Clement Charles

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Archive for the ‘Media & Communications’ Category

January 19th, 2015 by Clement Charles

Buckle Up. And let’s get started.

The upcoming 25 years are going to be so exciting. Check this great video, both greatly produced and with a profoundly optimistic message.

October 20th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Flexibility is a strategy

Flexibility is one of the most prevalent words in management and economic theories. It’s a concept which must constantly evolve in order to reflect and be adjusted to the dynamics of a market where change is continual.

It can therefore be difficult in this context, if not contradictory, to give a single definition to the word. Modern economies are sure of only one thing: “We can’t foresee what needs to be done, but it needs to be done fast,” explains Christophe Everaere, organization theorist. He adds that “flexibility can be defined as a capacity to adapt under a double constraint: uncertainty and urgency.

The definition of flexibility must not be strict or rigid, but calls for modifying our strategic outlook. As it becomes harder to plan for a future whose imperatives are as yet unknown, strategic planning is disappearing, giving way to strategic management, which is less pyramidal, more dynamic and open. While purely hierarchical systems are built based on a genuine fear of the human factor, flexible management encourages nonhierarchical relationships which allow people to constantly adapt. Addressing the need for flexibility, externalizing is often seen as an easy solution, implemented for reasons of capacity (i.e. balancing expenses and workload) or specialization (acquiring know-how and new or complementary specialisms). “Subcontracting displaces costs and production variation management outside the company, thereby realigning them back to their main occupation,” explains Everaere, adding that “realigning leads every company to further specialize itself in areas in which they have a competitive advantage, drawing upon partners who are good, or even the best, in their respective sectors.”

Harsh as it is, this purely individual logic is nonetheless not enough. Lacking in subtlety, these practices are a menace to the very existence of suppliers in the long term. With products as complex as media products, the cost of recruiting partners in view of externalizing is always higher and needs to be gauged when calculating profitability. An externalization ecosystem’s durability must also be considered in the context of strategic reflection, as a vital element of long term savings.

While it would appear obvious that flexibility is becoming a requirement across all media companies, by putting forth thought and effort, these structures could be made more efficient, as well as more open, less hierarchical and rigid, offering employees and partners alike a better work environment, and thereby ensuring a more durable, serene future for all.

September 12th, 2014 by Clement Charles

And vertical communities became key targets

Following the breakdown of social, religious and family structures over the course of the twentieth century, individualisation is speeding up. The logical consequence for the media, the communitisation of information consumption, is becoming commonplace today with the digitization of data flows.


In 1980, newsagents sold 70% general content newspapers, with the other 30% being special interest publications around broad themes. Today, that proportion has evolved into 10% general interest publications and 90% specialist publications, dedicated to very specific topics and aimed at smaller but dedicated audiences.


This individualisation of information consumption can also be observed in the field of traditional media through television placement in homes. While in the 1980s most households had one shared television in the living room, regardless of their income level, most families today, even those on a modest income, have a television in every room.


Unsurprisingly, this trend has exploded since the beginning of the new century with the digitization of data flows and digital publishing tools that have drastically reduced the cost of creating and distributing specialised media. With a supply of digital content indexed and available on demand, everyone can put together their own digitized media content according to their desires, time available and personal interests. With passion at the heart of identity-building, the main factor in establishing common ground is and will remain the community to which users belong, which brings consequences both for communication and information.


Belonging to one or several specific communities means that audiences know their subject well and perceive added value only in information that is in-depth and original. Those communicating thus need to find the right mix of mass-market and specialist, between community language and universal vocabulary.


On the other hand, each community should be seen as a fluctuating group, with its own expectations, vocabulary, practices and codes. The individuals who make up these groups identify with a series of communities, interconnected ‘tribes’, representing the various facets of their personalities and their interests at any given moment.


Web 2.0 applications (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter), RSS feeds and Video On Demand are the main tools in the popularisation of this trend. A fundamental, inevitable trend from common ground towards the private sphere; a trend which is moving in the direction of history and steering us into the future.


Thanks for reading.  Written in May 2009. First published in July 2009 in CominMag:  Republished in Sept 2014 on personal and corporate blogs.

Happy to discuss this and any other topic with you ; )

August 28th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Syndication: beyond RSS, exchange leads to profit  

Syndication is often understood in the world of the Internet as a simple exchange of RSS, allowing one to publish the “headlines” of the other by sending the user back to its site. A more extended understanding of syndication could actually solve a large part of the problems of written press.

In the USA, syndication has been existing since a long time in the field of the television, and is understood as the real exchange of complete content. In term of business models, those local channels are actually basing on exchange (minutes against minutes), on “shared” buying (each ones of them pays a small part of the full total) and of promotional or sponsored barter (the broadcasting of the program actually creates notoriety for the producer and\or the sponsor).

The written press, and in their various web and online version, could actually adopt the same method, in order to enrich their content proposition at low cost while concentrating their resources on the production of the subjects with high added value which make this media unique. The setting-up of this exchange is not so easy and induce risks, post perceived and real ones, which must be covered to enable the lift-off of this strategy.

First of all, parties must consider each other as valid partners, credible partners, with a level of quality and credibility, which is equivalent or similar to both parties.

Secondly, the two actors of the exchange must not be in competition for the same audience, first in terms of strategic territory of the media, secondly and in lesser manner in terms of target groups.

Thirdly, syndication must be fair to be sustainable, and none of the parties must have the impression then the other shave more benefits in the situation. In that logic, the setting of the objective value of a content must be based on the right mix of qualitative criteria (ex: scoop) and quantitative criteria (ex: size).

The shared trust and the setting-up of common values are requesting a lot of efforts within the written press, a complex industry and often a bit conservative. Logical and efficient, syndication is the rational solution and an excellent means to be able to publish massive quantity of high quality content without having to bear all the costs of it.

To enable the raise of syndication, intermediary actors are now appearing and positioning themselves as ” third party guarantee”, as an escrow in a financial transaction, proposing a series of tools that allows to organize as well as to structure a marketplace of publishing rights, a marketplace to acquire rights of original and adapted content.

August 27th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Telegraph: ‘Too Fast for the Truth’ (1858)

Ring any bell ? 

“Superficial, sudden, unsifted, too fast for the truth, must be all telegraphic intelligence. Does it not render the popular mind too fast for the truth? Ten days bring us the mails from Europe. What need is there for the scraps of news in ten minutes? How trivial and paltry is the telegraphic column?” 

NYT on Telegraph 1585
Read the full piece here.


July 12th, 2014 by Clement Charles

On Switzerland

Juste looooooooooooovvvvvvveeeedddd that quote. You know it’s right if you live and/or work in Switzerland.



July 8th, 2014 by Clement Charles

A world of data

I just discovered the Good Country website and the Good Country Index, dubbed as a new way of looking at the world. It’s a really interesting proposition and this, for many reasons. Below, more infos about the site and what I find great.

As the founders explains, the idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple: “to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away“. In terms of sources and data set, the site is using a wide range of data from the U.N. and other international organisations.  “We’ve given each country a balance-sheet to show at a glance whether it’s a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between”  explains founder Simon Anholt. He adds “it’s important to explain that we are not making any moral judgments about countries. What I mean by a Good Country is something much simpler: it’s a country that contributes to the greater good.”

It will rate important topic for the future of our planet, and even more central for one of the species of this rather unique ecosystem, mankind. You will then information and takings about Science and Technology, Culture, Int’l Peace and Security, World Planet and Climate, Prosperity and Equality or Health and Wellbeing

In addition to the great first site that you can visit right now, the project is questioning the purpose of nation, sparking or contributing to a global debate about what countries are really for. As Simon Arnholt ask on its homepage “Do they exist purely to serve the interests of their own politicians, businesses and citizens, or are they actively working for all of humanity and the whole planet? The debate is a critical one, because if the first answer is the correct one, we’re all in deep trouble”.

Also, in terms of focus, it’s important to note that the Good Country Index doesn’t measure what countries do at home. Nothing new there. Indeed, what the Index does aim to do is to start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world, because this is essential for the future of humanity and the health of our planet.

Simon Arnholt, like many, including me is what I could call a hopeful pessimist or a careful optimist. Things may get better. Not only if know where to go (we do), but also if we have the true will to get there. On its website, Arnholt concludes “Today as never before, we desperately need a world made of good countries. We will only get them by demanding them: from our leaders, our companies, our societies, and of course from ourselves”.

You will agree that the approach is really interesting and quite original. In addition, the project pushes the logic of open data a step further. Indeed, in our world of algorithm and big data, you may access the results (you often do), possibly the data set (it’s rare), the raw data (nearly never) but you can hardly identify the “paradigm”, the philosophy between how raw data are interpreted, on how data set are consolidated and how results uses/ponderate/exclude elements of the data sets. On that site, I really enjoyed the fact that the logic behind the data is full transparent. Indeed, if you want to know is ranked number 2 in ” prosperity and equality” (why?don’t underestimate the importance of good chocolate for all) and 71 in “international peace” (why? we do host the red cross, but we also sell land mines), you can view the whole logic that led to that conclusion at the end of the ranking, by accessible a deep document on the source of data and how they were used. You can also view the whole site by country (ie. Switzerland).

Good initiative. To be followed.


June 26th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Journalists and Kindle Single.

This great post was published on Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 on the blog of my main company AllTheContent. I wanted to share it’s content with you. Hope you like it ; )

For a long time, there has been an empty space for texts that are not long enough to make a book, but are too long to be an article in a magazine. Those kind of text, with their “Natural Length” didn’t have a place to be, so, in order to put them on the market, the author had to cut down words so that it could be used in a magazine, or add to it unusual or previously unwanted information, to make a book out of it.

This happens especially with some kind of journalism, the one you put a lot of investigation and effort to, but don’t find the proper way to share to people.

Gladly, Amazon came out with a solution to this problem; the Kindle Single. Named Single in relation to the musical singles, records longer than a song but shorter than a full cd. Kindle Single is a format that allows users to keep the original length for their texts, accepting texts from 5,000 to 30,000 words.

But, how does it benefit you as a journalist? Why should you consider writing for a Kindle Single?

There are at least five advantages of the Kindle Single program, and you should keep them in mind before choosing the format you’ll write for:

  • Economic: The Kindle Single program lets the user choose the royalties percentage, the maximum being 70%, which is in a way a lot more than usual editorials give to their authors.
  • Legal: To submit to Kindle Single, your work can’t be on any public website that allows you to keep the rights for your texts.
  • Reach people: There are a lot of people looking for your kind of work, and this can be an opportunity for you to reach those people, looking for an article longer than a magazine one.
  • Keep your work as you want it: Kindle Single work as an editor but they give the author the option to choose how to publish his work, giving them a lot of control on the final result.
  • The massiveness of Kindle: Related to point three, Kindle not only shows your work to the people interested, but it shows it to a lot of people, almost all kind of device has a Kindle app to download and use, you’d reach users of: MAC, PC, Android, etc.

After looking at the advantages of the system, you might want to give it a try, there are a few conditions to fulfill to make your work a Kindle Single one:

• Length: 5,000 to 30,000 words
• List price: $0.99 to $4.99
• Original work, not previously published in other formats or publications
• Self-contained work, not chapters excerpted from a longer work
• Not published on any public website in its entirety
• They are currently not accepting how-to manuals, public domain works, reference books, travel guides, or children’s books.
• No story collections.


June 6th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Teletext 2.0: welcome HBB TV

Colleagues outside Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, UK and Vietnam are often surprised when I mentioned, that here in Switzerland, the bright place of HTTP and the country with mobile penetration of 2.8 per inhabitants, 1 swiss out of 2 goes at least once a day on the teletext, on TV or its online version, to get news, infos on programs or tips. In Switzerland, my company AllTheContent is one of the major provided of the teletext in the national languages and available as teletext services of all public broadcaster.


But the future is coming, and this future is called HBB TV. Below, find a a great video that demonstrate this exciting, ready to launch, TV technology.




June 4th, 2014 by Clement Charles

The Leaked NYT reports

If you did not see it in full by now, it’s probably because you don’t need it.  Still, as I love embedding great stuff, you can find it enclosed via Scribd.

NYT Innovation Report 2014 by BuzzFeedDocs




June 3rd, 2014 by Clement Charles

The Future of Shopping

As many consumer industries, the shopping and retails is investing great amount of thoughts into its future. And IT will logically be an important part of that future, to improve productivity, relation with clients, and monitoring operations.

In that logic, CISCO is like .- in any industry – investing a lot of effort to showcase what could be the future of the shopping experiences.


On the other side of the cash register, PayPal has also a interesting – and well funded – vision for the future of shopping.


IBM is pushing a more “short term” vision

What closer from your vision ?

March 19th, 2014 by Clement Charles

5G in progress

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) 1

As we proudly have a now a full 4G/LTE coverage here in Switzerland, it’s good to see that next steps are getting ready. As part of many industry group, I was happy to receive this morning an invite to contribute in the current process of shaping the future soon-to-come 5G network, expected by the end of the current decades.

If you want to give your voice, the 5G Infrastructure Association is is currently share a working paper about on the future mobile network, with code name 5G-PPP.

Interestingly, the future of mobile is still lead by the very one that brought us a lot of innovation we live with today, Nokia. Indeed, the association is lead by Dr. Werner Mohr, head of research alliance at Nokia Solutions and Network Management.
March 13th, 2014 by Clement Charles

the truly interactive print ads

Impressive demo of technology, innovative advertising and of waste of electronic components with the latest print but interactive ads from Motorolla in Jan issues of Wired. Check the video, impressive.

November 21st, 2013 by Clement Charles

The Age of Context by Robert Scoble


Big Data and the Age of Context
Big Data and the Age of Context, an interview with Robert Scoble, Startup Liason Officer at Rackspace, author, global speaker, and new media phenomenon.

On this episode from Substance, Robert discusses the five core elements to being successful in the age of context from his soon to be released book with Shel Israel. I had the pleasure of interviewing Shel for our next Substance. Often referred to as “The Scobleizer,” he shares how journalism has changed forever.


A part from that, Google is good at getting free promotion from opinion leader ; )

November 19th, 2013 by Clement Charles

Meet me ITU World Telecom this week

During the ITU World Telecom conferences in Bangkok, I will be speaking in two majors session covering two very hot topic of the current ICT business. Below, the release from AllTheContent. Text me, DM me, connect me, mail me, call me – in all cases I will happy to meet ; )


As media futurist and expert in new media business models, Clement Charles is one the expert selected by ITU for the “Meet The Experts” session on Value Added Services, on the relation between telcos and media firms.
Participant to this session must be pre-registred with the following link:
As big data specialist, a privacy advocate and a digital immortality promoter, Clement Charles will also be part of the panel on Big Data & Governance. Alongside with other industry leader, Charles will share it own view on the business opportunity for telco to ensure privacy and a fair transparent usage of users data.
In preparation of his presence in two central conference of the most important IT event of the of year, the ITU World Telecom,  Clement Charles has been interviewed by the ITU blog, giving a glimpse on its vision of the telco/media relationship and sharing the central importance that had ITU event in his personal and business life.
November 15th, 2013 by Clement Charles

The Pay Wars

Although mobile devices have become very popular, the market for innovative mobile payment systems is still at a very early stage. How is the market likely to develop over the next few years? Will traditional banks and credit card companies keep up with the new players in the financial markets? The big digital global players who have seen the potential for lucrative growth in this area?

Find out more in this video and read the DB Research report it was based on here:

More information:

November 12th, 2013 by Clement Charles

Robots Army in the Future

The utilization of Robotics in military is well shown by US army. The utilization of robotics technology in military led to a new field in robotics i.e. Military Robotics.

Military robotics isn’t about creating an army of humanoids but utilization of robotics technology for fighting terror and defending the nation. Thus, military robots need not be humanoids or they not necessarily need to carry weapons, they are just those robots that can help the armed forces. The opportunities offered by these technologies are boundless.

Apart from army research centers there are many private firms also which provide military robots for defense forces like Foster Miller,21st Century Robotics, EOD Performance, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics etc. They have created many job opportunities and are developing this sector. It is expected that its market will extend up to $9.8 billion by 2016.

If you are interested to know more about those military, check this great compilation in a YouTube channel.

November 8th, 2013 by Clement Charles

A platform to group all your datas

Capture d’écran 2013-11-08 à 16.30.04


Discover Tent ( a new platform to group all your datas. An important initiative, necessary for all. Looking forward to see what it will be looking like.

November 7th, 2013 by Clement Charles

In preparation of my presence in two central conferences of the most important IT event of the of year, the ITU World Telecom, I was interviewed by the ITU blog, giving a glimpse on my vision of the telco/media relationship and sharing the central importance that had ITU event in my personal and business life.

October 9th, 2013 by Clement Charles

World Publishing Expo –


L’arrivée à la World Publishing Expo est étonnante. Par bien des aspects, elle rappelle de manière cruellement métaphorique la situation du marché des médias.

En effet, immense, l’exposition n’occupe pourtant qu’une petite partie d’un immense espace en travaux: celui de Messe Berlin. Honnêtement, il est vrai qu’il s’agit plutôt de «the mess in Berlin» que de Messe Berlin. Depuis la gare, on arrive en marchant, sans aucun panneau, on croise des pelles mécaniques, des bulldozers, des taxis ou des bandes de commerciaux en chemise à manches courtes siglées de leur entreprise. Le tout dans un environnement où l’on remarque bien que tout a coûté extrêmement cher, rien n’est terminé et tout a déjà coûté plus cher que prévu.


Une fois dans le salon, d’une manière générale on sent que l’industrie est en crise ou que, elle fait des économies: les stands sont globalement plus petits, et plus généralement, il y a moins de participants. Le sentiment se poursuit dans la visite. Les plus grands sont bien remplis, les moyens et petits cherchent le passant du regard, éspérant que cela soit un lead potentiel. Enfin, la vente “par appartement” de l’event, où chaque grande session fait l’objet de son propre prix, ne donne pas une bonne image de l’organisation (ex: Berlin Start Up Tour, 250 €, 2 hours).  La multiplication des noms de conférences, où l’on trouve le Future Newsroom Summit, Tablet and Application Summit, d’autres sessions plus précises (workflow, big data), the IFRA expo, le tout au sein de World Publishing Expo mais avec plusieurs tickets…  Pas simple.

Content d’être resté pour voir les excellentes conférences de Kerry J. Northrup et Georges Brock, de très bonnes présentations.