Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saudi University Buys Twitter Account (800,000 US Dollars?)

Last September, the Saudi-funded TV channel MBC aired a phone interview with Bassel Al Rashedy, the owner of a popular Islamic Twitter account (1.3 Million followers), who said Qatar offered him 3 Million Saudi Riyals (800,000 US Dollars) to buy his account. The owner, who is Kuwaiti, said he had rejected the offer.

Few days ago, video shows meeting between the account owner and Dr. Suleiman Aba Al-khail, the president of Saudi university, an ex-minister, and who serves also as a member of the Senior Clerks' Committee, the highest religious body in Saudi Arabia.

The president of the university thanked Bassel saying we will cooperate with him, and emphasizing on university's role to spread word of mouth of spreading the message of Islam.

After that, the account published a tweet thanking the previous account administrator, Bassel, and announcing a new administrator who will keep publishing hadiths in addition to defending Saudi Arabia's government, and people.

The above tweet comes from a Twitter account that claims unveiling Saudi and Gulf top secrets from royal courts and decision making rooms. It says the president of the university paid 1.3M Saudi Riyals (346,700 US dollars) to acquire the Twitter account from its Kuwaiti owner.

Since June 5th, political tension escalated between Qatar and its neighbor country the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Twitter is the most popular social media platform in the region where official ministers, and even royal family princes were posting, escalating, and acting as PR machines defending their countries' point of view.

New Egypt Consulting is a digital marketing & social media agency based in Cairo since 2011.
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Is Russia Hacking Google Servers?

Is Russia hacking Google servers?
It is strange that Blogger (Google product) stats are showing excessive traffic from Russia last September

We host this blog on Blogger, which is a Google product hosted on Google servers.
The story started with our Blogger stats dashboard shows a excessive traffic to it from Russia & Ukraine!

This was strange for us for five reasons: we do not have Russian content, our services and campaigns are not targeting Russia, we do not work with Russian clients, they appear for a day or two before disappearing, and Google Analytics report doesn't show Russia or Ukraine!

For those who are not aware, Google Analytics are different than Blogger stats dashboard as the latter collects data from all the traffic coming and going from your blog, which does include human traffic, but also includes bots and spam.

The above screen shot shows traffic during September 21st from Russia. Below screen shot for our blog clearly shows normal traffic coming from USA and Egypt (which is logic) while only 3 pageviews were coming from Russia (unlike excessive traffic from there 2 days ago)!

As a pattern of strange behavior, we've noticed excessive traffic to our website from Ukraine. Referring sites list shows completely Russian websites as per below two screen shots:

With the news on the US election and the debate on the American President Donald Trump winning it due to Russian cyber interference. Can this post help in tracing the root causes for possible Russian activities targeting Google servers where our blog is hosted?

New Egypt Consulting is a digital marketing & social media agency based in Cairo since 2011.
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Social Media Marketing Freelancer / Agency on Upwork? Avoid 8 Clients

If you are a social media agency that has an Upwork profile, or even if you are a social media marketing freelancer, we would recommend avoiding 8 types of clients (7 are generic and applicable to any agency or freelancer actually):

1- Clients who ask marketing freelancers to go viral on social media:

Some clients are looking for going viral by asking social media marketing freelancers to share their content on Facebook groups and YouTube comments! If you are a social media agency, you should avoid submitting proposals there.

2- Clients with old registration date, payment method not verified, previous jobs posted, and zero hire rate:
Payment method not verified, old registration date, previous jobs posted, and zero hire rate!
Social media marketing agency or freelancer? Just avoid submitting proposals for such projects

Clients who have those 4 conditions together are usually looking for free tips and hints from the maximum number of agencies and freelancers on Upwork.

3- Dozens of invitations & interviews:
Social media marketing agency or freelancer on Upwork?
Avoid submitting proposals to this project

Some clients post a job and invite zillions of freelancers and agencies to submit proposals. If the number of invitations or interviews exceeds 10, we recommend you to avoid submitting a proposal.

Usually, those clients are either hesitating on what they actually need, or are just looking to get free tips and hints from the maximum number of agencies and freelancers on Upwork.

4- Only 1 invitation and also 1 interview:

Social media marketing agency or freelancer on Upwork?
Avoid submitting proposals to this project

Jobs that are posted with an indicator of only one single invitation are usually jobs that know their way to a specific agency or freelancer, where client and service provider had already agreed to work on Upwork.

5- Clients who ask you to work outside Upwork:

If a client cheats the platform that brought you to him, he would cheat you as well, too.

One client sent us her website to check after submitting our proposal. During a conference call, she said her graphic designer did not complete something because he started pursuing his master degree.

She insisted that she paid his fees but he did not deliver. The entire story was a signal of something wrong. As we moved forward, she asked us to work outside Upwork, and of course, we rejected.

6- Clients with too many old, yet open, contracts:

Clients who have too many old inactive open contracts that started 1 or 2 years ago are a big question mark.

We had only 2 bad Upwork experiences out of total 14 projects. One of them was a client that falls under this category.

Those clients usually have a bad behavior to their freelancers or agencies, so they do not end the contract to avoid getting a negative review.

Unfortunately, Upwork lowers your JSS (Job Success Score) if you ended the contract yourself without waiting for the client to end it (which we did without knowing this fact).

7- When payment method becomes unverified after the contract begins:

Our second bad Upwork experiences (Out of another 12 great experiences with excellent reviews) happened with a client that falls into this category. Those clients are usually willing to get your experience but are not willing to pay.

He started to claim we agreed on a lower hourly rate (although the only client is the one who can send job offer with specific hourly rate where service provider can't increase), and asked our Upwork account manager to lower the rate to avoid getting a negative review that will lower JSS!

In this case, even if you decided to stop working and end the contract, you will not get paid for the amount of work you've had delivered during the week (Was slightly less than $1,000) as you are not eligible to Upwork protection. In addition, your JSS will get lower (It went lower anyway due to client's review).

While working with a new client on a daily basis, always make sure, on a daily basis as well, that her/his payment method is still verified.

8- Clients who post an hourly job but asks for a fixed cost one (with negative reviews):

Hourly contracts protect the rights of agencies and freelancers much more compared to fixed cost projects.

Agencies and freelancers should avoid proceeding with clients who post an hourly job but asks for hiring on a fixed cost basis, if and only if the client has negative reviews.

Here at New Egypt Consulting, we faced this incident twice and when we checked clients' profiles again, we've found 2 stars review (without feedback) for one and an old 1-star review starts with capital AVOID feedback for another.

New Egypt Consulting is a digital marketing & social media agency based in Cairo since 2011.
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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Digital Egypt: ITIDA or TIEC Strategy Roadmap

Looking for digital Egypt? Below is just a suggested strategy roadmap for Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) or Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) from New Egypt Consulting as one of the industry stakeholders given that digital marketing industry represents 5% of jobs in Egypt - yes :)

1- Objective: Promoting & Social Media Courses & Individual IT Entrepreneurs  (Investment Activity):

  • Strategy #1: Prioritizing specialized tracks in ITI for video marketing, social media, SEO, and digital advertising (As separate independent tracks). We are in the market since 2011, and qualified social media marketers are very rare. This video highlights the issue for an industry that represents 5% of job market:

  • Strategy #2: Educating web developers, graphic designers, social media marketers, software engineers on presenting their skills and experiences in their CVs, LinkedIn profiles, etc. Simply, if someone is unable to present himself to employers, s/he will be unable to present any idea or business to an investor
  • Stakeholders: ITI, academia, training providers, HR trainers, recruitment companies, universities, etc.
  • Program: Weekly sessions on YouTube, Soundcloud (less mobile data), video conferencing aired to universities' campuses - all to be broadcasted from TIEC or ITIDA to save investment costs and unify the message.

2- Objective: Increasing Exports by IT Entrepreneurs (Profitable Activity):

  • Strategy: Partnership with Upwork to have a white-labeled portal under TIEC or ITIDA management and control so all Egyptian web developers, graphic designers, social media marketers, and software engineers (in addition to Egyptian companies) can deliver work to companies and clients from around the world, where TIEC/ITIDA and Upwork can share 20% commission of revenues this is already applied on the platform now.
  • Stakeholders: universities, syndicate of engineers, chambers of commerce, banks, Egyptian embassies, etc.
  • Program: Enrollment application supervised by TIEC or ITIDA to ensure only qualified talent pool are eligible to join the platform on
  • Budget: To be covered within 2 years by commission revenues.

New Egypt Consulting is a digital marketing & social media agency based in Cairo since 2011.
Company Profile:

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