iMatter social network for Arabic Women

Shel Israel (co-author, with Robert Scoble, of Naked Converations) interviewed me about my Saudi Arabia trip. Here are the questions he asked me:

SAP Global Survey: Australia’s Laurel Papworth

Building a Social Network for Arab Women

1. You have two blogs. One shows an almost stern-looking corporate sort of woman. The other portrays a free-wheelin’ Aussie with pink hair. How do you reconcile these multiple personalities?
2. How did you come to be invited to Saudi Arabia? Why did you decide to go? What scared you about going and can you talk about your problems getting into the country?
3. Tell me about social media in Saudi Arabia. How is it used and by whom? How much access do people have?
4. In one of your posts, you wrote about an “as yet unfounded” online community for Arab women. Tell me more about it? How did these women enroll and what countries are they from? .
5. How were you received at the conference? What was the biggest single takeaway for you? What did you say or do that surprised the Saudi women the most?
6. You wrote that for Saudi women, ” one photo, one chat with a male alone can totally disrupt you life.” Can you expand on that in terms of social media?
8. When building a woman’s community, how can you ensure one is not a male? What would happen if that occurred?
9. How do you think social media will change the life and culture of Saudi women? How do you see it impacting Saudi culture and relationships with the West overall? Let’s stretch a bit: Do you think social media can contribute to greater peace and understanding between Arab and Western cultures?
10. Additional comments?

I think if you want to know the answers I gave to those questions, you should hop onto Shel’s blog Global Neighbourhoods.

If you want more background to my trip to Jeddah Saudi Arabia to teach Arabic women social media and blogs/forums, try these:

Journey to Jeddah: Background

Journey to Jeddah: Day One.

Women and Identity in Saudi Arabia

Journey to Jeddah – Day Three and Four

Jouney to Jeddah: Homeward Bound

and maybe

Women in Business: Behind the Veil

Such an important trip, still making waves… and the social network is now launched and live! iMatter.