GeekFest Beirut 3.14 YO YO YO

Below is a repost from GeekFest Beirut
Alrighty, wow. Finally, the famous event GeekFest is happening again and for the third time in Beirut. The first two times, GeekFest Beirut took place in Art Lounge, first in February, unorganized by Alexandra Tohme, and the second in May, unorganized by the maniachis, and this time unorganized by few human beings.


Mainly, GeekFest’s idea came from Alexander McNabb, it started in Dubai and spread to other capitals, such as Amman, Cairo, Damascus, Beirut… It’s simply an offline gathering for online peeps who are geeky, but the cool geekiness!

What happens there? 
Well it’s mainly driven by the community and what’s happening now on the technological, online, web scene. We get around 4 to 6 speakers who talk about different topics usually.

Mark you calendars
Date: Thursday November 4
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Plum – Monot

What happens after?
It’s very much a social gathering, you get to network, meet new peeps, bond with peeps you already know or talked to online, have a drink or two while listening to great music and that is even when the talks are over, we’re there to stay, Simple as Pie yeah?
Help spread the word around in your workplace, university, facebook, twitter.. share the poster and the time & date & venue!

Technocase
Just got word that Nokia will be the Technocase in GeekFest 3.14, they will be holding a stand for their N8 device, so for all mobile geeks out there, make sure you drop by and check it out if you fancy!

Topics & Speakers (list might increase):
  • Sarah Karam – GoNabit (e-commerce)
  • Cyril – Antoine Online (web development / online purchasing)
  • Samer Karam – Announcing new project to be live blogged
  • Octavia Nasr – Social Media
  • Nokia
Art & Film related stuff:
- Lynn Bizri to talk about Night Collective
- Mireille Raad to compile a cool geeky video for us
We are trying our best to get some Augmented Reality related stuff, know anyone?

Volunteer work?
We are looking for someone to take photos during the event. Also if anyone has anything they want to showcase for as short as 5 minutes, be our guests! This event is for you made by you.

And THANK YOU goes to:
Finally, a big and huge thank you for Plum for offering the venue for us, so let’s make it a good time there. And of course to Naeema Zarif for designing the poster as she always does :) And for Nokia, for their Technocase and support.

Announcing Sub-Committee Officers

AUBOC is proud to announce a new officer for each of its five sub-committees. Congratulations to all, we hope that all the effort we put in will be reflected in our planned events. Below is the list of officers:

Event Planning: Loulwa Kalache
Workshops & Exhibitions: Abed Salam
News Reporting: Mohamad Al Medawar
External Collaboration: Weam Al Awar
Publicity & Marketing: Aline Chirinian

Press Release: Relaunch of Blogging Lebanon Convention

After its unfortunate cancellation last May due to student protests at the American University of Beirut, AUB's Online Collaborative is announcing the relaunch of AUB's First Lebanese Bloggers Convention, now renamed to Blogging Lebanon.

This event that attracted many bloggers from the Arab and international scene is rescheduled to Friday December 3, 2010 at the American University of Beirut (exact venue will be announced later.)

The aim of this convention is to gather bloggers from around the region under one roof. The event will include several guest speaker from different backgrounds who will share their experiences and discuss different topics related to blogging and social media, such cultural aspects, privacy issues, importance of blogs, political implications, and dangers etc...

Currently, the convention organizers are calling for guest speakers who are willing to give short presentations about their area of expertise. The event will also include exhibitions that could help new comic and digital photography bloggers get noticed.

Interested participants are kindly requested to fill in the Application for Guest Speakers before Monday November 8th, 2010.

The organizers are also looking for sponsors and media partners who are willing to help with publicizing the event, providing snacks, beverages, lunch meal, sample products or goody bags, or even radio and TV ads. Interested organizations and individuals are kindly requested to fill in a Sponsors and Media Partners Form.

For more information and inquiries, don't hesitate to contact us at: online.collaborative@gmail.com

We would appreciate greatly if you can help us spread the word!

Call for Sub-Committee Officers

Dear Members and Friends,

Further to our general assembly last week, we have started the search for officers of our 5 sub-committees. If you are interested in becoming an officer for one of the committees below, please inform us by email (online.collaborative@gmail.com) stating your name and a few lines describing what you would like to achieve from being an officer.

Each officer will have a team of several assistants as well as a supervisor who is a member of the cabinet. Officers will have the ability to influence the decision making process as well as collaborate with cabinet members when major decisions need to be made.

The five sub-committees are:

  1. Event Planning: Deals with planning the major events such as the blogger’s convention, tweet-ups, parties and dinners, etc…
  2. Workshops & Exhibitions: Deals with planning the workshops, lectures, training sessions, exhibitions and education-related activities
  3. News Reporting: Responsible for finding social media related news in AUB, Beirut and the region, and updating the blog with original news articles. The team should include a bunch of staff bloggers
  4. External Collaboration: Deals with different organizations inside or outside AUB to organize or get involved in conferences such as geek fest, fikr, ASMF, etc...
  5. Publicity & Marketing: Deals with marketing events, poster design, advertisements, and finding sponsors for the events.

Also we are recruiting a team of staff bloggers to keep our blog updated with relevant news and events. If you would like to become a staff blogger, also let us know.

Note that only official members can become officers of the club. If you are not an official member yet, you can fill in the membership form and pay the fee at Ms. Hiba Hamade's office in West Hall room 112-C. (Membership restricted to registered AUB students). 

Best regards,
Mohammad Hijazi
AUBOC President

Tripoli Tweetup


Register here using your twitter account for the Tripoli Tweetup.
A group of students might be going from AUB, so if anyone is interested or has any questions about the event, don't hesitate to drop us an e-mail: online.collaborative@gmail.com

What is a tweetup?
It is a blend of tweet and meetup: A real-life meeting organised on the social networking site Twitter.

Join Mosaic's Photoblogger Challenge

For the original post, refer to Lorena's Epiphany.
Are you a photographer who blogs or a blogger who likes to photograph? Then this challenge is for you!
Spreadminds is looking for 27 interested participants to take part in a mini-photography contest exclusive to the Lebanese online community. Be the first to take part and have your photograph featured at the launch of Mosaic: Ashrafieh International Photography Contest on October 29, 2010.
So what’s the challenge you ask?
Each of the 27 of the participants will be given a disposable camera of 27 photos (color) to shoot with for a week and upload onto the Mosaic blog by October 27, 2010. Most photo developing studios within Beirut will develop the film and give you the photos on CD for a maximum of $10.
The photos can be taken anywhere within Ashrafieh, including the following neighborhoods: Gemmayze, Karm el-Zaitoun, Monot, Sodeco, Sioufi, Jaitaweh, Fassouh, Sursock, Mar Mikhael and Sassine.
Open subject and feel free to get creative with how you take your shots! Upload as many of the 27 photos that you like for consideration with your name and blog URL.
Photographers who take part in the challenge will still be eligible to take part in the main contest, but not with the submissions for the challenge.
First come first serve – so the first 27 photo-bloggers to sign up will receive the disposable cameras to start shooting. Email us your name, contact information and blog URL if you’d like to take part to: Loryne Atoui (loryne@spreadminds.com)

Spread the word!

First General Assembly

Dear AUBOC members and friends,

We hope you are doing well.

This is to inform you that AUB's Online Collaborative will be holding its first general assembly on Tuesday October 12, 2010 at 6.30 PM in West Hall Auditorium C (third floor). 

During the meeting, you will get to meet fellow users of social media (bloggers, tweeps, etc..) as well as people who are interested in efficiently using such tools. We will be also dividing up sub-committees for the events that we are planning to hold this year, and assigning (or voting for) officers for each sub-committee. We would also appreciate your suggestions and ideas for new events or ways to improve the ideas that we have in mind. On the agenda, too, is a brief introduction to social media and the effective usage of several social and professional networks such as Linkedin, Foursquare and Twitter.

Please join our Facebook Page for the latest updates and information related to social media and RSVP for the general assembly on the event page.

Everyone is welcome, so feel free to bring your interested friends.

Looking forward to meeting you all.

Best regards,
Mohammad Hijazi
AUBOC President

Lebanon's bloggers are pioneers in the Arab world

DAILY STAR: A recent survey of readers of the more than 400 blogs in Lebanon shows that their numbers are close to the online readership of the most well-known Lebanese newspapers: both averaging 14,000 visitors daily. This is a clear indication that blogs have become one of the main media sources for Lebanese youth to access diverse information and various opinions.

However, does the high readership rates of these blogs mean that they can be a tool for real social and political change? It is difficult to answer this question in a country in which the future of blogging is closely connected to conditions that frequently change, such as internet connectivity, internet publication laws and censorship.

The blogosphere in Lebanon has recently undergone several changes: the migration of some bloggers to newspapers, the publication of books containing material collected from electronic media, the launch of blogs by radio stations, and the birth of civil movements and new organizations that have shown the impact of blogs on the ground.

In this way, the Lebanese blogosphere is breaking down the barriers that separate traditional media from electronic media. Blogs have become an alternative media source on many issues, particularly on matters related to the environment, which aren’t routinely covered by traditional media. One example is the coverage in the blogosphere of a young Lebanese man, Rami Eid, who spent three days and nights in a glass cube in the Ain al-Mreisseh neighborhood in Beirut in October 2009. This was his way of representing the last man on earth in a hopeless future as a result of humankind’s failure to act against climate change. Eid’s endeavor alerted the public to the need to face these changes.

The media campaign for Eid’s performance, or protest, focused on electronic media, beginning with Eid’s personal blog which was read by thousands in just the first few days of the campaign. In addition, Twitter and Facebook sites reported on developments in real time. The coverage succeeded in galvanizing public opinion, media and various environmental research centers, which culminated in the Lebanese government deciding to participate in international negotiations on combating climate change in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Lebanese blogs have also served as key political mobilization tools, especially in preparing for the March for Secularism in April of this year. The march started with a Facebook invitation and a number of blog posts. It developed into a march in which thousands of people participated, without the need for a central organizing committee.

And during the last municipal elections in Lebanon, in May 2010, bloggers turned themselves into a makeshift independent elections monitoring agency. Some of these bloggers – in partnership with a Beirut-based organization specializing in new media training called Social Media Exchange – were given a license by the Interior Ministry to enter election stations, observe voting, and submit their own reports to media and constitutional bodies about the voting process. This was the first experience of its kind in the Arab world and was regarded as being quite successful, with more than 60,000 hits on the site where bloggers published their live reports: www.lebloggers.org.

One incident in particular perhaps best demonstrated how influential bloggers could be. After a far-reaching electronic campaign, bloggers were able to stop a proposed law in the Lebanese Parliament to organize the blogosphere, a law that they decided would curtail freedom of expression on the Internet. This incident proved that when organized, weblogs are not only an alternative media source or a tool to mobilize the public in support of specific causes, but they can also influence the conduct of the legislative process.

Well on their way to becoming pioneers in the Arab world, bloggers in Lebanon together comprise a fledgling movement that has just begun to assume its role in the field of information media, benefitting from relative media freedom and the achievements realized thus far.

Mind Soup: AUB's Online Collaborative and Clubs Days

Below is a repost from Mind Soup.
View of Club's Stands next to West Hall
Today has been a very long day indeed, a long fruitful day.

AUB's Online Collaborative had its debut today during Clubs day where cabinets and active members of clubs and societies gather around West Hall to recruit members.

After struggling with the board for around an hour, we were set to go. The collage of social networking logos attracted many students who came closer to ask questions or take a flyer.

Other students had surprised or even disgusted looks when they saw our stand. They don't know how important and crucial our work is. Many thought that we are a group of people addicted to facebook and trying to recruit facebook addicts into one group.

Our humble board
Boy, they are so wrong.

What they don't know is how the whole world has its eyes fixated now on digital media, especially social media.

News outlets are leaning more and more towards online media. Many politicians, organizations or event planners are preferring to be interviewed by bloggers and online newspapers, and breaking news is usually first published on the internet, mainly on sites such as twitter.

Universities and companies are recruiting highly-trained and educated individuals for work, masters and doctorate degrees, internships or even conferences and workshops using professional social networking services such as Linkedin.

AUBOC President Mohammad Hijazi and
Secretary Tala Kardas
Blogging is also a rapidly developing method for students and business people to share their opinions on crucial issues that relate to their fields of interest. Experts say that a personal blog will become a prerequisite to many job applications or getting promoted in companies.

It is surprising how quickly the Lebanese youth have been integrating themselves into the digital era. The Lebanese scene on twitter is astounding, and might I add, very refreshing. The Lebanese are also leading the Arab world in the blogging sector on so many levels, from politics and news, to photography and comic blogs.

So what does all this have to do with AUB's online collaborative?

Perhaps students don't see this very clearly right now, but many faculty and staff at AUB have expressed their great interest in an our organization. Some of the will even help promote us to their students. And here is why:

AUBOC will help student bloggers promote their blogs and attract more readers from the Lebanese and Arab scene who are interested in the topic of each individual blog.

AUBOC will help students, clubs or staff/faculty start off their own blogs while providing them the basic tools and knowledge needed to launch a professional blog and customize it according their own taste and preference.

AUBOC will introduce individuals to the Lebanese on twitter and organize tweet-ups for them to meet each other and make new friends.

AUBOC will aid soon-to-be graduates to use professional services such as Linkedin to secure a career or a graduate program at universities around the world.

VP Joseph Saba
AUBOC will relaunch the Lebanese Bloggers Convention (which was cancelled last spring) with much greater support from the Lebanese bloggers community, famous sponsors and highly-valued international institutions.

AUBOC will hold workshops and conferences to enlighten students about digital photography, comic blogging, basic HTML editing for blogs, twitter, etc...

AUBOC will be screening related movies, among other events which are planned to enrich students knowledge about these topics.

To benefit from all of the above, all you have to do is to sign up to be an official member today (Wednesday) on West Hall from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Believe me, you will not regret it.

For more information:
Join our official Facebook page.
Check out our official blog.
Send us an email to: online.collaborative@gmail.com

TnT: AUB Online Collaborative: It’s Something Else

Below is a repost from TnT: A Blog About Life and Everything in Between

It is this time of the year in AUB, where all the clubs (and some societies) put their booths outside West Hall in order to attract the AUB newbies and some of the old AUBites in an effort to bring as much members as possible so that the clubs can gain more fame and boast about their popularity.

There are several types of clubs, most famously the Lebanese political clubs that attract all new AUB students on the spot. Then you got the societies that are related to their faculties and departments, and those usually automatically attract the students majoring in such fields. Then you have the clubs that are based on heritage and different Arab nationalities, since AUB is not just made of Lebanese students after all.

Finally, you got the clubs that are created based on a common interest. And that’s where AUB’s Online Collaborative (AUBOC) comes into this blogpost.

What is the AUBOC?

The AUBOC is a fresh new club, something other than the ordinary that you have not seen in AUB and is a first of its kind. As you all know, social media nowadays is taking over our daily lives and many of us cannot live without it. Rarely is there someone that uses Internet that can go a day, even a few hours without checking his/her Facebook. Or people that can’t go 2 minutes without Tweeting a link or new events that take place and check what their favorite celebrities are up to. How about the millions and millions that use YouTube every second to check out videos on the ‘Net? Or those that have to blog about everything that comes on their mind and yet find a lot of readers that take interest in reading about such stuff? This is what the AUBOC is all about, to bring awareness about online social media to those who don’t use it or aren’t that familiar with it.

There are a lot of bloggers in AUB that are unknown to us and could be blogging about excellent content but do not have the right support or are unable to reach the right audience. This is where AUBOC steps in and hopes to bring all the bloggers to one place so they can share their common interest somewhere.

Hopefully, AUBOC will be able to host the long awaited Bloggers’ Convention that was supposed to take place a few months back. There will be several Tweetups taking place in addition to exhibitions of digital media and workshops on the basics of social media usage.

If you are a blogger in AUB, this is the club you want to join.

If you are a huge fan of online social media and want to learn more stuff, this is where you should be.

If you have no idea how these things work and want to develop interest, this is DEFINITELY where you should sign up tomorrow.

Come to our stand at West Hall tomorrow and the day after (October 5 & 6) and sign up for this one-of-a-kind collaborative and be the first of something special.

Note: This is the official blog and this is the Facebook page.

Gino's Blog: Introducing the AUB Online Collaborative

Below is a repost from Gino's Blog!

Whether we like it or not, use it as often or not, or pretend to ignore it, the effect of social media and networking has forever changed our lives and society. Today, who we know, what we do and who knows about it is on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Foursquare, Google Buzz, Flickr and YouTube. What we like and would want to recommend to other online folks is on StumbleUpon, Reddit and DiggIt. I only mentioned these because they’re the ones I personally use most.

Five years ago, meeting someone would’ve taken several real life interactions over period of time before skipping the awkward phase of not being sure about the person. Today, a few clicks later and the person’s photos, personal information and friends are at anyone’s disposal. This might seem scary to some, but remember, you decide what to show and who to share with. However, personally, and I’m sure many of you will agree with me even though you will not say it out loud, Facebook and other social networking sites have made life easier.

Some of my closest friends today are a result of a friend request button. Many of my dates are also originally Facebook friends or Twitter tweeps. Meeting friends on the internet was taboo and dangerous in the chat-room and IRC days. Any creep or pervert could’ve been posing as a gentleman or lady worth meeting. Today, even though we can never be 100% sure, the friends and network of an individual help us understand who he or she is in real life. For example, I can rest assured that one of my friends on Facebook who is also friend with 20 or more of my friends should be safe enough to talk to and maybe meet.

I’m straying from the subject, and this will probably highlight the complexity and novelty of social media and how hard it can be to properly handle and manage that many portals in an ever-demanding social and business world. From dates to college acceptances and work applications, what you share and how you share it is a fairly new and tricky terrain. It can make or break careers, products, events, political causes and so much more in an easily accessible and candid fashion…

The AUBOC seeks to group social media enthusiasts and experienced individuals in the digital media world to help promote proper digital citizenship through making the most of social media in the best ways possible. Here’s our FB page and blogger blog. Stay tuned for an awesome year online and in real life!

So, make sure you pass by during the club days at AUB. It’s this Tuesday and Wednesday =)

Overview of AUB's Online Collaborative



AUB's Online Collaborative Cabinet
President: Mohammad Hijazi
Vice President: Joseph Saba
Treasurer: Jim Ramsey Khoury
Secretary: Tala Kardas
Member at Large: Sherif Maktabi
PR: Giovanni Raidy

Mission:
  • To support and encourage AUB bloggers and users of social media (such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc..)
  • To promote the usage of such tools amongst other AUB students given their current popularity and importance

Objectives:
  • To gather the bloggers and users of social media under one organization in order to facilitate common activities and interests.
  • To encourage AUB students to start their own blogs and help them get started by teaching them the technical and cultural aspects of social media.


Future Events:
  • The re-launching of AUB's National bloggers convention that will bring Lebanese bloggers as well international bloggers residing in Lebanon together.
  • AUB and community Tweet-ups
  • Several exhibitions featuring prominent famous Lebanese users of digital media (photography, famous blogs, etc...)
  • Several workshops on technical issues beginning with introductory presentation about blogging to photography workshops...
  • Screening of movies related to social media.
  • Providing support for AUB's and Lebanese online community.