Sometimes it’s quite easy to retract your statements, even after a considerable amount of time has passed.  Yet this is not the case if you’re working in social media, and most certainly not 4 hours after having “dropped the bomb”.

Kenneth Cole knows this better than anyone after choosing a very inappropriate hashtag while trying to “culturally integrate” their new spring collection.

What do you think? Should certain topics remain taboo or, in our quest for a bigger audience, more users/buyers, we can take the liberty of tackling any topic?


The more you like the less you pay Skoda Fabia campaign pitches a fresh and interactive social media marketing idea. I liked it…quite a lot, but the Hanes campaign really knocked my socks off. The company promised that for every like that they get on Facebook they will donate a pair of socks to The Salvation Army . Their set target was 500,000 pairs of socks, yet Hanes managed to gather over 1,000,000 likes. (via)  Impressive, ain’t it?

Do you think social media can help your community? And if so, how would one apply that to Lebanon?

For the past couple of weeks I had been asking myself this question and I came about one answer while reading This is Beirut : The Happiness Heroes campaign sponsored by Picon – Lebanon in collaboration with Arcenciel Association.  A noble initiative, since it targets the  “pillars” of every community – children. It encourages them  to take an active role and improve their community by going green or helping the elderly and disadvantaged individuals. Admirable!

Are you familiar with any other campaigns of the sort: Lebanese or international, I’d really love to hear form you!

Facebook Me

My dears,

I feel that I have to share one of my guilty pleasures with you…Facebook. I know, I know…nothing new so far, I probably share this “pleasure” with half of the world’s population, but while “Facebook-stalking” your ex, did you ever stop and wonder why does “Facebook-ing” take up more than a quarter of your day? And,  better yet, how will others use this little weakness against you? Or do they use it for your benefit?

All these being said, I’ve decide  to dedicate a bigger part of my blog to this social media miracle we all know, use, love and are addicted to…

Today’s topic: Figures and Facebook

I think that by now all you social media pundits out there know that corporate blokes love figures. Me too. That’s why here are a few interesting figures about ye ol’ Facebook that I wanna share with you, and I would be more than happy if you would give me your feedback.

1,07 $ is the cost of a “fan” on the Facebook page of a top brand.  At least this is what the research company WebTrends states. They have studied 11,000 Facebook add campaigns in the US.

80% of marketers that have been interviewed by Social Digital Agencies and AnswerLab have stated that they will increase their investments in Facebook campaigns. If you have some time on your hands, I do recommend that you read the study in its entirety.

14 $ is the “cost” of a Facebook share and $8 is the worth of a like according to ChompOn. Twitter is cheaper! A tweet is evaluated  to $5. The quoted figures are estimations on social shopping.

70% of the Brits that follow a brand on Facebook do so in order to keep up  date with promotional campaigns.  I couldn’t find anything on Lebanon though…could you lend a helping hand?

Obviously these figures have a certain relevance, and they can give us an idea about how important Facebook is becoming in it’s role as a  communications and sales platform.

Cultivating mushrooms. The way skies tend to rust if you don’t take care of them properly. About my paycheck and the fact that I have to buy a birthday present for a friend. What pub am I gonna go to when I leave work. Should I quit, or not? About the workload that i have. Skiing in Austria. Market share. Personal business using company tools. I’m thinking about a bicycle, I want a bicycle…or better yet, roller blades. About the fact that I want to sleep, around a year or so. Applying for another job, abroad. I’m thinking about how smoggy Beirut is, and what effect does that have on my lungs. How the heck can I change the font size in “read only” document. How could I make a helicopter crash on the White House lawn. About my bank loans, should I pay them…should I not, maybe tomorrow. About the fact that Microsoft Excell is driving me mad…I am so lost in these settings. I’m never drinking again!!! I am so hung-over!  This is such a beautiful weather for skiing.  About some friends that asked for my help. Scheduling some meetings. How much would it cost to publish, produce and edit a cook book. I could really use a chocolate chip cookie right now. About the Oscars. About an MBA. What am I gonna have for dinner. About…

What do you think about when other people think you’re working hard?

C’mon dude, are you out of your freaking mind? How could I take advice from someone younger than me?

They're getting smarter by the minute...

Are you familiar with the “me, me, me, me, me…and, oh, let’s not forget…ME” type of people. The ones who think that the air needs them (not that, god forbid, it might be the other way around). The people who would rather have hell freeze over than take advice from someone younger.

If throughout your life, you confront yourself with say 20 various situations, the other (let’s just call him Joe), who’s younger than you, would have confronted himself with less strenuous situations (because, of course, he’s younger). But see, Joe cannot possibly be more experienced than you, he can’t be wiser, and he can’t have drawn better conclusions than you. He can’t have, it’s impossible, I’m the older one, and hence I know better…I’m wiser.

Just give me a couple of hours and I’ll bring you an 18 year-old who’s going to give you an ego-smashing lesson about Java/CSS/HTML, or teach you how to make a portrait in Photoshop. But I can equally come up with 50 year-old that doesn’t know a lick of geography, or even proper grammar.

I think it’s high time that we made one thing clear for everybody: life experience doesn’t always walk hand in hand with age.  I know people who have passed through life without looking left or right, ignoring everything that was going on around them and without ever learning anything of use in the future. But if you ever dare argue with these people, keep in mind that the “age” argument is as holy for them as the Gospels for the Pope.

Let’s just be honest with ourselves…the youth is quite emancipated nowadays. At any given time a 16 year-old might just give you lessons about sex, desktop-publishing or galvanic corrosion. Just like you can teach a 50 year-old about BBMs or blogging.

When was the last time you learned something from your younger sibling, colleague, friend?


People express their love for the homeland in odd ways

Yes, yes…put your eyebrows down because such things exist: Diaspora patriotism, a subspecies of regular patriotism.

Am I being biased?  Maybe.

I too have heard stories about co nationals, which while abroad, tend to either rip each others’ throats apart, just as Hobbes’s wolfs, or ignore each other and exhibit a sovereign disgust. These are mere stories told with a lot of conviction. I do not know how it happens but I have never run across this species of co nationals: nor in Greece, France, Hungary, Bulgaria, UK, Syria and neither in Lebanon. On the contrary. Maybe it was just pure luck, but the fellow citizens that have crossed my path on foreign land have expressed more love for their country than most people living back home.  I have ran into compact communities that are always willing to lend a helping hand as well as get down and party hard together. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of gossip, treachery and even “excommunications” lurking around these merry expats, but the frequency and intensity of the foul play will never match the one in their home country.

Am I just talking of the top of my head? Well, all I can say is that I went home for the Holidays and saw it with my own eyes. People in the Diaspora are more up to date with the homeland news. Of course, they’re not up to date with every statement that every MP makes but they are quite aware of the place their country occupies on the world map. If two co nationals located abroad don’t share the same political orientation, oddly enough, they don’t consider it a reason enough to throw stones at each other.

I tend to believe it’s a matter of perspective. From a distance, changes become more obvious. It’s one thing to live each spring day and feel the smooth transition towards summer, but it’s a completely different thing to board a plane in winter time and when you reach your destination you will find that it’s summer time.  Even your own people look better from a distance; you can’t notice their wrinkles just smiles and rosy cheeks.

However, no, distance is not the one that distorts our perspective. Most of the time, proximity is the one that renders things unattractive because it breaks a perfect whole. Proximity segregates the whole: a human being is broken down to its essentials (eyes, nose, ears, hands, etc); it limits the county to its borders and shows you the people the way they really are.

Homeland patriots have at least one thing to learn from the Diaspora – distance. One way or the other, you have to leave in order to be better acquainted with the place that you left behind. After all, T.S Eliot was right when he said that we shall not cease from exploration, and the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.