Does anyone out there use this medium as a tool besides just reading what others put up here? I will admit that I use Twitter for receiving news updates constantly, LinkedIn to associate myself with others with the same interest domestically and abroad in addition to getting consulting work, (which has been very successful) and Facebook to connect with friends and family. I also don't pay for these services. I pay for Zawya and its expensive.
What does Zawya bring to the table besides news feeds from staff mostly and the opportunity to upgrade for more money in hopes to review...(if your lucky to get approved) research reports from other firms, and a faster way to find out information on companies in the MENA?
I find that many on Zawya don't even want to communicate or add any value. I see the same people broadcasting and adding commentary. Albeit good information, does anyone else have anything to say or provide? My guess has been yes up to this point.
I assume there are some bright and talented individuals on this network. In joining the ZN, I thought it would bring an opportunity to connect with strong talented individuals, share ideas, learn about opportunities or trends, and most importantly form a relationship(s) with people who can help each other grow. At this juncture it seems that all my assumptions have been wrong.
I can name on one hand the individuals who are always trying to make a difference and shape the Zawya Network. I don't need to name these individuals because we all know who they are. So what makes Zawya so special that one has to pay? Is Zawya just a platform of all three other free services grouped together that most people on the ZN already use...Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook?
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Community Comments (2)
This is maybe a valid question to many. Currently, our members pay a fee to have a reliable access to important business and investment information; Zawya delivers news and focused databases (Major Companies, Projects, Mutaul Funds, IPOs, Sukuk and Private Equity) as well as macro economic and other research.
The Zawya Network (ZN) is free to our members and at this stage its a simple tool that allows a member to leverage the experience and know-how of other members. As you well know to be able to truely benefit from others you also need to contribute; its a give & take world.
Only a small % of our members have elected to join the ZN. We dont want to push them as we belive that engagement of memebers is more imoportant than the size of the network.
To this extent, and as Alex explained above, we are constantly looking to improve member engagement.
Thank you for sharing your concerns with all and please keep them coming along with your ideas and feedback. It will all make a difference soon as your assumptions are not wrong.
You have raised some important points which Zawya is already attempting to address.
Our mission - not just a catchy motto we stick on the wall - is what all our strategy is based on. And that is, to empower members to identify, assess and monitor opportunities in this region.
We are a company that operates in the digital content sphere. This region lags behind its European and US counterparts in uptake of certain trends and technologies. Traditional networking techniques still dominate, so online networking and content sharing are still new to most people.
The Zawya Network itself is fairly new, and we are working hard to make it function the way our members want it to.
To this end we set up a place for "idea sharing' on how to make the network better, and those ideas are being worked on. We are also looking at the usability and design as a key factor in engaging people.
Since the Network is so new, we are at an advantage that we still have a large body of members that have yet to join. Once they do, we will have many more opportunities to connect to and interesting people that drive it.
The 90-9-1 theory supports your argument that there are few people on the network that contribute or add value.
This rule states that In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.
this is a great post which explains more about it with some examples http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html
Another issue is that the concept of open communication is maybe not as widespread as it is elsewhere. Quite a lot of activity between members may happen in private discussions or email.
Your other points about paying for content and tools which can be used for free, or at a lesser cost elsewhere is timely.
Currently there is plenty of literature and research on the free vs freemium model, and this is demonstrated well by the moves that traditional print publications have made to online platforms. Some people believe that eventually all content will be able to be accessed for free, although, much like digital music, some are taking some interesting steps to prevent this from happening.
So where IS the added value? What are you getting for your money? I think the answer to these questions is that we can no longer dictate where you derive your value, we have to listen more to what our members want and act accordingly.
Please continue to send your suggestions to me on the network or email.
This is maybe a valid question to many. Currently, our...
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