Friday, August 22, 2008

Speechless.. How not to have an internet business: Smart Oman oxymoron website

I'm struggling here... with what to say about the website I guess I should be encouraging such clear and shameless entrepreneurial spirit: the enthusiasm, the many many informative (and free) articles, the whole net thing man, like, advertising, you know? And I'd certainly like whoever's financing the venture (?daddy?) to come to the aid of some of MY business ideas with wads of cash... but this is just way too amateur hour. Really. It is.

I can't even figure out how I got here... or even here but, there you go, the power of the internet I guess. I did, and I'm... well... *&%(*%(*^%(*^%

where do I start?

Ok. Free advice? Albert:
1/ If you want to do your thing - whatever it is - in English, get an employee who actually speaks English as an (almost) native language! Real English, I mean, like, not something else transliterated (like say Arabic or Hindi)
2/ Try not to have every page (and even the press release, see below) come across like a google translated page (oh, see point 1).
3/ You're obviously trying to do something, I just wish I knew what it was. I mean for your customers, obviously. I know what YOU are trying to do, which is make a quick buck on the internet, or at least convince who ever is paying the bills that there is a quick buck. Wake up - this is no longer 1998.
4/ Drop the whole 'by-line' thing on the articles. It doesn't add anything. Really. 'By Bhaskar Bhattacharjee' or 'By Albert Fahil' or 'By Aysha Mariyam' or 'By V.Sukumaran'.. like we care? OK, if your friends write articles and want a by line to do it for free, or for class credit, just put it at the bottom, OK?
5/ Yes, we all can agree Rozalin Al-Bulushi looks cute. I'm just not sure the whole 'she's female so let's concentrate on her beauty' thing is what she wants to stress with regard to her business model.
6/ Spell check, spell check. IE Fassion (main heading, home page, smart Oman)- you mean Fashion.

Oh, fuck it. Just read the press release for a laugh, and visit the web site smart oman. I've had more understandable English on the instructions from a Chinese product safety warning. Albert has another one called Same html code, and the same articles basically. Probably a too, hey Why not? But I couldn't be arsed to even check.

Albert - was that an on-line MBA? And please introduce me to your dad.
Press Release The Business Machine
Aug 18 2008 -

For the first time in Oman, a highly comprehensive and professional website is on the cyberspace with the idea of promoting every business in the city. This aims to create common business platform and approach different class of business community at their ease.

The website, is with lot of potential to make a mark on online media and establish as strong international media brand.

This is the time for investing in Oman, the time that most high profile organizations, institutions, keep their eyes on Oman.

That creates for existing local companies more challenging environment.

That is where the is perfectly fit with the scene. Since most businesses in the prevailing world depend on the 24/7 online media, there is no exception to Oman. It is the easiest, most cost effective way to communicate to date.

An article on a international website such as can make a world of difference to a product or to a business no matter small or large.

Browsing through is easy, informative and pleasant. Whether it is tourism, education, real estate, health, law, management, or fashion the has a place, a place to promote, to advertise, to sell, to contact, to invest, or just to gain knowledge.

The city guide is the place where a tourist can gain complete information on where he has finally come and to where he has to follow on to go to the right place. In the same way, it is where businessmen of tourism industry can gain full coverage to their ventures effectively and attract more and more customers easily.

The articles with videos to emphasize the ideas and articles with slide shows to give variety of tastes on what you are reading are major features of the website while City Brief, short business news give fullest idea in the live business news in the city.

City Offers is one of the most attractive link in the while the sections such as Features, Smart Forum, Public Voice, Property Videos, and Notice Board cover all most all of the areas of Oman's business world and social world as well.

The is the online work station surely the business community can depend on while the portal to do the talking. The site is exclusive and does exclusive promotional activities online.

So take a minute and visit the site, the first of its kind, and contact the site, the business portal.

Not convinced you want your business on smart Oman? Oh come on! The rates are really reasonable! Give old Albert a break. Here's the ad rates for the site...
Rates on home page. ( per month )
1. Horizontal banners ( upper main ) US$ 2000
2. Horizontal banners ( main ) US$ 2500
3. Horizontal middle page US$ 2000
4. Skyscraper first US$ 2500
5. Skyscraper second US$ 2000
Home page visibility max plan any two ad positions US$ 3500
All other news pages ( per month ) run on network
1. Horizontal banners ( upper main ) US$ 1000
2. Horizontal banners ( main ) US$ 1500
3. Horizontal middle page US$ 1000
4. Skyscraper first US$ 1500
5. Skyscraper second US$ 1000
Business pages visibility max plan any two ad positions plus mid article
ad for US$ 2500
All pages product and real estate property video/ animation listings. US$ 1000 per video
( one minute )
On interactive pages , Smart Forum, Message board, PublicVoice will be same as City Guide rates.
CityGuide ad rates.
Dubai City Guide ( Per month run on network )
1 Horizontal banners ( upper main ) US$ 1000
2 Horizontal banners ( main ) US$ 1500
3 Horizontal middle page US$ 1000
4 Skyscraper first US$ 1500
5. Skyscraper second US$ 1000
City guide visibility max plan any two ad positions US$ 2000
Sponsored listings on CityGuide US$ 150 per year. ( example , ‘ABC taxies’ at Dubai city > services > taxies listings. )
If you want us to design your Ad, design fee will be 150 US$.
For direct advertising please contact
Ad partner discount will be 10% from list rate for the 2nd and onwards when advertising gap is less than 90 days.

I wish I was getting 5 % for every hit this link is giving old Albert, I'll tell ya...


  1. UD, you are very mean! :P

    This website was made using a free ready-made script, it is an off-the-shelf website, you click install, choose a colour theme, then just put whatever rubbish you have on it. It does not require any sort of investment.

    The domain owner is from Sri Lanka.

    My favourite article was the "Renaissance Day - The Day We Stood Together"... It is clear from the title that this guy knows nothing about Oman's history, we did NOT do anything on that day, it was the Sultan who took action.

  2. Yep - probably trying to make a quick buck; might have worked in Oman once. They are trying to sell land back home - so guess they want to buy up Omani land !!!

  3. UD - Great Post !
    We should hire some internet SWAT team to take the site down ... the Italian Job is advertised on smartoman .. release date 30.5.2003... LOL!!

    I would suggest you have a look at ... i would be interested to hear what you have to say about that one .. its a site that is "specifically engineered to create a knowledge based economy with a focus on developing the Information and Communication Technology Sector in Oman"... and so they feature an article about The Bermuda Triangle on the main page ..

  4. BlueChi,
    hey, they are the ones who issued a press release describing the site as 'a highly comprehensive and professional website...'

    But I guess its no accident that my pseudonym is Dragon...

    I'll have a look.

  5. this article is about scenic beauty - all i see are discarded tires and trash heap.

  6. Admittedly some very poor design!! But great for a laugh!
    Can I nominate an expat site too thats appalling?


  7. MPU - lol

    Hmmm. Not the same league IMHO. There are heaps of bad blogs, but this one was supposed to be a professional business site.


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