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This article was published on March 25, 2011

ArabNet Forum Day 2: What you’ve missed

ArabNet Forum Day 2: What you’ve missed
Fawzi Rahal
Story by

Fawzi Rahal

Based in Dubai, Fawzi Rahal is the Editor of The Next Web Middle East and Regional Communications Director at G2. Follow him via Twitter. Yo Based in Dubai, Fawzi Rahal is the Editor of The Next Web Middle East and Regional Communications Director at G2. Follow him via Twitter. You can reach Fawzi at [email protected].

The second day of ArabNet Shift Digital Summit started with some delay – Lebanese style – with a panel I was moderating on streaming video. With a diverse range of panelists from LinkOnline, MBC, Sony Entertainment Studios and Yahoo!, the panel discussed the status of online entertainment in the Middle East. Overall, the outcome was that it is still at a young age, with none of the panelists interested in a consolidated platform housing all the videos in one place. Seems that consumers still need to figure out who has produced the show they are interested in to figure out where to look for it.

The social media panel taking place at the same time presented some examples and cases relevant to the market without really delving into the social impact of this channel, leaving that to a more heated discussion in the afternoon.

The gaming panel was quite interesting with some new ideas, insights and perspectives on the blooming gaming industry in the region. The user experience and customization were mentioned numerous times, highlighting the need of higher quality and more localized games.

The excitement built up to the Social Media and Citizenship panel which was conducted in Arabic. While it felt like watching a generic Arabic talk show, the topics were quite critical and uncensored and touched upon everything from freedom of speech to online regulations while not failing to discuss the impact of social media on our daily lives.

Fadi Ghandour, Jodranian CEO and founder of Aramex, was the last of the speakers with his usual energetic presentation and analysis of the current situation in the region, both political and technological. Nothing was missed, from the state of the Internet in Lebanon to the power of women and their positive effect on the political events that have taken place over the past few months.

Forum Day 2 ended with the awards presentation, giving the Ideation award to

The Startup demo finalists were as follows:

First Prize: iShopaholic
Second Prize: Munaqasat
Third Prize: Cashbury

With a quick gathering for a memorial photo, we all dispersed in haste after a long but overall fruitful event. Today is ArabNet’s last day, Community Day, open to the public and starting with a panel I’m speaking at titled Web & Mobile Business in the Arab World.

If you’ve missed Forum Day 1, I recommend you read yesterday’s post ArabNet Forum Day 1: What you’ve missed