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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Qatar Twittering

Sometime ago I got all excited about Twitter. In Twitter Qatar I predicted that it would eventually take off in Qatar.

I also argued that webmasters who had played with it and then abandoned it would come back to using it in a major way:

Qatar Living and I love Qatar are examples of those who joined earlier and then, after a brief dalliance, have stopped using it.

I have a feeling, though, that they will be back.

They are both using it again, along with numerous other players such ICT Qatar, the Gulf Times and Qatar Airways.

I must admit I lost interest until recently, when I did a search for Qatar Visitor and found that even if I wasn't twittering it some people were:

  1. Tulsastuccoset_normalPhotoPropMan Qatar Visitor - Travel Guide to Doha & Qatar: Ramadan Photography ...: Qatar Visitor will be celebrating Ram..http://bit.ly/wODTNabout 7 hours ago from twitterfeed
  2. Portraitsm_normalDaveidaho Qatar Visitor - Travel Guide to Doha & Qatar: Ramadan Photography ... http://bit.ly/NzU1iabout 7 hours ago from twitterfeed
  3. Twitterbanner9_normalPori26 Qatar Visitor - Travel Guide to Doha & Qatar: Ramadan Photography ...about 8 hours ago from twitterfeed
  4. Coldfusion41_normalPhotography25 Qatar Visitor - Travel Guide to Doha & Qatar: Ramadan Photography ... http://ad.vu/jkkbabout 8 hours ago from twitterfeed
  5. Default_profile_normalMiramou Expat workers happy to be in Qatar: survey: QatarVisitor editor Philip Beech said: “We hope that the results of..http://bit.ly/4fNgnYabout 15 hours ago from twitterfeed
  6. Star_normaliloveqatar Mr. Q says: Qatar Visitor Photo Competitionhttp://bit.ly/anyOM1 day ago from twitterfeed

When I did a search for Qatar Survey I found even more links.

Increasing Use in Qatar

Back in July I found just a handful of people using it - indeed, I could name most big players in a small paragraph.

Obviously, there are many more people using it in Qatar.

An example of a new twitterer is the Gulf Times:


What's more, many of my online friends are now on twitter.

In any case, as some of our readers are using it even if I am not, I resolved to put some more effort into it.

I've started with the following steps, which may be useful if you are a Qatar blogger/webmaster even less accustomed to Twitter than me.

Twitter Rss Feed

One easy thing I did was set up my rss feed so it feeds into Twitter automatically.

You can do this at TwitterFeed.com.

Set up an account. Then the application will take you your Twitter account where you can log in, and take you back to the application so you can add your rss feed.

Retweet Button

Then I added a retweet button.

You can do this here: Tweet Meme Button.

There are a number of options offered. I chose the one where you can specify the url and that the retweet came from your name. Long term, I think the way forward will be to go for a widget which automatically detects the url of the blog post and place it in the template.

First, though, I want to see if people actually use button first, so I am happy fiddling round with the code in each post.
How useful?
Twitter is still a long way from living up to its hype in Qatar.

Even organisations like Qatar Airways seem to have a measly following considering how many large they are:

What it is useful, though, is for keeping up with what is happening on the web - as nearly everyone on twitter is a blogger or webmaster of some sort.

p.s. You can find us on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/qatarvisitor