What 7 social media websites are the best for SMB online presence?

Choosing the right social media outlet for your small business depends on many factors related, but not limited, to:

  1. Your business,
  2. Your customers and
  3. The existent in-house knowledge of the people in charge of executing your social media promotion campaigns.

This article assumes that you won’t be outsourcing your social media activities to external agencies, since in such case this article should be “old news” to a savvy social media manager. social-media-overwhelm2 The number of social media websites has grown substantially. Some big ones are expanding everyday, others are being born and are growing in popularity and old ones are losing their shine and are cast into oblivion. As such, making the right choice for a social media can be a tedious process. Not all social media populate the right audience for your marketing messages or have the features you are looking for.

It’s okay to be selective, as long as you have a clear social media motive & objective with high Return on Investment (ROI) expectations.

Before we move on to recommending the best social media websites for small businesses, there are some rules of thumb that need to be kept in mind before you even attempt making a choice for a perfect social media match.

1. Know what Social Media are in relation to Marketing

If you are new to social media, or if your knowledge of social media is limited to having a Facebook profile, browsing videos in YouTube or posting some pictures on Instagram, you need to get to know social media a little bit more first. Read articles about them, scroll down the homepage and read the “unexplored sections” of your favourite social media website like [advertisement], [about us], [FAQs, Frequently Asked Questions], [privacy statements] etc. There is business model behind every social media website and this business model relies heavily on people like you using it as a marketing platform, whether paid or free. The good thing about social media is that it allows for free and low-budget marketing. You can achieve a lot through posting excellent content & mastering the art of effective social engagement (attractive call to action messages). You can read more about the relation between social media and marketing in my other article with title: “How Long Will Social Media Marketing Stay Effective“. https://twitter.com/OpenAnswer/status/495607482300235776   Also, try to immerse yourself in the vast literature that has been written on social media behaviour and strategy. It will help you understand a number of important, though seemingly trivial, elements of social media interaction and engagement that are vital for your success. You may be able to answer questions like:

  1. Why do people click on some posts but ignore others?
  2. What is viral sharing and how can I transform it into “viral marketing” of my product page or blog post?
  3. Why are video’s, pictures and emotional headlines more likely to be liked, clicked on and shared than others?
  4. What causes people to not like my company’s Facebook page, dislike my YouTube video or unfollow me on Twitter?
  5.  How can social media success be measured? What tools can I use and what metrics should I set?

2. See how others, competitors, are doing it.

Yes, do it! We were all once beginners and there is a first time for everything. Take the opportunity to check how your competitors specifically are going about their social media exposure or read clear-cut case-studies about social media successes (and failures) for small business within your geography, customer demography or business sector. This is only another way of conducting the oh so vital market research before you draw up the even more vital Social Media Marketing Plan. (You are going to make a plan, aren’t you?)

3. Be social, creative, authentic, engaged, active and communicative.

social-media-signs As the name implies, social media is all about being social, socially active and sociable (= mostly likeable). You or the person(s) in charge of carrying out your social media campaigns should also have some creativity in compelling writing, attractive design or a reasonable mix of both. Some knowledge of HTML code (for embedding images, video’s, tweets etc.), web design, graphic design or image manipulation skills may come in handy. A successful blogger is mostly someone who has a sufficient dose of these skills to lead a small-scale social media campaign.

4. Know how social media performance is monitored and managed.

SocialMediaEngagement Putting all of your creative development and digital assets out there on social media is not enough. Plug yourself into the rich vein of social media analytics tools like Hootsuite, BufferApp, TweetDeck etc or more advanced ones like Sysomos. See whether such tools can deliver answers to questions, such as:

  1. How would you know that what you are doing is right or wrong?
  2. What kind of content seems to bring about more engagement through clicks, likes, shares or favourites?
  3. How would you know that your declining sales or increasing website hits are the result of your social media activity?
  4. How can you distinguish between the performance of your Twitter account, YouTube channel and Facebook company page?
  5. Why has your LinkedIn company page not been followed or liked for whole 3 months?

5. Draw up a water-proof Social Media Plan and follow it up with analysis and review.

Your business plan can contain any elements you deem important to your company’s social media success, but it should definitely include the following main elements:

  1. Your business goals and objectives: identify them and define them.
  2. Your social media objectives in relation to your business goals
  3. Define your parameters and metrics pertaining to these objectives: choose the right tools to manage your online performance.
  4. Identify and define your target group: is it your existing customers, potential customers or social media influencers (Brand PR)?
  5. Keep the competition’s online presence in mind: research & calculate their social media performance in terms of fellowship numbers AND engagement rates.

The 7 best social media websites for small business.

social-media-logos-100339762-orig I will let you do you own research on the specific feature of each of the social media websites I selected and move on to recommending them in order of preference or fitness to most small businesses’ marketing objectives. I would aim for the big 5: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ & YouTubeincluding photo and interest sharing platforms, Instagram & Pinterest in one category and some “new-comers”. The reasoning behind my selection is derived from their authority, functionality, market leadership, technological advancement, clear advertising models, being international (multilingual), ease of use and off course big number of members (= more exposure). If your business is a B2C small business, the best social media platforms I recommend in order of relevance & importance are:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Google+
  4. LinkedIn
  5. YouTube (becomes a top-3 if you can make engaging video, relevant to your business)
  6. Instagram or Pinterest (moves up to number two or three if it is a product, or a service, deriving value & marketability from design or packaging = fancy photo’s. Like cloths or shoes or beauty services or accessories)
  7. Ryze

If a B2B small business, the best social media I recommend  in order of relevance & importance are:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Google+
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook
  5. YouTube (becomes a top-3 if you can make engaging video, relevant to your business)
  6. Instagram or Pinterest (become more important if it is a product, not a service, deriving value & marketability from design or packaging = fancy photo’s. Like office stationery, ornaments or furniture)
  7. Quora

How can a manager control his temper?

Which one is more effective: talking or barking?


When it comes to controlling emotions (temper) it is always easier said than done. But it can be trained and it all starts with creating self-awareness about our emotions. Having such awareness specifically denotes the importance of having a high degree of social & emotional intelligence in the discipline of management (the managing of others, whether employees, business relations or random members of our social circles).


We all know the cliché that is not so much a cliché actually but closer to a fact:

you can’t control something you do not know well


you cannot manage others if you can’t even manage yourself.

I try to remind myself that emotions can always choose the rational path of calm words (smart & effective communication) instead of deeds and automatic reactions (impulsive communication). But our emotional reactions are naturally faster than our rational considerations. That’s a bio-physiological fact we can’t do much about, but can only tame gradually through training and lots of practice.


If you think about it, you can always TALK about your emotions; how angry, disappointed, misunderstood, tensed, worried or impatient you are about a certain employee’s attitude or performance, instead of BARKING OUT these emotions.

But the problem of emotions control often arises when:

  1. We think that our true thought/position in a certain situation can only be fully communicated, understood & respected by others when it is accompanied by emotion.
  2. We think that others will only take us seriously when they see our emotions (which can be true by the way depending on your audience and their level of social intelligence)
  3. Talking is viewed as a sign of weakness (culturally or group-collectively) and barking as a form of strength (also, culturally or group-collectively).
  4. We are not the talking type that releases regularly and timely but the type that bottles up impressions about others until they evolve into powerful untameable emotions that erupt at once like a volcano in the most poorly-timed & destructive manner!


Controlling emotions does not necessarily imply suppressing them, but rather channelling them to reach effective communication. That’s why a face-to-face setting is usually preferred in solving conflicts, with as less external factors as possible influencing the calm & effectiveness of communication.

Communication is best served when conducted in a rational manner based on words and voiced thoughts that describe our emotions clearly & constructively, instead of uncontrolled eruptions that describe our words and thoughts poorly & destructively.


Which one is better a discussion or an argument?

Let’s compare both and find out for ourselves.

discussion at work-openanswer

A discussion is a communication style of which the outcome is not predefined, while having “mutual understanding” as a pre-determined final goal before entering into it. A discussion is supposed to lead to the best solution of a given problem, a clarification of a misunderstanding or the best valuation of an idea, to mention some random examples.

Such “understanding” is to be reached & accepted by all engaged parties at the end of a discussion, based on healthy communication, proper exchange of ideas, information or opinions and genuine agreement (as opposed to artificial one for the sake of muting “high volumes”). It’s a collective, non-selfish & constructive process by nature (even if no outcome is reached yet).

Quote Michael P. Watson

An argument, on the other hand, is characterised by the “will to win” clearly visible through the show of interruptive emotions. An argument is less effective than a discussion in most cases but can be necessary depending on the counterpart’s openness to having a calm discussion. Having an argument is mostly the result of us being unable to suppress whatever emotion that we have at a given moment of discussing a topic, whether anger, impatience, anxiety, disappointment or sadness etc.

Paradoxically enough, having an argument at such times can be a healthy release of pent-up negativity; one that needs to be out of the way, first, for a calm discussion to take place.


I find arguments to be generally ineffective & counter-productive than discussions because their goal is either:

  1. Predefined: when we argue for the sake of arguing (releasing negative energy because we WANT to), OR
  2. Non-defined at all, when we argue because that’s all we can do now (releasing negative energy because we CAN’T discuss calmly)

Quote by Joseph Joubert

Therefore, enforcing an arguing style of communication is a counter-productive, selfish & unfair form of communication aimed at convincing the other party of one’s points of views, legitimizing the use of irrational communication (shouts, fictitious outrage, refusal of agreement, interruptions, unmeant disagreements, lack of self-reflection, manipulation of facts etc.).

An argument is at its best when it means “a reason given in proof or rebuttal”, only as part of a debate or a discussion and not as a way of communication.

Poet Sarah Kay

Spoken poetry: If I should have a daughter …

If I should have a daughter…

If I should have a daughter, I would have her listen to this

I would tell her she would never have to fall into the abyss,

That she is loved & worthy, regardless of others might say,

That she’s as cute, smart, funny & beautiful, as is Sarah Kay

And that she can be a more talented poet herself, one day.

So, when she thinks that her life is devoid from a true role-model,

And that the world is beating her down in a harsh & endless struggle,

That she doesn’t know any more who to love, hate, hug, or strangle,

That she could create one in her own fantastic imagination,

A lady freed from cultural dogmas & superficial fascination,

A fairy-tail young lady, more perfect than her life can present,

Confidently happy & content, yet as imperfect as reality can get.

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter …


If you can’t motivate yourself, nobody else will. Do you agree?

Yes, and no.

Self-motivation, when existent, is more powerful than any external motivational factor, yes. It’s no wonder that “self-motivational abilities” are often mentioned as a characteristic trait/habit of the majority of successful people.

Achieve-Greater-Success-With-a-Daily-Self-Motivating-RegimenHaving said this, I also believe that all humans experience some degree of low motivation at some stages of their lives, as a result of continuous hardships, disappointments or “bad luck”, even when they’re putting in their utmost energy and positive hope in it. In such case, the power of external motivation comes in very handy or even necessary. 

Sometimes that inspirational voice in ourselves dies out or is muted down though all kinds of factors and it does no harm in such case to call in the help of external motivators, whether professional or simply existent in our comfort zones; a good friend, a colleague or a family member. 

Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do

Motivation has become an industry of itself, with big names like Anthony Robbins inspiring millions around the world with what often sounds like common sense but nonetheless very powerful to hear repetitively. But also through world-famous platforms like TED Talks featuring people from all backgrounds and colours who share the most inspiring words that we need to hear in order to revive our desire to achieve, flourish or believe in ourselves once again.

Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation



What’s the most beautiful name in the world?


Passenger – Let Her Go [Official Video]

Passenger – Let Her Go (Lyrics)

Let Her Go – Passenger (Official Video Cover by Jasmine Thompson)

Passenger – Let Her Go (Nicole Cross Official Cover Video)

Let her go – Passenger (Cover by 13 y/o Jannina W)

Birdy – Let Her Go (Passenger) in the Live Lounge

Let It Go/Let Her Go (Frozen/Passenger MASHUP) – Sam Tsui


الصين ستصبح الإقتصاد الأول في العالم قريبا ومازال العالم الثالث يقلد إقتصادات أمريكا وأوروبا. برأيك أين الخلل؟

ليس هناك بالضرورة “خلل”، وليس هناك تقليد بناء يذكر، بل هو “تخلف” بمعنى ليس هو بالضرورة تنقيصي بل واقعي مشتق من “تأخر”، تخلف يتخلف تخلفا فهو متخلف عن الركب

وهذا التأخر ناجم عن معادلة للزمن لا يمكن حلها، إلى أن تسهل قراءتها علنا، ويسهل فهمها جمعا

المواكبة في أي شيء، تحتاج إلى زمن وتكريس منظم، متكامل، ثاقب وواقعي للمجهود، تحقيقا لعناصر التطورالذاتي والتي ما تزال إلى يومنا واردة (بل أغلبها مستوردة  طواعية، إن صح التعبير) من العالم الأكثر تطورا. هناك شعوب منتجة للتطور وهناك شعوب مستهلكة للتطور. ليس هناك ما يشين في ذكر الحقيقة ووصف الواقع كما هو. وكلمة السر هنا واضحة وواحدة: الصناعة! أو بقليل من الإستطراد، خلق أشياء مفيدة لتحسين، تطوير، تنويع، تطويل، تسهيل أو تجميل الحياة الإنسانية. بعض هذه الأشياء قد لا تكون ضرورية للكل بل بالأحرى مضرة للبعض. ولكن أليس هذا هو الحال دوما؟ وأليس دوام حسن الحال من المحال، إن كان دوام الحال عامة محال؟ فلنأخذ الإقتصاد الياباني على سبيل المثال

الأجهزة الإلكترونية اليابانية هي المفضلة في المنطقة العربية  (Jazarah.net)

الأجهزة الإلكترونية اليابانية هي المفضلة في المنطقة العربية (Jazarah.net)

الإقتصاد الياباني هو إقتصاد تعلم، إستورد، وقلد الكثير من الغرب إلى أن أصبح مواكبا، ثم منافسا، ثم قائدا مجددا في العديد من النواحي.  لم يخجل اليابانيون من تأخرهم أو يبخلوا بطأطأة رأسهم الشهيرة احتراما للمعلم، طلبا للعلم، ليس في الصين ولكن في الغرب. وتأثروا أيضا ثقافيا بالغرب، دون عقد متعلقة بالهوية أو تخلي تام عن مصادر فخرهم التراثية. أما “عقدة الغربي أو الأفرنجي”، كما تدوم الإشارة لها من قبل البعض كسبب شبه عقائدي لرفض التقدم، فهي عقدة نفسية طبيعية ناجمة عن شعور بالنقص لدى البلدان الأقل تقدما، والكثير من الشعوب تتشارك في هذه العقدة ولكن ليست جميعها تشكو منها. حتى فيما بين البلدان الغربية هناك شعور بالنقص متفاوت في الحدة. فبلغاريا ليست بألمانيا، لأسباب واضحة لعل من أجلها قدرة ألمانيا على إنقاذ الإتحاد الأوروبي بأكمله باقتصاد لا تكل فيه ماكينة ولا يغيب فيه عامل دون سبب وجيه! واستراليا ليست بأمريكا رغم أن تاريخ المنشأ قد يكون الأكثر قرابة من نواحي كثيرة

ومن الطبيعي أيضا أن يكون هناك تقليد ثقافي من قبل الدول الصغرى للدول الكبرى

هذا التقليد ناجم عن قوة ثقافية عظمى، عظم شانها وتأثيرها وانتشارها بتطور مطلق ونفوذ شامل في المجالات الأخرى. هوليوود هي هوليوود لأن هوليود صنعت أول الأفلام، هل من مجادل؟ أو منافس؟ نعم. بوليوود فيما يتعلق بغزارة الإنتاج، وليست السينما الفرنسية أو الإيطالية وحتما ليست العربية. وبوليود قبل 20 سنة ليست هي بوليوود اليوم. فقد تقدمت صناعة السينما لديهم، وأصبحت إنتاجاتهم متعددة المواضيع والمداخل، وأكثر حرية ونقدا للمجتمع وتركيباته الطبقية، بل صدق أو لا تصدق أحيانا قد تخلو أفلام بوليوود الجديدة تماما من الغناء والرقص الهزلي ولعلها الآن المنتج الهندي الأكثر شعبية عالميا، أكثر من الشاي والكيري الشهيرين. الهند تسبح مع التيارالجارف بمهارة وحنكة وديموقراطية كبرى نجحت في التصدي لتحديات دولة كبيرة جيوغرافيا ومتعددة المذاهب والأعراق ثقافيا، وقد أفاد ذلك صحتها وعرض منكبيها، حتى وإن لم تخلو تماما من الأمراض التي تظهر أعراضها مع أي تغيير جذري

 وعندما تكون تلك القوة الثقافية المؤثرة صادرة عن دول عدة كبرى تجمعها ثقافة غربية ما مشتركة وتكونها أقليات متعددة الثقافات والألوان، ولها دور في تاريخية تكوينها كدول الغرب الكبرى الآن فمن السهل تقبلها وتقليدها من قبل جميع العالم، وخاصة إذا كانت مثل تلك الثقافات مضيفة للبهجة والإمتنان أو منمية لبعض الشعور بالإنتماء للفريق الأفضل أوالأفضل من غيره من باقي الفرق، وكذلك هي ليست مفروضة فرضا على الإنسان العادي، سوى أنه ليس هناك بديل محلي أفضل أو صناعة محلية للثقافة المحلية. من لديه إعتراض فليصنع ما هو أفضل

 ألم تعجب يوما لماذا كثير من اليابانيات شقراوات وأن عالم الأزياء الياباني “الشوارعي” قد يكون أغني وأغلى من الغربي، أو لماذا فن الكرتون الياباني الشهير “أنيمي” غالبا ما لا يمت للمظهر الياباني أو الآسيوي التقليدي بصلة، بل أقرب للمظهر الغربي بعيون نسائية تكاد تلتهم كامل الوجه بوسعها؟ قد تكون عقدة نقص، أو رغبة بتصدير منتج عالمي الشكل وليس محلي للدخول في المنافسة. لماذا اختاروا الشكل الأوروبي لإضافة العالمية لمنتجهم الكرتوني يا ترى؟ الفنون الثقافية الأخرى، كالفن العربي الإسلامي، لم تكن تعنى برسم الوجوه والأشخاص والأجساد بل برسم الكلمات والأبيات وشتى النصوص، متمثلة في فن الخط العربي، وهو فن رفيع وله قاعدة معجبين واسعة في العالم ولكنه فن لغوي الشكل والمحتوى وبالتالي يصعب تصديره. أما الثقافة الغربية فاهتمامها بالشكل والوجه والجسد وتجسيد كل ذلك قديم جدا وموجود في كل مكان ولذلك يسهل تقليدها والإنبهار بها، وخاصة إن ساعدتهم تكنولوجياتهم في ابتكار أنواع جديدة من الفن كالسينما أو الموسيقى اتي يمكن تسجيلها وبالتالي نشرها، دون أن تكون بالضرورة حية

ألم يسبق اليابانيون العالم في صناعة السيارات الصغيرة والإقتصادية الإستهلاك والمتوسطة السعر؟ هاهي السيارات الأمريكية تصبح صغيرة هي الأخرى لكي تتماشى مع إستهلاك الوقود الذي قارب على الإنتهاء ولتتقي شر التكلفة  المضافة للسيارات الكبيرة التابعة لثقل الوزن ومتطلبات العالم البيئية الجديدة.

هل اليابانيون هم من أخترع السيارة؟

الناتج المحلي للصين في العام 2010 مقارنة مع إقتصادات تقليدية

الناتج المحلي للصين في العام 2010 مقارنة مع إقتصادات تقليدية

المقارنة بين الإقتصاد الصيني اليافع والنامي بقوة والغربي الخبير المتزن ليست صحيحة، لأن الأخير هو اقتصاد معرفي وعلمي بالدرجة الأولى وظل كذلك لقرون طوال، بدأ خلالها حملة تطوره بالثورة الزراعية، ثم التجارية، ثم المالية، ثم الصناعية، وأخيرا الثورة السياسية الإنسانية المجتمعية والتي فرض بها الغرب نفسه على بقية العالم بطريقة لا مثيل لها في التاريخ مدعومة بعوامل أخرى نتجت عن هذا التقدم ودعمته في الوقت ذاته كالإستعمار الذي دعمه تطوير السلاح والبارود والفولاذ (وأسباب أخرى يندر ذكرها، كغياب المناعة الجسدية لدى الأفارقة، مثلا، ضد أمراض أوروبا الناتجة من الإنغلاق الجيوغرافي لإفريقيا، حيث أن علم البحارة والإستكشاف لم يكن متطور جدا كمثيله في الغرب، وكذلك عدم وجود الحصان في أمريكا اللاتينية كوسيلة مواصلات قتالية، حيث لم يكن لديهم سوى اللاما مقارنة بالغزاة الأسبان منتطي الخيول، مما ساهم في إنتصار القلة على الكثرة)، نعم الإستعمار بمعنى التعمير رغم التناقضية أو الرفضية، وهو لفظ لا يمت بصلة للفظ الإنجليزي “كولونيزيشن” بمعنى “الضم عن طريق الإحتلال”، بل هو بالأحرى معرب من قبل مستشرق أو مستعرب غربي ما، نتيجة لحال البلدان في تلك الآونة مقارنة بقوى عظمى عامرة ومتقدمة بقرون، وأكثر قوة وتقدما ممن استعمرتهم في أغلب النواحي الملموسة اللاثقافية.

لماذا اللاثقافية؟

ليس لأن الثقافات المحلية هي بالضرورة أفضل أو أسوأ، ولكن لأن أهل الثقافة على مدى التاريخ دائما ما يدافعون عن ثقافتهم ويقاومون أي تغيير ثقافي بطبيعتهم. ردة الفعل الأولى لأي تغيير هي المقاومة ، سواء أكان التغيير جماديا كلي المعادن، أوإنسانيا كفرض رسمي للغة جديدة أو صقل للعقول عن طريق أنظمة تعليم جديدة تتم مقاومتهما من باب الفخر والإعتزاز المنطقيين. والإستعمار هو نتيجة تاريخية طبيعية لإختلاف القوى والتقدم العلمي والإقتصادي بين الحضارات بغض النظر عن جنسها. القوي والمتطور بطبعه ينظر نظرة دونية للأقل تطورا، وقد يرغب بفرض نفوذه وجعل الآخرين مثله. جميع الأمم على مدى التاريخ، ضعيفة وقوية، سلمت أمرها لهذا القدر التاريخي، مدعومة بأسباب بعضها منطقي وأغلبها واهم للذات، وبعضها نجح في قلب الكفة بحكمة وصبر وتدبير.

عجلة الزمن ليس لها رقيب أو مالك سوى ساكني الزمن أنفسهم

عند الحديث عن الثقافة المكتسبة أو الواردة، يغفى الكثيرون عن ذكر العوامل الحميدة للثقافات المتقدمة إقتصاديا وتقنيا، كثقافة الإبتكار والعمل والإنتاج والجد والإجتهاد واحترام الوقت والإلتزام والتطوير. وهذه هي بالضبط العناصر التي تخلفت وتأخرت في تقليدها الشعوب المستهلكة. ولأنها عناصر ثقافية، نعم ثقافية وفكرية وتصرفية، فقد صعب تصديرها (أو إستيرادها) بنفس السهولة والسرعة التي تم بها تصدير (إستيراد) العناصر الملموسة اللاثقافية للتقدم، كتكنلوجيا البناء والحرب والاتصالات والمواصلات والتكنلوجيا الطبية الصحية، وصناعة المنتجات الغذائية، والسكة حديد، وصناعة الفولاذ وصقل المعادن والتنقيب، والمنتجات الكهربائية والإلكترونية لاحقا إلخ

هذه الأشياء كلها واردات إستهلاكية، أي منتجات تشترى ويتاجر بها وتستهلك فقط ولكن لا تصنع محليا. وفرة هذه المنتجات ساهمت في حملة تحقيق مواكبة الدول الأقل تقدما للدول الأكثر تقدما لخلق عالم مترابط ومتفاهم تزدهر فيه التجارة حتى وإن كان فيها خاسرون وفائزون حدد مصيرهم مسبقا، فأصبحت الدول المتخلفة دول نامية، نموها مستمد فقط من استقطابها لأنظمة التعليم الحديث، ولمنتجات مصنعة جاهزة أو من ثروات طبيعية. ولكن أسس هذا العالم الجديد بحذافيره القانوية والتعاملية تم وضعها من قبل الحضارة الغربية التي، وبدون لف أو دوران أو تناقضية رافضة ومنهكة للقوى الفكرية، هي الحضارة الأكثر تأثيرا على مسار الإنسانية، إلى موعد آخر مع حضارة أخرى أخشى بأننا لن نشهدها. ولذلك استحقت، بل فرضت، الهيبة والإحترام الطبيعيين

أما الإقتصاد الصيني فهو نوع جديد يمزج بين الكثرة والجرأة والذكاء والتضحية والمرونة والضبط. وهو ليس إقتصاد معرفي أو صناعي بالمعنى التقليدي بعد، بالتركيز على كلمة “بعد” لأنه فوق كل شيء إقتصاد صبور وثاقب الرؤيا، فالإقتصاد الصيني هو بالضبط إقتصاد “تقليدي” بالمعنى الآخر للكلمة. الإقتصاد الصيني إقتصاد ضخم جدا ويقلد كثيرا ورخيص التكلفة غالبا ومرغوب فيه إلى أصبح العالم في أمس الحاجة له. إقتصاد الصين ولعشرات السنين خضع لنفس العوامل التي خضعت لها إقتصادات دول العالم الثاني والثالث الأخرى، ولكن بعض السياسات الثاقبة قامت بخطط طويلة المدى خدمت مصالح الدول المتقدمة الإقتصادية دون أن تضر بخططها المستقبلية الخاصة، ودون أن تنتبه هذه الدول الأخيرة لعامل الكبر الرهيب للصين كقوة عاملة فذة وكتلة ملتزمة وموحدة، إلى أن اصبح لا تخلي عنها ولا تدخل فيها

مؤشرات النمو الإقتصادي في الصين للعام 2013

مؤشرات النمو الإقتصادي في الصين للعام 2013

إلى أن تحدث النقلة الفعلية لغالبية عناصر الإقتصاد الصيني الصناعي من التقليد إلى التحديث والريادة، فإن أي مقارنة مع الإقتصادات الغربية قد لا تكون عادلة أو حكيمة بل بالأحرى مبالغ فيها. يكفي الذكر بأن الإقتصادات الكبرى التقليدية، وتبعا لعوامل إقتصادية صغرى وكبرى، غالبا ما تستمد رخاءها المستديم من القوة الشرائية الكبيرة لمواطنيها وساكنيها من الوافدين ومن توزيع الثروات المتزن ونسبة التعليم العالي المرتفعة في المجتمع. وهذا أيضا يحتاج لوقت، لكثير من الوقت في حالة الصين بحكم تعدادها، ولوقت أكثر فيما يتعلق بالدول الأخرى المتذبذبة سياسيا وأمنيا واستقرارية

فيما يتعلق بمعظم الدول النامية فإن عجلة التطور في حد ذاتها ليست خاضعة لبراءة إختراع ولا تحتاج لابتكار من جديد. أكبر المستحيلات يمكن تحقيقها بالتفكر والجد والإجتهاد في طلب وتكريس العلم، وبالتخلي عن إضاعة الوقت في سفاسف الأمور والعادات والتقاليد المذهبة للعقل والوقت والجهد دون التخلي عن نقد الذات بحثا عما هو أفضل، فليس كل ما اعتاد عليه المرء هو بالضرورة حسن (العادات) وليس كا ما قلده المرء هو بالضرورة جيد (التقاليد). هذا رأيي. ما رأيك أنت؟


What important “marketing trends” do you foresee in the near future?

  1. Marketing budgets and expenditure will gradually shift in growth towards more Digital Marketing & less Traditional Marketing.shift-toward-digital-BIA-Kelsey

  2. Digital Marketing will grow in importance corresponding to our growingly digitalized lives & will soon be the centre all marketing orbits around.Local-Media-Shift-Toward-Digital

  3. Smart-phone-friendly responsive web design & web development will become an established quality-norm, in relation to marketing.Smart-phone-friendly responsive web design web development

  4. Ad re-targeting using browsing history, internet behaviour & predictive search techniques will grow.Banner-Ad-Retargeting

  5. TV advertisements will still be important in combination with online TV video-sharing for quick brand awareness & exposure.TV-ads

  6. Content Marketing will become more important, whether text-based, image-cantered, interactive or dynamic.content-marketing-model-for-2013

  7. Social Media Marketing will become a more diverse new form of “traditional marketing”.Traditional-Marketing-vs-Social-Media-Marketing-Smaller

  8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will continue to evolve around social media marketing & the so-called “quality content”.WP-Social-Media-Link

  9. Connectivity to internet through more devices, appliances, public machines & public services will cause simplification & amplification of marketing messages.microcontent

  10. Text-based content will be the norm in online marketing & visual Marketing will continue to compete with traditional text-based content (mainly blogs) using visual content like pictures, videos, inforgraphics, webcasts, podcasts, slides etc.popular content-types



What is your gift to your father on “Father’s Day”?

Normally, I wouldn’t care much for such international days, made widely popular for commercial motives. But my gift doesn’t have to be bought and cannot be bought. I would like to give him a story as my gift!

I doubt and I love but I never doubt love. I sit calmly and reminisce loudly that my father was the first to believe in me.

My First Immigration to the North

When I was in the third-grade of elementary school, I had a fight with my brother during which I was accused of lying, while being confident of myself telling the truth. I didn’t like being accused of lying, for I never lied when it was unnecessary.

The necessity for lying was unambiguously defined by me as every child’s desire to escape punishment as a result of recognized wrongdoing. When there was no punishment, I did not have to lie. By the same rock-strong childish logic, no fear of punishment reversely meant to me, that I was probably telling the truth.

Why fear of punishment, for telling the truth?

So, I revolted against the “magnificent injustice” inflicted upon me by my brother, by collecting all shoes in the house (yes, shoes!), including those of my mother, father and brothers and putting them in a plastic bag. I decided that I was time for me leave my parental home for good, now I have packed my bags!

I sneaked out of the house, when nobody was watching & found myself a shelter that looked like a grotto in the mountain above our small house, in the mountainous area we lived in back then in our new country of immigration. I stayed there for about 3 hours. I really don’t re-call what I was thinking or whether I felt fearful, hurt or angry, I just did what I felt was my duty to do, which was to;

abandon those who do not believe me.

But I was soon found by no other than my elder brother himself who always seemed to know exactly how I thought, when he wanted to. We walked and jumped down the small mountain together, to find my father standing there and suppressing a big laugh on his face. I don’t remember much of that scene, unfortunately, other than the sight and feel of his hands stroking my hair in a gesture well-known by me as one of affection and approval.

I did remember them all bursting out in laughter the moment they emptied my “escape luggage” to find out that it was all shoes (the truth) and nothing but all shoes (the whole truth)!

My father didn’t say much. He actually said it best when he said nothing at all (yes, like the famous song!). Until this day, it remains a mystery to all involved, including me, why I picked “shoes to run away with”, while none of them fitted me as such to facilitate the act of running away! It was less of a mystery that I chose a hiding-place absurdly close to home, so they could find me soon enough after I make a point, before it got too dark and my “heroic plans” would inevitably fail!

He Believed in Me by Believing Me

During the first two years of elementary school, I was a low-performing pupil by all standards of the high university-educated status of my parents. I hated school to the extent that I would make up excuses to stay home without a shred of guilt. I was especially talented at making up excuses (good & harmless lies) when we happened to have a cherished visit from one of our always nice family members who stayed over, for I was always a social-animal & a family man.

Family, to me, was the literal & literary synonym for safety, love, respect and appreciation.

But this attitude towards school changed fundamentally in my third grade school year. I had to change it when I was faced with the looming threat of being publicly humiliated in class by a vicious class-teacher who seemed to enjoy punishing those who didn’t do their homework, and (whisperingly) curse those who did do their homework and got away from what seemed like a sadistic punishment. He actually used to throw one specific child who never made his home work against the blackboard, almost everyday.

This happened when we moved to a new country with different customs, language and culture. I was afraid that my laxity would be the cause of my humiliation. So, I took a drastic measure that transformed my attitude towards education and school for the rest of my life.

I set out to become the best pupil in class; better to say “to be the one who can never be humiliated”. This was the first time I made acquaintance with my true learning abilities. If I were to have a strong voice and no fear of defying the inevitable punishment by this villain of a teacher, I must be well-prepared. So I did the following:

  1. I changed my handwriting into one resembling the fonts of the book-writings that we had to transcribe. I actually copied them. I did this at first by literally drawing up words, imitating their font-shape. My handwriting became outstandingly beautiful for a child of my age and was complimented by everyone, especially by mother & father.
  2. I always did my home work as soon as I came home. I would never fear going to school again. I would rather love going to school to reap the rewards of my hard work & enjoy recognition.
  3. I always prepared lessons of the following day, the night before. That’s how I was always ahead of others in class when questions were asked, to the observation & admiration of teachers for stirring up discussions and inspiring others who wanted to compete with me.

Self-actualization can come in small packages when our egos are “childishly big”.

But this drastic measure did not work at first. It actually back-fired & was answered with scrutiny and disbelief from my teacher, who probably felt that I was messing with his pre-determined plans for me.

The, back then, stupid teacher did not believe that the handwriting in my notebook was actually mine and accused me of having my parents doing it for me. That was an accusation of cheating. He summoned me to his wide desk, while turning over the pages of my notebook as to compare my previous homework to the recent one in a demonstrable way. He then looked at me & shared his doubts with me. I refuted them in outrage and proposed that I could demonstrate my new handwriting as I stood. He was convinced of my deceit and started raising his voice and then sent me back to my desk with the announcement that he would call for parents to come to school.

“This teacher was not well-prepared for me as he thought”, I thought. I knew the truth and that meant to me that he is the liar and I did not respect liars, nor did I condone injustice (as shown through My Determined First Immigration to the North). So, I refused going back to my desk and I said in an angry defying voice that I would “go to the Headmaster himself, if necessary”. Before he knew it, I dashed out of class and ran to the far office of the head-master, located in a deserted part of school.

The Headmaster in our small school, which was located in a small hill, at about 45 minutes walk distance from home, was an invisible mystery-man who would only show up during first 15 minutes of the school day when we, the submissive populace, would gather in the big playground to do morning exercises. He was feared by most pupils and I could not understand this, because I feared his mythical Deputy Headmaster more.

The latter was more active around school and was always greeted with fearful respect by teachers and pupils. He was abnormally fat and my elder brother once told me, in a serious tone of voice, that there was myth at school that he may just be hiding one of those traditional Arabic daggers somewhere inside one folding of his “thobe” (a wide white garment worn by Arab men sometimes). So, I skipped the scary Deputy Headmaster and went straight on to the “unknown and therefore safer” Headmaster.

I knocked at the door of the Headmaster’s office and when I heard no sound, I opened the door to find him sitting behind a gigantic desk at the end of a long fancy room, dark but beautifully decorated with leather chairs on the side. He didn’t even hear me walking towards him, which happened in quick midget steps. I greeted him, upon which he looked up with surprise and greeted me back with a shadow of a smile. I saw nothing on his face that was scary, and the only fear I had was that my voice, that was half-crying out of rage & half-angry out of injustice, would not reach him behind such a wide-desk. So, I took a small turn and came to stand in front of him behind his desk. Then I started telling my story, in quick disgruntled words that I myself could not put together when heard.

Half-way my chaotic storytelling, we both saw the door open again and my class-teacher was standing there asking for permission to come in. The head-master interrupted him & asked him to give us a minute first. This gave me courage to proceed in a more confident fashion. I insisted on calling in my parents to attest to my truthfulness.

After all, my parents knew, as no one else, how truthful I was.

The Head-master listened to me carefully and said that it would all be fine and that I should go home now. I came home and told my story, and both of my parents comforted me that everything would be fine too. Wow! Courage is sweet! My mother who was a teacher herself back then, soon took on the angry role with the treatment I received and wanted to go to the school herself to teach that teacher a lesson.

My father was calm and said that if I were right then I had no reason to be afraid or angry. By local culture of the new country, my father was the one who was supposed to show up at school as the man, and so he did. I was to stay home for one or two days, until the issue is resolved, to my thrill with the great attention & commotion my action seems to have instigated.

“What you know! Fighting for justice earned me one day of deserved vacation! That must be a good thing, mustn’t it?!”

I still remember the moment my father came back from school until this day, and how his face looked like. Summarised in one word, it was “pride”. I saw pride in his face. And without sharing too many details, which was never his area of excellence, he spoke in a loud proud voice, as if he was addressing an imaginary crowd, and told me this:

“I learned that the Headmaster was pleasantly surprised by a pupil visiting his office alone and without being summoned for wrongdoing. He said that no pupil before you ever dared to come to his office, let alone ignoring the distance created by the wide desk, to come and speak to him on one level. He said to me “your son has no fear of authority & has a very strong sense of justice””.

My father told me this with a wide smile on his face and the same recognizable hair stroking. The next day I went to school confidently and triumphantly. The teacher welcomed me in, in a friendly way and said nothing.

Three weeks later, the monthly results were to be announced publicly in class showing the classification of pupils in terms of performance. My last performance had me ending somewhere between 18th and 21st in a class of about 30 pupils. Now, the teacher announced the names of the first pupil in class, then the second and when he was to announce the third name, he took a pause and asked me to come to the front to stand in front of class.

I knew what “coming to the front” meant to this guy; punishment & public humiliation. Then again, I knew that I was doing much better in class for a while and a smile on his faced consoled my fears. The following action marked my first acquaintance with “reward & recognition” at school. The teacher subsequently asked all pupils in class to stand up for me. When they all stood up, he announced the following:

“You know that Khatim is new here. He’s new to the class, to the school and to the whole country. I wrongfully accused Khatim of having his homework done by his parents, while he actually did it himself. I think you should all ask Khatim how to write Arabic in a nice handwriting. He is among the 3 best pupils in this class, now. Now, clap for him”. And they clapped.

I was literally overwhelmed with so much attention at once. That young class-teacher, in his early 30s, grew later to become one of my most remembered teachers and I enjoyed an indescribably wonderful school-year that was to become the first in many school-years to come. Even my elder brother who was easily topping both classes of the fifth-grade at that time, became closer to me when he heard of the story.

Such a thing stays with you life-long. The days, weeks, months and years after this incident saw me following through with this very habit that got me my father’s pride, my mother’s protectiveness, my brother’s closeness, my headmaster’s compliment and my teacher’s and fellow classmates’ respect.

And the most memorable scene of this true story is the scene where the pride of my father effortlessly found its way to his face and to his hands through his familiar hair-stroking of approval that left a non-fading, non-ageing stamp on my short Negroid hair, until this day.

My father believed in me, through believing me. That was his precious non-repayable gift to me that guided me throughout my childhood, adolescence and adulthood. And I just thought, if he does not know this yet, he now should.

Dear Father, I love you and I thank you.