conference notes: dubai – the new media event

By on Dec 14, 2008 in conferences/events | 2 comments

I'm the Dubai Marriott for The New Media Event, billed as "the first event in the region dedicated to the growing power of new media…" I've not made much of an attempt to value add in this post – it's mostly just notes but there is some good stuff here nonetheless. The first speaker of the morning, Debbie Weil, author of the Corporate Blogging Book, kicked off the conference by pointing out a post by Bill Marriott. The head of Marriott hotel chain received 368 comments on a post reminiscing about the time he nearly blew himself up by trying to clean a deep fat fryer soap. According to Weil, Marriott insiders claim they can trace $7 million worth of room bookings to people clicking through from the blog. I doubt much, if any, of that was new business, but so what – if people actually read the blog and clicked through to make a room booking then it's doing something of value. Some quick fire notes, quotes and links from Debbie's presentation: Debbie's key question that companies should be asking themselves when thinking about getting into blogging: "What can you do that actually makes them want to share what you're doing" @comcastcares – three most posted words "Can I Help?" – "has sold $1 million" from the link on their list of Dell twitterers Social Media for Business (Dell) on Facebook Dell's Digital Nomads blog – not really about Dell, but about a lifestyle "What's the ROI on Social Media? Well, we're trying to figure that out…" Most companies don't have a department of "Community and Conversations" like Dell According to Weil – the most important thing on a blog post? "Linking. You have to have links – other articles, something else you've written… that's what makes it a blog." The second speaker of the morning, and moderator of the conference this morning, was Ahmed Nassef from 35-40 million internet users in the 22 countries of the Arab world Maktoob has an audience of 12 million Growth – from 2 million monthly visitors; now close to 14 million 60% online penetration in UAE; around 20% in Saudi Arabia; Egypt is around 10% – but throughout the Arab world there are "aggressive" projects to get more online So is the Arab internet audience reflecting the global trends towards video consumption online? Maktoob Research conducted a study which consisted of 2,030 respondents between 15 and 25 years old (60% male) in Egypt, Jordan, KSA and UAE. Here's some of the notes Nassef quoted from the study: What is your primary source of information? 67%-72% internet 15-24% don't ever read magazines 10% to 13% don't eve read newspapers 11-25% don't listen to radio 34-40% regularly use internet whilst television is on, with similar percentages doing so sometimes – that's around 70-80% regularly or sometimes using the internet as they watch television avg time spent online is around 3 hours per day over 45% of respondents in all countries report that the internet helps them find out more about products and services they "need to know more about" Maktoob has done user generated content campaigns for Sony Ericsson and LG, the latter of which got 121,574 unique users, 367,227 pages and 2,815 registrations. Maktoob also worked with Barbican, a regional drinks company, where users submitted videos of their cars to try to get selected to go on Dallil Sayyartak, the Arab version of Pimp My Ride. One of the user submissions, showing a mini van and set to a Saudi nationalist hip hop tune was viewed over 32,000 times in the first month. Nassef says that when Maktoob launched, around 40% were using the English interface, but now 80% are using the Arabic interface: "To go beyond UAE… you need to have strong Arabic content… The majority of our traffic is around interactions… forums are the dominate way that Arabs interact together online…there isn't a huge amount of produced, professional content out there… so with a lack of that existing content, people have to produce their own… we provide very strong aggregated content… overlay that on top of an existing community, a discussion forum… which increases page views…" Mohamed El Fatatry, Founder of was the final speaker before lunch. Some quick stats: World's largest Muslim lifestyle community 20 employees 2 million visitors per month 150,000 registered users From over 190 countries 150,000 registered users 65-70% from the US and UK last week launched World's first Muslim virtual world The site is in English, in part because they want to reach Muslim's living in countries where having a Muslim lifestyle is a challenge rather than the status quo. 2% of users are non-Muslims and they hope to grow that to as much as 10% in the future. "Muslim lifestyle" = How Muslim's interact with techonolgy, comedy, fashion, music, sports and art. They have 26 categories on site, only one is religion. They don't try to steer conversations and only remove posts that break the law or violate community guidelines – otherwise it's uncensored. Apple iPhone ebay neighbourhood – people helping people solve problems with iphones paraphrased: "I don't believe in the model where you create a site and bring in millions of people. You have to reach them where they are already." on the day he got his venture capital funding for Muxlim, Mohamed received a message from someone at...

conference notes: the new media event, dubai

By on Dec 14, 2008 in blogging, conferences/events, journalism, online community, social software |

searching the social web: lesson outline for my city uni session tues

By on Dec 1, 2008 in blogging techniques, citizen journalism, journalism, social software | 5 comments

Tomorrow will be the second of the four lecture and workshop sessions I'm scheduled to deliver on the City University MA in International Journalism course during the 2008/9 academic year. I've given plenty of one off lectures at universities in the past but I having to come up with four distinctly different – and hopefully interesting, engaging, intellectually challenging and memorable – topics for lectures, much less turning them into proper presentations, is a bit daunting. Add to to that the two one hour workshops, one for broadcast students and the other for print students, and we're talking at least two, and potentially three, hours of different content each time. That's a whopping 12 hours of social media goodness to come up with, format, and present to a group of MA level journalism students. Not easy. For the last lecture I asked my twitter followers to help me hone in on the most important topics. I then pebble blasted the students with a broad tour of the social media landscape, focused on the things that I thought might be useful for journalists. This time, I'm going to focus on finding contacts, content and context online. I. Blogs Blog search tools: Technorati, Ice-Rocket, Google Blog Search Blog Directories based on geography (Global Voices) or niche topic (see MilBlogging) "Blog Rolls" of local bloggers like Manchizzle (Manchester) or St. Albans Blog II. Twitter: Twitter Search (see also conventions – use of hashtags: #mumbai and @ replies: @cybersoc) Advanced Twitter Search and III. Content Sharing: Photos – Flickr tags Video – Youtube Live video via mobile – Flixwagon and Qik IV. Reflection: Mumbai Amy Gahran at Poynter on responsible tweeting The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones on "the mumbai myths" (inc. links to some early tweets) Telegraph article on how twitter and flickr used to break the news Virginia Tech My live blogging of events as they unfolded My follow-up post, where I started to ask difficult questions Jeff Jarvis: "And so the key skills in a newsroom will not be to get reporters to the scene — that will come later, after the news happens — but to have antennae up to listen and find news reports as they happen, as people link to what’s happening. You can’t possibly have enough reporters, editors, producers to do that on your own. You need to have lots of friends who’ll alert you: When I put up a link here to something I find compelling — or even embed and broadcast it here, live — will I also alert CNN? I don’t know. Would you?" A warning about hoaxes iReport on demise of Steve Jobs sends Apple stock price plumeting Burning forest elk in Inverness hoax (Sky and Guardian used it in 2006 related to story in Dorset; CNN iReport in February 2008. According to my source [see link], "The picture was actually taken in 2000 in Bitterroot Forest, Montana, by a fire behaviour analyst called John McColgan." And, finally, my first attempts at trying to use yahoo pipes to automate the searching, and some of the filtering, of social media content around breaking news. Also, check out Martin Belam's sport related stab at it. If you have any links that you think would be useful, or advice I should pass on with relation to the above outline, please let me know. During the workshops I'm planning on having the students actually do some social media searching themselves and start aggregating it using xfruits and yahoo...