Weekly Blog #11: Social Media

This week the discussion is, “Imagine the 2012 US presidential election campaign and think what will be the key factor to win the election.”

After learning all the different social media tools and how to apply all of them, I believe the key to the 2012 election will be to dominate by social media. (I hope to be right, if not, my apology.)

To win an election you need to bring people that are fighting for the same cause together and social media facilitates this connection.

Therefore, the candidate who wants to win the election should be 100% integrated with this new trend.

Understanding the power of online communities, how they are formed, and how to communicate with them is important. Once you start to interact with those communities, you know if they are talking about you and what else they are taking about. You learn about what voters are looking for and establish a connection with them. Moreover, once this connection is strongly formed you will gain a Buzz that will be passed along millions of people. That`s another important factor of social media: it can pass your message along fast and to a large number of people.

Therefore, if you are planning to be the next US president you’d better start your online grassroots campaign and let me JOIN THE CONVERSATION!


Weekly Blog #10: War

Is seeing and reading about war in blogs a good thing or a bad thing? Should we have this much access to the front lines? My answer is YES, it is a good thing! Back in 2006 I was writing my undergrad thesis about journalism vs. blogs and during my research I read a book called Salam Pax: The Baghdad Blog. This book was published in 2003, based on the blog “Where is Raed?” I simply loved reading this book. I felt I shared the author`s problems as well.

During the beginning of the war in Iraq, I was doing another assignment about the war — I had to collect all the news about Iraq that I could find and write a report. However, reading all the news about the war was not exiting as reading the book. I was impressed with all the details in the blog and how I connected with the blogger`s words. I finished the book in one day, it was impossible to stop. I could not wait to see what was coming next. Once I finished the book I looked through my Iraq war articles and I could not connect to the articles the way I connected with the book. The articles seemed so superficial. Many times when I`m reading the news I don`t appreciate it; I feel that something is missing. And I don`t think I`m the only one who feels this way.

I strongly think that bloggers are sharing the same space with journalists. Many people now are turning their attention to the voices of bloggers instead of more conventional journalist. That is happening because in their own area of interest, the bloggers often know as much as if not more than the journalists. They also write as well, in many cases, but are more personal. Many times they have better access to information than the journalists. Better yet, they let readers participate in a faster way by posting comments on their blogs.

Of course you cannot just trust on the first blog you find. It`s important to dig and select from all the ones out there.

Here are two blogs about Iraq: Where is Raed? and Baghda Burning.

Weekly Blog #9: Global Voices

This week I enjoyed doing the assignment from my Social Media class. The objective was to look at Global Voices Online, pick a country that begins with the same letter as my name and see what I could find about it.

The countries I chose were Angola and Afghanistan. The reason I chose those two countries was because in Angola they speak Portuguese, my native language. And Afghanistan because of my name, Amina, which is a common name in the Middle East and Muslim countries.

First, I looked at blogs related to Angola. I found this neat blog called “Africa: Notes from the field”, written by US aid workers. They don`t write exclusively about Angola a, but about Sub-Saharan Africa. The blog is related to the challenges they face when trying to improve lives in Africa. The way the blog is written captures the attention of the reader because of the details and the personal insights.  For instance:

When reading about Afghanistan the topics I found were related to children, education, health, war and conflict, youth, etc. It was sad reading some of the posts related to Afghanistan. The blog “Afghanistan: Youth Find Outlets Amid Ongoing Violence” was one of them.

When I finished reading this post I thought about a post I wrote “Eyes Closed” and I felt that sometimes I also close my eyes because the world shows many sad facts that sometimes you would rather not know.

Weekly Blog #8: Wikipedia (again)

Last a week I wrote on my blog about the accuracy of Wikipedia and how I think that Wikipedia is a useful source. Anyway, during my social media class last Wednesday, my professors were talking about Wikipedia and at the end of the discussion I was happy to discover that my way of seeing Wikipedia was right. We can trust in Wikipedia articles.

Most of the edits and additions of articles made in Wikipedia are written by people who care about the subject they are writing about. It is important to remember that people don`t get paid to add information to Wikipedia. So, if they are spending their time to contribute to an article, it means that the information in Wikipedia is reliable. Why would you spend your time writing about something that it is not true?  It doesn`t concern me to use Wikipedia as a source.

Finding something on Wikipedia is fast, and many times it gives you more information than you are looking for. For example, go to the Wikipedia  page an lokk for the topic “September 11 attacks.” You will see how detailed the article is and all the information available. If you look on the history tab you will learn all the times that this article was edited.  People who took their time to contribute care about the issue and would not write lies. So why not trust in Wikipedia?