Loic responded to the Le Web criticisms in comprehensive style.
His overall case is that 'the time for blogger conferences is over', is no doubt the case. This stuff is deeply embedded in the early majority, penetrating the late majority and even companies have tuned in.
But there is still space for tech conferences in Europe--and I'd be happy to pitch in. Loic points to that last year DailyMotion and Netvibes both found financiers. Hopefully the dedicated start-up track this year will prove even more valuable.
He also makes reference to the breadth of talks. Yes--there is benefit in breadth. That is what makes Ted a fine conference. In its heyday, PC Forum was powerful because it did roam wide. Le Web 4 could do with that breadth and some determined thinking on how to build the non-obvious connections across participants.
At Le Web, bloggers talking about their blogs or blogging tools made for the weakest and lowest value-add sessions. There is a series of workshops and detail-oriented conferences and seminars that can support those. (You can Google for them).
The wifi didn't work and it isn't acceptable to blame participants for it not work. The fact Orange blamed us was probably the biggest sin of an otherwise excellent conference.
Actually, the biggest sin may be the problems with the toilets, which Paul Jozefak describes in intimate detail:
One huge complaint about the bathrooms near the start-up room. I have never seen such a cramped toilet in my life. I really found out how unflexible I have become when trying to perform the necessary contortions to take a seat on the toilet. Not a fond memory at this moment!
Or perhaps it was the Animatuers who got in our way most break times. Paul again:
Stupid "animateurs": I don't even know if that's what their official title is or if that's spelled correctly. This comedy act walking around trying to amuse me and motivate me to network was ridiculous. What an absolute waste of effort and I hope they were free since this is money which could have been well spent elsewhere. This wasn't a kindergarten birthday party. I don't need clowns!
But crappy toilets, clowns and nervy telcos who don't read their customers, are (and let me say it again) a mere, teeny wrinkle on the whole affair.
Well done, mate.