Laurent Blondeau is the Founder and CEO of Buzzed-In, the business development and strategy consultancy in Paris. With 13 years experience in media business, previously managing the Business Development unit at Canal+, he has become an expert in all kind of media activities in all kind of TV’s: Pay, Free, VOD and Web TV. Laurent blogs on Evidencesx’s World and BuzzedInlog, he also often takes positions on several top blogs like Social Media Today.You can follow Laurent on Twitter or LinkedIn.
G: How and why did you get into social media business?
L: I was definitely very curious and just wanted to “try” it. Some things happened to be interesting and weird: change was going on, I was a part of it, but I was not sure if I was there to “stay”. Then the magic happened: through fields and topics, I discovered “things” and “people” (we call them “friends”!), and I started to stare and listen: the whole social guide was rolling in front of me…I was always web oriented, but social web was expanding frontiers and capabilities. Finally, I was in, without any forecasted plan, and still continue to like social media, as it starts to improve people, relations and knowledge. Just think how Wikipedia changed the world…How could we live without it now?
G: What is it like to be a real Social Media Citizen?
L: I start the day by checking all the messages on my LinkedIn Groups publications, then browse through Twitter, Facebook requests and news; stare at interesting pictures on Flickr and ongoing mails and at the evening to I’m quite used to have a quite time to read, comment and share all my favourites on digital sites: All Things Digital, Wired, Mashable.
G: What are your favourite social media hang out sites?
L: Of course, my Top 3 are: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but I also like to hang out at Flickr, Friendfeed and MyBlogLog. Recently, I found an interesting aggregator called Pixelpipe which links lots of social platforms! Finally, all the latest mobile social apps like Layar.com, Foursquare, Plyce or Aka-Aki are on my radar as well.
G: How are you keeping up-to-date with social media environment ?
L: I like:
G: How would you define a Social Media Citizen?
L: Anything more than a citizen of the world, with no frontier, open, who uses tools to shout it. Social media are “only” tool it’s what you make of them that start to “shine” or not.
G: What are your favourite Social Media Citizens?
L: Guy Kawasaki, Rohit Bhargava, JP Rangaswami, Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Tom Foremski, Scobleizer, O’Reilly… I really like the people who “are” more than the people who “have” more. I’m more attracted by the mindset, behaviour, thoughts and opinions, than fights or power. That guides me.
G: What are your favourite Marketing/PR tools on social media?
L: The only “tool” is true. Be true, you’ll have a strong reputation and the best buzz ever. “Where true starts, trust do the rest”
G: What are your favourite social media campaigns?
L: I’ve never counted social media as a tool to generate leads and marketing. I know it sometimes works for free, but I consider it’s a long time run, for pleasure and art, not really for business. I would probably love to see a giant blue ocean, created by a innovative community, on social web sites.
G: What are your Top 3 secrets of social media marketing?
L: Stare, Listen and Share…Then Trust, and Do.
G: What do you see in the future for the social media?
L: Well, I think Social Media term has gone too mainstream and doesn’t mean anything, anymore. What could and should stay is the ambition of reducing poverty and the lack of knowledge and building better humanity in general. It’s definitely what comes to me first in mind, as an innovative tool/trend.
G: Describe yourself in five tags?
L: Human, Friendly, Social, Innovative and Faithful.
G: What’s your favourite hobby?
L: Family, Music and Baseball.
G: What don’t you like about social media?
L: I don’t like the fact that as a trend and fashion, lots of people/companies come and go, to see, try, while they don’t share any value with social media. Social media needs trust and a long tail to run and understand. And most are not patient enough…
G: What is the funniest/most unexpected thing that happened due to social media?
L: Hmmm. Probably the fact that enemies in real life could be “virtual” friends, through avatars, as they will never know it!
G: How did social media change your life?
L: It saved and lost my time. Saved in finding extraordinary things in such a short time, wasted as there is so much rubbish spammed by “evil” people. Gosh. More seriously, it opened my mind to several topics I would never had any idea of it, including the fact I could never discovered them. Fortunately, things I met and discovered, encouraged me to dig further and share what I have too, to learn. Maybe it’s a huge therapy that enable you to dare more, because you know no one is going to judge you.
A big Thank You to Laurent for his great insights!! You can find the rest of the interviews with the Social Media Citizens at Social Media interviews category