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Wikipedia Made Me Look Stupid!

July 7, 2011

One month ago, I created a page on Wikipedia for a Colombian politician. I was just about sure that I had done an excellent job. Soon after that, when I looked that name into Wikipedia official site and Google, I realized it didn´t show up. A bit concerned, I asked one of my most remarkable collages for that situation and he told me that I should patiently wait at least 10 days. What I didn´t know was that someone will go over and approve my work before posting it definitely. I surely skipped that part while reading the Wikipedia tutorial.

Ten days after, I looked for that name again and came across with a warning which said I should modify my page because according to Wikipedia rules there were some irregularities. I got astonished. Vanity and self-promotion were the main reasons to reject my request. I immediately got upset and turned my computer off.

A day after that, I asked myself who I was upset with. With no answer, I came back to Wikipedia. I thought I was going to argue with an institution or a scholar but what I found was a herd of people commenting on my page my foolish mistakes. To make matters worse, they were right; I had exaggerated the information somewhat.  I understood that to being accepted on Wikipedia, one does not need a famous person, just sincere and a bit prominent.

In addition to learning how to create a page on Wikipedia, I quickly learned to respect the universal knowledge expressed by millions of people through it. I wrote myself on this blog few years ago: “in reading the Wisdom of Crowds I got to believe that groups were substantially more intelligent than the smartest people within them; that crowd allegedly was a force capable of accumulating a great deal of experiences and knowledge, becoming them a reliable source of information.”  I have no idea why I played a foolish knowing that.

The English historian Thomas Carlyle put it succinctly: ¨I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance”. He is right; just crowd is a reliable force. People are engendering an intelligent force capable of building and protecting their wisely universal encyclopedia from naives like me. Anyway, after my final report, I will try to create a Wikipedia page again.

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RESPONSE #16. Smiling clown seen in Trinidad.

April 21, 2009

obama-chavez_1386798cRecently, we all saw when Obama ran into Hugo Chavez, the Venezuela’s President, at the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, before leaders were ushered in for remarks. They apparently overcame some differences between them but lamentably it was just a formal act. From my viewpoint, I am quite convinced that Obama’s gesture was natural and genuine while Chavez’s was not.  I affirm this based on many antecedents.

For many years, Colombians have received several attacks from the Venezuela’s President. Not only has he labeled our President Uribe as a rightist dictator but also has he accused him of violating human rights when defending our country from the FARC.  Colombians know Uribe has acted according to the international agreements as well as we know Chavez uses to lie and to exaggerate anything. Additionally, he has generated tensions up to the point of freezing our commercial relationship and driving the Colombian Ambassador out of Caracas. Such decisions are usually made them when Colombia imposes its democracy over the communist system that both Venezuela and the FARC are intending to evangelize throughout Latinamerica. We ultimately fed up with Chavez.

Fortunately, this particular behavior is not unknown for Obama. He is representing democracy in such a way that he ignored the Chavez’s disguise to improve the relationship between them as Uribe also wanted some time. Colombia once procured to remedy a conflict cordially but Chavez let us down when he hypocritically shook the hands with our government, and two days after Chavez cowardly insult it again.     

When a conflict has a pathological character such as Hugo Chavez, his opponent is at disadvantage because there is no objectivity to find common ground for negotiations. Obama administration will have to deal with several attacks and maybe threats from Venezuela. I do not pretend to put a damper on Americans diplomacy today’s results, I just want to warn them about this clown capable of lying at all of those who love democracy.            

RESPONSE #15. Video-messaging in 2012 elections.

April 21, 2009

What do I think will be key to winning the 2012 election online? I think no one is able to predict such a thing accurately. I believe that long-term technology in the United States lasts one day. Its dynamism, innovation and accelerate growth will not allow anticipate its future, much less in terms of politics.  

introducing-the-sony-ericsson-w995-video-cell-phone-300x2322

From Obama’s campaign, all politicians are going to embrace social networks so they will have nothing extraordinary. As usual, the winner will be who is more synchronized with the needs of people, and knows how to deliver his or her message by means of the right vehicle of communication. Which is going to be the right one? I guess that by 2012 video will likely be the most persuasive and massive tool. Surely, there will be new technological platforms to enrich quality and coverage. Improvements in cell phones might get closer to these technological challenges. If so, you will watch Obama daily speaking to you through your cell. It will be up to you pick up the cell or not.

RESPONSE #14. Story of a fool mistake.

April 21, 2009

 One month ago I created a page on Wikipedia for a Colombian politician. I was just about sure that I had done an excellent job. Soon after, when I looked that name into Wikipedia official site and Google, I evidenced that it did not show up. A bit concerned, I asked my social media professor and he told me that I should patiently wait at least 10 days. What I did not know was that someone will go over and approve my work before posting it definitely. I surely skipped that part while reading the Wikipedia tutorial.

Ten days after, I looked for that name again and came across with a warning which said I should modify my page because according to Wikipedia rules there were some irregularities. I got astonished. Vanity and self-promotion were the principal reasons to reject my request. I immediately got upset and turned my computer off.  

A day after that, I asked myself who I was upset with so I came back to Wikipedia. I thought I was going to argue with an institution or a scholar but what I found was a herd of people commenting on my page my remarkable mistakes. To make matters worse, they were right; I had exaggerated somewhat.  I understood that to be accepted on Wikipedia one does not need a famous person, just sincere and a bit prominent. 

In addition to learning how to create a page on Wikipedia, I quickly learned to respect the universal knowledge expressed by millions of people through it. Recently, I wrote on my blog: “Reading the Wisdom of Crowds I got to believe that groups are substantially more intelligent than the smartest people within them. That crowd allegedly is a force capable of accumulating a great deal of experiences and knowledge, becoming them a reliable source of information.  However, the English historian Thomas Carlyle put it succinctly:”I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance”. I tend to think he is right”. Next, I detailed my reasons to believe crowd was an unreliable force.

Today, I regret writing that and recognize that people are engendering an intelligent force capable of building and protecting their wisely universal encyclopedia from naives like me. Anyway, after my final report, I will try to create a Wikipedia page again.   

 

RESPONSE #13. I finally opened my eyes.

April 20, 2009

happy__mediano2

Social media tools are definitely playing an important role in today’s market. Since I am living in the United States, I have had the opportunity to understand its clout even more. When I left my country 16 months ago Colombians did not know all this tools. Just a few marketers applied them but there were no enough consumers using them by the time. For my part, I had heard about some tools but I did not the chance to utilize them profoundly. Soon after, people start to talk about it and marketers knew we must prepare for a radical shift. To be honest, I was horrified. I though this were going to be extremely difficult to learn. I knew I had to do something quickly; I could afford risking my clients. They were aware while I was not. I was reluctant to deal with all this from my work so I decided to confront it from academy. I knew I should dive into. That’s why I am here in Georgetown University.

Before taking this class, I scarcely understood how social media works. Today, I keep being the same stupid but this time with privileged information in my hands. This amazing discipline needs more time, dedication and a lot of practice in the real world to master it. Now it is my responsibility to get ahead and leave my fears away. I am quite convinced that everything will have to be with Internet in Colombia. From the most modest business to my field, political marketing, every business is going to depend on trading via Internet.

In political marketing trading refers to the exchange of goods as well: Information in exchange for satisfaction. In the United States voters share their personal information with politicians as long as they use these data intelligently. They hope even more than ever. Before this technological breakthrough, both politicians and parties used to spend a plenty of money in demographic investigations, focus groups, opinion surveys, etc. Their audiences were accustomed to listen. Nowadays, getting information is much easier, but electors are no longer passives, they are much complex, and they want to participate. They know that as long as they control just about all information, they can demand that their needs are satisfied. Internet is their weapon, it is all what they have and that is enough. Colombians are about to change and trigger this arm so we all must be well-prepared.

Social media bridges the gap between electors and politicians in terms of communications. Investigation, segmentation, construction of the message, media and evaluation rely largely on Internet as well as its tools. For instance, I will surely need Google Trends to know about my audience behavior; Twitter to start a crowd-bulding government plan; an official site or Facebook to launch it; or a Blog to get feedback. Anyway, as marketer I must be able to handle and comprehend this new scenario.

Today, I lost my fears about technology. I feel confident and willing to embark on this challenge. Today, I acknowledge how important is to apply this tools in my field.  I finally opened my eyes.

 

RESPONSE #12 (add) Colombian presidential candidate ahead.

April 15, 2009

Today I am greatly proud of Colombia’s technological advances. Finally, a group of young strategic political advisors designed an admirable web site. Sergio Fajardo is the first Colombian presidential candidate who understood -before his opponents- the importance of social networks to know his objective public and to deliver his message to them.   

fotohojadevidasergiofajardoSergio Fajardo is a young political leader running for the presidency of Colombia 2010 – 2014. As young, he realized he should make the most out of his joviality to aim his campaign toward youth. He began using tools such as Facebook, Flickr, and Youtube, as well as a well-organized web site to persuade this target.  www.sergiofajardo.com is a space in which people can follow up all his campaign activities. People have multiples alternatives to keep them well-informed. To date, this candidate accumulates just about 6000 Facebook supporters in less than one month; 121 Youtube videos, each one with 500 viewers on average; and about 1000 pictures on Flickr. Fajardo’s web site also has interactive and creative windows to follow his footprint throughout his political journey. All together promises a spectacular 2010 presidential race.

Believe or not, this is the first time Colombians we are appreciating this tools in the political arena. Many young people are now understanding and embracing them. Consequently, Fajardo is persuading important voters like no other candidate does. Here you can see the latest polls in which Sergio Fajardo is broadly winning. Only the current Colombian President will surely be the Fajardo’s direct opponent by 2010. The President will have to refresh the way of work campaigns if he expects to be reelected. Fajardo is meanwhile walking round the entire country accompanied by a camera and a computer. Just the outcomes on May 26 of 2010 will tell us if Colombia were prepared to apply all this tools. So far, it seems that it works.

  

RESPONSE #11. The benevolent Sun Tzu: Bloggers of war.

April 15, 2009

Thanks to politics and religion war exists. Thanks to Sun Tzu wars never evolve; we unfortunately persist in strategically eliminating other’s life to gain a posture. In 2009 there are still countries violating international statements, civilian daily die, soldiers become insane and kill innocents, intolerance increasingly penetrates our society. Nobody can do anything. The United Nations scarcely represent that for which was created. However, there is an increasingly phenomenon on which we all have a hope. Thanks to social media tools, war finally has a real enemy: people.

From my viewpoint, I totally agree with all sorts of expressions about war. I pleasantly came across a great number of people and organizations participating in armed conflicts while I was diving into this assignment. They are strategelly weaking people who love violence. Thanks to technology there is a new ingredient able to alleviate many of the dramas involve in war.  People are exhausted of wars and today they have a weapon to fight.

Through Internet tools people are now capable of observing, comprehending, and protesting about war as eyewitness. Consequently, their voice takes much force. When it comes of people cognizant of this reality, it is probably that a war slips from politician hands and war turns into something less unfair. I believe that all together through social media tools can contribute to solve this drama; the majority of people disagree on war, and those who support it are now exposed to real abuses, cruelty, and evil. They should be changing their mind; Bloggers and independent journalist are doing a great job by depicting what really happen in war. Their material is more credible than traditional media or Hollywood use to show; in turn, others are denouncing barbarities and abuses; soldiers as well as their families are sharing their tragedy with millions. Despite there are a lot of boundaries in terms of freedom of speech, information ultimately surfaces somehow. Today there are no million of enemies. People are now fighting against just a few politician decisions.

As long as there is a camera near the battlefield and millions of united people willing to fight for justice, many warlike characters will have to control their behavior. We just hope this technological breakthrough does not be contaminated or prohibited due to war always will be a business and it seems more important than people expressions.