Jeff Jarvis & the like, get some netiquette training, if you please...

Very recently Jeff Jarvis went mad about a French journalist of Le Monde in a tweet. Let me quote him.
Just got inquiry from Le Monde reporter with all the standard anti-Google cant. French reflex. What does France have against success?
Jeff Jarvis has perfectly the right to complain about a distorted view of a French journalist about Google, and to criticize her work on these terms. But the last sentence is going too far as he is trashing the whole country in a sweet shortcut. Which is hardly appropriate for an intellectual or educated man.

All the same, in a recent paper, "Try life without Google, France", Jeff Jarvis went mad about French publishers, but also failed to make clearly the distinction between French people and the real culprit of his anger.

This case does not seem isolated. A young lady, incidentaly participating at Techcrunch was infuriated, because she did not get her visa to Brazil in time. She then made the confusion between a small part of Brazilian authorities and the country as a whole. Let's hear and read her :
"You want foreign investment and attention, Brazil? Here’s an idea: LET PEOPLE ENTER THE DAMN COUNTRY. You want to show your IT prowess? How about outfitting your consulates with computer systems that work? Or maybe rolling it out slowly so other offices could handle the overflow. Or training people on it first."
Note the use of capitals from this lady, which means definitely that she is yelling, in netiquette terms, joined with the usual piece of advice from a "superior" foreigner that if this "sub-country" wants his or her money, the latter needs to comply with every caprice. May I remind her that Brazil, anyway, is growing to be one of the future powers of this world, and that her anger is misguided at best ?

Ok if I stayed only on my cultural grounds and beliefs, I would say this is a mere question of education.
It is also a problem of netiquette.
And this is the way some of old media journalists got their poor reputation and made the poor reputation of the press, by acting and showing like they were semi-gods among their pretended human equals.

The Internet has risen to be global, and global does not mean that every guy you encounter on line should be adressed the same way and with the same familiarity that when you go to the pub. And also that it is not because you have had a few bad experiences with some people that you should trash the whole country, culture or religion.

I thought it was just common sense, and good adaptation in an intercultural sphere, that is what my international business teacher used to tell me 20 years ago. But times have not so much changed, you will always encounter people that even the experience of the Internet cannot make them learn.


  1. I can only agree with these netiquette principals and thanks to you for reminding them. Jeff Jarvis is a talented journalist but we all sometimes need to remember not to make a general rule from an individual case.

  2. I also think - maybe wrongly - that J. Jarvis was just complaining about this French journalist and associating this fact to his recent issues with French publishers. If the way his sentence was turned is clearly wrong-headed, I don't think he meant to make a stigmatization of all the French.

    Et puis reconnaissons-le, nous sommes un pays d'emmerdeurs (mais je suis sûr qu'au fond, c'est pour cela qu'on nous aime).

  3. Salut Clarinette,
    Merci d'être passée.
    Yes, from time to time we all do need some humbling.

  4. Salut Thomas,

    Merci de ta visite.

    It could be an explanation, except for the fact that Jeff Jarvis is a journalist and a journalist's teacher, so he should know more than me on the weight of phrases and words.
    If I were a judge, I would not call him "innocent". ;-)
    plus, plus...

  5. Merci de ta réponse Thierry,

    Actually, and according to his book (What Would Google Do ?) and his blog, I think M. Jarvis likes to take position on the topics he speaks about. His article on his bad experience with Dell is a good example :-)
    Unfortunately, it might also lead him being "tough" and sometimes crossing the "political correctness" border. Should he keep his journalism professionalism and objectivity on his blog ? I don't think I am the one who can answer this question.

    Anyway, I find this a bit ridiculous trying to guess the intentions of someone else, I think that if he wanted to be transparent about his opinion(s) on this subject, he will come to this blog and post himself.

    Bonne soirée :-)


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