E-Mediat Workshops Launched in Yemen

In April, E-Mediat Yemen team conducted the 1st workshop for developing social media capacities of local NGOs. The 10 month program for delivering 5 social media training workshops was initially scheduled to start in June 2011. However, due to unavoidable circumstance the original schedule was changed and the program effectively started in March 2012 with participants from different local NGOs gathering in Sana’a city. The 1st workshop was conducted by trainer Ahmed Al-shami, under the supervision of SOUL for Development.


Social Networks

Social Networks

Participants attended first day of training with eagerness to learn more about social media. They asked lots of questions and were enthusiastic to enhance their organizations’ social media capacities even though some of them already had online presence.

Day 1 started with icebreaker session, allowing participants and the trainer an opportunity to know more about the group and get introduced to the workshop agenda. The first session was a networking exercise for the participants. The exercise required participants to post sticky notes on three flip charts. On the first chart, participants left notes with their names and details of their organization. The second chart (from me to we) or (Participants Interests), allowed participants to place 3 notes with their interests written on it. The third chart (Participants’ Inquiries & Discussions) was a wall for participants to write questions and share answers by using sticky notes. The overall idea of this activity was to show participants a practical way that would be used during training for sharing interests and mutual knowledge. This also introduced participants to a new way of interacting in a small social network. The trainer encouraged participants throughout the workshop to actively use the Inquires and Discussion Wall for asking questions and sharing answers. Continue reading


IIE West Coast Center’s Social Media Experiment

Nicole Wood, Communications and Administrative Associate at Institute of International Education, West Coast Center shares insights from a recent social media experiemnt.



As IIE West Coast Center’s first social media officer, I have the exciting opportunity of using innovative social media tools to introduce our work to a greater audience. Social media is used primarily to expose our training and scholarship opportunities to a wider audience, encourage followers to become involved with our programs, and to provide participants with a platform for continued connection through our extensive networks. IIE West Coast Center is relatively new to social media and we are currently in a stage of experimentation. By utilizing social media tools that allow us to effectively covey our mission, we hope to shape our outreach strategy and move in Beth Kanter’s words “from crawling to walking” and eventually flying.

After considering various options, I decided to work on designing and implementing a social media experiment for the IIE West Coast Center’s Twitter handle. My goal was to expand the reach of our organization and deliver focused content to our audience. To begin with, I have launched a “focus on hashtag” experiment for the duration of one month. This experiment outlines a Twitter schedule, consisting of a designated topic for each day of the week: Continue reading

Lessons Learnt from McDonald’s Social Media Disaster

The following post was originally published in eMarketing Wall



When you are a company whose products are synonymous with fast food and poor nutrition and whose job posts have made it into the Oxford English Dictionary as a byword for “An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector,” you might, understandably, want to use social media to get a different message across.

This is exactly what McDonald’s did when it decided to pour some cash into Twitter and buy some Twitter hashtags to promote its use of fresh produce, inserting paid-for tweets into the streams of Twitter users with the hashtag #MeetTheFarmers.
The campaign was intended to last 24-hours and it was well-intentioned enough and, initially, at least, appeared to work. When McDonald’s however changed the hashtag to #McDStories things went south very quickly. The hashtag was hijacked by angry customers who posted Tweets like: Continue reading

Social Media Is Not An After-Thought

Darian R. Heyman speaking at #sm4np conference

The Social Media for Non-Profits Conference in San Francisco on November 4 was great opportunity to learn and connect with some amazing social media enthusiasts. The biggest takeaway for E-Mediat team was that social media should not be an after-thought in an organization’s communications strategy. Organizations should work on their communications strategy but should be flexible to adapt and align components of this strategy to the social media tools they choose to use. For instance, Craig Newmark, founder & customer service representative, Craigslist, made a great comment when he pointed out one ‘worst practice’ on social media: “Don’t speak on social media in the language of press releases.” Continue reading