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Identity Chef in Communicate Magazine - Lebanese Bloggers Thanks to Joesbox I found out that my blog was once again featured in Communicate Magazine. The blogpost featured is Gabriel Ghali’s Guest Post about the  Islamic Brand.

Thank you communicate for praising my dear friend.

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Just to tell you that The Identity Chef is now on Beirut.com :)

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So I barely logged in to facebook the other day, when my jaw drops at this.

And the ad takes you to this landing page.

Guerrilla marketing just got a new meaning and being 007 was never easier.

Now honestly, things like these really make you think twice about your online activity and how your online information can be misused and how you can be hunted down and targeted with ads without even recognizing it.

So why hasn’t the Lebanese government blocked this website? Isn’t it a threat to national security?

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-Update-

This pots was mentioned in Global Voices Online , Thank you Guys!

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When I was little, I would ask my parents to buy me a horse. In my opinion, ponies were not real horses, plus you would never see musketeers or Zorro on a pony, would you? So we never talked of ponies. One time, when I asked for a horse, my mom said, we had nowhere to keep the horse in our three room apartment in Minsk. I objected that we have the balcony. Then my mom said that the horse will need a lot of food and would feel very cold in the negative temperatures in the winter. So I made a compromise, and told them they could get me a camel, since a camel endures a long time without food or water and is more resistant to severe weather conditions.

Needless to say, the closest  I got to having a horse was a “mechanical horse carriage/bicycle”. It was the point of envy of all the kids around, and got stolen several times, but still me and the metallic white horse never connected.

When I saw these new version of mechanical ponies in Dunes Verdun my heart skipped a beat. I had a half a mind to rent out a mechanical pony for myself. Plus you should have seen how this adorable kid kissed the pony and bid her goodbye when his session was over.

So tell me, what kind of weird pets did you ask for as a child?

Mechanical Pony in Dunes VerdunMechanic Pony in Dunes Verdun

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Top Tweet Lebanese Israeli Clash on August 3rd: " Israel Shoul Publish a Guide book "How to start a war and blame others 101" So running on cockiness and adrenaline after @azzi told me that my tweet became a top tweet and @ambitionista pointed me at how to actually see that, here it is:

” Israel should publish a guidebook “How to start a war and blame others 101″ #lebanese “

And this summarizes my humble opinion on yesterday’s clash. As a final bout of  cockiness, I would like to add ” Top that Israeli Social Media Propaganda” and ” I will moderate your comments on this post, and block any twitter users that try to @ me convincing me of Israel’s innocence – so do not even bother!”

Now back to my normal self, this just shows that although we are not as organized as the enemy, we could resonate together with a unified message just as strongly. The tweet was just a spur of the moment thing that came to mind, for really sarcastic tweets on any situation follow @uxsoup, this man is a treasure trove.

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I am so flattered to be picked as blog of the week on Lebanon Aggregator.

Identity chef on Lebanon aggregator screen shot

I also remembered that I forgot to tell you about the cool video Blog Aggregator did called “What got you into blogging?”, featuring many Lebanese bloggers. I am featured there too, but I am tooooo self conscious about how I look on video…

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Funnily enough, the post that was featured was mainly a digest provided by the guys at SMEX of our meeting with Gaby Deek . Nevertheless, it makes me happy that the guys at Communicate have considered me authoritative enough to feature it. It feels good to know they are reading and listening…

Big Thank to Danielle from Thisisbeirut For letting me know about this and providing the  images (click on image to enlarge).

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Image via Beirut Drive By Shooting

Ever wondered why men are always the ones kicked out of their houses, or know to have left “to buy a pack of cigarettes” to never return again?

TRUE STORY:

The last month has all been about packing our belongings into boxes, bags, suitcases, bubble wrap and newspapers… Since it is a tedious process that none of us wanted to do, we created the buddy system. The most enthusiastic person, or in our case the most responsible person, aka as hubby, would pack while the other person would monitor the packing process, hands the scotch tape & newspapers, labels the boxes…   eliminating the possibility of weaseling out.

I must say that we have only lived in this place for three years, and I myself was astounded by the amount of stuff we have, bringing a lot of guilt surges regarding our consumerism habits.

The salt & bread of it all is whenever we  opened a new closet the ratio of MY STUFF/ HUBBY’S STUFF was overwhelming, and he would always scream out something like ” I didn’t even know you own these” or “why don’t you ever use these” or “ Since you do not use these, let us give it away“. But my answer would always be ” YES, I NEED that“.

After a few of such episodes my dear had an AHA moment:


” NOW I know why it is always the women kicking her husband out by throwing his suitcase out of the window or leaving it on the porch! WOMEN root themselves deeply into the house with all their belongings so he can never accomplish gathering all her stuff and getting rid of her! It will be much easier for him to run away!”

Could it be that consumerism is uprooted in women’s DNA for survival purposes?

And now, we are faced with the challenge of UNPACKING!!!

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Lesson #1: Your audience is ever more demanding!

TRUE STORY:

While watching the first football game of the World Cup:

- my father in Law: Damn this transmission has degraded, before they used to show the name of the player who has the ball and info about him, zoom into the player’s faces more when they replay, replay the goals better…

- my brother in law: Dad, this is on Playstation 2, not in ‘the real’  Fifa

Yes, we are getting more spoiled with new multimedia technologies, traditional media have to provide more information rich data, better interactivity options and more sharing opportunities. In short we want to be better informed and more involved and we expect you to do something about it!

Lesson #2: The Stakeholders Expect You to React FAST!

A day into world cup and everyone is complaining about these darn Vuvuzela’s. Three days into the world Cup and Germany filters out Vuvuzela noises to spare the fans. A couple days more Britain Joins and people start petitioning for banning the Vuvuzela( with over 300,000 fans on facebook and counting) . Add a couple of days and an app that adds vuvuzela noises to sites that filter them is created following the de-vuvuzelaing applets!

Needless to say, your clients will expect the same response rates from you!

Lesson #3: Do not forget about unexploited niches

For instant, women  have to suffer while their prince charming enjoys row after row of football matches day in day out for a whooole month.   So while everyone is gold mining the idea of the big flat screens to display the World Cup, why don’t you capitalize on the opposite – making your place a haven for football haters?

This Le Mall ad may be an attempt at just what I’m talking about, but I hate the fact that it belittles women. As a woman  I would not identify with it and will consider it an attempt to trick me into going to Le Mall and being stuck watching football, rather than showing me a clear exit path  – The “learn about football so people do not make fun of you” message VERSUS  the ” while he is watching football break loose and shop” message I would like to hear.

So you see, there is a real propitious niche there, that your competitors are not exploring. And let us not forget about children, where do people with children leave kids to go watch the games? You say grandparents, I say create a replacement product…There are a millions of ideas and campaigns buried in unrealized consumer demand in your market too-  Be creative, we’re expecting no less!

My personal favorites in this regard is the above Macy Gray video clip and this great post by Maya Zankoul.

Lesson #4: Shamelessly exploit trends?

I am not even gonna go into the myriad of brilliant and so and so ads, campaigns and offers linked to the world cup. Yes it is a good tactic. Yes, it will help you not stay behind, but if you truely wanna innovate, go back to point 3.

Lesson #5: We are watching You, and we have everything ON RECORD!

One of the first big time fxxx-ups in this world cup was the British Goalkeeper giving a slip to the ball, right after catching it. Man, it was a media circus at my in-law’s house. With the whole family lividly replaying his walk of shame and lively commenting how his career is over. And all of this replicated across millions of households in reaction to a slip of a man who by default can not catch all the balls shot at him. So Imagine what your Stakeholders will do if YOU slip up!

Have you learned any new marketing lessons from the world cup, let me know!?

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memoirs of a housewifeMemoires of a housewifememoires of a housewife

Last week end Lara has visited us at our new apartment to take photos with the vintage items left behind by the old apartment owners. Little did I know that I will be part of the photo shoot too.  Anyways, here are a couple of the photos from the shoot, and this is what came out of it. I am n love with these old items, and their design and wish i could keep every single thing in that house frozen in time. They just do not make things that way any more… right?

And do not forget to subscribe to Lara’s photo stream and follow her on twitter.

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