Queen Rania: Using Real Time Web for Real World Change.
She describes herself as a “mum and a wife with a really cool day job.” Queen Rania of Jordan is a human rights activist, advocate for women and children, considered one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbs Magazine, and get this… she still has time to be a YouTube video-blogger, and an early adopter of social media. As a side note, she has the ability to give amazing quotes and Tweets … so you will see a couple of them throughout the post.
Queen Rania maintains her YouTube channel, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter accounts aside from maintaining her own website. As you glimpse through her social networking platforms you understand her strong conviction of using these online tools to spread the word about her charity work and promoting her country. Queen Rania’s Twitter followers reach over one million and her Facebook account has almost 300,000 fans. In addition, she is considered by The Daily Telegraph as one of the top ten people to follow on Twitter.
Through her online efforts Queen Rania has served as an ambassador that promotes tolerance between Muslim and non-Muslim countries, she believes in using Twitter video via TwitVid and YouTube as a way to promote cross-cultural understanding that will reach a broader audience around the world and continue to advance the reach of her mission. The results of her hard work were seen on November of 2009, when Queen Rania of Jordan was voted by readers of The Arab, as the most influential person in the Arab world today.
So I wonder, what if other first ladies worldwide engaged in online efforts to promote peace, their country, and cultural understanding? What would be some key lessons from Queen Rania on how to manage online platforms to their advantage?
Queen Rania has been successful in creating culture by sparking conversation amongst social networks that then lead to action. The queen constantly challenges culture by finding and criticizing cultural tensions that exist worldwide… this gets people to talk… whether they agree with her or not. She has been successful in creating ideas that people are inspired by and can rapidly mobilize around.
Queen Rania truly understands participatory web and how social networks promote action. Recently she posed a video on TwitVid promoting a tourist swap contest between Jordan and other countries. The fascinating part of the contest is that it targets both tourists and Jordanians to help promote the country. The rules of the contest, named Twisit Jordan, are simple: If you live in Jordan, you must upload a video about why you love your country. If you’ve never been to Jordan, submit a video saying why you’d like to visit the country.
Once the contest is over, the best four videos will be chosen, and two people from Jordan will swap places (temporarily) with two people living abroad, full expenses paid. Sounds exciting… I am actually thinking about submitting my own video. In case you are interested the contest runs from July 15 to August 4, 2010.
Up to date there have been 71 video submissions of both Jordanians and tourists. The contest is a great way to promote the Jordan-brand through word of mouth and at the same time gain followers that will continue to participate and engage in Queen Rania’s multiple online platforms.
Traffic is Important but Content is King
In addition to promoting cultural understanding and advocating for women and children, Queen Rania offers followers and fans a unique glimpse into the surprisingly “normal” world of the royal household in Jordan. She has been successful in not only focusing on her charity work but she is creating interesting content that appeals to her constituents.
One of the reasons why I chose to write about her this week (apart from the fact that I truly admire her), was that I was really inspired by her speech on Le Web 2009, where she talked about why social media was so important to her:
“ This direct and personal connection lets people reach out to me, and it also helps spread ideas and causes I’m passionate about – how else can anyone talk with a million people, around the world, all at once? ”
By the way, her speech was given in 140-character sound bites or less, so that attendees could be blogging, posting or tweeting their way through her keynote.
I applaud Queen Rania for choosing to be a leader and engaging the world through social media. She is a great example of how other worldwide leaders should be using their influence to promote their nations and cross-cultural dialogue.