Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Netvibes and Politics 2.0

I've read an interesting article in the latest Economist print edition (Feb 3rd- Feb 9th) about Netvibes and Tariq Krim, its founder and CEO. Find below some excerpts from the article, dealing with the (unavoidable) political capital that comes with his very succesful (so far) enterprise. It looks like the new marketing guru has still got good ideas and I am sure we haven't seen the best of him yet- in entrepreneurship or politics...
France's politicians have also noticed Netvibes, and have courted Mr Krim. Speaking in December at a conference in Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy, the centre-right candidate in France's forthcoming presidential election, cited him as one of the country's examples of “exceptional talent” in the internet realm. Not to be outdone, Ségolène Royal, Mr Sarkozy's Socialist rival for the presidency, is using Netvibes to distribute news about her campaign.

Since the grim blocks of Paris's banlieues, best known for the car-burning riots of 2005, are far from Mr Krim's soigné background, he has resisted attempts to make him a mascot for successful beurs—French slang for people, such as the footballer Zinedine Zidane, of North African descent. He is, however, making his own political use of technology, bringing together 1,000 French business people and activists in an invitation-only online think-tank called Digital Catalyst. “There's a lot of people like me in France, but we don't know each other,” he says of the group. “It's key that the right people meet one another. If this works, we could have Politics 2.0.”

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