Saturday, December 15, 2007

Last Blog!

This is our last blog post! I have to say, I am sad but at the same time relived. I loved reading and learning about all these social networking sites and technologies that before I was completely unaware of. Before this class I thought of myself as a fairly technological person, I dominated the use of computers, digital cameras, google, office and facebook.
When I got to hear and learn about all these online technologies I realized I was wrong. There is a whole online world that I have been missing and as it turns out it can be very helpful not only in my personal life but also my professional one.
Only by reading and doing my blogs I have not only expanded my knowledge on tools that are going to be very helpful for the rest of my life but I have also changed my mind about certain things. Before coming to this class I was against using online tools unless they were necessary, it is only now I realize that you can ignore them but the more you use them the more your life and tasks will become easier.
I still believe on face to face interaction, I believe that it gives people a certain satisfaction that cannot be achieved online. It scares me to think how lonely our world can become when we depend solely on computers, but if I think about it that’s where our world is headed and if we don’t move with it, we’ll be stuck in a world that very few people stayed in. We have to use the Internet and make the best out of it. There are many good things one can do with it and we should take advantage of it.
I am sad because I won’t get to learn all these interesting things anymore. I don’t have access to them, I don’t know how to look for them. I have learned about blogging prior to the class but I never imagined myself as a blogger. Now, I have a accomplished something new, I became part of the blogosphere and it makes me happy that it is one more thing I’ve done.
However, I am relieved because writing has never been my strength. Every Sunday I had to struggle on how to write and try to make it sound interesting. Writing a formal paper is hard enough, writing something less formal is even harder. But, I made it through I survived and I am glad. I am happy I don’t have to struggle any more but also happy because I had to work on something that wasn’t my strength and even if I don’t master it now I still improved.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

facts vs. opinions

The article said it right! Web 2.0 is dangerous and deceiving. Anyone can go online and post their opinion, ideas and theories. Nobody is there to tell them what is right and what is wrong. The reader then comes and believes whatever has been said. He or she will use that information assuming it is right but ignoring that the information might be wrong and that the person who wrote it is probably not the most knowledgeable on the subject. There are some people that know that the information posted online is not the most accurate and that everyone can post whatever he or she wants.
However, the majority of the people, especially outside the United States, is not aware of this fact and will believe that anything or most of the things they find online is accurate and believable. They will use this information as legitimate and the wrong information will be spread quickly.
I especially believe that power of knowledge is no longer respected and I find it unfair. I believe that a teenager having the ability to change or challenge information made available by an experienced professor or scientist is wrong. Experts write facts, others tell opinions. There is no way the majority of the people can tell the difference. Every person who posts online and is not an expert and has no facts should have a disclaimer. This way people know what they are getting into, if they decide to use that information it is at their own expense, but at least with a warning.
On the other hand, having the freedom to share information is also beneficial. Before Web 2.0 people were restricted to the information made available by experts. The information released could sometimes be limited or controlled by their school, office or institution and they told only what they wanted their public to know; things were sometimes kept secret. Now everyone is free to write about what they want with no limitations.
Therefore, I believe that when a person is looking for information he or she should look for the facts written by an expert first, and then look for supporting or opposing views written by common people like us. We should not rely on bloggers or user generated content for facts but we should to find opinions about the subject. And lastly, before we believe what we read online we should check who wrote what we read and what type of credibility the person has.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What to Buy

The likelihood of buying a product increases when I find a review that comes along with it. I learn of a product from what I see online and on TV, their advertisements and the information in their website, but what really helps me make a decision on what is best for me are the reviews posted online.

Formal marketers will only tell us of the best features of the products, they will never tell us about their flaws. In fact, advertisements and information provided by the company will sometimes exaggerate of the product’s excellence to persuade us to buy the product. Most of the times I can’t trust this information. On the other hand, the reviews tell me the real strengths and weaknesses of the product and whether or not I’ll be able to live with them. I trust them because they are posted by people like me, consumers who have nothing to win or lose by promoting or discouraging the use of the product. Further, I trust these sources because I have a variety to choose from. There are many reviews about the same product; so, if I don’t trust one I read the next one.

Therefore I really believe what was said in the article, when they say businesses should facilitate the creation of the user generated content as it is not only free advertising and marketing research but also a way to increase trust and confidence when a consumer is about to buy a product.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not everybody is like that....

When we watch the news we see that people in Iraq are terrorists, that Iran makes nuclear weapons and that there is genocide in Darfur. That sometimes misleads us to think that everyone in that region is mean, supports their government or are doing the wrong thing. That leads us to create a stereotype.

Not everyone in that certain country is like that. There are many people who oppose what is going on, but the media doesn’t tell us that. As I read in the article Online Activism: Media Stereotypes And The Rise Of Smart Mobs, media wants to sell, and people like stereotype, terror and death. Therefore, generally they'll tell us the bad things, but never the good or the boring ones. They'll always tell us about the terrorists but not of the people in that country who oppose it.
Blogging gives individuals the opportunity to show the world who they really are and what they really think. They tell us that even if there are bad people and bad decisions in their region, they are not part of it. In addition, it allows us to voice our opinion and help change a situation. It lets the world know that someone is opposing what is going on and it puts pressure on governments to try and make a change.

Before, it was hard to voice these opinions. It was hard to let people know what you felt and who you agreed with. The internet and blogging has really eased the process up. However, I do believe that it is not total freedom.

There are countries where people go to jail and suffer hard consequences when voicing their opposing opinions. Countries like Iran and Cuba have very limited freedom of speech and when they say what they feel, they end up in jail to set up an example to prevent other people from doing it.

Overall the internet provides more freedom than any other media to show inidivual perspectives and opposing views. But this only happens in countries where there is freedom of speech. We should really work so that this works all over the world and not only where people are allowed to talk, because in the end, every one has something to say and they should be allowed to do it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Be Careful with What You Ignore!

Online recruiting is something that may come in handy nowadays. Employers save time and effort and the process of hiring has become somewhat easier and faster. In addition, it is now faster to find people from other parts of the country, so it is a more diverse and talented workforce.

However, I believe that it also has its consequences. First of all, this is something mainly practiced in the United States; many people in other countries don’t even know of the existence of these sites. Therefore, it puts these candidates in disadvantage and it may cause recruiters to ignore talented people who could greatly contribute to the company. Not only for their talent, but for their knowledge of foreign cultures and practices. In addition, it may also cause recruiters to overlook qualities of a candidate that can only be seen personally and not through the internet.

I also believe that one of the greatest disadvantages is what Shapiro said in one of the articles, If you don’t have something that your competitors don’t have, then everyone will be looking at the same thing. In addition, like it was said in another of the articles, it also becomes a problem when you have a thousand applications to look at. It probably becomes overwhelming and recruiters will end up forgetting about the talented candidates.

Therefore, I do believe that this has its benefits but its disadvantages are greater for the time being and it may end up hurting the company for small things that can be forgotten or ignored in online recruiting.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friends & Business

Earlier in the class I said Social Networking is fake, and sometimes it can be. But then today I read an article where the author said that when it comes to business you can also make it a monetized relationship in addition to friendship. I guess then, relationships become less fake, as long as you keep friendship in mind. Nowadays, I find myself easily relating to these topics.

When I started looking for jobs, the first thing people told me to do is think about my friends that were already working because they would be able to give me a hand. And so I did, I looked up all my friends that have a job, contacted them and gave them my resume. As it turns out, I now have people reviewing my resume in different cities and it has eased my application process a lot.

In the same manner, my mom just started a new magazine back home. She’s both the writer and editor. I was talking to her last night and she was telling me how being friends with very different people has helped her perform her job faster and easier. She interviews doctors, politicians and sport players very easily because she knows them outside of work in a social way and so they answer her questions and collaborate with her as friends.

Therefore, I realized that SN is not fake. The people I talked to are my friends. I go out with them, have lunch and talk to them, but they were also able to give me a hand in the business world. I guess that it works like that for many other people in the business world. I've been doing social networking almost all of my life, with out even realizing. Like I said before, where I come from it is a given, not something we study and pay particular attention to.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Online and lonley

It is hard for me to picture this virtual world with which companies are now involved. In Ecuador, and other parts of the world, we are not yet so technologically advanced. Most of the things are still done face to face. We have a meeting room, we still take a plane when we need meet a client or a partner, and definitely our teams meet in person and not in the virtual world.

Although it’s hard for me to imagine it, I believe that this is great for businesses. It saves time, money, space and countless other things. In addition, things are more effective and fast, the time previously spent in a plane is now spent online, discussing or creating ideas. So in that sense I believe that these new technologies have really come in handy, specially at this point in time where everything is so globalized.

However, it also scares me. I can’t really judge because I haven’t yet seen it work but I personally believe that it is better to meet face to face. While it really helps businesses, I think this harms societies. Now a days, there is no need to meet face to face with anybody. I think that people need that interaction, not only because it helps them know the person better and get to know what their strengths are, but also because there is a certain satisfaction from sharing real time with people. It scares me to think that in a near future we won’t have the need to leave our desks. Everything will be done online, and times in the office are going to become sad and lonely.