Gisèle Wertheim Aymés has worked in the media industry in South Africa for over two decades. She is a director of a medical company, owner and publishing editor of Longevity Media (www.longevitymag.co.za) and a shareholder in Stuff Group SA, publishers of Stuff (www.Stuff.co.za) - the world's best-selling gadget magazine. Email her at and follow her on Twitter at @giselewaymes.
Gisèle's media career spans a broad range of experience, from editorial, marketing, publishing, finance and advertising sales to media innovation and strategy.
Her career highlights include recognition as the leading Media Personality of the Year in 1992 and winner of the International Press Distribution Awards for best International magazine launch for Elle, as well as over 30 local awards for magazine publishing excellence. She was elected chairperson of the Magazine Publisher's Association of South Africa between 2003-2005.
During her media career, she has launched and relaunched more than 10 magazine titles and was responsible for several new newspaper projects, as GM advertising strategy and sales and then GM innovation, at Avusa, including being a member of the strategic planning team for The Times, the Sunday Times' first daily digital interactive newspaper.
In 2008, she joined First National Bank as head of media and led a team which developed social media properties such as www.howcanwehelpyou.co.za and on Twitter. Gisèle left FNB in 2010 to participate in her family's business interests, where she holds board positions. She purchased Longevity Magazine (www.longevitymagazine.co.za) from Avusa in 2010 and in 2012 became a shareholder in Stuff Group SA, publishers of Stuff (www.Stuff.co.za) - the world's best-selling gadget magazine.
Well, I'm back in Cannes. One year later and ready to learn some more. Just arrived and went straight to a session with one of Twitter's founders, Biz Stone (@biz). The Debussy Hall was packed wall-to-wall and floor-to-floor and the place was tweeting so much I was sure at one point I felt the room vibrating.
Stone looks about 16, very charming, friendly and speaks in this naive and very honest manner. What did I learn? Well, that he's learning still (yes, he's honest enough to admit this). The company is still in its infancy and it won't sell now even at US$ 500 million. He sees collaboration with other social media as key and can't say what's Twitter's biggest threat. Admits to not really knowing.
Check out @JetBlue - company started out small on Twitter, but Stones cites its as doing a great job. He also doesn't see Twitter as a competitor to big news groups, even though Twitter is now breaking news faster than most newswire services (just type ACCIDENT if you don't believe him) and he wants to be friends with all.
No real answers on how it's going to make money, but hey, this is not unusual... FaceBook can attest. Stones is evangelical when he says, "Twitter is a truimph of humanity and not a triumph of technology" - sound familiar?
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