The first conference to focus on social and consumer-generated media in the Middle East is to be staged in Jordan by communications agency casualPR.
The iblog imedia event will provide a showcase for the fast-growing new media markets being opened up by the growth of social media.
“Social media, also referred to as Web 2.0 media, includes platforms such as Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube and blogs,” said casualPR CEO Samer Marzouq.
“These new platforms are changing the way that people interact, the way that news flows, the way in which a wide and growing range of information is managed and consumed by people.
“Web 2.0 media is a growing opportunity but also a challenge for organisations and individuals in the Middle East and we believe this conference will open up a new level of understanding of this important area.”
The event on June 1 will focus on the fast-growing adoption of social media and the way companies and individuals can interact using Web 2.0 tools.
Censorship, information flow, ways in which traditional media is being changed by new media such as blogs and the impact of social media on marketing are among the topics to be covered at the event.
Social media is a new class of internet-based platform that permits interaction and the exchange of content between consumers.
People are sharing content in new ways ranging from blogs and wikis through social sites such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace to online tools such as Digg, Del.ici.ous and NetVibes. The Middle East has seen an explosion in social media recently.
There are more than 300 active blogs in Jordan alone and the country’s Queen Rania recently launched her own YouTube page.
Elsewhere in the region active communities of bloggers have raised a number of important issues, including censorship, that are not tackled by traditional media. Facebook alone has achieved a remarkable rate of adoption in the Middle East with more than 1.2 million active users across the region.
“Bloggers are competing with traditional media in attracting readers. Search engines deal with blogs in the same way they deal with news sites and online media operators – with many search queries, blogs appear before well-known sites in the results,” added Marzouq.
“The Middle East has an important and emerging social media scene which presents new marketing and customer interaction opportunities – and challenges.
“We have seen examples, both globally and within the Middle East, of bloggers and other social media having an enormous impact on organisations and the way they interact with people.”
The conference in Amman will feature expert international and Middle East speakers representing marketers, bloggers, media owners and entrepreneurs.
It is also expected to attract a regional audience of marketing and communications specialists, advertisers, public relations professionals and media companies.
Social media get together in Jordan