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A study in how an old issue received new treatment in a variety of new media platforms. By Dilshad D. Ali. U.S. WISE 2009, 07/17/09.

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Presentation on theme: "A study in how an old issue received new treatment in a variety of new media platforms. By Dilshad D. Ali. U.S. WISE 2009, 07/17/09."— Presentation transcript:

1 A study in how an old issue received new treatment in a variety of new media platforms. By Dilshad D. Ali. U.S. WISE 2009, 07/17/09

2 Background: The Hijab Story What are the stories/issues about Muslims that persistently receive media attention? Is Islam a religion that promotes violence? Do women have a subservient role in the faith? What does the faith teach about tolerance towards non-Muslims? Whats the deal with how Muslim women dress? All issues weve addressed at Beliefnet Challenge: Is it enough?

3 Background: The Hijab Story What are the new media platforms Beliefnet can offer? Story pages (for articles, interviews, essays) Gallery pages (for slideshows) Blog posts Social Networking Videos

4 Background: The Hijab Story Choosing a topic that would lend itself to content across all media platforms The Hijab issue lent itself well to this. Why? Many facets to this story Many sub-issues Hijab story is evergreen Hijab story reaches across countries

5 Background: The Hijab Story How to address this topic – audience Do you create content for a Muslim or non- Muslim audience? Should it be explanatory, or should it go in depth by further exploration of various questions about the hijab?

6 Background: About Beliefnet About Beliefnet Sites mission is to help people like you find, and walk, a spiritual path that will bring comfort, hope, clarity, strength, and happiness. What is Beliefnets audience? 68% female, 32% male 5.8 million unique monthly visitors across site and newsletters* 9 million name e-mail list Mainly Christian readership, mid-age range

7 Approach: The Hijab Story Create a (slideshow) the hijab Publish hijab essays Create a hijab FAQ Foster hijab-oriented discussions on our social networking section Blog about the hijab Produce hijab video

8 Approach: Creating the Hijab Gallery (Published in 07/2008) Different types of Muslim dress What is it? How, Why, and When is t Worn? Any Controversy? Quick Explanations (the more succinct, the more well- read)

9 Approach: Types of dress and issues addressed in Beliefnets Hijab Gallery Hijab The Shayla, Al-Amira, and Khimer Abaya and Jilbab The Chador Niqab (Face Veil) Burqa (or Burka) Burkini Hijab and Fashion Hijab and Sports Islam, Men, and Modest Dress

10 Approach: Sample page from Beliefnets Hijab Gallery The Hijab (Headscarf) What is it? In Arabic, hijab means "barrier" or "cover." For non-Muslims, it's synonymous with the headscarf, but it can be used to describe total modesty. Those who cover up do so because of passages in the Qur'an and other Muslim scripture. A woman doesn't have to cover up in front of her husband, father, son, or other relatives she cannot marry. How, why, and where it's worn. The hijab (as a headscarf) is any piece of cloth pinned around the head so as to cover the hair, ears, neck and (usually) bosom. Women the world over don the hijab on top of their other clothing, which extends to their hands and feet. Any controversy? The purpose of modest Muslim dress is just that--to be modest. In the strictest definition, this means loose clothing that hides the shape of one's body. Some argue that just wearing a headscarf with tight-fitting outfits is not modest.hairclothingoutfits Continued on Slide 3: The Shayla, Al-Amira, and Khimer » Continued on Slide 3: The Shayla, Al-Amira, and Khimer »

11 Approach: Sample Page from Beliefnets Hijab Gallery Hijab and Fashion What is it? Some women seek to combine wearing the hijab or other types of Muslim dress with stylish clothing and makeup. How, why, and where is it worn? Many Muslim fashion designers and women seek to implement the fashion of a country within the parameters of modest dressing. In the West this may mean layering a long- sleeved shirt inside a t-shirt or wearing a dress over pants. Attractive scarves are important. Others cleverly wear their hijab to let their earrings peek out or wear makeup. Any controversy? In the Muslim world, the battle of hijab vs. fashion is fierce. Critics argue that the point of modest dressing is not to draw attraction to one's physical self, which is negated by pretty headscarves, full coverage but stylish clothing, and makeup. Others say women can dress modestly and fashionably without overtly displaying their physical attributes.makeupfashionearringsclothing

12 Approach: Essays Beliefnet also published traditional forms of media – essays and articles: Taking Off My Hijab by Andrea Useem (published in 08/08) Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Asma Gull Hasan (published in 2005)

13 Approach: Blog Posts Freedom of Religion Includes Wearing Burqas from Windows and Doors At the Beijing Olympics, the Hijab Emerges from Idol Chatter The Burqa and the Bikini from City of Brass

14 Approach: Social Networking Discussion: My Hijab or My Job Developed by member in early 2008 Discussion: Banning the Burqa in France: Is Sarkozy going too far? Developed by Beliefnet in June 2009

15 Approach: Hijab Video Developed script for a How a Muslim woman may wear the hijab video Preliminary shooting in 2007 Video project still on hold

16 Challenges and Successes Promotion of Content Throughout the site, on Islam Channel Page Links pushed in the blogs Tagging of content for search engines In Beliefnet newsletters Sent out by PR firm to other media outlets Promotion on other social networking sites (Facebook)

17 Challenges and Successes: SEO Key component to hijab content promotion is good SEO practices Use of keywords Google Analytics Study Omniture SiteCatalyst trend reports Proper tagging of content

18 Challenges and Successes: Traffic Numbers (since Oct. 08) Gallery: What is the Hijab and Muslim Dress All About? – 42,235 PVs (3993 generated through our newsletter Essay: Taking Off My Hijab – 5,060 PVs Hijab FAQ: 10,564 PVs (771 generate through our newsletter) Blog Posts – Low PageViews Soc. Net. Banning the Burqa: Is Sarkozy Going too Far? 2742 PVs since June (success!)

19 Challenges: Anecdotal Information How successful is Beliefnet at dispelling misconceptions about the Hijab? Many positive anecdotes Many positive reader comments on site Many personal compliments But NO good data-taking on this Competing against a vast network of unedited info on the Internet

20 Harnessing Power of New Media Full-body approach to the coverage of a topic is best Internal linking and cross-linking of content Becoming fluent in SEO practices Play around with Google Analytics BEFORE publishing your work Track your traffic, and get trend reports if possible As always, good writing, great graphics, seamless editing Create a buzz about your work. How? KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!


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