Arabian Gazette: Middle East Social Media Usage Trends Revealed. “The use, and adoption, of social media continues to rapidly evolve. A new white paper from Damian Radcliffe and Amanda Lam at the University of Oregon provides an up-to-date analysis of how people across the Middle East are using social networks, highlighting the rise of messaging apps, visual social networks like Instagram and Snapchat and occasional regulatory and other tensions.”
Express Tribune: Virtual reality to showcase old and unique heritage in Lahore: WCLA. “The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has decided to use virtual reality (VR) technology to showcase the old and unique heritage of the walled city… The authority is developing its new website that will offer VR tours of different sites of the walled city, especially historical monuments. These VR tours will enable the people to see the walled city from anywhere in the world, a spokesperson of the WCLA told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.” Lahore is a city in Pakistan with a population of over 11 million people.
BBC News: A short history of Life: Afghanistan’s lost magazine. “Bright, busy and colourful, newly digitised pages of Zhvandun magazine – Life, in English – reveal the aspirations of Afghanistan’s elite during decades of political and social change. It rolled off presses through most of the second half of the 20th Century, mixing articles on global affairs, society and history with fun stuff on film stars and fashion. Think, perhaps, of Time magazine with added poetry and short stories.” There are so many images in this story it’s a little annoying, but keep scrolling, there IS an archive link.
Albawaba Business: CLIR Releases a Prototype Proof of Concept for the Digital Library of the Middle East. “Created with funding from the Whiting Foundation, the current prototype includes some 135,000 objects. The DLME will ultimately encompass text, video, photographs, archives, manuscripts, 3-D data, and maps illuminating the region’s history over 12 millennia, curated by scholars, specialists, and members of the living and vital cultures it represents. The platform, developed by Stanford Libraries, allows for the display of information in Romanized or Arabic forms.”
Business Insider: Google’s parent company Alphabet is exploring a relationship with Saudi Arabia’s oil giant to build a ‘tech hub’ in the Middle East. “Google’s parent company Alphabet is exploring a deal with Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco to build data centers in the Middle East, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The report says Alphabet wants to help Aramco build a ‘tech hub’ in the region as competition from other companies like Amazon heats up. The tech hub could reportedly include data centers built as a part of the partnership, though the specifics of which company would construct and operate the cloud servers isn’t clear.”
Financial Tribune: Visualized Database of Iranian Startups Online. “A new service has been launched named NopaHub (fledglings’ hub in Persian) which operates as an interactive visualized database of Iranian startups and accelerators. Using the service with a few clicks you can see who is who in Iran’s startup environment.”
The Conversation: How the absolute monarchy in Oman is turning to Twitter to help govern. “Research conducted by the Dubai School of Government into the Arab Spring of 2010-11 found that mass protests on the ground were often preceded by revolutionary conversations online, and that social media such as Twitter played a central role in shaping the political events. Having studied changes in internet traffic and social media use, they concluded that social media during the Arab Spring played a critical role in ‘mobilisation, empowerment, shaping opinions, and influencing change’.”