Monday, August 30, 2010

e-mail FWD: a Marketing Medium

As a kid, I was obsessed with being "productive", in an odd way. For instance, I was more likely to cross the street diagonally, as it allowed me to reach my destination faster. Needless to say, later as a teen, I was amazed at the power the internet was offering and was eager to exploit it. Soon, a medium came to my attention. The most prominent digital word-of-mouth at the time, e-mail forwarding spread information exponentially through the receiver's own connections. A dream!

I wasn't yet sure what information "virus" I would throw out there, but I was already keeping a close eye on the e-mails forwarded, and what it took for them to get re-sent. 

At the time, I was going through a phase where I was obsessed with Lebanon. I had a habit of going through the books in the library, scanning them roughly and I had spotted a collection of 32 books about Lebanon at home. The material was there.
  • My public: the Lebanese - extremely patriotic.
  • My subject: Lebanon - shocking facts.
  • My content: bullet points, with numbers or short sentences (easier to be scanned).
Filled with English mistakes, and "z" replacing "s" (spare me, I was young!). By the time I had finished writing the e-mail, I knew it would be a success, and it was. "Factz about Lebanon" was sent.


Please take into consideration the tiny dimension of
this country while reading the following...


1--17 religious communities

2--40 daily newspapers

3--42 universities

4--over 100 banks

5--70% of the students are in private schools

6--40% of the Lebanese people are Christians (this is the highest % in all the Arab countries)

7--there's 1doctor/10ppl (in Europe & America there's 1doctor/100ppl)

8--the name LEBANOON appears 75 times in the Old Testament

9--the name CEDAR appears 75 times too in the Old Testament!!

10--Beirut was destroyed and rebuilt 7 times (this is why it is compared to the phoenix)

11--there's 4.000.000 Lebanese in Lebanon

12--there's 18.000.000 Lebanese outside Lebanon!!


1-- the country was occupied by over 16 countries :(Egyptians-Hittites-Assyrians-Babylonians-Persians-Alexander the great-The Roman Empire-Byzantine-The arabian Peninsula--the Crusaders-the Ottoman Empire-Britain-France- Israel - Syria)

2--///Byblos is the oldest city in the world

3--///Lebanon's name has been around for 4.000 years non-stop (it's the oldest nation's name in the world!)

4--///Lebanon is the only Asian-African country that doesn't have a desert

5--///There are 15 rivers in Lebanon (all of them coming from it's mountains)

6--///Lebanon is one of the most populated countries in its archeological sites in the world

7--///The 1st alphabet was created by Cadmus in Byblos (Lebanon)

8--///The only temple of Jupiter (the main Greek god) is in Baal beck (the city of the sun)

9--///The name of the BIBLE comes from the name of our city BYBLOS

10--///Lebanon is the country that has the most books written about it

11--///Lebanon is the only non-dictatorial country in the Arab world

12--///Jesus Christ made his 1st miracle in Lebanon

13--///The Phoenicians created the 1st boat ever

14--///Phoenicians reached America long before Christopher Columbus

15--///The 1st law school was built in Lebanon

16--///People say that the cedars (the symbol of Lebanon) were planted by God's own hands (this is y they're called god's trees)


Have you read it before?

At age 23, a Lebanese friend from Paris was happily narrating an event. He had met a guy in the metro who told him "you know why I love Lebanon?" and enumerated about 4 of the facts I had gathered in that e-mail, including the fact that "Lebanon was the country that had the most books written about it". 
Well, guess what: all of the facts I listed in this e-mail came from the 32 books we had at home... All, except this one. I smiled, as I realized the amplitude and consequences of my e-mail. I smiled, as among all the facts, it was the one I had made up.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lebanon: SEO | The Importance of SEO | Website SEO in Lebanon

SEO, Lebanon - Memo to the Website Developers:
Please work with SEO in mind. You might be building your website using the latest technology, most advanced graphics and talented developers, copywriters and website artists out there... But if you cannot do website SEO, I don't want to hear about it. At the end of the day, a website without traffic is utterly pointless, SEO is a must.
This is a point I had to clarify while discussing developing a website with a developer. Of course, he had his arguments, and all that was coming out of his mouth about the website was translated into the word "useless" in my head. I soon realized, my SEO knowledge was a joke to him, as at least 20 years separated us. I created 5 seconds of silence, and then firmly cried "what's a theater without an audience!".
Not that he took me any more seriously, he laughed and replied "is that what they taught you at school"? I knew I had a point focusing on SEO, and he finally saw it, yet refused to give me credit...
Well, you know what? I kind of like this quote, it perfectly defines the importance of SEO and I would like to copywrite that! What's a theater without an audience ©youmny

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Black Hat SEO | SEO Black Hats | SEO Black Hat Companies

SEO black hat are the words that define Stilton SEO services BLACK HAT (sorry I had to use those words to link to this SEO company). After managing to rank 9th for SEO Lebanon, I get kicked out, only to realize that my content had been duplicated / stolen by an SEO firm. It is now posted by username "Admin" on SEO BLACK HAT's site: my stolen post

Stilton appropriate to themselves other SEO professionals' good SEO web content (those that are stuffed with their SEO keywords) to gain better SEO rankings.

... and then they have the nerve to add on every stolen SEO text:

"Amazingly, you have managed to find our web page in a very competitive sea of Search Engine Optimization consultants. There's a reason you found us."

yes, there IS a reason, and we all know what it is, BLACK HAT!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lebanon SEO-Search Engine Optimization

Lebanon -The SEO fanatic that I am, has come to realize that my SEO obsession has blossomed with results, ranking top 10 in Google for all my targeted SEO keywords. Amazingly enough, a year ago, my blog failed to even get indexed in Google. Needless to say, my Search Engine Optimization skills have come a long way since then.

Lebanon - On August 24, 2010, SEO results:

SEO keywords Marketing Lebanon:
Under Google "everything" - SEO ranking 9th, and featured 4th.
Under Google "blogs" - in "related blogs" SEO ranking both 1st with Marketing in Lebanon and 2nd with youmny. In the same results, SEO ranking 6th and 7th with Marketing in Lebanon posts.

SEO keywords advertising Lebanon:
Google "blog" - SEO ranking 4th.

SEO keywords advertising in Lebanon:
Google "blog" - SEO ranking 5th.

Google's blogs - SEO ranking 1st in related blogs and 7th in the blog post results.
Google's "Everything" - SEO ranking 6th and 7th.

SEO keywords internet marketing Lebanon:
Google's "Everything" - SEO ranking 9th
Google's "blog' - SEO ranking 10th

SEO keywords marketing concept Lebanon:
ranking 2nd in all SEO search rsults.

SEO keywords marketing strategy lebanon:
ranking 4th and 9th in all SEO search rsults.

SEO keywords marketing communications lebanon:
ranking 8th in all SEO search rsults.

More SEO results:
  • ranking first in the related blogs for marketing business lebanon
  • ranking in the related blogs for business Lebanon
  • ranking 1st in both blog SEO results and related blogs for entrepreneurship Lebanon and 7th in all Google's SEO results.
  • ranking first in related blogs for twitter Lebanon.
I guess all that's left is to follow my SEO progress from here on... maybe even rank for SEO Lebanon with this post?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Entrepreneurship Lebanon

The entrepreneurship field in Lebanon lacks the proper care. Our weak Lebanese economy translates in poorly paid jobs. The solution currently available for our aspiring Lebanese generation lies in either resorting to work in the Arab world, or, in entrepreneurial initiatives in Lebanon. Of course, no one with his right mind would invest in an entrepreneurship endeavor in Lebanon, as it entails a lot of risks. No one, but the Lebanese. Multi-national companies are very rare to find. The Lebanese economy relies on Lebanese SMEs, mainly, entrepreneurial family businesses; and that, "despite" our government's policies.
Lebanon is far from being friendly to entrepreneurs. A quick look at the list of programs presented on the Lebanese Ministry of Economy website Entrepreneurship programs in Lebanon, might fool you into thinking that effort is being invested. Looking closer, you would realize that most websites are outdated, unheard of, and some even benefiting an elite few.
In 2010, Lebanon ranks 108 in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business , and 108, as well, for the ease of starting a business; also noteworthy, is that these rankings are based on the "official" needs, and do not include bribes and theft. More details can be found on Lebanon's country profile. The Lebanese government hampers its own economy. Instead of fostering entrepreneurs, it sucks the life out of the companies thriving and I am not just talking about taxes and unconventional bureaucratic procedures.
The backbones of a strong business ecosystem can only exist with a strong local infrastructure. Should I address our transportation deficiencies: the improper roads, lack of public transportation,the laws that are never applied, and the crazy driving? How about the phone bills: the local duopoly of Alfa and MTC touch and the exhilarating costs attached? Not to mention the weak internet connection... and most importantly the ever unchanging electricity issues!
All this in mind, wouldn't you think that Lebanon is better off with no government? I do. At least thieves would not be protected at the port, and in governmental positions. Our leaders need to look past their personal interests. Yes, I am sure the world would be a better place if they're in charge, but that's no excuse to build a community of direct beneficiaries based on theft.
Lebanese like to think that they have built the Arab economic hub, as they tend to occupy leading positions in the Arab world, but the truth is, they are but pawns "used" to benefit lands that are not their own. It might just be in everyone else's advantage that Lebanon fails to create a business-friendly environment, as their highly qualified individuals remains available for excavation.
I would like to think that it was out of ignorance that the Lebanese government failed to create this business ecosystem rather than an international political ploy.
The whole basis of hiring employees in the government based on leaders' relations and the associated high-paying positions and unjustified benefits offered to the government employees while most of them would wind up not even showing up at their job, is outrageous. What if all this money currently going to waste was channeled into creating an entrepreneurial hub?
The Lebanese government might think that they need to suck money out of the Lebanese population to survive. What if instead they helped new companies grow? What if they supported instead of destroying the Lebanese economy? Doesn't anyone see the benefit of investing in an entrepreneurship tomorrow? The government itself would gain more money had it done so.
Ok, so I started with the problem, now let's talk solutions. To start with I would like to bring to your attention Taiwan's use of its diaspora and immigrant labor force and knowledge to create several entrepreneurship programs in 1980. This dramatically changed its local entrepreneurial scope, thanks to which many immigrants, consequently returned. Lebanon has a huge diaspora of highly capable individuals, why not benefit from their expertise to revive the country?
I have recently been selected for the Young Entrepreneurship Program (YEP), a fully financed initiative by the US Department of States entailing a one month trip to the USA to gain from their business knowledge.
While I am benefiting from US financing, I am driven to ask myself "what has my country done for me", that said, I would like to turn the question around, tell me:

What can I do for my country?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Twitter- Lebanese Online Community Shines

Beirut, Lebanon - As Lebanon faced some security issues on its Southern borders with Israel, I happily noted a strong pro-Lebanese presence online. Israel might have been the first to spot the importance of internet marketing in this evolving world. However, August 3rd, 2010 witnessed a change in the scope of the digital world. It seems that Lebanon, with its dedicated individuals, need not an online army to counter the Israeli propaganda.

While the words "Lebanese" and "Israel" were trending on Twitter, (with an increased effort by the Lebanese tweeps to make "Lebanese" rank higher), I was surprised to see that the absolute majority of tweets were pro-Lebanon, but the best surprise was yet to come.
The top tweet for both words was by one of our own, shining with wit @sdarine, an awesome Lebanese marketeer, tweeted: " Israel should publish a guidebook “How to start a war and blame others 101″ #lebanese " and ended up with more than 100 retweets. (Check out her post on her top tweet )

Lebanese countered online Israeli spam with patriotic creativity.... and all I have to say is this: I am proud to be Lebanese.

..and finally to prove my point, I get tweeted at by a certain @idiplomats : "Israel Web Diplomats @idiplomats @BTRIsrael @carmelxp @mackrad @youmny Let's get the party started!"

Talk about spamming and organized crime!

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