Mudawanat: Blogging workshop in Qatar

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.12.2009 at 19:30

Mudawanat: All About BloggingictQATAR, the Supreme Council of Information & Communication Technology in Qatar, conducted a workshop on blogging today at the Sharq Village Hotel, Doha.

Regional and International experts on blogging shared their views and experience on blogging. The event was attended by local and expatriate bloggers and blogger-aspirants.

The morning session featured keynote speaker Jeremiah Owyang and Ahmad Hamzawi, Head of Engineering for Google Middle East & North Africa. Regional bloggers also shared their experiences and tips for new bloggers.

The afternoon session was split into two separate workshops – one for new bloggers and the other for experienced bloggers. The event gathered good attendance, and the workshops were very interactive.

The speakers were great. I also got a chance to discuss with Ahmad why I think Google Adsense sucks, based on my previous experience – and suggested that Google should be more transparent on how they determine that an Adsense account poses a risk to their business. Of course, I wasn’t expecting a satisfactory answer and didn’t get one either 🙂

One of the many things I liked about Ahmad is that, despite being the Head of Engineering for Google, he runs Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2007 on his laptop, and not Google’s Chrome OS and Google Apps.

The Blogger platform was outshined by WordPress when members of the audience questioned about it and Jeremiah himself explaining why he moved his blog from Blogger to WordPress.

Moving on, I learnt a few important things in today’s workshop.

  • I realized that I was late in understanding the potential of Twitter.
  • I learnt that Disqus could do a better job with comment forms on my blog. Implemented it right away.
  • I need to explore more of Delicious & Technorati
  • I need to read more blogs, and comment on them – need to ‘network’ more with people rather than doing ‘broadcasts’
  • I got insight on the challenges that Arab bloggers face.

Almost everyone who attended got a free copy of the book “Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom” by Matthew Fraser & Soumitra Dutta.

Overall, it was an awesome event and I’m sure everyone benefited from it. If you were one of those who attended the event, please drop a comment!

Microsoft Maren

by Shijaz Abdulla on 08.07.2009 at 11:55

maren-logo[1] You can now type real Arabic through English, even if you do not have an Arabic keyboard or if you are unfamiliar with one.

Check out Microsoft Maren, a free download for you, from Microsoft Egypt.