It isn’t only the service provider that is making its voice heard over the internet, but the creative types it is working with as well, the prime example being Design Jordan. DJ, as it has come to be known, is the Kingdom’s only industrial and product design institution. It recently launched its first design competition, an endeavour that has brought the company face to face with the importance of social networking. “We are looking for designs that combine function and form to create style with a purpose,” says Racha Tarazi, Creative Director at Design Jordan. “We want to provoke a pioneering creative spirit in the Middle East and, at the same time, expose latent design talent in our region. One of the best methods to get the word out there was, unquestionably, our profiles on social networking sites.”
Racha and the team set out to create a network that reflected their ambitious plan, coming up with groups, fanpages and even event micropages. “We went the whole nine yards!” says Omar al-Zoubi, one of Design Jordan’s graphic designers and developer of the company’s social networking plan. “By involving most of our team – who are Facebook and LinkedIn users – we worked on bringing in our friends to introduce Design Jordan, its philosophy, and how important it is to the Middle East.”
In fact, the company plans to extend the online work it has already done to include a blog with daily updates about Design Jordan’s news. “We believe Internet users relate more to an online journal,” continues Omar, “since it’s more approachable and easy to regularly update. We’re also considering accounts on video-sharing sites that will function as a backbone to our blog with video material.”
It is unthinkable then, with the region and the world’s most influential minds putting so much effort into it, to suggest that an Internet presence is of little importance to any business, new or established, in the Middle East or Japan. The medium can give any company a direct relationship with its customers, creating a dialogue that helps the former establish itself without having to guess if it is, in fact, making an impact on the latter. This avalanche of opportunity means that any business venture setting its sights on becoming an influential institution will have to make sure that it is followed on Twitter. Or joined on Facebook. Or even linked on LinkedIn.