Sharjah International Book Fair 29th Edition

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Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
ExpoCenter 7th - 17th November, 2012. Hours | Saturday - Thursday: 10a.m. - 10p.m.; Friday: 4p.m - 10p.m.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Lisa Dempster › Social media @ SHJIBF

Sharjah International Book Fair

#shjibf twitterfall

I have been having a ball blogging and tweeting about Sharjah Book Fair. The #shjibf twitter stream has been running hot with locals and visitors alike. There were events organised solely on twitter, tweetups, impromptu meetings based on tweets, insightful commentary and lols.

Sharjah International Book Fair

Sahar tweets from the writers workshop

I have referred a few times to my social media posse, and it was quite the crew indeed – more than a handful of writers who come from very diverse backgrounds but have common interests. I would urge you to check out the twitter feeds of Octavia Nasr, Samar Dahmash Jarrah, Marcia Quigley, Zohra Saed, Sahar Muradi, Rupert Bumfrey, Dania El-Kadi and Shelina Zahra for loads of Book Fair coverage but mostly because they’re all fascinating and intelligent tweeters.

We were kitted out with Galaxy Tabs, Samsung’s answer to the ipad, and full data cards and let loose on Sharjah. (It’s been really fun playing with a new toy but I don’t recommend the Galaxy over an ipad.)

Formalising the social media element (informally formalising, maybe – it wasn’t regimented!) of the fest was a great initiative from the Sharjah Book Fair. I really have to commend the organisers for taking such a professional and innovative approach to social media – the model (army of kitted out and knowledgeable tweeps and bloggers) is one many other festivals would benefit from adopting, the EWFincluded. (We do pretty well but there is always room for improvement!)It is impossible to control social media but if you get experienced people involved then you can vreate something pretty special, and that is absolutely what has happened here in Sharjah this year.

The #shjibf twitter stream in particular created a really great vibe for social media types at the festival – the word ‘connection’ can be overused but seriously, it’s true, I met so many lovely and interesting people through twitter and it’s been great to hang out at the festival with people I know. It blows my mind that ten days ago I had never been to the UAE and now I have many, many friends here.

Sharjah International Book Fair

Getting out tweet on

It has been so great meeting really diverse and talented writers of the social media posse, be they ‘official’ or coming in through the #shjibf stream, and I look forward to our connections extending into the future.

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