Dubai Consumer Mirror

Sunday, September 27, 2009

7 things I like to see (New) UAE bloggers do more

I was asked once to give my thoughts on the UAE 'social media' scene -as someone who's been doing this for some time now- and does NOT blatantly yell over roof tops claiming to be the first, the best or a self-claimed-blog-twitter-guru after doing it for a couple of months.

After a long though, here are a few tips i'd like to share with those who have just 'hopped on' the band wagon. That includes anyone who's been doing this no longer than 1 year.

1. Stop whining
Almost every new blog i visited this year is PACKED with complaints, rants and raves.

I was no exception, to be honest. When i started this blog in 2005, I started with a lot of ranting and complaining. I complained about anything and almost every inconvenience I run into in life, no matter how trivial it may be, could end up on my blog.

Thankfully now, i don't do that anymore ... not as much at least :)

Its easy to fall for the temptation. Almost everyone thrives on spitting out negative criticism. It gives you room to unleash ur hidden sarcastic-self, and opens doors for cynical beings to jump out of the closet.

Not only that, it brings in more comments - aren't we all there for the comments?

However, it takes much more creativity and energy to highlight whats good, healthy and useful. And if there is a negative experience you want to share, do so but be fair and give people the benefit of the doubt before you unleash your wrath.

2. Acknowledge comments
I do my best to reply to every comment I get here; whether for or in disagreement with the post. Reply individually to these comments. Especially ones that you haven't seen before in your blog.

It may sound cumbersome to individually reply to 50 comments (if you are that lucky), but its about being courteous to those who spared a minute of their lives, to share their thoughts with you. You owe it back to them.

3. Get to know your first timers
I can always tell who's been here for the first time and who is a returning visitor. Many new blogs I comment on, don't even acknowledge my first-time visit, comment or interaction. I rarely go back to these blogs.

4. Be respectful, not repulsive
Some people believe they can make a stronger counter-point by adding personal insults to the blogger - just because they (1) think they are anonymous and they can get away with it and (2) they think it makes their point stronger.

Well, for (1) no you are never anonymous and you can always be tracked back and (2) No, as a matter of fact, profanity makes your argument much weaker - I usuelly delete any comment that has profanity.

5. Visit back
Its simple really - i'll scratch yours if you scratch mine. Always return the favor with a return visit. And if the blog you are visiting back doesn't genuinely interest you, that shouldn't stop you from leaving a 'courtesy I-woz-'ere comment' every once in a while.

Also, link to whoever links for you. There are tools that show who is linking to you. (if you are linking to my blog and i missed it, do let me know - happy to link back ;) )

6. Stick to something
Blogging in the earlier years, basically when this whole blogging business started in the UAE, most blogs blogged about anything and everything. Very few were specialist blogs - maybe no more 5 or 6.

I see an upcoming evolution and I'd love it if the new kids on the block can play a role to define more genre-blogs: Autos, tech blogs (i know of a couple already), celeb, crafts, environmental and maybe -gasp- a few political ones. Though i still think personal blogs will always prevail as the majority, but i believe we will see more specialists coming our way.

7. Use technology to become a better blogger
Though comment moderation may discourage people from engaging with you, but it protects fending off spam, lamers and abusive language hurlers. Also, use RSS feeds to effortlessly keep track of your favorite blogs. Email and/or SMS notifications, can help you to stay up to date on who is doing what and visitor stat trackers to know what/who is biting and what/who isn't.

Now, while I try to stick to these tips myself, I admit I can do better at it and will do better enshallah. Nonetheless, I am quite thrilled to see that blogging has gone a long way and looking forward for more blogs to follow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to Abnormal

With about a couple of days left for the holy month of Ramadan to end, we will all resuming a 'normal' life style - and to many, that includes getting back on the junk-food cycle.

Before you go back to ordering the good old ‘triple supersized McWhopper’ with extra cheese, take a look at this report by the Consumerist.

Salad anyone?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


History is in the making today for Dubai, UAE and the Middle East.

First, we have the launch of the highly anticipated Dubai Metro. Truly a proud moment to all Emaratis in general and the Dubaians in specific. Good work guys. Live the moment, you've earned it.

And 2, i think its the first time ever that we get a middle eastern topic trending as No1 trend on Twitter and that is NOT related to a a plane crash, a controversial celeb visiting, a corrupt election, Israel or Iraq.

This is Dubai making the headlines and making all eyes on it.

Respect goes to the 30k fine men in blue who worked (and still working) day and night to meet their deadlines.

Must also not forget the hard work of Dubai’s twitter community who worked relentlessly to move #Dubaimetro up to become number one.

Here is to Dubai.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

IT company scams consumers

Kinda same thing that happened to me with Emitac. Only difference is that in the US, these people get caught and (hopfully) will scam people no more. Whereas here, they win awards.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Pundit Profiles

I get all sorts of comments on this blog. But one thing I noticed over my 5 year stint in checking out blogs and knowing bloggers... People do leave comments that does actually reflect their true nature. I narrowed down a few that I do encounter on regular basis here.


The casual supporter:
Someone who only comments when feels like it. Pretty pleasant in most cases.

The objector:
A person who'd only comment when finds something objectionable in your post. Usually sane and has good reasons to object against.

The sarcastic:
Usually in agreement but always in a mockery context

The skeptic:
Rarely in agreement, mostly questioning the authenticity of your posts

The loyal:
Avid and loyal follower who genuinely enjoys anything you post about

The single-worder:
Leaves marvels like "cool", "whatever" or "BS" one word comments

The douchebag:
Someone who makes sure he/she doesn’t leave a comment without making sure it offends everyone with the use of vile language

tHe aNNoYinG: Som1 wHO roLLz da KeYboRD LiKE dAt, daaawg

The onetime-uber-excited:
Someone who’s would love your post so much, to the point he/she would dedicate an entire post on it in on their blog ... and never hear back from them again, ever.

The leecher:
Is only there for the traffic. Usually leaves links and URLs.

The obscure:
Someone who leaves an irrelevant comment that makes no sense what so ever

The hopeless:
Someone who sees no use in any of your posts nor any hope in making any change

The copy/paste junkie:
Obssesive right-click user, copy/pastes a 5 pages long story in your comments section just to make a point

The confrontationalist:
Someone who somehow turns every idea you have into an “us” vs. “them” debate

The pessimist:
Only see’s the downside to any thought or idea you are sharing.

The insecure agro:
Sees every post you make as a personal attack against him/her, and acts accordingly

The freak:
Leaves comments like “I will kill you, your family and your pet chiwawa too” <- I will leave the psychoanalysis part for this one to you..

Anymore profiles? Do share...