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Making sense of Social Media

Challenges; Making Money online in Pakistan

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Blast from the past: Summery of issues discussed on one of the Monetize Social Media Space workshops during Network!: Pakistan’s First International Social Media Summit. They are still the same if not worst. 


Social space has combined some major human activities - communicating, sharing, social networking and ecommerce. Use of newly found social media space where as anyone can shoot out, is a creative activity and fun. Most online users enjoy their online presence. That is why people blog tweet or network in the first place. Along the way, a time comes when online users start thinking to monetize their social space. And then everything starts changing.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, July 30, 2021, ,

Internet is not for everyone

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Two key issues — who will control the internet and how to finance efforts aimed at bridging the digital divide — were frustratingly contentious from the very beginning, as anyone who has followed the story will tell you. However, at the end of phase II of the summit, the main issues remained largely untouched, just as they were at the beginning.

The UN General Assembly had endorsed the proposal forwarded by the International Telecommunications Union in 2001 to hold the WSIS in two phases. The first phase was held in Geneva in 2003, and the second was held in Tunisia. The second phase was attended by leaders from more than 100 countries — including 44 heads of state or of government, mostly from developing countries.

The outcome is that the United States remains in charge of the internet’s addressing system, averting a United States-European Union showdown. Of course, this was notwithstanding a general resentment over perceived American control. The US-based Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) will continue to technically manage the internet. However, a new Internet Governance Forum has been formed to further look into the issue of control.

One of the original objectives of the WSIS was to raise consciousness about the divide between the haves and have-nots, and to raise money for projects aimed at better linking the developing regions, particularly Africa, Asia and South America. Unfortunately, the event was overshadowed by a persistent antipathy about who should control the internet and technical issues which allow people from Pakistan to Peru to surf the World Wide Web for information, news and various other activities. More promises, further meetings, and partnership programmes materialized on financing the expansion of access around the world so that the digital divide could be narrowed.

In short, the Tunis Commit- ment and a Tunis Agenda for the Information Society was adopted at the end of the second phase of WSIS in order to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society. This would give people all over the world an opportunity to create access, utilize and share information and knowledge.

The adopted documents stressed that freedom of expression and free flow of information, ideas and knowledge were essential for an Information Society. Given that such issues cannot be solved through alliances alone, results are very positive and balanced.

However, some countries and civil society groups were heard grumbling over the outcome. Under attack is the lack of a new mechanism for financing. Even though, a fund for internet development has been established, it does not seem to be of much consequence since participation has been kept voluntary.

Checks and balances were also demanded. It was suggested that an independent commission should be established in order to review national and international ICT regulations and practices.

The private sector also came under fire. It was generally felt that the sector was spreading its wings beyond the parameters of business. Their presence was greatly felt within the chambers of commerce and their influence was quite visible.

On a brighter note, the summit did bring about a pragmatic solution to one of the many problems facing the have-nots: a $100 laptop, which will be shortly marketed in many Third World countries. The laptop consumes a minimum of energy and is user-friendly. This one step will certainly assist in eradicating IT-ignorance in many developing, and underdeveloped countries. Egypt and Nigeria are candidates to receive the first wave of the laptops, starting in February or March, and each will buy at least 1 million units.

Apart from the fact that there is a consensus on “internet for everyone”, the WSIS, which was called a Summit of Solutions, was declared a success by the United Nations. But many stakeholders refuse to wholeheartedly embrace its outcome. Words like “success” or “failure” are too strong to describe the summit. Let’s just say the summit has been valuable.

The impact is yet to be seen. And remote villages in Punjab have to wait until 2015 to get connected to the internet.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, July 29, 2021, ,

Mehver is hiring

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Visit Mehver.com here

Mehver is an online business venture powered by MAQSSOFT LTD which provides a single platform for all the fashion and lifestyle enthusiasts. It is an e-commerce platform which empowers consumers to make their own style statement without the hassle of going through various websites.

About the Role

This is a minimum 3 month paid internship role where the candidate is expected to create content for social media & website, liaison with creative agencies, maintain & track performance of social media accounts and assist the Marketing manager in daily tasks.

What You’ll Be Doing

• Write copy for social media, promotional emails, and marketing collateral.

• Participate in marketing brainstorming sessions.

• Measure and report the results of marketing initiatives.

• Liaison with the creatives/PR agencies

• Help maintain the website and add new content as necessary

• Follow industry-related news and generate ideas around trending topics

• Write blog posts for the website, as necessary

• Schedule social media posts

• Review and update published content as needed

• Maintain corporate LinkedIn profile and post on a regular basis

Skills/abilities/Knowledge

• Applied understanding of basic marketing principles

• Familiarity with major social media platforms

• Creative problem-solving skills

• Self-starter with ability to work independently

• Comfortable with multitasking in a deadline-driven environment

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills

• Understanding of SEO techniques and best practices

• Communication (written, verbal, listening skills)

• Blogging experience (Preferred)

Eligibility

• Bachelor’s degree, working towards a bachelor’s degree

• Introductory courses in marketing, business, or equivalent

• Proficient with the use of Microsoft Office (Excel, Outlook)

• Be flexible with respect to the Employer requirements of work timings

• Lahore based (Office located in DHA Lahore near Lalik Chowk)

Please send your resumes at bd@mehver.com

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, July 28, 2021, ,

Annual Get Together Mangla (September 29-30, 2012)

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Jalal Hameed Bhatti


The Course Get Together for year 2012 was held on September 29-30, 2012 at Mangla Cantt.



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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, July 19, 2021, ,

Flood Economy

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Pakistan faces economic catastrophe after the devastating floods that have wiped out farmland and ruined infrastructure, with feared losses of billions of dollars likely to set back growth by years.

The country's worst ever-humanitarian disaster has ravaged an area roughly the size of England, affected 20 million people, exacerbated a crippling energy crisis and raising fears of social unrest.

"It seems we're doomed to walking through a dark tunnel. We're on an unending path of misery," said Morio Pahore, a farmer from small town Thul in southern Pakistan who is now living in a tent on a highway.

Shirtless, his face burnt dark by the sun, the greying 50-year-old said he lost everything when the rains fell and the river burst its banks.

"We had goats and buffalo and a wooden hut. We had grain to eat. The river ate everything, leaving the whole family hungry and empty-handed.

"I don't think we can start again for many years. Everything is under water and even if the river recedes, the water will be there for a long time."

It is a tragedy repeated millions of times over for farmers and peasants across the country who saw their livelihoods washed away in minutes after the floods first hit three weeks ago.

Agriculture accounts for 20 percent of Pakistan's gross domestic product. President Asif Ali Zardari said it would take two years to provide farmers with crops, fertilisers, seeds and food. Experts say it will take far longer.

On top of that, floods have inflicted widespread damage on infrastructure. In cities, flood waters have destroyed electricity installations, roads and phone lines.

The World Bank, which has announced a 900 million dollar loan for Pakistan, expects the economic impact to be huge, indicating that direct damage was greatest in housing, roads, irrigation and agriculture.

It estimated crop loss at one billion dollars, saying the full impact on soil erosion and agriculture could only be assessed when the water recedes around mid-September.

"We have lost around 20 percent of our cotton crops. The destruction of corn, rice, sugarcane, vegetable crops and fish farms are enormous as well," Ibrahim Mughal, who heads the independent Agri Forum organisation, told media.

Damage to cotton, rice, sugarcane and maize will hit the export sector, the main source for Pakistan's forex reserves. Textiles and agriculture account for about three quarters of Pakistan's 21 billion dollar export target this year.

"The floods have eaten three million tons of cotton -- over 20 percent of our 14 million bales for this year. It will negatively affect by 25 percent large-scale manufacturing and ultimately impact on exports," Ashfaq Hasan Khan, a former government economic adviser, told media.

There are fears that Pakistan risks running up a higher fiscal deficit which would lead to increased government borrowing.

Before the floods, the country had a healthy forex reserve of 16.45 billion dollars, thanks to a 11.3 billion dollar IMF rescue package meant to stave off Pakistan's worst balance of payment crisis and 30-year-high inflation in 2008.

After recording its lowest growth in a decade, GDP had been expected to grow by 4.5 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, but the floods could shave at least one percent off growth estimates.

"Our assessment suggests Pakistan could achieve about 3.5 percent GDP growth rate this fiscal year," Khan said. "It means a loss of around two billion dollars."

Pakistan's UN envoy in Geneva, Zamir Akram, has said reconstruction in northern areas alone could cost 2.5 billion dollars.

Food prices are already rising and there are fuel shortages in some areas.

The director general of the Pakistan Electric Power Company, Muhammad Khalid, told media they faced losses of more than four billion rupees (47 million dollars) due to the floods with some grid stations wiped out.

Around 1,000 villages in flood-hit districts of southern Punjab are without power, said Jamshaid Niazi, spokesman for Multan Electricity Supply Company. "Our two grid stations are badly affected," he said.

"The loss is huge. We have to install new poles, wires, feeders etc."

Experts have urged the government -- already weak and unpopular -- to move quickly, warning that the losses could fan unemployment and social unrest.

"The peasants are our lifeline, so by not helping them we are in fact committing suicide," Agri Forum's Mughal said.

"Jobless people can become criminals if they can't get employment. In this case, the number of such people is in the millions."

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Sunday, July 18, 2021, ,

Gogera Heritage Trail

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People travel for many reasons; to see the things they can not see at home, to get away from the routine of life and work, to meet interesting people, to study different cultures and or to seek spiritual solace. For last decade, village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka (TGD known as Dolls Village) has become a unique village to attract large number of foreigners. Only in year 2000 travelers (including experts in different fields and social workers) from 40 different countries visited this village. And, most houses in TGD have built guest rooms for visitors who come here and stay as paying guests in homely atmosphere – clean linen, local cuisine and traditional hospitality. From Gogera one can ride a traditional horse drawn Tonga or an auto rickshaws to TGD on Gogera TGD Heritage Trail.


History and archeology make for good tourism that is largely a function of prosperity. The more money people have the more of it they will spend on travel and other intellectual pursuits. Today, worldwide tourism is an unprecedented 4.4 trillions dollars industry expected to be 10 trillions by 2010. Now once every beach, airport and other conventional tourist spots feel crowded like a cinema hall, people are constantly looking for quiet, unique and brand new destinations. Millions of tourists come to Asia every year. But the irony is that out side world does not know about Pakistan or has a distorted image of it; hence tourists cannot plan to visit. After all, Pakistan has much more to offer than many other countries combined together.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, July 02, 2021, ,


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