Category Archives: Media

Social Media Week comes to Beirut!

Following on the great success of Social Media Week February 2011, the next iteration of Social Media Week will again span the globe this September 19-23, 2011, with simultaneous events in cities from all over the world. Confirmed locations include returning cities like Milan, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Bogota, and São Paulo, plus new entrants from Rio de Janeiro, Moscow and now happy to announce BEIRUT and I am thrilled to be part of the organizers.

With each successive iteration, Social Media Week has grown exponentially, leading up to the February 2011 edition, which hosted simultaneous events in nine cities with over 600 events, 30,000 attendees worldwide, and generating more than 300M impressions online, made it the largest distributed conference in the world.

Far more than just a conference, Social Media Week is one of the world’s most unique organized events, providing through a series of interconnected activities across the world a global and local perspective on emerging trends in social & mobile media across all major industries.

Social Media Week Beirut (SMW Beirut) will be organized for the first time in Beirut, brought to you and produced by 90:10 Group Middle East. SMW Beirut is aimed to be a unique and innovative social media week, happening over 5 days, with more than 30 events in different venues in the city, giving access to as large audience as possible, connecting people & content around diverse and rich themes, with speakers and participants from different horizons, bringing to all the learning experiences for a better understanding of social media in each of industry sectors.

SMW Beirut will be as well fun 🙂

Your thoughts, advices, tips and all are more than welcome.
You can follow Social Media Week Beirut on Twitter or on Facebook

Go Beirut!


Middle East Edition Of Cosmopolitan to be launched in March 2011

The 62nd edition of Cosmopolitan, is set to launch in the Middle East in March 2011. Looking forward to see what it’s going to be like…

ITP, the Middle East’s leading consumer and business magazine publisher, today announced the launch of Cosmopolitan Middle East. The magazine will join ITP’s growing portfolio of market-leading women’s titles which include Harper’s Bazaar, VIVA, L’Officiel, Ahlan!, Grazia and Shape. The best-selling magazine in its category, Cosmopolitan has 61 international editions, most recently launching in Mongolia. The magazine is published in 32 languages and is distributed in over 100 countries, making it one of the most dynamic brands worldwide according to the press release.

Cosmopolitan Middle East will be aimed at a young, female audience offering its readers information on every aspect of their lives from fashion and beauty, to relationships and romance, the latest on women’s health and well-being as well as what’s happening in pop culture and entertainment. The magazine’s engaging, upbeat and informative tone will resonate with the young women of the region. “The Middle East has one of the youngest populations in the world so introducing a local edition of the world’s best-selling magazines for young women seems an obvious decision. Cosmopolitan is a colossal brand and we are looking forward to launching and developing it in this region” said Walid Akawi, CEO of ITP.

Cosmopolitan Middle East will be published in English-language with an initial print run of 15,000 copies and will be circulated across the GCC and Lebanon, available at all major retail outlets. The Middle East will be the 62nd edition of Cosmopolitan and the 3rd Hearst title that ITP has brought to the region.

Advertising in Lebanon: TV remains n.1 and internet is inexistant!

I just came through this article on the Commerce du Levant website about the advertising spending in September 2010 in Lebanon. These expenses are down 8% from August and 4% compared to September 2009. Despite this slight decline, the third quarter was relatively good with an increase of 8%.

OK advertising is still growing, even if it is growing slowly. But the thing that hit me the most is the fact that there is absolutely no spending for advertising on the web or that it is really really insignificant. Check out this repartition:

As I was wondering about the average time that lebanese people spent watching TV, I guess I have the answer to my deep concern. Television takes it all and it is still the number 1 mass media. Will the web ever kill the TV stars?

Throughout the world, the strong growth of the Internet, and the development of its uses, confirms the mass media crisis (for the press and TV in the first place).
More profoundly, the belief in the mainstream media is dramatically affected by a movement that sees the legitimacy of traditional media organizations disintegrated by a permanent suspicion particularly related to a certain political affiliation.

Considering that a mass media (according to Marshall MacLuhan) is characterized by a communication of one-to many and by a one-side message (the public does not interfere with the message vehicle) we can of course question the belonging of the web to the “mass media” category. The web in its core, and thanks to the massive user generated contents created by the audience via blogs, wikis, social networks etc… creates a new situation: the communication pattern which used to be from one to many (vertical) has completely evolved to many-to-many (horizontal).

My main point here is that these new models of direct production of information are drawing an innovative media landscape, and advertising investments should definitely be following this trend.

“War – What is it good for? – Absolutely nothing!”

Along the lines of the Lebanese reconstruction after the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, The Lebanese Republic Higher Relief Commission (go check their website, it is AMAZING :p) has created an anti-war commercial which compares the visual effects used in Hollywood, to the violent reality that happened in Lebanon during this war.

With the tagline “Act Now”, the spot aims to raise money for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Lebanese infrastructure.

I really don’t know what agency is behind this commercial or when it was produced so do not hesitate to share!

Watch the spot.

Ecce Hommos

This is a short film about Lebanese clichés directed by Claude El Khal. The images used by the French guy when speaking of Lebanon and the Lebanese society are so true (you should know if you have ever lived abroad, I deal with this everyday: p).

The title Ecce Hommos, comes from “Ecce Homo”, Latin words used by Pontius Pilate when he presented Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. But I don’t really see why was the analogy made…

Watch it! This is simply great!


I have just discovered this website, a resourceful online directory for restaurants in Beirut city. It is, without any doubts, the most updated database for restaurants around, and has a diverse selection for residents or tourists visiting Lebanon.

So if you are looking for any information on any restaurant in Beirut, you can find it there. It offers a ranking of the best 10 restaurants, pictures and detailed description of each restaurant as well as a service of localization accessible through Google Maps.

Watch this video if you want to know more. Badeeh Abla is the managing director of, talks about this great project.