So, what is toot?

We witnessed something amazing and decided to start this site! Across Arabia and all around the world, intelligent, passionate, interesting, funny, knowledgeable and courageous people are using the web to make their voices heard. It started with a few, then a few hundred. Now, thousands of them are taking to their keyboards and starting to write blogs, share their knowledge, pictures, opinions, emotions and life. This is big!

At toot, we want to provide you with a window and a link into an exciting new universe of people-powered opinions, information, dialogue and entertainment. From politics to sneakers. From culture to technology. From boys and girls!

We are bloggers, readers, designers and technologists ourselves. We are excited to build a new medium in which intelligent voices from and for Arabia are brought together and presented to a wider community; where passionate readers and writers can share and communicate without filtering.

But what do you, at toot, do?

But what do you, at toot, do? We spend the day plowing through a diverse list representing a sample of the most interesting blogs we found out there. Then, we share with you the most interesting ideas, posts, and conversations of the day, making sure that toot is sweet and colorful every time you check us out.

Ok, cool, but what makes toot special and different?

Almost everything you’ll see here is handpicked to provide quality reading, both in Arabic and English. You can count on us to share with you interesting reads from a community of people you can relate to.

How do we decide what’s "quality reading" and what’s not?

With your help of course! We encourage you to vote for the bloggers you enjoy reading, because your votes help us select the bloggers on “what’s tooting”. Our list of top 10 bloggers of the month is based entirely on your votes. After all, our job is to make toot more appealing to your taste buds!

So you read everything, give us the best, we vote on the best, and end up getting the best of the best! What else can we find on toot?

Handpicking bloggers and their posts and enabling you to vote isn’t the only thing on our platter! To give you the best experience, we have created a set of home-grown tools:

"What’s tooting" features the most interesting bloggers of the day based on topic, quality, and diversity. "tootreads" are excerpts of some of the best blog posts of the day. We do this because we, at toot, believe excerpts make you want to read more. Think of them as starters! "tootstream" is our home-grown online RSS reader. Every hour of the day, we check “all blogs on toot” for new posts and hang them on the stream. Freshly harvested posts! Very simple! "tootlog" is the toot team’s (that’s us!) blog. We write about blogging culture, the media (and how it’s being turned on its head), our activities in the office, the design of toot, our user-experience and everything else we find interesting. Want to tell us something? Just leave us a comment on the toolog.

You probably also noticed the orange “Feed” buttons. These buttons allow you to subscribe to the RSS feed of the blog corresponding to it. All you need is an RSS reader on your computer or an RSS enabled browser to subscribe to that feed and stay up to date with a blog you like (for a list of free RSS readers and browsers, click here.)

All clear! But I’m not just a reader. I’m an active blogger myself! how can I join?

Bloggers and their passion for writing and self expression is what made something like toot possible in the first place. Our daily must-read list of blogs will be expanding with time. If you are a keen blogger, we happily invite you to submit your blog for review and possible inclusion. Thanks!

toot is not a general blog directory. Our policy is to stay focused on active, high quality blogs. We also want to make sure that the blogs we list represent diverse interests and opinions. So the list of blogs added on toot will grow at a gradual pace.

What’s next from toot?

This is just the beginning of a journey. We have many ideas. But we decided to launch this ‘not even alpha’ version of toot to explore our ideas further and interact with users about what they want. At the heart of everything we’ll do is our passion for helping intelligent voices be heard.

Toot on!

The story so far

This’ toot thing’ started when Ahmad kept making suggestions to three of his friends George, Karim and Mazen, about the website of new company they were starting up. They didn’t listen to his advice! Instead the four of them ended up talking too much and then, late one night, they decided to start yet another venture!

That’s just one version of the story. Another version, also involving the people above, was that they were interested in too many things: design, law, finance, technology, punditry, cultural observation, podcasting, web hosting, blogging, photography, and so on. Now, is it likely that such a group of people would start a wedding catering service? So there you have it.

It is up to you which story to believe

Anyway.. the fact is: they started to build this site sometime around September 2005 and decided that `toot’ sounds like a good name for it. toot is a `berry’ in Arabic. And in English it mean `making a short, sharp sound with a horn or trumpet. Very appropriate.

Other than the `gang of four’ above, other people joined the `toot root’: Wael, Jad and Roba.

The tootCorp global headquarters are located on the 4th and a half floor of the toot tower, which, sort of, dominates the skyline of Amman, Jordan (only when you are walking very close by it). tootCorp also has a representation office in England, which is run by `Our Man in London’, Mazen.

Curious? Talk to us. Get in touch with us and let us know what you think.

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