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Monthly Archives: April 2013


The first edition of The Social Media Awards, Beirut, was held on April 29, 2013. The ceremony was a huge success, awarding the Lebanese bloggers, tweeps and companies.

Sociatag released an application for both Android and IOS users. Attendees were able to register and connect their social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare); then swipe their tag to check-in at the event, like and follow the Social Media Awards page, and take a picture that was directly uploaded on the page. Want some numbers? A total of 65 registrations at the event; 56 photos taken and uploaded; and 125 social activities on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. You can find the ceremony’s activity in details here.

Congratulation to all the winner from Sociatag. Here’s the list:

Blog of the year: BlogBaladi

Best News Blog: Beirut Spring

Best Business Blog: Wamda

Best Lifestyle Blog: Mich Café

Best Food Blog: No Garlic No Onions

Best Fashion Blog: PlushBeirut

Best Technology Blog: Microsoftoholic

Best Personal Blog: Gino’s Blog

Best Media Personality on Social Media: Zaven 

Best Non-Arabic Vocal Artist on Social Media: Anthony Touma

Best Band on Social Media: Mashrou3 Leila

Most Creative Instagram Account: LiveLoveBeirut

Best Facebook Campaign/Page: Lebanese Memes

Best Integrated Campaign: Cheyef 7alak

Most Engaging Youtube Channel: Cheyef 7alak

Most Engaging Youtube Video: Beirut Duty Free Flash Mob

Most Engaging Person on Twitter: Anis Tabet

Most Engaging Celebrity on Twitter: Haifa Wehbe

Most Engaging Media Personality on Twitter: Neshan

Most Engaging Politician/Diplomat on Twitter: Ziad Baroud

Best Business on Twitter: Roadster Diner

Best NGO/Organization on Twitter: Donner Sang Compter

Best Pub/Bar on Social Media: Feb30

Best Restaurant: Roadster Diner

Best Hotel on Social Media: Phoenicia

Best Fashion Brand on Social Media: Vero Moda ME

Best Food & Beverage Brand on Social Media: Almaza

Best Commercial District on Social Media: ABC

Best NGO/Community on Social Media: Lebanese Memes

Best Start-up on Social Media: Tickle My Brain

Best Design for a Social Media Campaign: Almaza

Best Facebook Application: Novo

And the Best SMA Social Campaigning Magnet: L’Armoire De Lana

Looking forward to next year’s Social Media Awards, which will be of more success. Thank you Online Collaborative for such a great event. And a huge thank you for Phoenicia for hosting the event. Everyone who participated in organizing this event, also deserves a thank you note.


QR codes stands for quick response codes. They are a type of two-dimensional barcode that can be read with a dedicated QR reading device like a smartphone. The codes are black modules arranged in square shape. Normal barcodes are horizontal and thus can only be read in a horizontal way. While the QR codes can be scanned vertically or horizontally. There are several websites that generate QR codes.

Where can QR codes be displayed?
Business cards, booklets, newspapers, product, leaflets, advertising banners and so on. The information that these codes carry are usually a link to the web: a website, an email, a product that is displayed on the internet, an offer, even prompts the user to call a phone number, etc. Thus, QR codes have a major impact on marketing and customer service.
So when placing QR codes in a marketing campaign, you want to give your loyal customers and potential customers a reason to scan the code, and the reward should be valuable. Imagine at the opening event of your store, you have leaflets or business cards with a QR code. When visitors come in, they won’t have to search for you on Facebook to like your business, all they have to do is scan the code and they are redirected to your Facebook page.

All you have to do now is download a QR code reader app and scan the code above.

Customer Loyalty Program is a great marketing tool. It simply is a structured form that rewards customers of a certain firm. The tool used usually is a card that looks like credit cards, and it identifies the card holder as being a member in the firm’s loyalty program. The cards could be plastic or paper, and they are either points cards, reward cards, or advantage cards.

Now let’s not elaborate more on a topic that already is well-known; let’s elaborate how loyalty programs are changing with new technologies and smart phones.

Loyalty programs are involved with two best technologies: RFID and NFC. So what if you were benefiting from numerous loyalty programs: your favorite restaurant, clothes store, coffee shop, bookshop, supermarket? How about having all those in one card, for example? Or perhaps on your mobile phone? And that’s not just it, it’s all connected to social media sites, so once you redeem your points or reward, your friends are notified about it. Yes that’s more audience therefore more money for your favorite places.

But one question might arise: I’ve already liked my favorite restaurant on Facebook, followed them on Twitter, and when am there I always check-in via Foursquare. What’s new? Well, don’t forget the fact of fake check-ins on Foursquare, which means you can be in the comfort of your own home and check-in at the restaurant, and become a loyal customer. But with RFID and NFC loyalty programs, you should be at the place, and thus it is really loyal.

Please head to our Facebook page and answer the question about loyalty program.

If you’re going out, basically you’re taking with you your mobile phone, wallet and keys. Your wallet contains your credit card, customer loyalty reward cards, coupons, and lots more. But thanks to NFC (Near Field Communication) all you have to take with you from now on is your mobile phone.

So what exactly is NFC?
NFC is a technology that enables transfer of data from a device like a mobile phone to another device or tag. The devices will have chips that work on radio frequencies and antennas. As the name indicates, such transfer occurs only when the two devices are in a short distance. You might be thinking that that’s what Bluetooth does; well you’re right, but NFC is more secure and fast. Because of its short range, data transmitted via NFC will be safe especially in crowded place, and it takes a millisecond to connect instead of having to enter a pairing code between the two devices. So all you have to do is tap your phone that has all your information to an NFC machine.

Fields of use

  • Payment: After shopping all your groceries and products, you just need to tap your phone instead of your credit card to a machine and the machine transforms your bank info and voila it’s paid.
  • Social networks: You can use NFC technology to check in at an offline event. But we’re already using Foursquare, aren’t we? Yes, but with Foursquare you can check in at the mall in your city while you’re sitting at the comfort of your own couch at home; while with NFC technology, checking in requires you be at the mall and tap your phone to the NFC tag there.
  • Transportation: No more bus tickets, cash and coins. Just tap your mobile phone and pay.
  • Contact info: You can send your contact information from your mobile to another mobile just by tapping the phones.
  • Health care: NFC can be used in giving medical professionals information about the patient and treatment needed. It also can be used for medical staff like nurses to track their visits to the patient’s room.
  • Gaming: You can play games on your phone with your friend just by tapping the phones together.
  • Smart objects: Let’s say at school for example, students will scan an NFC tag to check their schedule. Or you can use your mobile to scan NFC tag at the theater to check the movies schedule or latest trailers.

NFC chips cost lots of money, but more and more mobile phones companies are installing that technology into the handsets. NFC was first introduced in 2004 with Nokia, Sony and Philips; and growing fast nowadays.



Yes it’s happening due to a technology called RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification). What is RFID? It’s a system that transfers an object’s identity and info via radio waves.

How the whole thing works?

The RFID system contains three components:

  • RFID tag: it’s a very tiny chip (almost the size of a grain of rice) that is usually connected to the object, and holds the object’s info (name or ID, unit, expiry date if applicable, size, color…). In other words, it’s the smart barcode. The chip also contains an antenna that will transmit the info to an RFID reader.
  • RFID reader: it also has an antenna to receive the info transmitted from the tag and sends it to the data processing machine.
  • Data processing machine: based on the field of use or category of business, the machine processes all the info received and files them.


Fields of use for RFID

  • Retail business: tracking the product from factory to the hands of the buyer. Once the product is manufactured, an RFID tag is attached to it. The RFID reader’s job will be tracking the product in the warehouse and it’s shipment to the desired location or store, and last phase, how many of the product and when it was bought. Warehouse/stock management hasn’t been easier. The data processing machine will keep all the information and process the data into a required result.
  • RFID and social networks: checking in at an event, liking a product, sharing a photo,..
  • RFID passports
  • Vehicle parking, road traffic monitoring
  • Food production control
  • Hospital staff control

… and the list goes on.

RFID technology is being integrated more and more in all business categories. It requires a less human intervention, unlike barcodes.