Pikasso's Gold Goes to a "Talented" Billboard

As every year, Pikasso held it's annual awards ceremony in Amman today. The top prize was awarded to a visual that linked the brand with women's ability and desire to bring out their talent.
Antonio Vincenti, GM of Pikasso opened with a speech congratulating the winners, thanking and audience, and highlighting his thoughts on the sensitive issue of Amman Municipality's decision to change the outdoor landscape, and remove rooftops and billboards on buildings.
His thoughts were very interesting to me and very nicely put, where he surprisingly agreed to the removal of rooftops and building-mounted billboards, because the billboards' main objective is to add to the city's beauty, and be an important part of that city's culture. But... on the condition of having a good enough alternative.
The alternative in discussion is supposed to be through providing more locations on the ground. I'm not sure how that will improve the scenery in the city. Having more and more billboards on sidewalks, will only block our vision of the buildings that we are trying to protect in the first place.
We still need to know how these will be positioned and how many they will be to really judge.
Before distributing the awards, there was a seminar conducted by Alain Weill, which I was unfortunately unable to attend. I'm sure I missed a lot of interesting stuff. The event was fun, and the food was good!

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Hyper Text and Hyper Evolution

If you are wondering what "Web 2.0" is, this is a perfect explanation...

Couldn't embed it for some reason. But here is the link.

Enjoy...

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Get Hyper-Linked, Without Paying High Per Link

When I go on selling advertisements, the traditional way, I have to get to know the client, talk to them, really understand them and convince them of the value of my offering. After that comes the long procedure (fight) over where to place the ad or how long it would be etc.
With contextualized ad systems, things seem to be just the opposite; I'm getting to know about the advertiser, through which I'm generating income, through my publication (blog), and after they publish the ads that I placed wherever I wanted!
This is how I got to know about several sites, blogs, services and people, one of which is John Chow.
The interesting thing, is that since advertising is contextual, and it is related to what I'm writing, the ads that show are usually interesting to me. Never mind about my visitors!
His ad caught my attention through several key words, like "your blog is a money maker", and "I'll show you how 100% free".
He seems to really understand to the concept of giving in order to take, and has his own witty way of implementing it.
One of the ways he is using, is posting an ad on a certain blog, only to cheer the blogger and telling him to "keep up the good work". How can you not wonder what the advertiser wants by just cheering up someone?! He only has the url of his blog under the cheer, and does not ask you to take action, not even click.
Apparently this not only caused readers to click and talk about it, the targeted blogger would reply with another Adsense ad as a reply for that ad. Here is a post showing interestig dialogs. Thanks JohnTP.
John's post analyzing his incomefrom his blog was very instructive and gave me an idea about the different income streams available and how each can be used. I must have overestimated Google's Adsense program. I look forward to sharing such results from my blog!
His latest strategy, which I fell for… (rose up to??) was to give links to bloggers who review his blog. For me, I thought it would be great to get some traffic from John, but I had to put something useful (I hope) about his blog. Therefore, I was forced to read more and more, to get to know him better, which is what his whole strategy is about. He got himself a new reader, and some links.
The memory of one of my college teachers,  Bob Schemel, just came to my mind when he asked us what was the thing that is equal for all human beings and no matter who you are, how much money you had, you are still an equal with all other people…
His answer? Time!
I had to agree, because come to think about it, we all have twenty four hours a day, and although smarter people might achieve more in less time, and might know how to collaborate, or purely use others to "save" time, we all have our deadlines, we need to be in a certain place at a certain time.
With the new available technologies, all this is collapsing. Time and space restrictions are collapsing. The quality of this post, for example, does not have anything to do with submitting it on time. There is no time limit for submitting it. So I "took" my time and wrote it at my convenience. You, in turn are reading it at your convenience and it can potentially be read any time in the future.
If this was a newspaper article, I would have had to submit it today, would have been paid to write it once, and anyone who wants to read it has only today, and maybe tomorrow to read it, then they'll have to look in garbage can!
From an advertising point of view this article would have generated some income for the newspaper only once and that's it.
In the case of this (and any other) post, whenever it is read, there will be some ads on the side or featured products to sell. It can therefore generate a theoretically unlimited amount of income for the blogger.   
Seems to me that time is no longer money, at least it is less so, than it used to be. Now, money is generated by the quality of your work, which is rewarded by more and more links (votes) from other people. These people don't know (or care) when you wrote it, they care if it is useful or interesting.
So, if you want to make some cash, go out and get some links, because links are money! 

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Toolbar, a New Model

Just got to know about a new toolbar provider, Agloco. They are advertising for a new toolbar, which is yet to be distributed, and sharing the revenue with referrers. That's a very interesting model compared to Conduit's.
While Conduit let's you make your own toolbar, with any links you want to any money-making program, they only impose the search box which is not an optional component. From that box, which is powered by Google, they earn their fees from clicks on sponsored links.
Agloco on the other hand, have their own standard toolbar "Viewbar", with a contextualized advertising section that earns money from clicks, a search box, earning the same way, and a 'rich media' platform. Members who refer users will be "partners" owning the system, each with a share that depends on the number of referrals they send.
Two interesting models for monetizing your web presence, you can sign up for this system through this link.    

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The Benefits of a Local eBusiness

Nothing!
Was my first reaction. Especially when I first heard about Vital Edition a newly-opened online book store targeted to Amman locals.
What about Amazon? And How will they compete with Adab wa Fan, the joint venture between Maktoob, "the biggest Arab online community" and Aramex, the top Arab express courier?
After some investigation and a meeting with the owners, I realized that they can not only compete, but they have some real advantage over their main "competitors".
When I order a book from Amazon it takes no less than two weeks to arrive to my part of the world. I have no idea how long it takes with Adab wa Fan. With Vital Edition, they deliver the books within 48 hours, which is really a big difference in convenience, and in the reduced cost. (their delivery is free)
I have no official statistics but people having credit cards in Amman are very little in number, and even these are still skeptical about making online transactions with credit cards. With VE you pay cash, and only after receiving your book.
Moreover, there is this personal element in their service where you can call a local mobile number and talk to a person, not just a machine.
Parallel to their online efforts, VE is creating an offline presence in cafes  in Amman, by renting display stands in outlets. This helps increase awareness of their brand, and gives a new dimension to customers experience in the outlet.
Maybe this is another cycle repeating itself where the local store has some advantage over Big Corps.
What still needs to be achieved is, well, the P word. Profitability doesn't seem to be coming in the near future. I think this would be only possible through adding more local products and categories in the same way, and reducing over-heads by only providing delivery from affiliated suppliers. Another challenge is to improve their variety and provide choice for the customer. Currently, they have a limited range restricted to top best sellers in each category.
Nawwaf Uteibi and Mohammed Kilani, the founders, are motivated not just to make a good business, but to make a difference in the reading habits in their town.
Local publishing is also being valued more and more, especially with giant media companies covering the globe for the major event.
Similarly, local publishing is gaining more value for the fact that huge world events are covered and scanned by big companies who cannot scan every detail in every town, and because of cultural and language barriers.
Spring Spotters is a network of "spotters" who contribute by sharing new, and interesting business ideas and models. They openly encourage locals, who have cultural and geographical reach to share any developments in their locations. They also give prizes for popular articles.
Another project, is Home Turf Media's new blog network which is a hybrid of both. It is "glocal". The reach is global and the network is interlinked. At the same time the content of each blog is highly local. This is quite different from most blog networks, in that they are based on location and not subject. So far they have a small network of five blogs, and still in the beginning.
Seems we have different options; you can have a global business, and you can have a purely local one... You can also choose to go glocal.

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Amman Lens

I actually was aware of Seth Godin’s new project around a year ago, but it was only two days ago that I actually decided to give it a shot. My first lens is about Amman, my home town, where I try to discover more and more interesting and beautiful stuff. Everybody is invited to share, comment, criticize and contribute. The lens also was a spark that got me many ideas on many other lens subjects. Hey the thing is cool, I really enjoying sharing the things I love with people, and there are quite many things that I really love! I will be asking for advice from others on how to improve it, and I hope it serves as a good guide for anyone wanting to come, visit, work, live, or just explore Amman and the neighboring cities in Jordan.
Here is the lens.
This project is, “unashamedly commercial, since we live in a commercial world” as Seth says. Well there are quite nice opportunities for making some good money here and there, but I think this needs a good amount of focus. Will be posting about new lenses and subjects.
Check it out!  

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Resolutions with High Resolution

Keep the two thousand, and just give me seven … 
One: affirmative NO! The magical moment of saying this terrible word in a nice way, and enduring the freezing two seconds that follow. 
No to things I don’t like. No to desperate people just hanging on to me just because they think this is their only hope (showing them the other options they have is a good alternative). No to anything less than I want. No to sanity;) 
Two: Virtual YES! On to the new world of virtual everything… more of knowledge, thought, art, and more and more liberation from the physical constraints of time and space. Liberty to create. 
Three: I shall read, read, and read my way through this year. The resulting over-saturation shall overflow and be central in new creations. 
Four: Sports, always. Burn the hell out of the remaining few layers, and march happily with a lighter being. Vibrant being is the foundation for this of course. 
Five: Blog… I like to think of this virtual world as the magical city of Harry Potter. Come to think of it closely, the tools and technologies on the Web can work virtual magic, according to the world as we “used” to know it. Everything we do on the Web has several dimensions and effects many things in many different ways, and can potentially explode in our face if we don’t cast the right spell! So, for this year, more and more time energy to be devoted to “magic”. 
Six: Travel. It’s been a while since I have discovered new places and people. I shall plan several small and one or two big trips. 
Seven: As the Almighty did on the seventh… Enjoy! And try new things. 
Funny when I boil it down to a few basic things, they kind of encompass everything, and it seems I don’t want more. The little details will work themselves out if the big hi-rez chunks are properly attended to. 
Happy new year…

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You! Yes, You!

This was the title of Time magazine’s person of the year article. It’s been a while since Tom Peters has “ranted” about this “Brand You” stuff, and about being the CEO of Me.Inc!
I’ve taken him for his word, and the thing is really exciting. Now it is validated by Time, and I am the person of the year.
Actually I have started really becoming one of these I’s. This blog, with all the other services connected to it. Google’s adsense, is just another thing to build My publishing empire, however small or insignificant, I am the editor-in-chief, and CEO.
Small changes are added to my new toolbar, and day-by-day, it is gaining some richer content. I expect to start distributing it within the coming two weeks, after having connected it with informative, entertaining, and profitable content.Congratulations to Me, and “You”, for going into this new age of change. One of the proofs that this is a valid claim…? I’m increasingly falling more and more in love with technology! 

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Adsense Cool Plugin

I have been keen on getting to know the secrets and tricks of improving my online business, which is no more than two weeks old!, and bumped into several different resources.One of the main ones, was
Joel Comm, and his tips on getting the best out of
Adsense.
For four consecutive days, I have received daily personalized emails, giving me tips on how to maximize the use of this program. Since I use Wordpress for this blog, there were two plugins to be used, the first is the
Adsense plugin, by Phil Hord and the other more advanced one is
Adsense Deluxe, by
Acmetech. It took me a while to get them in place, and I still wasn’t able to install the normal Adsense plugin.
Adsense Deluxe is really cool! It allows you to get post ads whenever you want. Like this: (removed)
You just type the right tag, and Google gets you the ad right where you want it.
A far greater resource was getting me a Silver membership for the
surefirewealth site. There are tons and tons of internet marketing, software, contextualized advertising and many other useful information, and in different forms. Ebooks, videos, audios, and downloads. I’m just starting!
There was also another useful report, “The New Age Work at Home” that you can get by
clicking here, and getting to know great stuff about online business. Try it!
I’m falling in love with technology for the first time in my life! It’s just beautiful what you can do with it… 

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Toolbars

The toolbar is usually a button on your borwser that functions mainly as a shortcut to certain useful functions or sites on the internet. They can help save time, and ease our borowsing process.A new approach, is to use these toolbars, as media for creating communities, sharing updates on relevant news and information, and chatting. It can be customized according to the tollbar creator’s choice, and according to the needs of the audience.
There are also great opportunities for selling a lot of stuff online, by creating links to targeted areas.
The best way to utilize these, is by first of all being part of an affiliate program, and sell the program’s products to your users. This can further be exploited by sending the links on your buttons to your own page, and directing the users to buy from there, to ensure that they referred through your site. Moreover, on your own page, you can easily post Adsense ads, and increase the chances of selling more and more stuff, and getting paid clicks.
I have created my first toolbar, which you can get for
free from here

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