiovisual production, cinema, publishing and cultural industries in general reacting to these changes? By analyzing the innovative forms linked to digital media, we will try to identify the new roles emerging from this evolution and which business model response will be fitting for the storytelling of tomorrow.

Our preliminary work: Storytelling 2.0


-Cécile Cros, co-founder of Narrative (production and distribution of documentaries for new media):
New formats of journalistic production, new regard? New distribution, new audience?

-Arnaud Dressen, co-founder of the agency Honky Tonk (video and multimedia production):
Interactive editing: the emergence of new production tools

-Julien Aubert, co-founder of Story Factory (cross-media content development and production):
Extension of the narrative universe of fiction and audience involvement: the observations of a manager

-Nicolas Bry, director of Transmedia Lab:
What business model to use for transmedia productions?

Discussions moderated by Alban Martin, co-founder of Social Media Club France and author of the book “Et toi, tu télécharges? Industries du divertissement et des media à l’ère du numérique,” Village mondial, April 2010

The conference will be followed by a cocktail reception

Your 10€ ticket will go towards logistical costs (space, buffet, drinks).

Register on Amiando


Paris Twestival 2010

















This coming Thursday, March 25th, Twitter users from all over the world will be participating in the second annual Twestival Global. The Twestival (or Twitter Festival) is a one day event where people in hundreds of cities gather to raise money for a particular cause. Last year’s Twestival raised more than US $250,000 for @charitywater. This year’s cause is the more than 72 million children who don’t have the opportunity to go to school. Funds will be divided among eight of @Concern Worldwide’s education projects: building schools, training teachers, school meals, health education, water for schools, education for girls, furnishing classrooms, and reaching the vulnerable. One hundred percent of the ticket sales and donations will go towards @Concern’s projects.

Paris will have its own Twestival gathering at Le 51, restaurant of the Cinématheque francaise, beginning at 19h00. There will be a raffle for a variety of prizes and a concert from Catherine Simonet. It’s sure to be a good time and a great way to meet other social media lovers in the area (though non-Twitter users are certainly welcome too). Tickets to attend are 5€ and a ticket for the raffle is an additional 5€. You can find more information by following @paristwestival or by checking out their site here.

              le51                                          dismoiou





For those who can’t make it Thursday night, there are plenty of other ways to participate. You can make a donation to the Paris Twestival at any time through the widget on their site and you can enter for a chance to win in the raffle even if you won’t be able to attend the event. Dismoioù, one of the sponsors of the Paris Twestival, has agreed to donate 1€ to @Concern for every tweet sent through their site or their iPhone app on the 25th. Twestival Global will also be live streaming as many of the events as possible throughout the day. Many of the artists, musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs, and other celebrities who use Twitter have donated items to the Twestival eBay auction, Auction 140. The auction is running from now until the 26th and there are a lot of amazing things to be won.

Whether or not you can make it to the event Thursday, Twestival is a great example of how major events can successfully be organized through Twitter, and how social media can be used for social good. For more information on all the ways you can get involved in Twestival Global, head on over to their main site or follow their tweets from @twestival.


After-Work PR 2.0: A meeting of influencers/agencies March 24 at Le Réservoir

After-Work PR 2.0: A meeting of influencers/agencies March 24 at Le Réservoir

Social Media Club is a partner of the After-Work PR 2.0 organized by Syntec RP Wednesday, March 24 at Le Réservoir.

Stéphane Billiet, president of Syntec Conseil en relations publiques, and SMC France have the pleasure of inviting you to the meeting “Influencers and Agencies.”

PR 2.0: How to develop an effective, expedient and useful working relationship between agencies and influencers

With influencers and agency representatives:

Marie Catherine Beuth / Etreintes Digitales
Thomas Clément /
Emery Doligé / Choses Vues
Pierre-Yves Platini
/ President of Social Media Club France
Emmanuel Bachellerie / Directeur Associé Bach&Partenaires
Benoît Désveaux / Directeur Général Le Public Système
William Ory / Consultant e-PR Wellcom





 By MONDAY, March 22 to Julien Benatar
Telephone: 01 44 30 49 91

 Welcome at 19h00
Meeting/Discussion at 19h45
Followed by a cocktail reception

 Le Réservoir
16, rue de la forge royale, 75001 Paris
Métro Ledru rollin or Faidherbe Chaligny
Parking at 121 avenue Ledru Rollin


Workshop: Corporate Strategy 2.0 (April 14th at La Cantine)

Continuing its mission of education and the spread of good social media practices, Social Media Club France is organizing a series of training workshops on social media and the problems companies face in using social media.

This workshop will give you the necessary skills to create an effective social media strategy, from recruitment and client loyalty to the development of a personal audience and how to monetize online content.

Major industry players Viadeo, Facebook and Paypal will use case studies and experience feedback to help you understand value creation tools for social networks and new lessons in communication, marketing, and e-business.

Target audience
Marketing managers, communication managers, directors of client relations, e-business/e-marketing directors, heads of web projects, anyone who regularly encounters social media problems in their daily activities and would like to learn how to build a coherent and efficient online strategy that suits their specific needs.

Register here

Social Media Club is partnering with three companies in the industry in order to be able to cover the value chain and a greater variety of topics:

>Viadeo: Community Organization

With: Frédéric Chancholle/ Responsable Développement Régions et Partenariats

How to make professional social networks a part of your company. Develop your company’s notoriety, optimize its e-reputation and assert its expertise, manage a community of clients or professionals. Focus on concrete cases and investment evaluation.

Facebook : Marketing on social networks

With : Xavier Leclerc / Account Executive, Facebook France

Xavier Leclerc nous expliquera comment optimiser l’impact et les revenus issus d’investissements marketing sur les réseaux sociaux. Comment développer des interactions pertinentes avec les utilisateurs des sites communautaires via une stratégie d' »engagement advertisement » ? Comment intégrer Facebook en tant que canal marketing pour se connecter et communiquer avec les 400 millions d’utilisateurs actifs de ce réseau social ?

>Paypal: Solutions of Payment and Monetization Dedicated to Social Networks

With: Amina Belghiti/ Responsable PayPal X Europe, Gimena Diaz/ Responsable Business Development, Cédric Ménager/ Directeur Commercial PayPal France

Monetization of the audience is one of the fundamental tools in developing staying power on the internet. Within the framework of its platform PayPal X, the workshop will go in depth into innovative economic models, web checkout and e-commerce, mPayment, monetization of content and will facilitate a shared reflection on the crossroads of money and ideas.

The day will be composed of three parts:

14h00-14h45: Introductory discussion led by Social Media Club
Welcome, introduction to the problems to be discussed, presentation of participants and of the program of the day

15h00-18h00: Workshops
Each partner (Viadeo, Paypal, Facebook) will lead a workshop on an issue which concerns them, as outlined above.

The three workshops will be run concurrently, repeated three times during the day (15h00-15h45, 16h00-16h45, 17h00-17h45). There will be 3 groups of 25 people maximum; the limited size assures the quality of the exchanges.

18h15-20h30: Closing lecture
Closing talks led by Laurent Dupin (co-founder of, consultant and instructor in new media), bringing together Xavier Leclerc (Facebook), Marc Jaugey (Head of Corporate Communication, Paypal) and Nicholas Vieuxloup (PR Director and Spokesman, Viadeo), who will discuss  future developments in the industry and the trends to come concerning Web 2.0.

The conference will be followed by a cocktail reception.

Price: 50€
(30€ if purchased before March 31)


Address: 151 rue Montmartre, Passage des Panoramas, 12 Galerie Montmartre, 75002 Paris

Media partners:

Silicon Sentier /Stragégies / Satellinet