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Friday, March 26, 2010

Arab Net Goes Live

The Arab Net conference, the first of its kind and scale in the Arab World, has now gone live.

We've been blogging about it for a while, and for me it's been fascinating how they have managed their online pr.

They reached out to us - and many like us - knowing that we would fall for the gentle flattery of an Arab Net logo to put on our site and a link back from Arab Net. (Yes, we are susceptible to flattery - although we did pull back at the thought of doing three blog posts a day on the conference. We don't blog as much as we used to, and it would throw the balance of this blog just a bit out of balance!)

Keeping up with the Conference

You don't have to be at the conference to follow what is going on - you can catch up with the latest on Twitter.

Right now, Qatar is being well represented. If you look on the Arab Net Twitter stream, you can see Mohammed Nannabhay, head of online at Al Jazeera and a staple of the Qatar internet.

And if you have a fast enough internet connection - not always the case in the Arab world you can watch it live here: Arab Net - Live.

Boosting Interest

One of the things which the conference will hopefully do - and which I think they are trying hard to do by building up links with bloggers - is build up interest in the Arab network.

Things have developed enormously since I set up a blog several years but a lot of people in Qatar, at least, do just not take it seriously - even as Qatar Living grinds the newspapers classifieds into the dust!

I spoke to one website developer, and he told me that many Qatar businessmen still view the internet as a toy for children.

None of ICT's conferences have been full (despite the excellent food provided at the Sharq Village and Spa :) ) and I can see now that there are only 99 viewers on the Arab Net live streaming.

At ICT's conference of media there were experts with tonnes of advice for newspaper owners, but little changed.

If interest is not boosted Qatar is likely to be left behind in the next web boom!

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