Blogging Lebanon 2010

Last weekend I had the chance to attend Blogging Lebanon in Beirut. This event was organized by Online Collaborative and hosted at the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Mohammad Hijazi started with thanking the attendees and talking briefly about Blogging Lebanon. Then Dean of students affairs at AUB, Dr. Talal talked about his experience with technology and blogs. It was inspiring and funny at some parts like when he used to mistakenly say Blueberry instead of Blackberry.

Next was her excellency the Ambassador of UK, Frances Guy, who personally blogs and had some problems at some times because she blogged a politics related post. She also answered a question some of us might have; Why do diplomats blog? Her reason is to engage with the public. From the way I saw her at the event, she does this perfectly, by blogging about events and issues in Lebanon, attending such events, engaging with people there, etc.

My friend and colleague, Mohammad Shawash (Moey) had a cool presentation talking about some statistics and fun facts about social media and different social networks, globally.

Imad Bazzi who blogs in Arabic, talked about something not quite far from what H.E blogs about: Social issues. Imad talked about social activism, how he started, challenges he went through, the difficulties Lebanese activists face in Lebanon and examples of some campaigns he did that impacted the community positively and made a difference. Imad also said that bloggers should not have a limit, criticism should not have a limit neither. which I kinda disagree; everyone can criticize but in a constructive way. Imad’s presentation and speech were very inspiring and encouraging to make a change in our communities.

Share your writings, art, creations and content you have online through Creative Commons. Why? because this way, people can share with each others, have their content reused and referred to them which gives them extra publicity and flexibility. This and other about Creative Commons was explained by Naeema Zarif.

Meedo Taha and Loryne Atoui talked about blogging! from basics to 10 bloggers personas; Personal bloggers, hobby, business, etc. according to what each of the them blogs about.

Blogging in Lebanese language? Johnny El Hage, who I find his blog very interesting and different in a good way. Only few people who write in their native language/accent. This makes you feel less formal and more close to the owner of the blog.

After the coffee break and yummy snacks (I love za3tar!); Mohammad Hijazi announced that he and Darine Sabbagh will be at the 1st Arab Social Media Forum. that happened today and was really nice to meet them both again.

Fikr9 conference was also announced in a headline of “Shaping the future”.

Next presentation was by Marc and Ysmine from Eastline Marketing. their presentation was really impressive with the successes their online campaigns and clients have achieved. Like toyota, huggies, Almaza campaign and much more. Also talked about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how it helps to increase sales and awareness of the brand especially in the local market.

From the United Nations Youth Association of Lebanon, Farah Abdel Sater talked about how blogging can be a tool for dialogue.

Blog for Dialogue and Mutual Understanding is a youth initiative that aims to write a global youth declaration to be presented during the International Year of Youth Conference that will be held on 11th August 2011, which will be attended byΒ the UN and all world leaders.

Now the most interesting part to be honest was Shankaboot‘s presentation. I’m already a big fan of this web drama. Creative people behind this professional series. Toni Oyry and Arek Dakessian talked about their online campaign which had to come along with an offline campaign, one of the reasons was the internet in Lebanon. Arek also talked about the importance of constant engagement with fans and followers, however, one needs to pay attention to the frequency of the updates on the social networks.

Arek and Toni also encouraged people to participate with the Shank it campaign. Where people post ANY kind of content in the shankaboot spirit. You also can win Nokia N8! Here you can find the details.

Diana and her creative presentation which was a blog post instead of a powerpoint or video presentation, talked about the benefits of blogging. Some of them were; make money, grow your business, educate others, make friends, etc.

Then Ayman Itani, presented some regional statistics about social networks. Some number were quite interesting! What more interesting was the videos he shared about the effect of social networks on people. One funny line was from a guy to his friend who just broke up with his gf: “tool el nhar be3malo poke la ba3ad, mbayneh!” <– was something like that! πŸ™‚

Finally, I would like to thank the team behind Blogging Lebanon. It was really great and was amazing meeting you all.

See you at Blogging Lebanon 2011 πŸ™‚

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