Content curation or not?

Content curation has become a very “hot” subject over the last couple of months. I remain to be convinced of the value of content curation though. In many cases content curation seems to be a way to avoid having to put a little more thought and effort into writing a proper article (or p”post”). A bit like a glorified and re-branded twitter feed.This is accentuated by the “fake curation” tools that simply creates what is supposed to look like a curated contents from an automatic feed, e.g. from a twitter stream.

In most cases I prefer when someone has taken the trouble to write a post / article and am not very interested in what someone might have “curated”. (In addition, it sounds a bit like museum pieces, doesn’t it?)

But it is very popular.

Someone who is more enthusiastic than me about content curation is Therese Torris, a long-time Lunch at the Circle participant and frequent guest and the author of the interesting blog Return on Clicks.

Therese has just written a rather substantial article on her views on contents curation: Content Curation Tools for Brands.

Here are Therese’s conclusions on the subject:

Here is what I concluded from this research:

  • Content curation does help content discovery. Curation helped me discover and share content on my favorite topics. Numerous reports show that social content curation à la Pinterest brings traffic to brand sites. Curated content embeds brand content into a rich inbound context of external content.
  • Social content curation fosters customer engagement. Consumers who curate a brand’s content not only send it traffic, they also bring to the brand and its product a much needed validation. Brands like Whole Foods that participate in social curation on Pinterest increase their customers’ engagement.
  • Corporate curation tools help create a competitive advantage. In addition to public social curation platforms, brands should use or corporate collaborative content curation tools like Curata, CurationSoft or Zemanta to listen to their market, optimize their content and collaborate on their content strategy.
  • But content curation is no panacea for failing content creation. Curated content supplements original brand content, it cannot replace it. If a brand has no story to tell, no original content, no topics to share with its audience and no Social Media strategy, content curation will only increase the overall online noise level.

Do read the full article, on the link above. It is full of useful information!

What’s your view? Is contents curation useful or not?

L@C TV: “How I created and made it Scandinavia’s biggest auction house”

“How I created and made it Scandinavia’s biggest auction house”, with Bengt Sundstrøm, founder, owner and president of

We recently had an exciting Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrøm, owner and president of

Over lunch Bengt told us about how he raised the money to start his business in three hours with a quick phone call to his banker, how he does not waste money on Google Ads (but instead use them effectively), what his next strategic moves will be and what the key difficulties are in creating an online auction house. But he did not tell us why he still does not have any serious competition in his business. Because, he says, it is a puzzle to him too.

Here’s a short video interview:

Bengt Sundstrøm is the owner and president of Lauritz, Scandinavia’s biggest auction house. In 1998 Bengt bought the small auction house of Lauritz Christensen Auctions, founded in 1885. One year later Bengt launched the online auctions on It has since grown to a business with a turn-over of around 100 million euros. The business model is very different from other well-known internet auction houses (e.g. eBay). All bidding on Lauritz is done online but they also have brick-and-mortar viewing locations across Scandinavia where you can go and look at the items on sale. They also have a staff of over one hundred valuation experts. This mix of online auctions, valuation expertise and physical presence has been the key to Laurtiz’ success, says Bengt.

More information:

Bengt also (accidentally) became the owner of a vineyard, Chateau Vignelaure, in Provence a few years ago, so he will also tell the story of life as a winegrower. As well as let us taste some of his wines of course. More information: and on BKWine Magazine: Château Vignelaure – Cabernet sauvignon meets Provence.

And here are some more videos and images from the event!

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom,

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom,

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom,

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom,

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom,

At a Lunch at the Circle event with Bengt Sundstrom,

L@C TV: ROI in online marketing. With Sophie Callies, SO’xperts

ROI in online marketing. How can you measure success and effectiveness? With Sophie Callies, SO’xperts

Some while back we had a Lunch at the Circle event with Sophie Callie, who spoke on how to measure return on investment in marketing on the internet. Here’s a short video interview with Sophie:

Sophie talked about marketing in a digital and conversational world  where metrics are all over the place and where return on investments is very hard to evaluate. Yet an increasing part of the marketing dollars are spent online and on social media. She talked about benchmarks and best practices and will show some examples of high tech companies that are leveraging social media for pipeline building and cross-selling.

Sophie Callies founded SO’xperts in 2007, a consulting company specialized in marketing performance management.

Before founding SO’xperts, Sophie had a track record in driving marketing performance at worldwide level in fast growing companies such as Apple, Netscape, AOL, Alcatel and Cartesis. More information on Sophie here: and on her company SO’xperts: Sophie was also a driving force in the creation of Lunch at the Circle back in, oh, 2003!

Information security in a world with both traditional IT and social networking: it’s all about people

A previous Lunch at the Circle event was on “security” Joseph Graceffa, co-founder and CTO of Advens.

Information security in a world with both traditional IT and social networking: it’s all about people.

Today it is not enough with “IT security”, it is really a question of information security, both for companies and for individuals. Wikileaks, l’affaire Renault, a Dutch web site that collects information from Facebook and blogs to show which houses are empty (to burgle) since the inhabitants are on vacation, someone “looses” (really?) a smartphone with the company’s entire client list on it…

On one side you need to avoid unauthorised access to your systems and information by having proper protection. On the other side you need to give people good tools to work with, especially when everyone is travelling or working from a home office: smartphones, remote VPN access, webmail etc. And then you have the “social networking” aspects: Today business is more about sharing and collaborating than what it was a few decades ago. And also about using Facebook, blogs, Twitter and other tools for the benefit of your company. But all this leads to security risks.

Information security is about technology of course, but it is also, and increasingly so, about people, their behaviour and awareness of the issues.

The Economist recently ran a big feature article on the subject: The Leaky Corporation. Read it here:

Joseph Graceffa, co-founder and CTO of Advens, will give us an introduction and insight into these questions.

Joseph Graceffa is co-founder and CTO of Advens, an information security company. Advens provides a full range of security services to medium and large enterprises in France and across Europe. Before creating Advens some 10 years ago he was in charge of network security at Decathalon and a consultant with Bull. More info:


LeWeb 08 Paris program announced

One of our previous speakers, Loic le Meur, is the organiser of the leading European conference on new internet technologies, “Le Web” (well, it is based in France…).

The announced a while back the program for the next edition of Le Web.

Here’s what Loic says:
“This year’s program brings many fresh faces to the LeWeb stage. Geraldine and I announced the LeWeb 08 program at a press conference last week. This year’s conference, which takes place in Paris on December 9th and 10th portends to be as big as before, with at least 1500 entrepreneurs, journalists, bloggers and Internet industry players from 40 Countries. ”

Here’s more info:

What social networks mean for enterprises

“What social networks mean for enterprises” was the subject for an event a while back where Carlos Diaz, president of blueKiwi was our invited speaker.

Carlos is the keynote speaker at the conference “Enterprise 2.0: Cap vers 2009” that will soon take place: On Thursday November 13 Carlos will speak at the Salons du Louvre, together with Stowe Boyd and Jon Husband.

You can find more information here:

Here’s a bit more background info from Carlos:

“A l’occasion de l’annonce de blueKiwi 2009, nous organisons un GRAND événement sur le thème de l’Entreprise 2.0 le 13 novembre prochain à Paris aux Salons Du Louvre (nouveau lieu très sympa). Les invitations sont limitées et j’aimerai beaucoup que tu sois des nôtres.

Cet événement réunira plus de 150 décideurs français (plus de 4000 invitations envoyées) de 18h à 20h30 autour du thème de l’Entreprise 2.0. On attend bien entendu nos clients, nos prospects, nos partenaires, des journalistes et des bloggers.

Deux têtes d’affiche, Stowe Boyd (US) gourou du 2.0 et Jon Husband (US) auteur du best-seller “Making Knowledge Work – The Arrival of Web 2.0” donneront une conférence. Enfin, la nouvelle version bK 2009 sera annoncée à cette occasion. Big Surprise !

On finira la soirée autour d’un cocktail.

Penses à t’inscrire dès à présent ici :

L@C co-founder launches new marketing consultancy: SO’xperts

SO'xperts logoCo-funder of the Lunch at the Circle, Sophie Callies, has recently launched a new company, SO’xperts, specialised in marketing performance managment for technology enterprises. It’s web site is

A consulting company specialized in marketing performance management for the high-tech industry, SO’xperts mission is to help marketers and top management address four principal business challenges: how to acquire and keep customers, how to enter new markets, how to drive excellence in execution and how to measure marketing contribution to the business. What makes it unique is a comprehensive approach – from marketing strategy and benchmarking to performance improvement – that helps companies identify and pursue market opportunities while optimizing programs and resource allocation.

Co-founder of the Lunch@the Circle, Sophie Callies has a track record in driving marketing performance at worldwide levels in companies such as Apple, Netscape, AOL Time Warner, Alcatel and Cartesis.

You can reach Sophie here.

L@C TV: Giffor Morley-Fletcher on Making your web site business effective in a world with broadband & SEO

Here’s the video from the latest Lunch at the Circle event, with Gifford Morley-Fletcher, strategy director at Skive.

— Gifford mentions the BP Rally Game in his introduction and you find it here.

— Some other examples can be found here.

— If you want to listen to Gifford’s full presentation you can download the full audio mp3 podcast here.

— If you want to see some photos from the event you can take a look at Emmanuel Vivier’s photo album here.

Here’s a sample:

Lunch time at L@C

Lunch time at L@C

(Thank you Emmanuel Vivier,

Some more background:

Strategies for success in promoting your business on the internet in the next 18 months

with Gifford Morley-Fletcher, Strategy Director, Skive

Gifford Morley-Fletcher

Gifford Morley-Fletcher

Gifford will approach this subject from two angles: the fabled “SEO” and the power of broadband. SEO is one of the buzz words that basically just means “how do you get your site noticed by search engines and thus by customers”. It is critical for any web site to take into account how search engines rank web sites. It can, literally, be a matter of life and death for a business web site if you are on the first page or the tenth for search engine results. And it is not just a question of “build it and they will come”. You have to know how to attract search engines, and customers. The second aspect is that the increasing uptake of broadband has changed the way to build web sites and make people notice them – today you can offer “rich media”, video, animations, sound etc, in a way that was not possible just a few years ago.

And if you don’t believe that it’s important how you manage your web presence and think about how to appear from a search engine perspective, consider this: What do you think you will find if you do a Google search on “miserable failure”? You’ll be surprised. (

Gifford Morley-Fletcher has worked in New Media since 1994, making him a bit of a ‘web dinosaur’. He is currently based in London as Strategy Director at Skive, an award-winning digital strategy and design agency based in London, responsible for developing interactive web sites, games and promotions for brands such as Reebok, Playstation, McDonalds and Gillette. During his career, he has worked in all areas of web development and online marketing, most recently spending 4 years in Paris where he was a founder of LSF Interactive, specialists in SEO, Paid Search and online lead generation.

More info on the digital strategy, design and production company as well as rich media agency Skive here.