Dear Arab web industry: time to man up

The Online Project, a new social media startup, pitches to the crowd at the Arabnet conference in Beirut (Pic by Bryan Denton / The National)

That is, crudely put, the theme of

, looking at what needs to happen next for the region's slowly blossoming internet sector.

With the Maktoob deal setting the benchmark and the Arabnet conference building a community, two major milestones have been reached in the past year. But they are small fry compared to what needs to happen next.

In short, terrible legal and regulatory systems, overpriced and unreliable web connections and the unpredictable and unaccountable threat of government censorship all remain major deal-breakers for a large scale web industry that is globally competitive. If you want to

(many say I sound better the longer I talk).

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