Blog service is ‘first for region’

Jordan-based web-hosting company Jeeran claims it has launched the first locally developed and fully-Arabised free blog service.

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By  Tim Addington Published  November 27, 2005

Jordan-based web-hosting company Jeeran claims it has launched the first locally developed and fully-Arabised free blog service. The firm, which claims to have more than 500,000 registered members, said it had developed the blogging application as an addition to its existing web-hosting service. Although still relatively new, blogging in the Middle East has taken-off in countries with high internet penetration, but it has also caught the attention of authorities. In the UAE, telecom operator Etisalat blocked the Secret Dubai website for a few days earlier this year after one of its posts poked fun at UAE nationals. “We have always been a user-driven company. Blogging, the epitome of user interaction today, is the natural and logical extension to our current line of products and services,” said Omar Koudsi, president of Jeeran. “We have added blogs, as another useful tool, to empower our users and allow them to fully utilise the latest technologies and trends in the internet world. A clear manifestation of how blogs fit in our line of services is that since our blog’s soft launch earlier this month, two thousand bloggers have joined the Jeeran blogsphere.” Blogs are easy-to-set-up websites and are used as an online journal by their creator. They allow for comments and contributions to be posted by visitors. The company, which was launched in 2000, claims the opportunity for Arab bloggers to get involved in the worldwide phenomenon was hampered by the absence of a flexible Arabised service, which it says it has now addressed. Jeeran offers people the opportunity to get their own website domain name and set up their website free of charge in return for carrying advertising on their sites. “Not only will advertisers be reaching our users, they will be reaching the users of our users,” Koudsi added. He said the likes of Sony and Adidas had advertised using Jeeran and the company was now looking to ramp up its sales and marketing activities. Laith Zraikat, VP at Jeeran, added: “Since we launched Jeeran, we have made it our strategy to analyse and predict the needs of the Arab online community and present them with solutions which address those needs in an easy-to-use format.”

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