Me

You are currently browsing the archive for the Me category.

It’s been almost a week since I’ve returned from Tunis, and I have barely unpacked, and I literally have sand from the beach there in my favorite sandals. Asides from the massive amount of fun, sightseeing and shopping that was done there, those four days were dedicated to the Regional Meeting of Creative Commons, which also served as an initiation of the CC Tunis community, that I am sure will greatly enrich the region with their unlimited passion.

Within the event a series of workshops were incorporated to introduce ‘sharism’, creative commons and remixing in an open source worlds. The whole event culminated in an amazing concert, the music and program of which was created by the participants within these four days.

Photo take by Bilal Randeere's during the workshop and is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA license click to view more photos by Bilal From Tunis

Together with Eman Jaradat from Jordan, we gave a workshop* on how to use Creative Commons in combination with Social Media to Create, Share, Network and Build Your personal brand. We tried to explain CC, the different social networking platforms and how to share/find work there as well as emphasizing the importance of proper attribution.

The most amazing part of that is when we gave the attendees an assignment to create their own works representing current Tunis. Our participants were mostly writers and journalists, but surprisingly they have created very interesting conceptual work with limited tools and the internet, whilst one group ‘borrowed’ a designer from the other workshop to fulfill their concept.

You can see the results, as they were remixed into the video created during Stephanie Terroir‘s and Mahmoud Abou Wardeh’s workshops, which was projected in the concert.

Creative Commons Tunis Regional Meeting

Tunisia is a unbelievably beautiful country, with warm and welcoming people, despite the recent events, everything was completely safe and peaceful when we were there. So I absolutely recommend for anyone thinking of a vacation spot to pick Tunisia, you would not regret it!

_______________________________
*building the workshop and exercises and coordinating it online is a whole other story/miracle all in the spirit of CC, big thanks to Donatella De La Rata for bringing me and Eman together ;) and Naeema for providing guidance, the slide background and some of the slides from her presentation.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marketing Checklist

 

I know I am usually all about the Social Media Marketing, but let us not forget, traditional marketing is still amkes up a huge part of a marketer’s day to day tasks. And though participation in tradeshows*, exhibitions and conferences may become less frequent it is still there for every marketer and is essential for business networking, at least for now.

 

When I was preparing for an exhibition at work I made this checklist in order not to forget anything, and thought I would share it with you. It contains the major things that you should do/coordinate/get before, during and after an event / exhibition that your company is participating in. Let me know if you would add anything to it, feel free to download it, modify it and scribble your own notes in, that  relate to you industry or specific event.

Fell free to ask me for the original file, in case you want to make major changes, I would be happy to see it get a new life.

 

 

 

__________________________________

* Not that I like/enjoy the fact, to me they are more like the inevitable. Networking 101 without the 2.0 element ( and some events that I have to attend/participate in are like that) seem to lack an extra layer of richness and context. I do enjoy events directed towards netizens though.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last week I gave two lectures at the Amercian University of Beirut as part of the AUB Online Collaborative #SM101 Series.

In the first I spoke briefly about how Social Media should be approached and some do’s and don’ts expressed by case studies from the Middle East. The below slides cover glibly what we talked about (hopefully I can post a video of it soon). The lovely Brooke Anderson from the Daily Star wrote an insightful overview of the lecture here.

If you are interested in the subject of setting up a Social Media Strategy you will be also interested with the interview I did over at GIGALB with Patrick Atallah from 90:10 Group which gives first hand insights into the subject.

The second was an introduction to Social Media Monitoring and was all about the free tools one can use to monitor social media activity and creative way of putting them to use. Let me know if there are any tools you love to use that were not mentioned here.

It was a very interesting experience indeed, big thanks to Mohammad Hijazi for inviting me over and Mrs. Leila Khauli for the support by telling her students that the material will be on their exams.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As this post is published I am giving a guest class in Leila Khauli’s #MKTG225 class in AUB, just thought I would share with you the slides so you can see what is happening you can also follow the tweets with #mktg225 hashtag.

Normally I do not include a lot of text in my visual materials, but this time you can see a lot since I intended it to be a cross bread between a power-point and a notes guidelines for the class.

This is exciting, more details later! Let me know what you think

Online Marketing - Guide For Control Freaks

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We seek each other blindly weeding through the noise,

Loneliness colliding with lonesomeness without aim or plan,

Providence charting destiny with Brownian Motion

I felt inspired today to write in pre-year-end meditation evaluating the connections made through out this year. It did not fit in 140 although I tried so I decided to document it here.

Tags: , ,

Tonight I am heading out to Amman for the 1st Arab Social Media Forum, a full day event wholly dedicated to Social Media throughout its aspects.

But the more exciting thing is that following my An Event for the Netizens post the event organizers asked me to be the moderator for all he twitter questions coming from the global audience(1). So all that you need to do tomorrow is follow the #ASMF2010 hashtag and tweet your questions to the speakers and the most interesting ones will be answered.

Looking forward to it!

________

1- Perhaps it is also an attempt to curb my natural tweet cynicism ;)

Lately I am going to so many events , most are tech or social media related, but … well… a lot of the time… the digital me feels at unease and disappointed, unable to share the event with the world or growing a grudge against the organizers, so I decided to write this simple guide declaring openly to all event organizers that anything less would be a disappointment, and ,well if they do the things I mentioned, they will make the online community more involved in their events and expand their reach and visibility. Don’t they all want that?

Ah well, as my main objective is self centered I mainly focused in things that need to be going during and after the event. (Plus most of them score well on before event stuff after I corner them with my questions in emails) .

1. # – Have a HASHTAG!

This is an out most basic, but then again most event organizers forget to make it short enough, announce it publicly more than once and most importantly forget to register it at a hashtag repository like twubs or  wthashtag,  so most of the time I am livetweeting from an event my followers start asking me “what is this and that #xyz … any links…  ?”

2. Official LiveTweeting

That brings us naturally to livetweeting. I have already talked about the importance of livetweeting here but i just wanted to emphasize that event organizers need to keep on livetweeting from the official event account to update people at the event on what is happening, remind who the speakers are and what their handles are, tell them where the live feeds are (doesn’t hurt to do all that in parallel on linked in and facebook as well) … AND if you are an event sponsor, especially at an event centered around social media, especially if your produce is focused around social media, big thumbs down to you if you are not tweeting about the event and not quoting your guest speaker. Yes @zawya I am talking about you and your zero tweets at MediaMeForum and your replying only two days later to my tweets. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Answer & Engage Tweets

For starters, there is no fun for a hashtag without a livescreen. At MediaMEForm the guys did a great job of livetweeting what was happening, BUT [yes it is a big but] they completely dismissed the twitter community. The twitter Screen was live only during the panels and it was put in a place where no speaker can see what we were talking about, and even the moderator did not address any questions from the tweets, nor did their official twitter channel. Unlike ArabNET, where there were ginormous screens dedicated to tweets and speakers paying full attention to what was happening with one speaker undressing to get a wave of tweets. Still , I think the impact will be even more augmented if you have a dedicated moderator to pick at least two questions from the twittersphere for each panel/speaker and ask them at the event. Honestly speaking, the questions are more pungent, very well formulated and more daring and provoking more mindful discussions, isn’t that what you want? Aren’t your events targeted at identifying the trends of the future?

4. Live Ustream

I was on the peak of bliss drinking my Pepsi, eating popcorn in my PJs watching the pitches at Yallastartup weekend day 1 and working on the other laptop in parallel… but then, lo and behold once the pitches ended and we started getting some cool behind the curtains views of the audience, their feedback and interactions, seeing familiar faces….. THEN the stream turned off and a vigilant message told me that the stream will only resume after one day to show the final pitches and that all in between will not be documented… I felt that that was plain mean… YallaStartup weekend is a sort of non-commercial example.

So all of you event organizers will be saying :”why should we put the stuff live for free, when people pay to attend?”

And I’ll tell you. one has nothing to do with the other.

Most of us attend the events for the networking and has nothing to do with the panels and the speakers, who by the way we realize travel from one event to the other with similar presentations, who most of the time blog a lot and more in depth about the subject, or write whole books on the matter… So you putting up a live stream doesn not diminish your financial gain, which BTW you have reaped in full from teh event sponsors and paying attendees. So you may as well give the sponsor’s their money’s worth and help promote their brands and spread their messages and you event’s messages (while your at it) to even more people. People, who by the way are highly targeted individuals, who simply could not catch a flight, or whose bosses came to the event but left them at the office, or teh bosses who sent employees there and want to make sure that they sent them to an interesting event… People who would love to come to the event next year. People who would tweet about the event and talk and talk about it…

It was so amazing to watch the few panels I have missed (due to my weird trip schedule) at Media ME Forum on their UStream account and the quality of the videos/voice/ the nice music they put when nothing was happening – really professional! And ArabNet, they really understood that if they just empower the social media addicts, their event will be promoted across the roof and that’s what happened.

4.PHOTOS

We live in the now and like to see photos now, and share them and comment on them – ALL NOW! So do not make us wait two days for your flickr or facebook gallery upload. You can set up something extremely simple on site, like that photo booth Arabnet had (could not find link), that immediately sent all photos to their flickr account. Also make sure if you have something like that up & running, promote it well before and during the event.

You have a lot of room to be creative here and there are more wonderful ideas out there to engage people in crowdsourced photography at your event.

5. Icing on the Cake – Netvibes

So you do all of the stuff I mentioned above and integrate all of them into one awesome netvibes page that people courting your event could easily follow.  This is one of the more magical tools out there and one I really, really adore to look at when it comes to events I am not at and ones I am at (if they have one that is). For instance check the cool netvibes page SpotOnPR does annually for Gitex and while you are at it, check Spot On PR’s Netvibe’s page. Don’t you see how that will help your event to become more sharable and viral?

6. Social booklets

You lovely event organizers always give us those nice and creative booklets with all the info about the speakers, but why oh why don’t you mention the speakers’/moderators’ twitter handles, websites, blogs next to their names, so we can connect to them, address our questions to them, or just plain stalk them? and while you’re at it, dedicate a page at the beginning providing us with the event hashtag, livestream, netvibes page… et all

7. PLUGSSSSS

I always email event organizers about plugs, they always feel so happy when i tell them i am planning to bring my laptop to livetweet and welcome the thought and assure me WIFI and electricity plugs are available, but up till now, none of them have delivered on that. Do you expect our battery lives to be infinite? Do you expect us to have spare batteries for our iPhones? We want to enjoy the event all of its durations while checking on work email and tweeting or life-blogging YOUR event. Plain and simple, there should be a dedicated plug at least for every four attendees… Not that I mind making eyes to the camera guy to co-share his plug and carrying around at all times a multi-plug adapter, or stealing power for my mobile from a fellow attendees dying laptop…

8. GOOD WIFI

This probably should’ve been at the top of the list, but I consider it a basic and only as I reread the whole thing I decided to highlight it, just in case….

9.Screen & Screen Brightness

Also a little after thought: try to have several screens at the event and make sure that their brightness is optimal, so we are able to take good cellphone pics no matter how far from the stage we are without stealing your speaker’s valuable “top secrets”.

After Event Tips

  • Encourage us to send feedback
  • Send us all the lovely links for the photos, social pages, videos, slides … post event stats, news clippings about the event
  • It is also lovely to receive some post event answers to questions that were asked during teh forum but did not have enough time to be answered properly or the material/numbers was not at hand.
  • Send us an industry newsletter (yeah i do not mind up being automatically signed up for that)
  • Ask us what do we want to see at your next event
  • Continue Tweeting, Updating the Facebook/linked in page of the event and engaging all who were at the event

Next month, I am planning on attending the 1st Arab Social Media Forum, which the organizers are promising to be a wholesomely dedicated event to all social media aspects… so…. Guys, I am really hoping on seeing all that stuff there [wink, wink]!

Have I left anything out? What is it that you found missing at the last event you have attended?

*Update 1: Forgot to tell you how at Microsoft Open Door Event this year there were special giveaways prepared for tweeters. Small giveaway, but nonetheless, it was pretty sweet.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creative Commons License

Women in Technology (Lebanon) have invited me to speak at their Networking and Sustainability Conference  about Social Media/Marketing & Networking in October. The objective was to show the organization members simple and accessible ways to use social media to raise awareness about their NGOs or small businesses without going into complexities. The approach I used was to show these women that are mostly from an older generation that the new technology follows the same rules as the normal socializing that women are so well equipped to do. At the end I listed a few campaigns that relied on social change for fund raising or awareness raising. I had to present in Arabic, so the slides do not say much, except carrying you around a retro, black and white movie theme that was supposed to calm down those ladies, and show them that social media is nothing new and it just simplifies communication. To get the ladies relaxed and less averse to technology I started by telling them that men, who are typically perceived as tech savvy also had their fears, like washing machines, irons, vacuum cleaners… as well as focusing on the strengths women have that make them social drivers. Seconds later they were chuckling and demanding SMEX Beirut for more social media training.

It was an honor to present along with SMEX Beirut , The Amazing Maya Zankoul, The Ostensibly talented Tony Yammine, and the Charismatic Ayman Itani.
It was also extremely touching when after a presentation a girl from the audience gave me a phone accessory which she made herself. She said that she is currently working on her blog, well you can check some of the stuff she is into here .
You can check photos from the panel here.
About WIT Lebanon Networking and Sustainability Conference (NSC).

The NSC in Lebanon brought together over 130 people including representatives from WIT sponsors MEPI and Microsoft, WIT staff, local dignitaries, in-country stakeholders, WIT participants, Professional Development Leaders, and representatives from WIT Partner Organizations. The event was hosted under the patronage of Minister of the Interior Ziad Baroud.
The primary objectives of the Networking and Sustainability Conferences were to create a more cohesive network of local Partners Organizations and in-country teams and strengthen WIT’s Professional Development Networks.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Our Diva Naeema Zareef has turned the members of the Lebanese Creative Commons at ICT Qatar Digitally  Open Conference and at the Creative Commons official Lebanon Launch ( you can check my review of the event over at GiGaLB). And well, i have been deeply touched by the fact that I have been included and also had to add a mental note to have more full body photos of self online so people can  choose from them whilst digitally immortalizing me.
ALSO check post on Creative Commons blog.
View more presentations from Naeema Zarif.

Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday evening I had a call from my husband listing my 3 options for a dinner meal:

1- I buy something ready made

2- He makes me a quick sandwich

3- I do not eat a thing

This was prelude to him announcing that I can not cook anything at home since there was no water (apparently something is wrong with our water tank) and we have only a couple of water bottles…

Once i came home I had to carefully ration the water we had to wash up and brush my teeth, for drinking and making sure we have enough for the next morning. Let me tell you something, it was really hard to constantly make a conscious effort whenever you needed to use water, and as it turns out in the 3 hours I spent before I went to sleep I needed it on so many occasions. Needless to say, the morning was not any better filled with disappointed gazes towards the shower.

Hopefully our water tank will get fixed today and we will move on to carelessly consuming water in the days to come.

But let us be objective, the Earth’s water resources are not limitless and political observers these days are saying that the next generation of resource wars will be over, not gold, diamonds or oil, but WATER. And here is another though for you, millions of people these days are rationing water, walking miles to get a few buckets of clean water and suffering much more than I did yesterday. Find out more on the Blog Action Day site and on Other Lebanese Blogs Writing About the Subject.

Tags: , , , , , ,

« Older entries