The Decline of The Third Place in France

Cafe, restaurants, and bars are what Ray Oldenburg calls the the third place.  It’s a place outside of home and the workplace where you spend time hanging with you friends, socializing, and building community. These places have always been important throughout the course of our history.

According to the New York Times, in France, these establishments are having some problems.

“The bar of a cafe is the parliament of the people,” as Honoré de Balzac wrote, but it is being less frequently visited these days, especially by the young.

Not only are the French spending less, and drinking less, cutting down on the intensity and quality of the debates…

This is sad.  Hopefully this trend won’t work its way to the United States.

(Found via my buddy Jon)

Video Describes the Mission of One Laptop per Child (OLPC)

Found this really awesome video that describes the mission of One Laptop per Child (OLPC).  OLPC is SUCH a cool program.  Give them money or buy laptops for your kids and kids around the world.

Speaking at Social Media Club DC in December on “How Sharing Can Help You Reach More Users Online”

On December 10th, I’m going to be speaking at the Washington DC chapter of the Social Media Club.  The talk will be entitled “How Sharing Can Help You Reach More Users Online.

We’ll talk about how the rise of online communities has given word of mouth a power jolt and how making your content shareable within these communities can help you reach brand new and bigger audiences.

It’s going to be at 6pm at Viget Labs in West Falls Church, VA.  RSVP for the event here.

Hope to see you out there.

Washington Post Article on How DC Tech is Working To Push Through the Downturn

If you haven’t already seen it, Kim Hart has got a great article in today’s Washington Post where she highlights 8 members of the DC tech community and how they’re working and advising to help push through the economic downturn.

The article highlights folks like my friends Peter Corbett and Robert Neelbauer, who also got a HUGE photo in the print edition, as well as Clearspring CEO Hooman Radfar and Clearspring board members/investors Ted Leonsis and Phil Bronner.

In the article, she’s really brought together a dream team of bright minds to talk about the times that we’re in.  The article is a must read.

Keep Your Eye Out for Shel Israel’s New Book Twitterville

My good friend, social media expert, and Naked Conversations co-author Shel Israel has recently announced that he’s going to be writing a new book called “Twitterville–How Business can Thrive in the new Global Neighborhoods.”

From a business perspective, it will cover and give examples of how social media, especially Twitter, us to come together, breaking down major geographical boundaries, to start conversations and form communities or as Shel like’s to put it global neighborhoods.

When it’s done, I’m confident that this book will be a must read.

What’s really fun is that he’s going to post a lot of his notes and text from the book on his blog and on Twitter as he writes it.  The world will be able to help give feedback and shape the book to make it even better.

Big AddThis Update Today

Screenshot of the New AddThis Redesign

So… did you guys see the big AddThis update today?  We launched a Web site redesign, new support forum, improved analytics, big time code optimization, and localization for a bunch of languages.

At Clearspring, we’re working to make AddThis as good as possible so that you have the best set of sharing tools available.

Do you use AddThis?  If so, what do you think?  If not, why?