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“For your final blog post, please predict, based on what you’ve learned and what your *imagination* says, what you think will be key to winning the 2012 election online.”

I think the key to winning the 2012 election online will be how best to engage potential voters. Technology doesn’t mean a hill of beans if people aren’t engaged or invested in the candidate. Andrew Lipsman states in Patrick Patullo’s article, the Internet has proven a powerful tool for candidates and campaigns, but technology alone won’t win an election. There needs to be substance behind the candidate. “The digital medium is really an extension of the candidate themselves,” Lipsman says. “I think at the core if there is a common thread you need a strong candidate. If you don’t have a good candidate it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to build that really grassroots campaign online.”

But if we are to deal strictly with online strategy, then other than the candidate, the key is being where the conversations are. Communications is about reach. Communicating is about relational dynamics between people. Social media provides the means to effectively communicate with your market. Communicating in human rather than institutional terms. People are having more conversation online than offline, therefore it is no doubt that social media and social networking will be front and center in the 2012 online election. And according to CNN, in 2012, those social media tools will move from your computer screen to your pocket, as mobile technology helps define the new terms of campaign engagement.

Political Internet Marketing 2010 and Beyond states that being on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Ning and FriendFeed is a must but only 1/7 of the websites you should be on for 2010 and 2012 elections. If your strategy does not include 85% of : Bi-daily aggregation to 25+ social websites, search engine

optimization, video search engine, traditional video website, and internet visibility then you can get beat in a close election.

As Michael Silberman so eloquently put, the fundamentals of organizing haven’t changed. The next major challenge for a national political campaign will be to string together the various online volunteering tools into a program that does not rely as heavily on an army of paid field staff like Obama’s to facilitate the “last mile” of physical-world organizing.

TechPresident’ writes; The next presidential cycle will be a lot of work and a ton of fun. Jose Antonio Vargas from the Washington Post noted: “The floodgates are open. This doesn’t mean just hiring Web developers, bloggers, videographers — the works. It also means using the Internet to invite people into the process, giving them something to work for, offering them a stake in victory or defeat.”

So the answer lies in who can do it best. Who can be in a million place at once. Who can use every imaginable and unimaginable communication and information source out there. Who can make your online experience with the candidate unique and special, like no else can; that is the heart of winning online and offline.


So in Jania‘s blog, her guilt pleasure is reality television shows.

There’s AA for alcoholics, but is there a program for reality tv addicts? If there were such a program, I may have to attend meetings. Some reality programming is really bad, yet once you’ve watched one episode it’s sometimes difficult not to continue the torture.

I love them too. Luther Ingram sang it best, (If Loving You is Wrong) I Don’t Want be Right. Yes it is sad, but true, I love reality tv shows followed by Law and Order. It takes a special person to go on tv and make an ass out of himself or herself for my viewing pleasure and I appreciate it. The Real Housewives (Atlanta, New York, Orange County), the Bad Girls Club, I Love New York, Bridezilla, and the list goes on and on,embarrassed for them but at the same time entertained by them as well. It’s like watching a train wreck,you just can’t help but stop and stare but with laughter and commercial breaks in between.

And everything people say about reality tv shows is true also. There is no denying the fact that reality tv has absolutely ruined prime-time television. Since reality programming is cheaper to produce than sitcoms or ensemble dramas, networks are spending less on producing quality written shows. However, there are a few exceptions like Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, the Wire, Dexter, and the #1 Ladies Detective.

But have to I agree with Reality TV Haters that believe this genre reflects a culture that worships vanity and wealth, rather than virtue and humility. Basically, critics believe that reality TV mirrors what our society has become—a community of materialistic morons who don’t blink twice about running around naked while swallowing live cockroaches if it means winning a cool million for doing so. So true but so entertaining.

According to tonyziva reality TV is a plague that is infecting prime-time entertainment and dulling the minds of society. Once one is created, producers often just take it and tweak it slightly, or add new rules to try and keep viewers watching the show. This has led to the idea of letting the viewer vote by texting a phone number from their cells. This lead to the “American Idol” and “America’s Best Dance Crew” shows. These shows attract watchers with addictive attitudes to watch and keep them hooked. Again, right on point but still so very entertaining.

Now, reality tv is bad but I wouldn’t go as far as James Wolcott’s piece in Vanity Fair. In which he says reality television has metastasized like toxic mold, filling every nook and opening new crannies. Idiocracy, Mike Judge’s satire about a future society too dumb to wipe itself, now looks like a prescient documentary.

So, I too am an addict but I don’t see it as a problem. Reality TV has everything one could ever want – action, romance, comedy, drama, suspense, bad acting and no plot. I love it, it is better than Zoloft.

Why would any media outlet devote the majority of their website or newspaper to Tiger Woods and his alleged extra marital affairs? I think Bill Maher said it best, “what a bunch of vultures the media are. Who has not left their house at 2:30 in the morning and crashed into their neighbor’s mailbox?”

Every news organizations has reported the Tiger Woods car crash by now, but only the Chinese have recreated the event with glorious CGI animation.

So Angie wrote an interesting piece about the “priorities” of the media, basically the media’s priorities are utterly screwed up focusing on Tiger Woods instead of the 30,000 men and women to be deployed to Afghanistan. Angie and Bill Maher might be right; I have to admit the media at times exhibits crack head like behavior, jonesing for a fix. And once their mind is made up, as we all know, there is no reasoning with a crack head.

But is the media responding to want the people want and crave, therefore people are the real vultures and not the media. Not so long ago the Tiger incident would have never been news, maybe just briefly mentioned in the sport pages or on ESPN. But, we as a cultured changed the ways news is reported and what gets reported. Celebrity scandals have jumped to the forefront of the audience’s circle. In fact, celebrity magazines have become more popular than news magazines or public interest magazines. Celebrities have always been popular, and people have always liked to subscribe to them. However, there has been a trend recently that puts celebrity magazine readership at an all time high.

We have seen this before, The New Proud Tower examines how society and the news changed after 1945. Society became more focused on spectacle than reality. While nearly a million were killed in Rwanda in 1994, the American public hardly noticed. The big story involved allegations of murder against former football star OJ Simpson. TV news became sensationalized and increasingly trivial.

Traditional news is trying to compete for a viewer with a short attention span. News nowadays must be shocking, it must funny, it must be titillating and sexy. That is why Rasmussen reports nearly one-third of Americans under the age of 40 say satirical news-oriented television programs like The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart are taking the place of traditional news outlets.

Plus, people are addicted to celebrity gossip because it makes them feel good. Many people have stressful, busy lives; knowing the latest celebrity news or Hollywood gossip gives them a pleasurable rush. Unfortunately, sensationalism, not news, sells. When making a buck is the bottom line, news becomes passe.

Mic Nell writes, The pedestal on which we have put movie stars, sports figures, and famous people could give some people neck strain. We idolize them, follow their every move, and treat them as modern gods. There is a giant media subculture around the cult of personality. Gossip and news about the rich and famous is big business. Magazines like People and Us Weekly, TV shows like Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight, and a long list of blogs such as Gossip Girl, TMZ.Com, and Perez Hilton have captured our imagination. More specifically, the celebrities on which they report have. These days, there are more celebrity magazines than real news mags in the United States. Simply go to a grocery store to see how obsessed America is with our neo-royalty.

Tim Berry wrote back in the old days, editors decided what was news, not advertisers and not readers. There was this concept called “news values.” Not so anymore, its not news it’s entertainment and we only have ourselves to blame. So I’m thinking, don’t shoot the messenger if you don’t like the message, shoot the source that wants it.

For this week’s class, to explore the international landscape of the internet, I want you all to go to Global Voices Online, which rounds out the bloggers around the world, and pick a country that begins with the same letter as your name (to get the country listing click on countries in the upper right-hand corner). Explore that country’s blogosphere and write your blog post of the week about your findings.

So I chose Thailand not because it start with letter “t” but because I spent two months there a few years ago and loved every minute of it – the good, the bad and the ugly. The piece about World Toilet Day is quite an interesting read, humorous and serious at the same time, something one would never get from an American blog. In the developed parts of the world, such as the United States, we don’t really worry about having access to toilets and proper sanitation. We just expect it. So it is good to read about what other people around the world are concerned about.

It’s like wow, you know sanitation is some parts of the world is a problem, but you never know how big and serious it is until you read it through someone else’s eyes.

So, the stuff on Global Voice Online was rather interesting but not as recent as most blogs I have been reading lately. So I went digging around the blog-o-sphere to see what I could find. I found a great site, Thailand Voice, Promoting Blogs from Thailand; they are on the Internet every day looking for quality articles and blogs about Thailand. They post extracts from new stories twice a day. So they have quite a few interesting reads on their site, that is geared toward a newsy angle. So it is great to see what people find interesting in the news to blog about. There are blogs about recycling, World Aids Day and the success of Thailand’s comprehensive prevention programs, and how the problems of Dubai have little to no effect of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). This is a site that houses many voices from different people with different perspectives.

Now there is a site, devised by Thailand’s Lost Boy, aka journalist and one-time Thailand resident Matt Crook. He listed the most popular/well-read Thai blogs – according to him because I am not sure what the criteria was when ranking the site and deciding who to put on the list. But if you’re curious about who’s in and who’s out, I recommend you take a look at the list, to see if you agree with his assessment.

So all, in all it was interesting to read blogs from another part of the world.

Black Friday is Almost Here!……my response is ehhhh, I’m not buying into the hype.

Alicia wrote a nice piece about Black Friday and all it entails.Black Friday info allows you to create shopping lists and find deals online on items that you are looking for. There are also Black Friday updates and deals on twitter with almost 3000 followers. At, you can scroll through all the deals from featured stores like Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and Sears. There are also some amazing deals online at Amazon and big time retailer Wal-Mart, but be careful because some items might end up on backorder or out of stock. Apple also plans on having its biggest sale of the year this Friday and extending their store hours

I ask why wait for Black Friday, when you can go out buy whatever you want before it goes on sale. Most stores offer a price adjustment within seven- to- 14 days, along as bring in the receipt. So I say, why deal the hellish pre-dawn mornings, the packed crowds, and the driving around in circles looking for a parking space when you can buy in advance and just bring in your receipt to get your money back for the difference.

Plus if it is on sale on Friday,it will more than likely be on sale from now until Christmas. Black Friday is just a ploy to rev up a consumer frenzy so the retail industry will end the year on a good note. The myth that Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, is 100% false. As someone who once worked in retail, the days closer to Christmas generate more sales than the day after Thanksgiving. The true origin of Black Friday is about Laurence H. Black who was one of the best floor men in town, working in the men’s department of the old Osberger’s Department Store for over thirty years.

That could be because Christmas comes earlier and earlier each year. The date doesn’t change but the retail industry starts pushing Christmas day after Halloween. We no longer take the time out to true celebrate Thanksgiving like we used to. But that is discussion for another day.

So again I say take advantage of price adjustments policies, it is all about the frugal find. Now some people may disagree with the buy, return, re-buy strategy, feeling it cheats other people out of sales, but all is fair in love and retail. One must always try to be at least 5% smarter than system. Beside there are better ways to spend your time than standing in line with a bunch of yahoos at 2 in the morning in the freeze cold or getting trampled by the People of Wal-Mart for those falling price deals.

For your blog entry this week, write a little bit about the experience of editing Wikipedia. What did you learn? Was it easier or harder than you thought it would be? How does seeing the guts of Wikipedia change your perspective on the project

My experience editing Wikipedia… in a word — interesting, in another word — tricky. I’ll admit it was kinda cool to be able to add my little bit of knowledge to an article, even if it is 1 out of 3 million articles that may be viewed by thousands upon thousands of people. Wikipedia traffic soars to NY Times levels of traffic. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed no one goes in and changes or delete the information I put up because getting that little bit of historical information took a lot time and effort. So the thought of all my hard work could be undone by just one soft touch of the delete key is rather on unsettling. But it will always and forever be cool to share what you know and learn what you don’t.

Formatting what I was adding ,was the tricky part in my opinion. Making sure everything was consistent and flowed nice and smoothly, took a lot of going back and forth to other pages to see how it was done. Plus I had to redo the Wiki tutorial a few times before I felt comfortable enough to make my edits permanent.

What did I learn? That it is quite easy to edit once you get the hang of things. Thank goodness for the sandbox where you can practice writing and editing Wikipedia pages without making a mistake that everyone can see.. When making a change to an article first and foremost the information you add must be useful. After you have decided the information is a must have then input it, include your sources, and add links to other articles. Simply enough.

Was it easier or harder than you thought it would be? All I can say is, getting to the easy part was the hard part. Learning how to do it was challenging, if you have never, ever edited a Wiki article, but once you became comfortable navigating the system, it was a semi-breeze. It all about practice, practice, practice in the beginning. And it is somewhat time-consuming, which is why I can understand the rumored decline in editors. Although the Wikimedia did say, “every month, some people stop writing, and every month, they are replaced by new people.”

How does seeing the guts of Wikipedia change your perspective on the project? It doesn’t change it all. I still agree with Iqbal Mohammed, “Wikipedia was never an encyclopedia – it is (and should remain) a marketplace for information, where buyers ans sellers meet and trade information.” The best we can hope for is that it contains more facts than fiction.

For your blog post for this week, tackle the questions I told you to start thinking about last week: Should we trust Wikipedia or an expert-led encyclopedia more? How could Wikipedia be better set-up to better provide accuracy? Should it be open to everyone or just verified “experts”?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Well, my first inclination is some of the best and brightest minds are not scholars, so why not trust the everyday wo(man). But if we are to trust an expert-led encyclopedia, then we need to define what qualifies someone as an expert. So if we go by Merriam Webster’s Dictionary that expert is 1 obsolete : experienced 2 : having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience; then based on that definition everyone is expert at something or another.

So in the spirit of camaraderie, I say one is just as good as the other. It is kinda like having book smarts and street smarts at your fingertips, the best of both worlds. But if we are to looks at this volume-wise, then Wikipedia is the Long Tail in action, it offers an infinite amount of shelf space for any and all types of knowledge while the traditional encyclopedias such World Book or Britannica can only hold so many pages in a book, plus you have to pay for its content. Or as a someone pointed out a few years ago a printed Encyclopedia has a very finite amount of space – you can only print, ship, and sell so many volumes in a set before it becomes unfeasible – you might get lots of in-depth articles on your preferred areas, but where the hell are you going to put a 178-volume set of encyclopedias? With Wikipedia, you just throw a few more servers into the rack and you’re set until you need to expand again. They’re only limited by their storage space and bandwidth.

On the other hand, by allowing anyone to contribute doesn’t necessarily mean you get the best information out there. On Wikipedia errors are committed whether they are intentionally or accidentally. You may end up with whole a lot fluffy and not enough substance, whereas in smaller volumes it is more precise, more exact. But, then again, knowledge is a buffet, you must sample everything in order to get your fill and your’s money worth.

Wikipedia is indispensable, however if we are only going to rely on it as a source of information, then we should look at how balanced Wikipedia is in regards to knowledge. Mapping the Geographies of Wikipedia Content points out Wikipedia presences and absences play a fundamental role in shaping how we interpret and interact with the world. The fact that the geographies of Wikipedia content are uneven, as we increasingly rely on peer produced information, large parts of the world remain unknown.

So the end analysis is this, I agree with Iqbal Mohammed, Wikipedia was never an encyclopaedia – it is (and should remain) a marketplace for information, where buyers and sellers meet and trade information.” You can’t eat just one and you can never have too many sources. Just verify the information you get no matter where it comes from.

So last Thursday, I decided to actual observe my surrounding. This isn’t the violinist in the metro type story, this is just an ordinary observation. The metro is pretty predictable during the week, you’ll get the usually suspects. People who have just gotten off work and wishing their home already. The high school or junior high school teeny boppers, what a lively obnoxious group of characters the world has produced. Joseph Priestley said it best, Like its politicians and its war, society has the teenagers it deserves.”

I see a few people who are obviously tourists. There is a homeless man panhandling, but who knows, he could be another Richard Leroy Walters in disguise. patiently waiting, it seemed as though the train was never going to come. The lights started to blink on the platform. Everyone’s eyes began to perk up, because the train is now approaching. The conductor says, “Orange line train Vienna.” I board the train along with a mother and her three small children. The children appear to range in age from 9 years old to 12 years old. They are laughing, jumping around, and indulging themselves in their own world. Kids will not only say the darndest things, they will do the darndest things also. They seem to be oblivious to the commuters around them. I notice several commuters rolling their eyes, sighing, and shaking their heads in frustration with the noise the children are making. Their mother appears to be somewhat embarrassed, so she is constantly reminding them to sit down and use their inside voice. Undeterred by their mother’s chastising, they continue to have their fun. Leave it up children to enjoy the simplest things in life at every available moment.

The mother and her children exit at East Falls Church. The little girl must have noticed me watching them play, because she turned to me and waved good-bye. I think to myself, when did I stop enjoying the simple things in life. Was it the first time my heart was broken? Was it the promotion or job I did not get? Was it the loss of a loved one? Does being adult mean we can no longer laugh, jump around, and indulge ourselves? The train is starting to slow. The conductor says, “West Falls Church door open on the left.” Upon exiting the train I decide to take a spin around the pole. There is a lot we can learn from children, if we let go every now and then.

Laughter is chicken soup for the soul. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you’ve never been hurt; because like the email I received said, every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute you’ll never get back.

this week’s blog assignment: find an example or two of crowdsourcing in action that we *didn’t* cover in class tonight and tell us what you think of it. Ingenious? Useful? Silly? (note: those are not mutually exclusive descriptors on the internet)

Artist Rising provides member artists with the ability to create galleries on the web from which their artwork (both originals and prints) may be viewed and purchased by members of the public. Member artists may also list their work for sale on the Artist Rising marketplace. Artist Rising also provides content, information, and networking tools to communicate with other members and the extended art community worldwide.

There are two types of memberships, free and premium. Both offer; 50 collections with the gallery, print-on-demand posters, 15% royalty on the sale of each poster print, email marketing tools, and sales and traffic reports. The free membership offers just 50 images upload, while the premium membership cost$50.00, offers 2000 image upload, fine arts prints for print-on-demand, and 15% royalty on fine arts prints.

I think this is great platform for artists because they generally have no money or the financial backing required to promote or sell their work in the elite art world. They are called starving artist for a reason. Having this type of community gives them wide open access. It at the very least tries to provide an answer to the problem every artist face; I Can’t Sell Art Because I’m not Dead and the Media Are Idiots. So maybe they will find an audience that will appreciate their work prior to their death unlike Carl Fredrik Hill, Thomas Eakins, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin. Even the Wall Street Journal has an article on buying local art can build a stronger more poignant collection.

In an effort to look beyond what I think is already considered crowdsourcing I stumbled upon the 10 Kick Ass Crowdsourcing Sites for Your Business. It was great information, but the reader comments also have a lot of great information about sites that weren’t included in the list. Such as: uTest = software stuff, Quirky = social product development, iStockphoto = photographs, Innocentive = finds solutions, Better than the Van = free places to stay for tour bands, Exuve = clothing, and Cinnaminta = request or offer to read a performance.

And that’s not all, apparently anyone and anything can be crowdsourced. Music is getting into the act with A Bicycle Built for 2000 and the Lollapalooza 2010 festival, as well as Fiat. The automotive maker announced in October they’re designing a concept car using crowdsourced ideas collected through a dedicated project website, Facebook, Twitter and Orkut. It is being dubbed as the “Mio” project.

So I guess crowdsourcing really is the new outsourcing.

Tell us about what you’ve found most surprising so far this semester? What have you learned in class that most changed your thinking or your way of working?

The most intriguing thing I’ve learned so far this semester is the world of online gaming. It is more in-depth than I had previously given it credit for. My dad always says never assume things because you end up making an ass out yourself, so I will just say… I honestly thought the online gaming community was compromised of people brilliant young men, no women , like the guys in Weird Science and Revenge of the Nerds or any of the other great films about Nerds.

I was shocked to learn that was an unfair characterization of the gaming community and that 64% of the online gamers are female. I guess boys are not the only ones who like to blow shit up or build pixellated cities. Just check out Mighty Ponygirl’s Feminist Gamers or the site dedicated to women gamers. And Wynthea has written about the myths surrounding female WoW-ers that she encountered over the years. The virtual world is more elaborate than I imagined.

The thing that I have learned in class to change my way of thinking other than MMOGs is Google. I never before consider Google anything more than search engine. But now I know Google is the gate-keeper of all information. It is no longer the boogie man we need fear it is Google. We fiercely protect our privacy when we feel it is being threatened, but we unconsciously give it up freely to Google. CNET has great article about people’s apathy about privacy as long as it is in the name Google. Under the notion that they are making your life easier and convenient. But now you can find out just how much Big Brother G. knows about with the dashboard. Interesting stuff.

But all in all, the promise, bargain, tool is good way to look at social media. As the adage goes, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Nothing in life is free. There is always some sort of cost involved — maybe not monetary, but somehow, someway you usually end up “paying” for something that may appear free.