I don’t want to write about Le Web this year. Really I don’t.
This time last year, while I was still at the Guardian, I stumbled back to my Parisian hotel room at the end of the first day of the conference and fired off a thousand words rounding up the highs and not-insignificant lows of the event. Those words, along with the title my editor added to them – Freezing cold, no internet, boring: it’s a French web 2.0 conference! – have followed me around ever since.
The truth is, I’m bored with Le Web. I’m bored with the expectation that I’ll be reviewing it again this year. I’m bored with Loic’s clever (and relatively successful) ploy to get me on-side by asking me to moderate a panel called The European Gang. And most of all I’m bored with Maslovian jokes about heat, food and wifi.
But fortunately this year I’m not at the Guardian. And fortunately twenty-seven-thousand of my TechCrunch colleagues were in attendance at LeWeb 09 to provide proper coverage of the event so I don’t have to write an entire column about it. Was it worth going? Sure – I was in London anyway, I didn’t pay for my ticket or accommodation (I stayed in a friend’s family apartment) and it’s always fun to dick around in Paris with my friends. Should you have been there too? That depends.
If you’ve ever been to a conference in the Valley then you’ve seen most of the stars – Marissa Mayer, Jack Dorsey et al before, so probably not. All of the big announcements – the PeekFon, Jolicloud’s netbook OS, Twitter’s upcoming Chirp conference, and the company’s imminent acquisition by Google – were covered by TechCrunch Europe. If you live in Europe and can’t justify a trip west, then sure. It’s was a really professionally-put-together conference, with A-list speakers, giving a taste of America without having to get on a plane. You’ve probably already had to make the same decision about Eurodisney.
Beyond that, there’s not really much I can say – except that the administrative problems from last year were resolved (kudos Geraldine and Loic) – if anything it was too warm, and the only wifi problems were in the speakers’ hotel. The only speakers I saw were Yossi Vardi who looked like a mad old uncle who had just discovered YouTube, and Queen Rania of Jordan whose speech was my highlight of the conference – not for the content (which was clearly written by someone else) but rather for Loic’s brilliantly obsequious “fank you your majesty” response. Good to see the French bowing and scraping to royalty again. That can only end well.
More from this week on TechCrunch after the jump…