Archive for the ‘Sharing’ Category

Al Jazeera Launches Citizen Journalism Platform ‘Sharek’

| November 26, 2008 – 10:22 pm | comment 1 Comment

Al Jazeera SharekThe New Media team at Al Jazeera just launched a new citizen journalism platform by the name of ‘Sharek‘ earlier today. (Sharek means contribute or share in Arabic.)

Sharek enables users to upload video material that they’ve recorded using their webcams, video cams or mobile phones; reporting the news that is happening around them.

Other than uploading content through the website, user media content can also be sent via email or directly from their mobiles.

More features will be added soon like live webcam recording, and live streaming from mobile phones.

Uploaded material will be reviewed by Al Jazeera journalists, who will choose newsworthy items and interesting commentary to feature on the ‘Sharek’ website, as well as on Al Jazeera as part of their coverage of a certain story.

This project expands on the successful results of previous trials by Al Jazeera with soliciting and collecting user submitted content on YouTube, and hopes to make it even easier for anyone to pass their content directly to the Al Jazeera team.

The project is pretty similar in concept to CNN’s iReport, with the exception of content being screened before publication in the case of ‘Sharek’ to maintain a certain level of quality.

Sharek is only available in Arabic for the time being, and so content uploaded through it is mainly for Al Jazeera Arabic, but an English version of the service is on the way.

Sharek

Minixr, A New Microblogging And Lifestreaming Platform

| November 25, 2008 – 11:14 pm | comment 3 Comments

MinixrMinixr is a new Microblogging and lifestreaming platform launched from Algeria. 

The service enables users to post and share their status updates, links, different types of files (videos, photos, audio) and events with their friends through the website.

Basic social networking features, enabling users to find and follow their friends, building their own personal network on the service are of course integrated.

On the other hand Minixr also offers the ability to automatically pull user activity on a number of other websites (Digg, Last.fm, Delicious, Flickr, YouTube, …etc) and centralize them on the user’s timeline for all followers to see.

If compared to international services, Minixr looks pretty much like a mix of Pownce and FriendFeed.

Minixr also offers users the possibility to send status updates through their mobile phones, or through IM (Google Talk, Jabber, AIM).

The service mainly targets young adults, between the ages of 20-35, from Francophone countries and the Middle East. The revenue model is planned to be solely advertising based.

Minixr

The service is currently in Beta, with the official launch slated for sometime in January 2009.

The interface is pretty simple and uses pretty much the same format as other microblogging services out there. It is available in French only at the time being, but other languages will be added soon.

Minixr 

3alaRasi, A Portal For Comedy Entertainment Content

| November 23, 2008 – 9:57 pm | comment 3 Comments

3alarasi3alaRasi is a Jordanian entertainment portal that features a mix of funny cartoons, caricatures, articles, videos, photos and audio.

The portal’s content comes both from in-house productions, as well as content generated and submitted by the site’s users.

The site integrates all the regular sharing and social networking features that allow users to create their profiles, connect with their friends, and share all supported kinds of content with them.

In addition to all the kinds of content mentioned above, users can also upload and share games in Flash and Shockwave format.

The cartoons and animations currently produced by the 3alaRasi team are currently inspired by the Jordanian (Awad Abu Shifa, Jaber Kawanes, 7awa)  and Palestinian (Falla7) society and culture, but there are plans to expand and add Egyptian and Gulf inspired characters and content soon.

The site’s interface is currently in English only, although an Arabic version should be expected soon.

3alarasi

3alaRasi also distribute their content through a number of mobile channels in Jordan and the GCC, and are looking to expand to other countries in the region.

Other distribution channels have been through Jordanian radio station Mazaj FM airing Audio clips from 3alaRasi, as well as Nourmina TV which aired 3alaRasi cartoon episodes in Ramadan. A new deal with Jordanian daily Addustour, will also see a daily cartoon from 3alaRasi cartoonist Omar Abdallat published in the newspaper.

3alaRasi was launched by ERUM Creative Productions L.L.C, which was founded by Amer M. AbuLaila, Omar Abdallat, Rajai Qawas, and Fahd Oweidat.

3alaRasi

Mecca.com Releases More Features And New Design

| November 17, 2008 – 1:51 pm | comment 11 Comments

Mecca.comMecca.com, the Muslim community portal, that also integrates a social networking and user generated content platform, has just rolled out a new look, unveiling a new logo and a re-design for their whole website.

The new design is more colorful and looks more hip; it also feels better organized, optimizing the use of screen real estate.

This new design, comes just a short while after Mecca.com rolling out their new Videos section, where members can upload and share their videos with friends. As with other online video sharing services, friends have the ability to comment, rate, edit, and share videos with other users.

Mecca.com

Mecca.com had also enhanced their Photo sharing feature by improving the user interface, and adding the possibility to import photos from Facebook and Flickr.

Mecca.com

Wikeez, A New Social Entertainment Platform

| November 6, 2008 – 2:00 pm | comment 12 Comments

WikeezWikeez, is a new Lebanon-based startup, focusing on user generated content around entertainment topics, which was founded by Kuv Capital with a seed investment of US$250,000.

Wikeez aims to allow people to publish and exchange on their favorite subjects centered on entertainment topics (tv shows, movies, celebrities, music and sports).

Each topic is fragmented into 3 tiers:

  • Top Stories: Information on the subject; latest news, Bio,…
  • Blog Stories: content produced by Wikeez members
  • Micro Stories: reactions shared by Wikeez members

Wikeez will also enable people to create their own blogs, fan clubs, get the latest news centered on their passions, as well as socialize with other fans.

Wikeez

The site is still in alpha, with a beta version coming pretty soon.

The company is currently looking to recruit in Lebanon; You can check out their open job vacancies on the StartUpArabia Job Board.

Update: Wikeez is offering invites to their alpha version to all StartUpArabia readers; if you’re interested, just send an email to: invite@wikeez.com.

Wikeez

Tvosz Introduces New Video Player & More Advertising Options

| September 27, 2008 – 1:49 pm | comment No Comments

TvoszTvosz, the Egyptian video sharing service, has launched a new video player, which looks neater, is quite faster, and introduces a number of new options like the possibility to control brightness, contrast and saturation; and direct access to a mini guide of other videos (related, top rated, most viewed, recent, …etc) while your video loads.

In addition to the new video player, Tvosz brings advertisers a number of new advertising options that they can use on the site, including:

Premium videos: these are prominently displayed in the video guide window to attract viewers.
Pre-roll Advertising: these are displayed before the video the user chose to view.
Post-roll Advertising: these are displayed directly after the video the user chose to view.
Mid-roll Advertising: these are set to be displayed in the middle of the video being played by the user with a configurable start time; and giving users the ability to close these midroll ads or navigate between them.

Shown ads are also targeted by video channel, meaning that a person viewing videos about sports will get sports-related ads displayed to them.

Tvosz

Whizle, Simple Tool To Create & Share Guides, Tutorials & Plans

| September 8, 2008 – 1:22 pm | comment No Comments

WhizleWhizle is a new Dubai-based service, which has been in stealth mode for a while now, ironing out the little details here and there. It is a simple tool that aims to make creating guides and plans and then sharing them easy and straight-forward.

Making a guide or tutorial with Whizle is really simple: In creating a whizle, after inputting the title and purpose of the whizle, you go through a number of steps, these steps are made up of actions that you get to detail and resources that can be either uploaded files or some dynamic content from the web, like a video from YouTube or a photo from Flickr for example. 

The service provides two interfaces to create whizles and setup their details; one an interactive app called the whizlebuilder, and one a simple interface. Both come with WYSIWYG editors to help format inputted text.

Whizle screenshot

A little bookmarking tool called ‘Whizmark‘ is made available too, that can be added to your browser’s toolbar, to make it easier to directly post resources to Whizles you are working on.

Work is currently underway on a viewer that will allow users to easily embed their Whizles into their websites or blogs in order to share them with their readers.

The service is available in English only for the time being, and should come in very handy for anyone looking to create a simpleand easy guide, tutorial or plan.

Whizle

Google Launches Knol In Arabic As One Of The First Languages Worldwide

| August 26, 2008 – 5:00 pm | comment No Comments

KnolGoogle has just launched their service Knol in Arabic, as one of the first languages supported by the language worldwide. Knol is a new service from Google that in some way competes with Wikipedia, it is a free tool encouraging people to write articles about the things they know about most, and that they’re considered experts on.

So whatever their area of expertise, the service lets users write, share and participate in a community of information and knowledge.

Arabic is one of the first languages that Knol is launching globally, showcasing the importance of the Arabic market to Google.

Mohammad Gawdat, Managing Director for Emerging Markets explained: “The Arab region is a high priority for us at Google and we are excited to provide more tools in local language such as Blogger and now Knol.”

For more information and to start writing on your subject of expertise in Arabic or English, or explore existing knols (articles and posts), all you have to do is visit the website at: knol.google.com

Knol screenshot

‘The internet is huge, but still a lot of expert knowledge remains untapped,’ said Ahmed Gaballah, spokesman for Google. ‘Knol provides a way for people to share their expertise with others–and get credit for their contribution. In the same way that books have authors’ names right on the cover, knols have authors’ names–and links to their other articles–right there on the page.’

Knols are a great way to tackle the lack of Arabic content on the internet. ‘We are delighted that beyond providing a forum for Arabic speakers to share their knowledge, readers can now access information they are searching for that they otherwise could not get in Arabic,’ Gaballah stated.

Knols allow authors to include references, link to additional information, and interact with readers. And readers can easily submit comments, rate, or write a review of a knol.

Ikbis Launch New Advanced Video Player

| August 19, 2008 – 9:01 pm | comment 2 Comments

IkbisIkbis, the popular Arab video and photo sharing website, has launched a new advanced video player with improved features, interface and performance.

The new video player looks a lot cooler than the old one, and feels more organized, using space in a better way, with a new on hover dock system instead of the old fixed bar at the bottom.

A new HD feature has been added to the player to enable watching videos in high definition, and it is now possible to skip forward by dragging the player head on the timeline.

And following the re-design the Ikbis homepage underwent recently, another key page, which is the single video/photo page was also redesigned now to be more compact/streamlined, giving users easier access to related content, commenting, embedding and social bookmarking services.

ikbis new single page

According to Ahmad Humeid, CEO of TootCorp, Ikbis’ parent company, the design also takes into consideration the increasing demand from advertisers that ikbis has been experiencing, especially in the Gulf region.

Qatar Living, Community Portal About Living In Qatar

| July 27, 2008 – 12:00 pm | comment 3 Comments

Qatar LivingQatar Living is an online community portal that was founded in 2005, and that has grown over the years to become a central point for information on everything related to Qatar.

The portal was built around the goal to facilitate connection, participation and sharing of knowledge and experience between members of the community; in order to enrich the content and provide more useful information for everyone, whether they already live in Qatar, or will be moving/visiting there.

Among the features that Qatar Living offers to community members are a free classifieds system, a Q&A system, a guide to Qatar and a forum; all to help users connect to find the different things they need, as well as answers to their questions, and helpful information about living in Qatar.

The portal tries to cater to users’ interests by providing details about the different events taking place in Qatar, as well as a directory of groups of people who share similar interests.

Qatar Living is also behind the Qatar Blogs Project, which aims to group all blogs about Qatar in one place; and then maybe start aggregating their content to help people find interesting stories.

Qatar Living screenshot

The portal is powered by Drupal, and has a well structured design, that makes it pretty easy to navigate and find information. The site currently has around 43000 registered users, and generates an average of 6 millions page views a month.

# Qatar Living

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