Chattering Classes Session

Chattering Classes Session

The second and last day of the MENA ICT Forum started early this morning, on a sunny October day in Amman at the Business Park. The Agenda included two sessions in the morning, the main session that was dedicated to talk about “The Chattering Classes” and a Break out Session for Amman Tech Tuesdays that was devoted to Building a private Cloud Computing. Speaking at the Amman Tech Tuesdays (Amman TT) this morning as part of the MENA ICT Agenda is Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO and Vice President of Amazon.Com.

Wajih Halaweh moderated the Chattering Classes Session this Morning, “Turning Social Media into Money in the MENA ICT Region” Now social media is very popular, but remember it was once social and how we interact and communicate as human beings on daily basis, that has become the ideal form of human interaction, whether it was Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever Platform.

Before opening up the panel to speak, the audience where asked to vote on this question: How are you using social media in your organization?


  • 37% Page on Facebook and/or Social Media
  • 21% We have a Marketing Team who handle social media
  • 9% e are hiring a consultant to handle it for us
  • 11% We are involving every single member of the organization in social media
  • 19% We’ve Decided Social Media is to risky for our Organization

Speaking at the Chattering Classes this morning is Mr. Moe Al-Adham, founder of twitvid, he explained that it is a tool to market your brand, because people can retweet the video and it will make you more connected with your audience. In terms of making money is advertising and subscriptions. On the new twitter interface, twitvid can be embedded into the new twitter, so people can now pay a certain amount of money to pay for an advert to be embedded into the video. Social Ads are different, instead of watching a 15 second ad of Honda for example before a YOUTUBE Ad, Honda can pay for followers to follow them on Twitter, and this way they can be more connected.

Mr. Mustafa Kamel Attia, Managing Director of LinkOnline, he believes in transactional models and small amounts, where they believe in getting the latest Arabic or egyption movie for $2 or $3 because it sounds affordable and it’s better than buying pirated copies from the street. It’s tough to convince producers to have their movie available online for free, and they usually refuse at the beginning, but we have a business model that we use to convince them, and it usually works.

Social Media Vs. Traditional Media was discussed by Ms. Natalie Lacey, Chief Strategic Officer at IPSOS Media CT, social media is a new platform for brands to connect, says Lacey, “Concurrent use of media is a big trends, people are using their mobiles, browsing internet and watching TV simultaneously.” We need to intervene and track all engagements with media especially online, a statistic of high engagement and low engagement matters from an advertising stand point, but it’s actually about getting involved and the willingness of getting involved.

Ms. Maria Mahdaly, Online Activist and one of the top 30 student entrepreneurs in the world, who is currently developing a social entrepreneur program in collaboration w/ top organizations 4 young adults in her city, believes in her social media network with many dedicated trustful followers, she got corporations involved by supporting her as investors, and that’s how they ended up with the audience. She offers services such as coming up with innovative ideas for brands in a way where they could interact with many social medias as an audience.

Dr. Yousef Mansour, CEO of EnConsult, and Former CEO, Jordan Agency for Economic Development, started sharing his thoughts by saying: “Don’t go after the money go after something you love”, he believes in Social Media and referred to it as a game, where you can engage when it comes in terms of marketing, and it should be established through discussions to be able to monetize it, the problem is the lack of Arabic Content, but “Networking is the name of the game…Social Networks don’t require skills and their easy to own”.  He continued to say that “Positive thing is more and more youth is switching from TV to browsing internet and Social Medias.”

Mr. Alex McNabb, Group Director of Spot On PR, predicts four deaths, Death of Phone Companies, Print (Newspapers and Print) Death of Advertising and the Death of companies who don’t care about their consumer opinions, corporations need to have respect for their customers, and they need to listen to them.

88% of online people across the Middle East go online every day & spend significant amount of their time online. “In Ramadan, companies’ ads on TV expense went to the roof. People didn’t spend a single minute more on TV in Ramadan” says McNabb. Companies need to recognize the fundamental changes at this point as they are very important, and we need to change the typical behaviors online.

Mr. Majeed Al-Qasem Co-Founder and CEO of started by speaking about Facebook in the KSA, in Saudi Arabia, Facebook has 1 million users, which is only 10% of their market, so promoting your business on Facebook, your missing at least 90% of your target audience, that’s how D1G Came in, there was a lack of platforms and content for the Arab Audience to Share. We launched in April 2007, in about three years, we created a platform where people have uploaded 2,000,000 pieces of content without us moderating it. “Hasnaa” is a company that targets women that we incorporated into D1G, it had 20-25 thousand users monthly, and when we had D1G run it, it has almost 1 million users monthly, that is the power of our social media. The reality is, Facebook and LinkedIn are not the Middle East Platforms cause not everyone is online. I disagree with his thoughts personally but that’s just his personal opinion.

Ms. Nadine Toukan Status Quo Hacker and Urdun-Mubdi3 Co-Founder, is the producer of 28 award winning Jordanian Film “Captain Abu Raed”. Urdun Mubdi3, has an impact on the society in the region, it is an open collective blog where people discuss Jordan-Centric Issues. She believes that monetization and growing networks and being able to listen is very important, and curetted and managed content means that people are focused to certain areas, we need to sit there and observe, we don’t do that in the offline world, we are weirded out on how we socialize, and being online lets us break down to who we really are.”


Director of Digital Marketing Strategy by Day, Blogger by Night. Mother to my lovely Hana and a food addict.


  1. Heya

    What a labour of love, detailing all that input from the sessions at MENA ICT!

    Just in case it’s of interest, there are more statistics, opinions, surveys and stuff over at the Spot On blog at

    Thanks! 🙂

  2. The BEST thing I have read this week 🙂

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