The digital age has brought about significant changes in all industries. The cultural sector is no exception, with the rise of social media sparked a bonafide revolution in the way musicians, filmmakers, writers, etc., create and share their content. In Europe, the issue is particularly salient in the writing world, as the region faces a lack of alternatives to the American and Chinese social media platforms dominating the market in terms of online text diffusion. Alexandre Leforestier, the founder of Panodyssey, an innovative social network dedicated to authors and readers, recently shared his thoughts on the need for a European digital industry that serves the culture, citizens, and democracies of Europe.
Panodyssey, the collaborative platform gathering professionals and non-professionals creators, was born out of a simple idea: the need for Europe to create a solid and independent European digital industry. In a recent interview [in French] with Club Italie France, Panodyssey’s founder Alexandre Leforestier said that while both American and Chinese cultures have their respective, undeniable benefits, he believes it is crucial for Europe to build its own thriving digital industry that promotes European values and caters to European citizens. This is the driving force behind Panodyssey, which aims to offer a platform that fosters a peaceful and advertisement-free social environment, respects users' behavior and choices, and provides transparent algorithmic functions.
The dominance of American and Chinese tech giants, such as the GAFAM and TikTok, in content distribution to European internet users has raised concerns about the bloc’s cultural leadership on the internet. Leforestier stressed that the distribution of content should not be exclusively controlled by said tech giants. Instead, Europe needs to rise to new challenges and create a strong European alternative that combines ethics and digital innovation while combating digital pollution.
Lessons from the music industry
The European Commission has shown a strong commitment to addressing these concerns and establishing a new digital framework focused on transparency, protection, sovereignty, and regulation. The Panodyssey founder commended the efforts of European Commissioners Mariya Gabriel and Thierry Breton, who encouraged entrepreneurs and investors to create new projects in line with Europe's digital strategy. This strategic support from the European Commission has provided a favorable environment for Panodyssey and similar innovative initiatives.
Drawing from his extensive experience in the music industry, Alexandre Leforestier highlighted the early impact of the digital revolution on music distribution. His journey in the music industry, witnessing deep changes in the way people consume and share music, taught him valuable lessons about innovation and the inner workings of major American tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and YouTube.
Europe needs to rise to new challenges and create a strong European alternative that combines ethics and digital innovation while combating digital pollution.
With Panodyssey, Leforestier aims to disrupt the current paradigm where the GAFAM dictate the rules, often at the expense of publishers, distributors, and authors who face the threat of extinction — instead providing a platform for authors and publishers to come together in a community that shares the same values and vision. The goal: to develop innovative solutions and tools that promote high-quality content and offer new possibilities for creators.
Panodyssey's approach is distinct from existing social media platforms: By certifying all user accounts, the platform establishes a trusted digital space where individuals, organizations, and brands have full control over their names and reputations. This certification process also safeguards intellectual property by creating automated registers linked to certified accounts. Additionally, Panodyssey allows users to customize and control the algorithmic system, creating a more personalized experience that does not rely on advertising models. The resulting reading experience is therefore in a unique position to attract a quality audience, ultimately benefiting publishers, authors, and readers alike.
In tune with Europe’s values — and goals
Panodyssey's innovative approach aligns with the European Commission's efforts to build a more ethical and user-centric digital landscape. By emphasizing transparency, personalized content discovery, and the promotion of diverse high-quality content in European languages, Panodyssey contributes to the broader vision of a strong European digital industry.
One distinctive feature of Panodyssey is its commitment to supporting European languages and cultures. The platform encourages the creation and discovery of content in various European languages, promoting linguistic diversity and cultural exchange. This focus on multilingualism sets Panodyssey apart from other global platforms that primarily operate in English, catering to a more diverse and localized audience.
As Panodyssey continues to grow and evolve, Alexandre Leforestier envisions partnerships with European publishers and media outlets to further amplify the platform's reach and impact. By collaborating with established players in the industry, Panodyssey can tap into existing networks and leverage their expertise to expand its user base and provide more opportunities for content creators.
Panodyssey aims to play a crucial role in fostering a vibrant and diverse digital ecosystem.
With its focus on ethics, transparency, personalized experiences, and support for European languages and cultures, Panodyssey represents a promising initiative that aims to redefine the digital landscape in Europe by offering an alternative to dominant global platforms. It has the potential to empower content creators, foster cultural exchange, and provide a space that aligns with the values and aspirations of European citizens.
As Europe continues to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, such projects, along with the support of the European Commission and other relevant programs, play a crucial role in fostering a vibrant and diverse digital ecosystem that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the continent.