Minitel: The rise and fall of the France-wide web - Broadley Speaking


28th June 2012

Minitel: The rise and fall of the France-wide web

This took me back ! I used to work for the biggest event organiser in the World. My specific area of expertise was the IT sector. This was way back in 1991. We spent a lot of time with our customers like IBM , Novell , 3 COM and the like keeping our finger on the pulse of a very fast moving information technology market .

Since 1989 some of our academic advisers had been muttering on about JANET and then “the internet” and how it might affect everyone’s use of computers. Mutterings turned into loud noises coming out of CERN about an interface that could turn a rather stodgy and slow academic network accessible to everyone – Tim Berners- Lee’s world wide web.

Our job was to work through how this should express itself in our conferences and exhibitions.

I was Chair of an International Strategy Group. At our next meeting in Paris the group we (almost unanimously) decided that every IT event need an Internet / Web theme.

The one exception amongst the unanimity ? Patrice the Director of our French portfolio – his reason – “Mais non – we do not need the internet – we have Minitel!”   See today article below

I guess it lasted this long !!