12 Jan 2010
If you've ever tagged a bookmark on delicious, you can help us.
Yes, we want you to help us track, aggregate and translate the stories and sources you care about, using a popular bookmarking service on the web.
All it takes is a simple tag: for_meedan.
Imagine you've just read a brilliant article about Gaza that you feel needs to be seen more widely.
You might share it with your close friends on facebook, or send it to a mailing list.
(Or if you use Twitter, you're welcome to add /for @meedan to your tweet...)
We'll then pick it up and put it into the meedan brew, where things get interesting.
There are three good reasons why you might want to do this:
1. Get your blog linked to from Meedan
First, sharing your stories, blog posts, favorite columns or most trusted sources with us can help us determine which news events Meedan should be covering on a day to day basis.
We are interested in tracking responses to major events in the Middle East, be they politics, technology, science, business or culture. Whatever you care about share it with us - and we may publish the story as an event on Meedan.
We have editors working on the site through most of the working day, whether you're in Baghdad, Beirut, Brussels or Boston.
2. Help us build a database of media sources
Second, we are building a crowdsourced database of Middle East and western media sources and we need you to help us.
If there's a blog you love, or a source you're interested to learn more about, tag it for_meedan and we'll add it to our database.
We collate key nutritional information about the source (such as location, publisher type, founder) so that Americans can learn about bloggers and mainstream media in the Middle East; and Arabs can learn about bloggers and mainstream media in the west.
So your tag helps this database grow. (If you want to join our team of database junkies email info [at] meedan.net or tweet to @meedan on Twitter.)
3. Help improve understanding and chances for dialogue
Third, by taking part in this you can bring together Arab and western views of the world into one place.
Meedan 'event' threads are archivable groupings of translated media, comments and responses to important Middle East events from the Arabic and English web. They are rich narratives that show diverse viewpoints of common stories. (Like this one on a sectarian shooting in southern Egypt, or this one on the US in Afghanistan, or this one on Arab perceptions of Darwin)
What's more Meedan content is searchable - so on any country, person, organization or topic you can perform a search and be served with the latest links, comments and events from our diverse archive of Arab and western media.
So just by using for_meedan you are helping to improve understanding and opportunities for dialogue.
We are focusing on Delicious first because it is a popular network for sharing news and information with tags.
But you could equally as well use any service that you enjoy using and we'll monitor it.
So that could be Twitter or Technorati, that could be Diigo, or Stumble Upon. Just let us know with an email to info [at] meedan.net or a tweet to @meedan.
If you're reading this article, you're ready to start contributing. We can't wait to have you join the party and help the cause of a more interconnected cross-cultural web in the process.