Creative Commons Spurring Arab-Originated Digital Content

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

If you are an agency (creative, advertising or digital), publisher, blogger, artist, or you want to do any of the following, then Creative Commons is for you.

  • Let people share and use your branded visuals (photos, videos, graphics, etc.), but not allow companies to sell them.
  • Encourage readers to re-publish your branded content (blog posts, articles, press releases, etc.) as long as they give you credit.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that aims to enable the sharing and use of creativity and content through free and easy-to-use copyright licenses. Here’s a video to feed your visual urge and to give you a better idea of the concept.

With the ever-growing popularity and need for branded digital content and entertainment, protecting such work has become even more important seeing that it is so easy to copy and paste other people’s creative work.

Fortunately enough, we’re now starting to see this become more active in the Middle East, especially seeing that Creative Commons Qatar just celebrated their first year anniversary. Creative Commons Qatar has become an affiliate partner in order to help spur and protect arab-originated digital content. Check out the video they recently created:

Great job Qatar! Arab countries such as UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt have also joined the affiliate network. We hope to see more Arab countries become official affiliates especially Kuwait seeing that we’re based (or should we say ‘biased’?) there and all.

As you may have noticed from the video these licenses do not in any way conflict with nor replace copyright. Rather they work alongside with them to allow for greater protection and flexibility in the sharing and usage of creative work. Here’s a  list of the licenses that Creative Commons offers (compiled by the Australia Affiliate.)

Funny Comic About the Importance of Digital Strategy

We stumbled upon a great blog post on the Brand Architect, titled “Just Being Digital is Not a Strategy”, and nothing can explain this statement better than the above comic by the amazing Tom Fishburne. If a picture is worth a thousands words, a funny and enlightening comic is worth a thousand pictures.

It doesn’t take a genius to set up a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or any other social media channel as part of the fact. It does, however, take a Creative genius to know how to properly utilize those channels to attain top marketing and organizational objectives, whether it’s to attain leads or generate awareness around a brand or cause.

Furthermore, the post provided a table (feel free to click on the image for a larger view) by management consultancy McKinsey to highlight social media’s four primary functions: monitor, respond, amplify, and lead consumer behavior. This proves to use even more just how much more there is to strategy in social media. 

Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” Will Beat Facebook & Twitter

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again! Do not be surprised if Twitter falls of the edge in the near future. We wrote a piece called 3 Crazy Digital Media Predictions for 2012 (Death of Twitter?) where we predicted that Twitter may be die down or completely die (you never know.) 

Why do we say that? Well it’s not just who are saying it, but many experts such as the best-selling author, Chris Brogan with his latest book titled, Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything, where he stated:

"Google+ posts sent to “public” rank fairly well in Google search results. You can’t get that with Facebook or Twitter these days.”

Today we heard a similar cry by The Next Web with their article, Google is no longer “The Internet” but it’s still going to beat Facebook and Twitter, where they are arguing that Twitter and Facebook cannot catch up with the social media enabled search results Google provides, especially after their launch of the much-debated Google Plus social network and their “search + your world” integration.

Let’s just say you went on Facebook to look up your high school sweetheart and she doesn’t happen to be on the social media site, will Facebook still give you search results from the rest of the Web? Absolutely, and it’s through Microsoft’s Bing-powered web search results. Google is simply doing the same thing when you are using their Google+ social network, but they go a step further than that! What happens when you’re using just the plain ol’ Google? Check out the video for your answer:

This is where the “Search, Plus Your World” comes in, this is the feature that will really hurt Facebook and Twitter. And that’s why Twitter has been recently slamming Google publicly over this feature, claiming that Social Search Changes Are ‘Bad for People’. Some experts express that this claim by Twitter is a sign that its success is starting to get threatened by Google Plus.

I feel like I’m watching the NFL playoffs over here people, and I’m predicting that Google and Facebook will be in the Superbowl, but the match will not just be for a few hours, but rather they’ll be fighting it out for a very long time, each one eagerly trying to get ahead of the race.

3 Crazy Digital Media Predictions for 2012 (Death of Twitter?)

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

I know, I know, not another one of those “here are the predictions for 2012” articles, I’m sick of seeing those too. I thought I’d make it more interesting by changing it up a bit to present the crazy digital and social media predictions of 2012, based on expert advice and insights.

Here’s the first outrageous prediction:

1) Twitter will Either Die Down or Die Altogether!

Why is that? The short answer is: Google Plus. The long answer is a really insightful statement presented by The Next Web in their article, What 2012 Holds for Social Media:

"In August, we took a look at what exactly Twitter needs to do to get businesses and brands on its side, and with the launch of Google+ pages, the outlook for the microblogging site wasn’t entirely positive. 2012 has to be the year that Twitter figures out once and for all how to interact with advertising and with brands. And if it wants to be taken seriously, in the face of some pretty fierce competition with Facebook and Google, Twitter is going to have to step it up."

But we think Twitter has no chance of competing with the two giants, Facebook and especially, Google. Google Plus will use their search dominance to put Twitter out of popularity and, eventually, business! Unless, of course, Twitter is able to team up with a search giant themselves, just as Facebook did with Bing.

2) Your Future TV Will Just be a Bigger iPhone or Android Phone

We wrote a really cool piece called, 7 Signs Why Your Future TV Will Just be a Bigger iPhone or Android Phone. With Steve Jobs boasting about how he has cracked the secret to Television in his biography, Google trying to purchase Motorola for $12.5 billion (which also specializes in TV hardware), and Google Plus offering a free 10-person chat called hangout (which we think will be a major selling point for Google to use when they enter the TV industry), there are still many more signs as to why Apple and Google will try to dominate the TV industry, and once they do (if they do!), you can bet your kitten that their TV’s will have the same exact capabilities their phones do, except for one thing: you won’t be able to lift it easily and place it into your pocket (unless you’re King King of course!)

3) Face Recognition & Social Media Will Follow you Everywhere! Literally!

And I mean while you’re walking down the street, waiting for the bus, browsing the mall, standing in front of a vending machine, and even while you’re using the johnny! Have you ever seen the movie “Minority Report” with Tom Cruise? Well, check out the above clip if you haven’t seen it. They had depicted technologies such as scanners and spider robots that could identify a person’s ID and all of their personal info by conducting an eye scan on them.

Now I don’t think it will reach that level anytime soon, but don’t be surprised to see something similar except it will be done using face recognition technologies already found through Facebook’s image tagging feature and the recently released Galaxy Nexus’s face recognition unlock feature.

Don’t be surprised if you start seeing the same face recognition feature being used on you to figure out who you are and grabbing personal information from your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) to bombard you with relevant ads. We wrote an interesting article, called Advertising in the Craziest, and Least Expected Place and Way on how vending machines have started doing something similar, except they are in the beginner stage. Check out the accompanying video:

But hold your horses, soon enough they should be able to implement something similar to what we saw in Minority Report. But I don’t know about those crazy crawling spider robots man, that may just be a depiction of the weird imagination Steven Spielberg has! But you never know, anything is possible the way technology is advancing nowadays!

The Last Advertising Agency on Earth

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

Nothing is more harmful for a business than for it to get comfortable with a status quo kind of attitude and think that it needs not to adapt to change. Especially in the world of advertising seeing how much technology and social media has reshaped our industry!

Well one film that will get you thinking about what the future of advertising might look like, is a video called “The Last Advertising Agency on Earth”, produced by Saatchi & Saatchi Canada.

This video does not necessarily suggest that the advertising industry is going to die and only one agency will come out winning, but rather the message to advertising agencies out there is this one: “Wake up and get your stuff together because it’s going to be a bumpy ride!”

Many PR and advertising experts see digital media as the future of advertising, and many went on to even to predict the downfall of print newspapers and magazines. So if we as an advertising agency, that prides itself on providing targeted marketing solutions are not taking advantage of the endless targeting options provided through social media and online advertising giants such as Facebook and Google, to name a few, then how do we expect to weather the coming storm? Some food for thought!