Month: March 2012


March 27, 2012

The power of social media has been proven time and time again, as demonstrated by the ‘Kony 2012’ outreach that went viral in a matter of days, there is however a common trend with these types of social media news outbreaks. They are often related to raw human emotion, a sense of making a difference, speaking up and defending a useful cause. This was no different in the recent killing of Shaima Alawadi, news of her tragic and brutal death dominated social media during the course of this passing week.

Shaima Alawadi died on Saturday (24.03.2012), after beeing serverly beaten on the head with a tire iron in her home on Wednesday (21.03.2012). Next to her a threatening note was found saying “go back to you country, you terrorist”. Shaima Alawadi was a 32-year-old woman, from Iraq living in El Cajon (California) with her family including five kids. The family members believe the woman may have been targeted because she was Middle Eastern and wearing a Hijab.

After news about her death was published, numerous social media communities on a variety of platforms engaged in heated discussions surrounding her tragic passing. Due to the occurrence being emotionally charged, especially because it is religious in nature, not to mention the overall sensitivity in recent years around terrorism, islamophobia and racism, it is a interesting and valuable example of how SM users disseminate news in the social media milieu.

Out of the 3176 posts captured from 21/03/12 – 25/03/12, the majority of discussions took place on Sunday with 3110 posts.  The topic was discussed predominantly among males with 40% share of coverage, while 15% were female and a total of 45% were unknown. A vast majority 62% of the posts were written in English, in comparison to Arabic which made up 38%. Overall the bulk of comments captured were ascribed to Twitter, followed by Online News Sites and Blogs.

Not surprisingly, the bulk of the posts were negative in sentiment, by sharing the news (e.g. “Shaima Alawadi Dead: Iraqi Woman Who Was Severely Beaten In California Home Dies via @huffingtonpost”) or expressing the inconceivability of the incidence and of the overall situation concerning racism: “Shaima, a Muslim woman was beaten to death in California in her own home for wearing a Hijab. This world actually disgusts me… #RIPShaima”.

Especially within the Arabic language the hate of the muslim religion was questioned:

“مروه الشربيني قتلت في ألمانيا شيماء العوضي قتلت في أمريكا والسبب إرتدائهما للحجاب هل نجرؤ على قول أن الألمان والأمريكان إرهابيون؟”

(Translated: Marwa Al Sherbini was murdered in Germany , Shaima Al Awady was murdered in the USA and the reason why was because  she was wearing Al Hijab, can we dare to say that Germans and Americans are terrorists?);

“اثرت بي كثيرا قصة شيماء العوضي التي قتلت بكالفورنياالهذه الدرجةوصل الحقد علينا في قلوبهم يقتلون ام لخمسة اطفال بسبب حجاب على رأسها”

(Translated: I was so sad to hear Shaima’s story, do they hate us that much? They murder a mother of five kids because she is wearing Hijab).

However, some of the entries were more positive in tone, by expressing condolences to the family and looking forward to a better world or calling for justice, like: “RIP Shaima Alawadi. My thoughts & prayers are with your family. I hope that whoever committed this heinous crime will be brought to justice” or “رحمة الله عليج شيماء العوضي” (translated: May GOD bless your soul Shaima Al Awadi).

Moreover, 10% of social media users compared Alawadi’s death to that of Trayvon Martin (17 year old), by identifying both as hate crimes and drawing a parallel between a hoodie and a hijab. Martin was killed in February by George Zimmerman, who said he was acting in self-defense and has still not been charged to this day – Martin was unarmed but was wearing a hoodie.

Sunday saw the likes of thousands of users tweeting for the cause with words like “A teenager murdered for wearing a hoody. A woman murdered for wearing a hijab. Our hearts ache for you. #RIPTrayvonMartin #RIPShaima”.

According to our Buzz-Analysis, Twitter was the key platform in spreading news and conversing about the death of Shaima Alawadi mainly by using the Hashtags #RIPshaima, #JusticeforShaima, #ShaimaAlawadi and #MillionHijabMarch.

The Hashtag #RIPshaima was even listed on the Twitter trend list for the UAE, which resulted in people engaging about the incident and spreading the information: “I’m going to start a twitter campaign to show interfaith support for Shaima Alawadi (and her fam)- anyone interested in joining in?”.

Similarly, Facebook was used as a discussion platform, instantaneously by Sunday morning there were already three pages launched, where users expressed their feelings about the death of Shaima Alawadi and Monday morning saw the likes of an additional 3 pages. The various pages already had up to almost 3000 likes:

In addition, there were numerous discussions and articles in the blogosphere, which surrounded the death of Shaima, such as an online campaign for justice, and various other empathic statements and even Pinterest had content related to her passing.

In conclusion, as proven in the results of our buzz-analysis, an incident like the death of Shaima Alawadi was heavily discussed within the social media environment – it was powerful enough to spill over from traditional media channels onto the blogosphere with thousands of social media users fighting for justice. We can attribute the volumes to the fact that the story around Shaima Alawadi is not only representative of the tragedy of an individual but is addressing the wide and emotional area of racism that is felt by the masses.

Scope Note:

The Buzz Report monitors trends and themes that dominate current discussions on various Social Media platforms. This explicit search was conducted about the death of Shaima Alawadi , covering all countries. The mentioned posts and comments were captured in both English and Arabic from the 21st of March 2012 until the 25th of March. The keywords for the search were: “Shaima and California”, “Shaima Alawadi”, the Hashtag “#RIPshaima”, all in different spellings and as well the correspondents in Arabic.

If you are interested in monitoring any special event, political development or a certain brand/product we welcome you to contact us at We also appreciate any suggestions and improvements for this Blog. Also follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook-Page to get regular updates regarding future Buzz Reports.


March 18, 2012




Interested about Pinterest? Then this Buzz Report should be just the right thing for you!

Next to a collection of general information around it, you will find our analysis of posts since January in UAE according to Pinterest.

However in this Buzz-report we diversified a bit from the usual article format and experimented with the use of prezi.  We would love to get your feedback on the new design of our Buzz-Report, as well as any other suggestions you may have.

You will have the best view after clicking on the prezi-frame by using the “fullscreen” option (click on “more” on the right corner of the prezi-frame and select “fullscreen”). And thereafter navigate by use of the left arrow key.

If you prefer the written version of the Buzz-Report, you will find it below the prezi.


We hope you enjoy it!


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BUZZ – Report: Pinterest

 If you haven’t already heard of it, Pinterest, the rising star of the Social Web was launched in 2010 and the online platform soon flourished gaining more and more active “Pinners”. But what actually hides behind those nine letters? And what makes Pinterest so alluring for millions of active users?

According to its website, Pinterest is a “virtual pinboard” that “allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web”, within clicks people can decorate their accounts with pictures showcasing their personal interests, for example in food, fashion or sports.

The Mastermind behind the site was Ben Silbermann, who loved to collect bugs when he was a child. This led him to the thought that other people may just have a similar passion for collecting, which served as the motivation to craft Pinterest .The development began in December 2009 and the site was finally launched in March of the following year.

A true story of success: Statistics show that 1.36 million internet users visit the webpage daily with an increasing amount of unique visitors of 2700% since March 2011. Today Pinterest drives more traffic than Youtube, Google+ and Linkedin combined (Shareaholic Blog, comScore & TechCrunch). In consequence: Pinterest can be considered as one of the fastest-growing websites in history – naturally it also caught our attention.

SocialEyez’ Buzz-Analysis from January 1st until March 14th captured 760 posts based on the keyword “Pinterest” in the UAE. The daily volume of posts shows a rising buzz since January peaking at the end of February.


Pinterest was discussed mainly via Twitter, which resulted in plenty of users connecting their Twitter account to their Pinterest account. Although statistically the majority of the Pinterest users are female our captured posts show more male activity within the UAE.

One of the most frequently discussed subjects was the future and the popularity of Pinterest. For instance, “Pinterest – hot new network or another Quora?: Is Pinterest a flash in social networking pan? […]”. Likewise the posts contained the pros and cons compared to other networks and the subjective evaluation of Pinterest: “I don’t get Pinterest and I’m not really sure I can afford to get hooked to a new social/news/interest network.” or “Pinterest is fabulous! All the awesome pics you wanna share w/people w/out having to spam Facebook!”. Next to the personal aversion for Pinterest, users were complaining about the privacy and copyright issues: “I’d just prefer to pay for Pinterest so they make $ & there aren’t threats of future sale of my content & sneaky affiliate URLs”. As a last big topic there were numerous posts about how to use Pinterest as an online-marketing tool: “8 Strategies for Launching a Brand Presence on Pinterest […]”.

This area of focus is generally a big topic in the trending social media discussion, evidently due to Pinterest’s high marketing potential. That is why brands go online with Pinterest, set up pages, and form collaborations. Nowadays even other websites have started embedding “pin it” buttons inviting visitors to enrich Pinterest pages with pictures, Facebook integrated Pinterest in January which increased the number of Facebook users who visited Pinterest daily by 60 percent (Facebook Developers). Regarding those developments there should absolutely be no doubt why Times Magazine listed Pinterest as one of the “50 Best Websites of 2011”.

Scope Note:

The Buzz Report monitors trends and themes that recently buzzed on various Social Media platforms. This explicit search was conducted about the developments of Pinterest in UAE. The mentioned posts and comments were captured from the 1st January 2012 until the 14th of March.

If you are further interested in monitoring any special event, political development or a certain brand/product we welcome you to contact us at We also appreciate any suggestions and improvements for this Blog. Also follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook-Page to get regular updates regarding future Buzz Reports.