Why the French blog

The French distinguish themselves, both statistically and anecdotally, ahead of Germans, Britons and even Americans in their obsession with blogs, says the International Herald Tribune.

More than three million internet users, or more than 12 percent of those online in France, have created a blog, according to a study released in June by the ratings agency Médiamétrie, the IHT says.

Some great sound bites from the paper’s feature:

“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.”

“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 are noticeably longer, more critical, more negative, more egocentric and more provocative than their US counterparts, said Laurent Florès, the French-born, New York-based chief executive of CRM Metrix:

“Bloggers in the United States listen to each other and incorporate rival ideas in the discussion,” he said. “French bloggers never compromise their opinions.”

Loic sums it all up best:

“It is clear that in France we have very large egos and love to speak about ourselves,” Le Meur said. “If you look at Germans or Scandinavians – off- line and on the Internet – they really don’t talk about themselves.”

See also: Let Them Eat Cake – And Blog About It! Business Week feature, July 2005.

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.