From online dating to social media and virtual instruction, the Internet has exploded as a ubiquitous center of connection – it links people to others with like interests, individuals to their past, and advocates of similar ideas and cultures.
NewYorkinFrench is at the cornerstone of this movement. 2014 marks the 5th anniversary of the site, boasting a community of over 10,000 members, committed to sustaining and upholding the francophone community in New York City, in the United States, and in the world at large.
The hub is the epitome of a connecting space. It provides francophiles – francophone or not – with a place to meet, interact, and explore opportunities within the community.
Most remarkably, the network is one with an altruistic purpose. Fabrice Jaumont, founder of the hub, emphasizes that prior to NewYorkinFrench, ‘there was no platform where francophones/francophiles could make new friends, post announcements, events and stories, and read more about other francophones.’
Fueled by an unequivocal desire to promote the French language, the network puts bilingual families and fostering bilingual education at the center. The platform has dozens of links for children and adults to facilitate their learning of the French language.
The Ning’s rampant success has inspired the creation of BostoninFrench, which also boasts of an expansive francophone community. This success has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal and France Amérique, among many other international organizations.
The network is unique in that it is free – and free from advertisements, politics, and spam, where the members truly run the platform. It provides writers like myself with an opportunity to express themselves and artists and musicians with an outlet to showcase their work. It is a place for job postings and roommate requests – nanny locators and event information.
Most importantly, it provides francophiles with a community-orientated space within the expansive New York City population. In New York alone, there are over 75,000 francophones, most of which live in New York City, but the extent of the platform is certainly more pervasive- its ‘world-wide-web’ capabilities, being able to reach the estimated 338 million francophones in the world.