Last week, I had the honour of being invited to speak at the 39th GITEX Technology Week in Dubai.

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The schedule was slightly gruelling, as I had emerged from a 15hr overnight flight from Brisbane at 0630hrs local time, only to give my talk at 0930hrs. I opened the Digital Marketing stream with a talk on the latest trends from the Influencer industry, then co-ran a short workshop with social marketing expert Joe Federer, formally head of Branding Strategy at Reddit.

A member of the audience recorded a segment of my talk here:
“Influencers: The psychology of internet & social media cultures.” Local Search, 6 October 2019. <Video>

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I also gave an interview to journalist Salim Essaid for Euronews, based on some of my latest research from Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures, co-authored with Tama Leaver & Tim Highfield, to be published December 2019.

The video news snippet is here:
“How to reach consumers through social media? GITEX experts answer.” Euronews, 12 October 2019. <Video>

And a write-up is here:
“La technologie : des réseaux sociaux à l’écosystème startups (Technology: from social networks to ecosystem startups).” Euronews, 11 October 2019. <Article>

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My GITEX liaison Oscar Wendel and his team also laboured to import my first book Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online into the UAE – after effortful bureaucratic, logistical, and censorship processes – which is now available at Kinokuniya at The Dubai Mall and shippable to most places in the Arabian Gulf region.

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My GITEX week ended with an hourlong book interview with Joe, an extended Q&A with audiences from all walks of life, and a book giveaway thanks to my commissioning editor Jenny McCall and my publisher Emerald.

I also managed to spend time with friends old (Miikka! Martin!) and new (Joe! Maria! Bernie! Joseph!), and see some of my family (kak Zaza, Dave, Maya) who live in Dubai. It has been the loveliest of new experiences this year, and I cannot wait for GITEX 2020.

/C

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