My YouTube Channel

Posted by Mark

Someone on twitter made me aware that some readers might not be aware of this. My YouTube channel is www.youtube.com/usurp

The YouTube channel www.youtube.com/mark248am is NOT mine. It does not belong to me and I have no access to it. A few years back someone set up a parody website called www.248-am.com (notice the extra dash) and started spoofing most of my posts. That anonymous person also set up the YouTube account mark248am. The parody website is no longer up but the YouTube channel is.

I’ve contacted YouTube before to shutdown the channel but they refused. But I now heard that there might be a case building against me based on that YouTube channel so I just wanted to make it clear to everyone that my YouTube channel is www.youtube.com/usurp


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I need to post

Posted by Mark

It feels very strange not having posted much here the past few days. I’ve had a lot on my mind so I haven’t really been focusing but it also felt awkward to post with all that was going on. No one has contacted me yet from Benihana and my court date is still set for March 8th. Once the trial starts it could take 2 years to finish and so I have to continue to post on this blog during that time.

Whenever there is any updates in the case I will post it here and keep everyone updated of course.

I would like to once again thank everyone who has been supporting me in this case. The amount of attention you’ve helped bring has just been mind blowing.


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Media coverage on Benihana lawsuit

Posted by Mark

I’ve tried collecting all the coverage this case has gotten so far and will be updating this post throughout this trial as new sources pop up.

Thank you everyone for your support. It’s just been incredible.

Blogs
Fake Plastic Souks: Benihana Bashes Bloggers
BoingBoing: Benihana Kuwait sues blogger for $18,000 over bad review
Trying to be Fahad: Defamation or Constructive Criticism?
Catalyze: How not to respond to negative feedback
Snow in Kuwait: 248AM Blogger getting sued
Chicken Nugget: Benihana suing mark from 248am
His & Hers Q8: Being sued for a review
Ansam 518: Mark vs Lawsuit
LWDLK: Benihana suing the blogger of 248am
SuddenlyTwo: Benihana Kuwait #FAIL
Sandier Pastures: Benihana Kuwait sues blogger
oi Nagham!: Benihana vs The People
Lebanon News: Benihana Goes Bananas; Manager Stereotypes Lebanese
+961: Benihana sues one of the most popular bloggers in Kuwait
Who Sane: A Very Unnecessary PR Disaster
Blog 37: Social suicide by Benihana
Desert Girl: Mark at 248AM gets sued by Benihana
Beirut Drive-By Shooting: Shut up!
Irrelevant Combinations: One beef negimaki, and a lawyer please
Mich Cafe: Brand fiasco unites bloggers
SuddenlyTwo: Benihana Kuwait #FAIL
Oman Collective Intelligence: Benihana Kitchen Nightmares!
The Side Talk: Mark & 248AM being sued over honest review
Siouxsie Law: Kuwaiti Blogger Sued Over Bad Benihana Review
American Girl In Kuwait: “BTW, are you Lebanese?”
qEight: Local blogger in Kuwait sued by Benihana
Buzfairy: A really bad move from Benihana Kuwait, suing 248am
BeirutSpring: Benihana In Kuwait is a Terrible, Terrible Place. Stay Away From It.
Electrony: مطعم يرفع قضية على مدونة إلكترونية ويطالب بخمس آلاف دينار وإغلاق المدونة
iBloogle: Bloggers Unite – for the Right to Freedom of Online Speech
Q8HK: نحن معك يا مارك … دعم لمدونة A-Sides
Kuwaits Blog: Mark kuwaiti blogger sued by Benihana
Blog Baladi: Blogger sued over restaurant review
Chaotic pOsha: Benihana suing Mark!
18 Seven: اي شي يا بينيهانا
n3alba7ar: المدون مارك و قضية المطعم اليابانى
Ashish Panjabi: The Benihana Debacle
Desert Blvd: Benihana, Shame On You!
Khaled Rambles: Restaurant sues blogger in Kuwait
Blogger Mathai: Benihana Kuwait sues local blogger for negative review!
Techania: مطعم في الكويت يجن جنونه بسبب تعبير صريح للرأي من قبل مدوّن
Cyrographics: Kuwait’s 248am Blogger being sued by Benihana over a negative review
Hell is other people: #benihanakuw I bet you feel foolish now dont you!
B&D: Everyone’s Outraged as Benihana sues 248am over Bad Reviews
Marketing in Lebanon: The Art of Creating a PR Crisis
The Market Buzz: How much is your reputation worth?
Life in Dubai: Sued for saying he didn’t like his meal.
Life & Beyond: Sued for Writing a Bad Review!
Mind Soup: Benihana: We sue customers to compensate for our bad food
BABBLEQ8: Freedom of speech and its importance…
Roashina: 248am Lawsuit on Wikipedia
4th Ring Road: Order in the Court?
p0ach: Benihana, you ruined my vacation
Ashraf’s Blog: I Sue You!!!
The Identity Chef: Exporting Your “Brand” has New Challenges in the New Media World – Benihana Learns Firsthand.
Ashish Panjabi: Hints, Tips, Reviews – How will Benihana keep track of them?
Mr Qatar: Kuwaiti blogger sued… for a review…
Expat Life Coach: Why an expat blogger is getting sued in Kuwait
Life in Dubai: Benihana Update
MakChicken: Weather: Sunny with a high chance of getting sued by Benihana…
Ammouret Lebnen: Sued for not liking his dinner!
Nimer: Mark 248am.com got sued because he did not like the food
The Right Profile: Ignominy
Daily Mail: Kuwait blogger sued for restaurant review
America Blog: Benihana suing blogger for mediocre restaurant review
UAE Community Blog: Benihana Kuwait and Justice
Village Voice: Benihana Sues Over Crap Review
Starving for More: Silly Food Lawsuits
KiwiBlog: Cooking up a storm in Kuwait blogging

News Media
DubaiEye Radio Interview
Twitter
The National
TNW Social Media
Gulf News
CNN iReport
KippReport
Emirates 24/7
Arabian Business
Emirates 24/7 (2nd)
Kuwait Times
Econsultancy
Slashdot
Reputation Online
Honk Kong Association of New Media
Stuff Magazine
Huffington Post
Global Voices
TechDirt
Fast Company
Zawya
The Atlantic Wire
The Muslim Observer
LA Weekly
The Stir
Digg


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I’m being sued by Benihana

Posted by Mark

Yesterday I got served with a court order, Benihana are suing me because of my post about my experience at their restaurant. If you haven’t read that post yet you can check it out by clicking [Here]

I’m currently getting legal advice from my lawyer Khaled Al Shamali who is actually a fan of my blog (that’s important) and I will be fighting this case in court. Originally my lawyer told me not to discuss this case with anyone but I feel it is important to share this with everyone since it doesn’t just effect me but the whole blogging community be it in Kuwait, UAE or anywhere else in the region. So after talking to my lawyer again, he’s now given me the green light to be transparent and open with everyone regarding this case.

I’ve uploaded the court order I received yesterday and you can download it from [Here]

The court order is in Arabic but if someone ends up translating it to English I will post it up as well. Benihana have the right to sue me but I don’t believe I said or did anything wrong and I stand behind everything I said and wrote in that post.

I’ve personally been threatened with lawsuits a number of times before, I know another popular blog recently got threatened with a lawsuit from a restaurant as well and I am sure there must be other bloggers who at one point in time have also been threatened. If blogs were recognized like newspapers or magazines we would all be protected from lawsuits like this but at the moment we aren’t. I find this unfair and if I end up losing this case what will it mean to all the other bloggers? Should bloggers be afraid to say anything negative about a company? Should all our posts just be happy happy joy joy?

I’m hopefully not going to lose this case and will try my best to win it and set an example so that other companies understand that if they don’t like something they read on a blog they can’t just sue the blogger.

I’ve been receiving an overwhelming amount of support on twitter. Honestly as much as I am a geek I never really understood or realized how powerful twitter can be until now. I literally have over 50 pages filled with tweets from people all over the region offering support. It’s really unbelievable and a lot and I mean A LOT of people from UAE have also been rallying behind me on this and according to one twitterer (is that the right word?) the Benihana topic is currently trending in the UAE at #8 at #3. A lot of people have also been leaving comments on the Benihana’s twitter account @benihana__ and on their Facebook page. But a few moments ago they deleted ALL the comments from their Facebook page but luckily I saved a pdf with some which you can download [Here]. They were actually a lot more than that before they were deleted. a reader saved a screenshot of all the comments which you can see [Here]

So thank you everyone for your support, I will try my best to keep everyone posted along the way on everything that takes place regarding this case.

——————————————-

Update: I just finished an interview with the Dubai Abu Dhabi based newspaper The National. I will also be on air live tomorrow at 11AM Dubai time on the DubaiEye 103.8FM.

Update2: An amazing reader translated the court order to English. You can download it [Here]

Update3: Please no one call and harass Benihanna or their employees. You can show your support in other ways. Thank you.

Update4: The National article on this lawsuit is up and you can read it [Here]

Update5: I’m now on Gulf News [Here] CNN iReport [Here] and TNW Social Media [Here]


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Repost: 248PM – Now a community blog

Posted by Mark

At the end of December I went ahead and turned 2:48PM into a community blog which is a blog in which anyone can create an account and publish articles. I’ve simplified the process of signing up and posting as much as I can to help make it easy for people who’ve never blogged before. The blog isn’t without some rules though and every post that gets published passes through me first before appearing on the blog. The reason for that has to do more with quality control and not censorship.

So if you’re interested in posting on 2:48PM, just go ahead and sign up. [Link]


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2:48PM – Now a community blog

Posted by Mark

Yesterday I went ahead and turned 2:48PM into a community blog which is a blog in which anyone can create an account and publish articles. I’ve simplified the process of signing up and posting as much as I can to help make it easy for people who’ve never blogged before. The blog isn’t without some rules though and every post that gets published passes through me first before appearing on the blog. The reason for that has to do more with quality control and not censorship.

So if you’re interested in posting on 2:48PM, just go ahead and sign up. [Link]


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New commenting system? Maybe.

Posted by Mark

A twitter follower made me aware of an advanced commenting system I could install on the blog. Personally I prefer the current simple comment system but I know that many of you have been asking for more features. So I installed the new comment system on 248PM and would like you guys to check it out and tell me if you prefer that system to the current one.

Some of the advantages of the new system are:

– Allows you to connect your profile here with your facebook, twitter or yahoo accounts

– If you already comment on other sites like CNN, Al Jazeera English, Engadget, Tech Crunch etc.. then you could use your same profile here

– New system makes it a lot easier to reply to someone specific

– Has “Like” button

– You can sort out the comments from oldest to newest or the other way around or by popularity etc..

– You can flag comments you see as inappropriate

Anyway the best way to experience is to try it out. Please visit [This Post] on 248PM and try out the commenting system and tell me which you prefer.


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Some Survey Results

Posted by Mark

Firstly thank you to everyone who filled out the survey. I was originally hoping to get around 200 to 300 responses but instead I got 1,000 before I shut it down since I hit my account limit. I saved all the results as a PDF (total of 50 pages of small print) and have copied them over to my iPad so I could go through them. I’ve already got a ton of ideas in my head for the blog and I have a feeling 2011 is going to be a very busy year for me. Anyway below are some results of the survey I thought you might be interested in seeing.


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Survey Reminder

Posted by Mark

This is just a reminder for the people who haven’t taken the survey yet. I will be closing it down tonight so I can spend all day tomorrow going through all the comments and feedback. If you haven’t taken the survey yet please do. It takes around 2 to 3 minutes to complete and it’s completely anonymous.

[Click here to take the survey]

Thanks!

Update: The survey is now closed since I exceeded my 1,000 submission limit. For everyone who took part thank you again!


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The 2:48AM Survey

Posted by Mark

Thanks to the help of some readers I managed to create my own customized survey for the blog. Basically I currently have no idea who reads this blog, what issues you might have with the blog and what you expect from my blog for the coming period. So, I created a survey that will help me improve things.

The survey is short and should take you around 2 or 3 minutes to complete. Please take the survey and help me make this blog a better place.

[Click here to take the survey]

Thanks!

Update: The response has been really great and some of you have been leaving a lot of interesting comments and feedback. Once I take down the survey and collect the results I will most probably dedicate another post answering some of the concerns that have been brought up through the survey. If you still haven’t taken the survey please do.

Update2: So far over 750 of you have participated in the survey. I was expecting originally to get only 200-300 participants this is really great. My limit actually is a thousand so in less than 24 hours we’re already nearly there. Thanks!

Update3: The survey is now closed since I exceeded my 1,000 submission limit. For everyone who took part thank you again!


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