Earlier this week I attended Le Web in Paris. It was my first time at the conference. Loic and Geraldine Le Meur did an awesome job bringing together a mix of Americans and Europeans for what, as far as I can tell, is the only truly global Internet industry event. Here are my three takeaways coming out of Le Web...
One of the great untold stories is just how much Facebook and Twitter are growing off-site. Facebook announced they reach 60 million through Facebook Connect. Meanwhile nearly half of Twitter's activity takes place away from Twitter.com - they reported. Both platforms are quietly becoming a social operating systems for the web, not just their own sites.
Second, nowadays no two people see the same Internet. This was a key point that Facebook made, saying that we increasingly discover online content not just by algortihms but via the "lens of friends." Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd brought this to life through rich, moving stories. Google's Marissa Mayer went a step further saying that the future of news is a "personalized news stream." This trend has major implications for marketers and PR pros who are accustomed to reaching everyone the same way - it's simply not possible anymore.
Finally there's a ton of energy around the live web. It feels like everyone from Google to governments gets its import. Perhaps Queen Rania of Jordan summed it up best when she said: "real time is the new prime time."
Le Web was a great conference. If you can, I recommend trying to go at least once. Not only was the content good but the networking was too. I got to meet many European startups that are all quietly innovating.