Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category

IDSC Releases New Report About Egyptian Blogs

| July 20, 2008 – 11:56 am | comment 1 Comment

The Egyptian Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), the research arm of the Egyptian government, just released a report titled ‘Egyptian Blogs: New social space‘, detailing the status of Egyptian and Arabic blogs in general, their importance and content.

Among the report’s findings are the following:

  • The Arabic language doesn’t come up in the top 10 blogging languages in the world.
  • The total number of Arabic blogs is estimated at 490.000 blogs, representing only 0.7% of the total number of blogs in the world.
  • Egyptian blogs form 30.7% of all Arabic blogs with an estimated number of 160,000 blogs.
  • 76.8 % of the Egyptian blogs use the Arabic language, 9.6% are written in English, and 20.8% are mixed.
  • 53.1% of the Egyptian bloggers are between 20 – 30 years old; 18.8% between 30-40; 17% under 20 and 11.1% over 40.
  • 73% of the Egyptian bloggers are males, and 27% are females.
  • Jeeran has the largest collection of Egyptian blogs with around 116.192 blogs forming 72.6% of the total number of Egyptian blogs. Followed by BlogSpot with 16.29%, and then Maktoob with 6.5%.

The full report can be viewed in Arabic here: Egyptian Blogs: New social space (PDF)

Tvosz.com, New Egyptian Video Sharing Service

| July 17, 2008 – 12:23 pm | comment 6 Comments

TvoszTvosz.com is a new Cairo-based online video sharing service, which aims to be an alternative video sharing website for Egyptian and global internet users alike, and a place for family-friendly content.

Anyone can have access to upload, download, view, share and experience everything from short clips captured on mobile phones all the way up to full-length, high-definition feature films.
However all videos are submitted for approval by the website’s team to ensure that all posted content is family-friendly non-offensive material.

Every video available on Tvosz is compatible with over all major manufacturers’ consumer electronics devices, making it easy to play back videos anytime anywhere.

Videos can be made public to be shared with the whole world or private for sharing with family and friends, whom they can invite and connect with through the websites social networking functionalities.

Finding interesting videos to watch is really easy by navigating through the several channels and groups; surfing through the different tags; checking out the latest, most watched, top rated or some randomly chosen videos; and of course also by searching the website using the built-in search engine.

Users can leave comments on videos, rate them, add them to their favorites, and even download them to their desktops, which is something other video sharing services don’t usually natively offer.
Users can also always go back and find videos they’ve watched by visiting their online playlists.

Tvosz screenshot

In the same spirit of sharing, videos from Tvosz can be directly posted to users’ favorite social bookmarking services; or embedded in users’ blogs or homepages easily using a provided bit of code.

The website is very well designed, organized and really easy to use. The interface is in English only for the time being.

Tvosz was launched from Cairo, Egypt, by Ahmed Samir, Osama Awwad and A. Abdel Aziz.

# Tvosz.com

Synergos Middle East & North Africa Social Innovators Program

| July 16, 2008 – 11:28 am | comment 2 Comments

SynergosIn October 2007 Synergos launched the Middle East and North Africa Social Innovators Program, with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other donors. The three-year initiative seeks to identify and support twenty individuals from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine who are implementing successful social projects.

In order to be considered for selection, a candidate must be implementing an idea that has demonstrated positive social change and impact at a local level with the potential for replication in other communities and expansion to a national level. Social innovations will be considered which have as a focus one or more of the following fields; economic, social, or sustainable development; health; education; and culture.

The Program will invest in these Social Innovators through professional development and financial support to better enable participants to transform their small-scale projects into sustainable programs and organizations.

The selected Social Innovators will have access to training, mentoring and peer learning through a network of professionals and social entrepreneurs to help build financial and organizational sustainability for your innovation; as well as facilitation of connections to business, government, philanthropic and other civil society leaders in the area and across the world to leverage their innovation and make a greater impact. Financial awards of up to $17,000 per year, for two years, are also offered to help develop the winner’s social ventures.

The application period for the Social Innovators program began in early May 2008 and goes on until mid-September.

For more details about the program and project submission, check out the official program website: Synergos Social Innovators Program.

weNear Launch Location Based Applications Competition

| July 1, 2008 – 8:45 pm | comment 2 Comments

weNearweNear, a mobile platform for location-based services and applications, developed by Egyptian company eSpace, just launched a location based applications competition today, which is open to students of The Computer Science Department at Alexandria University, Egypt.

The competition consists in building interesting location based applications using the weNear API. It starts today, July 1st, and the final submission date is August 31st.

Those interested in being part of the competition can go to the weNear competition announcement page to find details about the weNear architecture, documentation, and some initial client/server communication code in several programming languages to help them get started.

Contestants can then submit their applications at the weNear competition sub-site.

Should be interesting to see how this works out, and what different applications come out of it.

# weNear competition

meOwns Launch New Version, Redesign & More Features

| June 26, 2008 – 11:15 am | comment No Comments

meOwnsmeOwns, the social web application that enables users to publish personal collections of the different things they own, that was previously reviewed here, just launched the new version of their service, with a new design and a set of new features and enhancements.

The new layout and design, brings increased usability throughout the website and its different sections and functionalities, looks a lot nicer, and just feels more organized.

meOwns screenshot

But the new version doesn’t stop at the aesthetics, it brings a number of interesting additions as well:

  • More options to navigate the website, by going through the lists of recently added stuff; recently wished for items; hot, beloved or interesting stuff; and the enhanced search and tagging systems.
  • Users can now also rate items they own or that other people own.

Other features that we should be seeing on the website soon are:

  • The listing of related and similar items that you might be interested in on item pages.
  • Knowing who else owns a certain item that you own or someone else owns; or who wishes to get that item.
  • Integration of microformats.

# meOwns

Filaty 2.0 Now Open For Public Beta

| June 6, 2008 – 8:51 am | comment No Comments

FilatyThe Arab file and photo sharing service Filaty, which was previously reviewed here, has just launched a public beta of its new second version.

The new beta version can be accessed at: http://beta.filaty.com

The design used in the beta is really simplistic and neat, to rather put the emphasis on the functionality. The system was rebuilt from scratch based on a new Arab programming framework that was launched not too long ago.

The main focus for this second version was upload speed, so that was tweaked, optimized and tested rigorously to attain the best results possible.

The design will be changed a bit before the official launch of the new version, conserving the simplicity and ease of use of both the upload page and the file/image detail pages.

filaty beta screenshot

The beta goes on until June 25th. A quick form is integrated into the upload page for testers to send in feedback, faced problems, or suggestions directly.

# Filaty 2.0 Beta

meOwns, A Social Tool To Publish Collections Of What You Own

| June 5, 2008 – 1:10 pm | comment 3 Comments

meOwnsmeOwns is a new web application that helps people complete another bit of their public personal profile on their blogs, social networks and other personal web pages by publishing personal collections of things they own.

The idea behind the service is that you might not be able to tell what kind of person someone is just by the way they look, but that you can get a better idea by knowing what they own.

As a user you can use the service to build and maintain collections of the items you own, create a personal wish list or import one you already  have on Amazon, as well as add items from other people’s collections and wish lists to your own.

It’s also possible to get in contact with other users directly through the site, by sending them a message and choosing which of your contact details you’d like share with them for the reply (Email, Yahoo ID or Windows Live ID).

The meOwns blog talks about the possibility of launching a garage sale for items you want to sell, as well as the ability to request to buy items from other people. It seems these features still haven’t been officially rolled out, but they sound really neat. It’ll be interesting to see how the whole buying/selling/price details will be handled.

meOwns allows users to integrate many of the service’s basic functionalities into their personal blogs and websites through a customizable widget, which lets them directly maintain their collections and items, and also lets other users interact with it and the items in it. The widget is also available as a facebook application that can be added to the user’s profile.

meOwns screenshot

Items from other users can be found through popular tags, popular types of items, or searched for using the quick or advanced search options. You can also check out other user’s pages and see what collections and items they own by searching for them or browsing the top users list.

meOwns was launched from Alexandria, Egypt by eSpace Technologies.

# meOwns

Anasheed MouslimTube, Online Islamic Nasheed Repository

| May 31, 2008 – 1:19 pm | comment 9 Comments

Anasheed MouslimTubeAnasheed MouslimTube is a new service that is currently in beta that aims to become a repository for Islamic nasheeds, a form of Islamic song that is currently surging in popularity around the Muslim world.

The website users can find nasheeds by going through available albums, viewing work by different nasheed artists, picking tags that describe what they’re looking for best, check out the most popular nasheeds with other users, or try out the randomly selected nasheeds album. There also is a search engine that enables more advanced searches for nasheeds.

Nasheeds can be listened to online through streaming real audio, or downloaded in several formats for later listening. Lyrics are also provided for a big number of these nasheeds.

The website currently has 152 albums by 154 nasheed artists, grouping 912 nasheeds.

MouslimTube Screenshot

The website has a very nice and straightforward design, making it really easy to use and navigate around. It is in Arabic only.

Anasheed MouslimTube was developed and launched from Egypt by Hazem Khaled, and designed by Muhammad Abdul-Shakour Arab (Division Designs).

# Anasheed MouslimTube

Wikimania 2008 – Alexandria, Egypt (July 17-19)

| May 8, 2008 – 4:09 pm | comment No Comments

Wikimania 2008Alexandria, Egypt, will be hosting Wikimania 2008 this Summer in the prestigious newly reconstructed library of Alexandria, Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Wikimania is a regular conference for all Wikimedians that contribute to one of the many Wikimedia Foundation projects. Past conferences have been held in popular cities around the world, such as Frankfurt, Boston and Taipei, but this is the first time the event is being held in an Arab country.

As in previous years, Wikimania 2008 will include unconferences, seminars, and workshops. The Wikimania 2008 committee, comprised primarily of volunteers, will be organizing the event, and has already begun lining up sponsors. The program is still being planned, you can follow the planning here.

Registration for the event is open now, and details on how to register and attend can be found here: Registration.

# Wikimania 2008 Alexandria, Arabic Wikipedia

Otlob, Free Online Food Ordering Service

| April 30, 2008 – 1:22 pm | comment 6 Comments

Otlob is a free online food ordering service that was first launched in Egypt back in 1999, and which has expanded to three other countries in the Middle East ever since: Saudi Arabia (Riyadh & Jeddah), United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and Bahrain.

Otlob provides its users with the complete menus of their favorite restaurants, enabling them to order meals online easily and quickly; they can even add comments with their order if they need to be specific about certain details.

Users can also save their favorite orders so as to save time the next times they need to order the same meals, they can order from a number of restaurants at the same time, and set the delivery time of their choice.

Restaurants are organized by category and by the neighbourhoods they serve to, and their latest menus are available on the website for users to choose from.

The interface is very well designed, really simply and easy to use; and it comes in two languages: English and Arabic.

Otlob was developed by LINK Development, and manage by LINKonLINE, both subsidiaries of LINKdotNET, an Orascom company.

# Otlob

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