Hey! Are you a blogger? You can have your own original American badge!

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I firstly have to apologize for my inactiveness the past few weeks, due the Easter holidays and other course obligations. I am now back active to the blogosphere to moot a great debate is held lately.

Tim O’Reilly, the founder of the O’Reilly Media and credit to be the creator of the term Web 2.0 and Jimmy Wales the co-founder and the promoter of Wikipedia created recently a code of principles to shape the online discussion. The whole discussion of creating such thing was driven by the death threats against blogger Kathy Sierra, author of popular blog Create passionate users. The incident raised issues of how women are treated online.

O’Reilly stated at BBC radio live that it could be time to formalize blogging behaviour and added that “I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of [legal/government] regulation it would come through self-regulation”.

The “Draft bloggers’ code of conduct” was posted at the O’Reilly’s company blog and is accompanied with a badge that sites can display if they want to link to the code of conduct.
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The post received more than 300 comments with contradictory views of the code of conduct and the badge. Many bloggers have opposed to the post as they believed so, that a badge could not itself persuade million of bloggers to follow the same route on how they behave in an area which is supposed to be embracing free speech.

Indeed a code of conduct like this would diminish the free speech, which made blogosphere so popular at the begging. Tim O’Reilly and the supporters of the bloggers code of conduct argue that would empower the civility of the blogosphere users, but in many bloggers point of view the only succeed is the suppression and control of the whole area.

As a woman I totally sympathize and understand the issues raised by Kathy Sierra and similar incidents, but as a blogger I do appreciate the power web gives to speak freely and exchange ideas with no rules and badges to restrict your thoughts. As Robert Cox the president of the Media Bloggers Association stated “I don’t see it as practical in any way and it misses the point in both what is important and what is going to work”

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Did you switch your lights off?

Have you participated on the Earth hour event?

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF and is held on the last Saturday of March annually. It is a worldwide request to households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

The event was conceived in Sidney at 2007 and since then it is happening every year with increasing participation and success.

On its first year, 2007, only Sidney was actually carrying across Earth Hour. After only two years, 88 countries and about 4000 cities switched off their lights, supporting the need for action on saving our environment.

But how all these people got informed about the event? Is it only through the conventional media?

Through a quick web research I found thousands websites, communities and blogs referring to the event.

But let’s see more closer; there is earth hour website and the WWF’s website referring to the event , and the Earth hour pages on MySpace, Flicker, Facebook and Twitter.

Then looking in Google blog search there are 11,533,980 refers to earth hour and Wikipedia has a page explaining what Earth hour is.

So that’s an impressing example of the web power I was mentioning in one of my previous posts. That’s a good way to use this power by contributing to common good.

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09. A slice of American apple pie

dscn1410ghm-copypbHave you ever been bored enough to spend a whole evening baking apple pies? That’s exactly what happened to my friends today, while I was searching the web surrounded by apples, baking flour, and noisy people. While searching for the best nanny’s apple pie recipe, I bumped into something totally different but yet so similar once you pronounce it: Apple.

I then decided to search the web about the Apple Co. and write my new post on that topic. All that, while I was still enclosed in a small kitchen with many apples. And then boom! A blog named blorge was talking about something really interesting.

Did you know which are the fastest companies today? Team Obama, Google, Hulu, and Apple are the four fastest developed companies in the whole world.

How many assumptions can you make from this post! Firstly, it becomes obvious that Obama is a brand name and his team is a corporation. Secondly is it a coincidence that these rapidly developed companies are interlinked together? And last did you notice that all these brands are web based?

Obama is the best known example of one’s reputation booming through the internet. Apple and Google are the most popular and trustworthy companies in the world within the web users. And last, Hulu is a free online video service, currently offered only to users in the United States. But how are these brands are interlinked? Let me give you an example… Apple created a full-head 3d character that you can download for your desktop and you can have him change his facial expressions according to your daily mood swings. Also, searching for Obama at Hulu you come up with hundred video results.

I am not sure what would this partnership’s consequences be to Obama’s forthcoming policies, but certainly these are all vital ingredients for some good ‘American apple pie’. And good American apple pie is a giant leap towards fulfilling the American dream!

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08. I have more Power than Superman!

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Continuing the previous post, more I was reading my books and I was searching in internet, more obvious was that internet gives tremendous power to every user and if they join together everything can be possible.

I am going to use an incident I found out recently as an example. Pilot Gabriele Adelman and photographer Kenneth Adelman decided to create a site with their photographs from the entire California coastline. Some of the photos the photos was picturing Barbara Streisand’s house. The singer insisted that the photos should be removed. The publicity that statement took caused people to copy the photos and pasted in sites all over the web. Looking at Google image you can easily found on “Barbara Streisand’s house”

Now the incident is known as Streisand effect. The term is used when someone is attempting to remove something from the internet and as a result of that cause spread instead.

This incident and many other similar like this one, made me question myself were all that power came up. How so many people can gather from the entire planet and create a strong chain of power. And most important what need caused that chain? Is everything possible or there are limits?

Most authors are explaining the web 2.0 phenomenon as the combination of three things. First one the need of people to depend on each other and drawn strength from each other and the need of rebelling against institutional power. Secondly is the everyday evolving technology, the creation software of interactive tools in the web. And the last force is simply online economics, traffic equals money.

But as positivist I want to focus on the major aspect, the people. The power people can have through the web was unknown till our times. The right use can ensure that many problems in our society can be solved. Major problems like the hunger of the third world, the climate change and many more.

As the power shift hands, it doesn’t belong anymore to the few. But is it like that?

Can the people cope with that kind of power? Can we use it for best?

Every coin has two aspects, so what’s the other aspect of the coin? Who is the major enemy of the internet? In my opinion is the internet itself.

Is the internet just a tool? What’s the future impact of the web in our society?

There are many questions need to be answered, and I don’t have any answer at all. I need you to help me here… After all, the web is all about sharing ideas…

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07. If we are more than 257, we can start writing our book

The last week I am reading two books concerning the social media. The first one is “we-think” by Charles Leadbeater and the second is “groundswell” by Charlene Li and josh Bernoff.
Both books give you an insight for social media, how it works and why it became so essential in our everyday life. The books give you many impressing examples on how social media are used by the world and the business to evolve their communication.
The reason that attracted my attention at the first place to read these books is that both are actually written “in the web”.
What do I mean by that? The authors of both books were publishing these books chapter by chapter to their individual sites, and used the comments of the e-readers as part of the book.
Actually Charles Leadbeater in the first page of his book writes that the author of the book is himself and other 257 people. He explains later on his book that he uploaded the first draft on October 2006 and till the late 2007 he was mentioned in 250 blogs, he had received 200 e-mails from people pointing in useful information and every draft was downloaded at average 53 times a day. At the end the book title and his name in the Google search came back with 65.600 hits! What a wonderful way to write a book!
I couldn’t believe it so I just visit both Charles Leadbeater site and groundswell site ,in which you can actually see all the procedure they followed.
It is amazing how interaction and collaboration of the people create one of the biggest forms of power I have ever experienced.

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06. Design your car

Have you ever search for your dream car on the web? I did last night and it came up to be a really fun procedure! The most car corporations, official websites have created an interactive process to engage the buyer with his preference car. Visiting the website of both Alfa Romeo and Fiat had a build my car version. Clicking that option you can actually build your car, by selecting your options for the car, from the engine to the colour and the interior styling. On your screen it the car comes up and during the process it changes according your orders. It’s fascinating that you start feeling engaged with the car. You can actually see how will be your car if you ever buy it. Alongside with that procedure, at the bottom of the screen the have the sum of money you are going to pay, which every time you add another option, it adds it at the final sum. At the end you come up with your car as you wanted and the final sum you are going to pay if you buy it. Another evidence of how great corporations have realized the need of a different approaching to the costumer. Through web created a virtual buying process, in order to make the costumer feel interactive and more engaged with the company and the car itself. New media are the answer of creating a virtual environment more profitable for every company. Another impressing point I came up in the Alfa Romeo website was a virtual rally game, which can actually “play” your car. By this I mean that Alfa Romeo created a contest in which the costumer with the best times on the rally game wins the Alfa Romeo car he is playing with. I have to admit that Alfa Romeo communications and marketing team have thought it really well, as the targeting group they are aiming to be males in young age. I haven’t decided yet what car I am going to buy, but for sure I had a great time with my friends designing cars! If you have free time just visit the websites and take a look. I also suggest visiting Porsche website, as they have the same features and impressive cars to design. If only we could afford it too. .

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05. The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)

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