Archive for January, 2011

The Media-with-Meaning Manifesto

January 24, 2011 3 comments

Arab media: a powerful tool that has a positive impact on millions or an amplifier of our imperfections that drowns out our successes? Discuss.

It does feel sometimes that Arab media (broadcast or printed or streamed) is missing an opportunity to shift away from biased political reporting, from accentuating the negatives, from providing a platform for anger and fundamentalism, and from feeding the flames of intolerance. We are missing an opportunity to connect with a young population, to highlight the role of women, to recognise entrepreneurs, to reconcile differences, to give a voice to the unheard, to encourage artists, to celebrate achievements and to build bridges.

If you could reshape your media, what would it look like? What would it say? What would you feel after experiencing it? What principles would it adhere to? What would the Media-with-Meaning Manifesto’s principles be? Here are a few for a starter:

– Entertain with meaning

– Inform without bias

– Debate with a positive passion

– Create role models

– Respect the old

– Encourage the new

– Highlight achievement

– Arouse curiosity

– Celebrate entrepreneurship

– Build on ambition

– Provide answers

– Learn from failure

Create  your own list. Develop ideas around it. Bring them to the masses. Let’s have a creative revolution!

Categories: content

Make it personal, or don’t bother

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

The end of the year always brings on a flood of the dreaded “personalized” season’s greetings. I am sure you are familiar with this phenomenon: without warning, an email arrives from a company you have had a business with (or one that would like to do business with your company) with the following format:

“To: blank [bcc’s aplenty]

Dear [Mail Merge Name Inserted Here, hopefully they get your first name right],

Jpeg image [something with a tree or the word Happy]

Email Signature “

What is the point? Other than proving the sender’s mailing program knows how to pick up all names in their address book and send a generic image, there really is no benefit to receiving this type of email. People who do this should think twice about their motives. If their intention is to reconnect with someone or show appreciation for a client, they totally miss the point by sending a cold impersonal automaton of a message.

If you don’t have time to write a couple of words and make the message personal, then don’t bother.

Categories: Uncategorized

Track Me, Please

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Foursquare and similar location-based services are gathering steam. Unfortunately in our part of the world, the only benefit this seems to have generated so far is an endless stream of “I am now at [this location]” messages automatically posted on twitter or facebook by foursquare. One can quickly come up with a business where you can create a profile of a person’s daily routine just by tracking their tweets. A more unsavory use is to identify the optimal time to rob someone’s home when you are sure they are away.

I can see the utility of divulging your location to an application that for example, informs you of (opt-in) friends who are nearby, or let’s you know about (selected) offers from merchants in the area, or alerts you to traffic conditions. But simply broadcasting your location on twitter or facebook just for the sake of it must surely be a voluntary act of shedding your privacy without getting any benefit in return.

Categories: Uncategorized