May 14, 2007

bellanger2.jpgThe unprecedented outpouring of teenage angst on the web isn’t just a way for teenagers to make hundreds of new friends but provides a unique opportunity for advertisers to exploit them, Pierre Bellanger, CEO of French free blogging service Skyblog, told Reuters journalists in Paris. “Never, so many diaries, so many articles, so many printed words, were online from a generation expressing itself. So you have to know that scientists, sociologists are exploring that mass of data because it has a sociological content of extraordinary value. And it has also an extraordinary value for advertisers. Because what we have spoken of is very profitable,” said Belanger, who runs Europe’s biggest blog. He said Skyblog’s extraordinary growth had happened despite being French-language. “When you look at the data you have very few sites with our growth, with one of the worst languages to speak on the internet, which is French… it’s like being — before Lonely Planet — with Hungarian tourist guides. So it’s strange.” Bellanger said he didn’t believe bloggers would mind if Skyblog linked up with a partner, as it wants to do — even a company like Microsoft. “I don’t think anyone cares, truly, about corporate ownership — I would say 99.9 percent of the audience. Like with MySpace for example. People were saying ‘Oh la la’ — in French — ‘it is the end of the world as we know it!’ But no, nothing happened. What I would say is important is that the brands of the 90s are no longer the brands of the new generation.”

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