Archive for August, 2011

Welcome to a new week of social media news..


More jobs without jobs? This is history in the making, Steve Job’s stepping down as the CEO of Apple Inc. is going to be a loss for everyone as ”No one is looking at this as a business thing, but as a human thing.” Steve Job’s has battled and survived with a rare form of pancreatic cancer and “have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come,” The former CEO of Apple Inc. commented about this recent resignation. Read more here


The Arabic community is partial to the idea of using as a social media tool. Although there is solid commitment and support to preserve the Arabic language, “the debate focused on the way in which digital content has revived Arabic language, by gathering young people together regardless of racial or political divisions and helping to encourage communication between people from throughout the region.” Read it all here

After watching this week’s tech news, I was reminded of the quote attributed (or some would argue mis-attributed) to Senator Everett Dirksen in the US, “A billion here, a billion there…pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” Well this week Google spent some real money and HP made a big announcement…on to the news.

Google announces purchase of Motorola Mobility for a cool $12.5 billion

If you’re reading this, it’s hard to imagine you could have missed the week’s biggest news. Much digital ink has already been spilled about the purchase, but I’d highly recommend this post from the Foss Patents blog – a good analysis that dives further into the idea that this isn’t just a patent play for Google.

Disclosure: Motorola is an Edelman client

HP shuts down webOS devices

Big news broke on Thursday as HP announced they will stop producing its TouchPad tablet and webOS phones. Check out full coverage at Engadget. HP also spent a few billion dollars of its own, spending $10.3 billion to acquire search software company Autonomy, at the same time as announcing it intends to spin off its PC division.

Disclosure: HP is an Edelman client

Twitter now more Arabic friendly

ArabCrunch covers good news for Arabic users of Twitter, which now enables right to left text. In the past, the standard setup was particularly challenging when combining English and Arabic text (when using English hashtags for example), but this problem has been addressed in the latest update.

Happy Oasis: A Farmville for the Middle East

On a personal note, I had the good fortune to meet Suleiman Bakhit, founder of Aranim, which has produced a Facebook game call “Happy Oasis” which some have described as an “Farmville for the Middle East.” Check them out on Facebook – interesting to see a local, Arabic-led design leading the charge into the social gaming sphere.

Facebook usage in the Middle East – Infographic style

Finally, in case you missed it blogger Wissam Dandan posted an interesting infographic breaking down how Facebook is used in the Middle East.

One interesting stat highlighted is the Middle East has the lowest female population on social media. While PRNewser tells us, “Women in the Digital Driver’s Seat,” the latest stats indicate there’s still room to grow here in this region.

Infographic By LEBSEO Design

Disclosure: Motorola, HP and RIM are Edelman clients.

Another week, another rumour. Facebook faced criticism from the media yet again last week after it was being claimed that users’ phone numbers had become visible to others.

The phonebook-style feature allowed users to synchronise their phone contacts from a smartphone, a feature that has existed for quite some time.

However, Facebook took to its official page to rubbish the rumours stating: “Rumors claiming that your phone contacts are visible to everyone on Facebook are false. Our Contacts list, formerly called Phonebook, has existed for a long time.

“The phone numbers listed there were either added by your friends themselves and made visible to you, or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone, only you can see these numbers.”

Facebook & Privacy

Facebook has always been the target of “privacy violation” claims from people using the site, whether through profile visibility, personal contact information, photo albums or other personal content. Having worked for Facebook myself, the internal perspective on privacy has always been strict.

Facebook allows you to customize your privacy settings extensively, and have edited the privacy page many times to accommodate this, so you can sure with the world as much or as little as you like. Make sure to check out your privacy settings and how you can customize them here.

Originally posted on

I wanted to share an experience my San Francisco colleague Anne McPherson had in supporting women in technology from across Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA). The inaugural TechWomen program, a professional mentorship and exchange program, was launched by U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE), and implemented in partnership with the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI).

According to their site, “TechWomen was developed to implement President Barack Obama’s vision of greater collaboration between the United States andcommunities with predominantly Muslim populations, as outlined in his June 2009 speech in Cairo.” During this speech, President Obama called for more engagement between the U.S. and the Middle East that harness the power of global business, technology, and education.

This mentoring program paired up Silicon Valley / San Francisco area women with women hailing from MENA to best practice share, support and counsel, in an effort to help these women further develop and lead in the world of technology. Efforts were further supported throughtechnology giants such as Microsoft (a global Edelman client) and Twitter, hosting events and programs to provide what my colleague called “invaluable knowledge that they will carry with them forever.”

This public-private partnership is an excellent example of capabilities building, working with purpose beyond profits and global engagement to help meet the needs of an underserved population. And, it’s even expanding into a new initiative called TechGirls, to provide support to young women looking to grow in this field.

Another active week in the world of digital.

Ramadan Starts; Becomes Trending Topic

Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims, started on the 1st of August this week. The start of the month reflected on Twitter where both “Ramadan” and “Ramadan Mubarak” became top trending worldwide topics. “Ramadan Kareem” also became a top trending topic in the Philippines, while Ramadan 2011 also became the main headline in Yahoo Philippines.

Skype: One minute you’re here, the next you’re gone! (and now you’re back again)

This week the eagerly awaited Skype app for the iPad was released on iTunes, however, the app was quickly removed from the store, with the following statement being issued by Skype on Twitter: “To ensure your best Skype experience, we’ve temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today. We know you’ve been eagerly awaiting Skype for iPad and apologize for the inconvenience.” The app is now back up and running. Read more here.

New Tool Delves Deeper than Facebook Insights

Facebook insights has always given a very basic view of relevant statistics from your Facebook page. But now, if you are looking to delve deeper into your page statistics, PageLever allows you to do just that. Not only does the analysis tool break down your impressions by days (not just weeks / months), but also gives you a view of what types of posts you’re fans interact with most, when and where you are losing fans and separates unique impressions from repeated ones.

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