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Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

Dear Online Activist Friends-Share Everything


Posted by Marivel Guzman
Original post by Vahid Razavi
On October 15, 2010

Dear online activist friends,

Social and Peace Activist, author Vahid Razavi

I would like to share with you my views on privacy and activism in the age of social media.  As you are well aware, information about you; such as present location, bank account, health records, credit and driving history, as well as your online habits, emails and phone calls are monitored for the sake of companies and governments.

If you have taken a stand in a protest, placed phone calls to the Middle East, have Middle Eastern name you might as well consider your privacy out the door.

The whole notion of privacy in this digital age is misguided since governments and corporations systematically track, index, log and analyze user behavior. If you are not prone to risk and want to protect your identity, use a false name and a false picture profile and information.

That is the best way to hide your online identity. Even that does not protect you. For example if you use Skype or make a transaction at online bank to check your statements from the same machine that you used to log into your fake profile. The fake profile can be now be  linked to your real identity.

This article is not about privacy but to encourage you to participate not just in your own circle but in the large circle of opposing views and positions. I will give you an example. As you are aware, for over the past two years I share articles that my team and I have written about business or social issues on my Facebook’s wall. I have open friend policy because I want our message of peace, tolerance and sustainable business practices to reach a large audience.  At the same time, I am part of the Republican party, the Democratic party and moveon.org etc.  I make an active decision to share information and blog posts on various groups in LinkedIn, for example the chamber of Commerce, an organization that I find myself on the complete opposition to.

Guess what happens when I post an article to one of the groups that share the opposite values that I have? They get all worked up! They start posting and calling me names etc. Frankly I do not care about that. My business and money does not come from the Chamber of Commerce or the Republicans or Democrats. I am not on any ones payroll except my own but it gets under the skin of these groups. It pisses them off like no tomorrow. I am proud of that. They devote precious time posting articles and time trying to convince themselves that they are still in the right. I just wish sometimes my activist friends expand the circle of friends and work on the larger population to sell ideas to the masses.

I am not asking you sacrifice your perceived privacy. I am asking you to get involved even if it is under a different profile name and join these groups so that we can influence its members and the actions of these groups.

Additionally we can all do many things that do not cost money and yet has a big impact. Do you know that Google/Facebook/Bing all provide coupons for first time users of the advertisement networks? If you do not have an ad network account it is easy to start one. Check it out. Create an advertisement network account and use one of the first 50 dollars or first 75 dollars ads are free coupon. Find an article or an organization you want to promote. Decide on the keywords (simply pick your cause as the keyword) Place your ads for that organization. When you reach the 75 dollar mark disconnect the ads. You did not pay a dime and was able to advertise on a network for a cause you backed.

The goal is to encourage folks to reach outside of the circle of friends and leverage social media and the web as the people’s media. The point is that too many activists remain stuck within the orbit of like minded people. While having a community is important, we often neglect the middle of society. Many people work too much, if they are lucky to have a job. They are worried about their bills, their health care expenses, their mortgage and rent payments, their families. Many of them share the same concerns and have the same anxieties as we do. They don’t have the time to explore the social and political issues in depth. They turn on the local news, watch CNN or Fox for an hour or so. Many of them simply read the free morning newspapers handed out to commuters which do not provide comprehensive analysis. This is the social layer that we as activists must reach. History shows that all social and political changes have occurred only when the broad middle of society participates. Yes, the movements are often started with small groups but they have succeeded by communicating and connecting with the larger members of society. The Civil Rights movement started with a small church in Alabama and spread across the country bringing supporters from the mainstream. The same occurred with the LBGT movement. What started as a minority movement has become mainstream. Had Blacks only confined their struggle for equal rights to themselves, it’s unlikely that any advances would have been made. Had only gays and lesbians struggled alone, it’s unlikely that their legal rights would have been recognized and their struggle continues. It’s imperative that activists reach out to the mainstream. It’s the only way to effect the social and political changes we desire. Failure to do so will result in our permanent marginalization.

That’s my two cents.

Peace.

Vahid

Too Small for social change?...Not at all

Mr. Razavi Iranian-American author of The Age of Nepotism has traveled extensively to Iran and the Balkans. He is an expert in the subject of Iran and US politics. As CEO of BizCloud company, Mr. Razavi develops the organization strategy and manages the company’s sales, engineering Marketing and day to day operations.He brings to the position more than thirteen years of sales, operations and customer service experience in the software and customer service industry.

People We Do not Know

September 22, 2010 3 comments

By Marivel Guzman

Stranger and yet so close

Experimental Poet that loves to love

We come from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, countries, we speak different languages and even with all these dis similarities we are closer that ever.

But who are “WE”?, people around the globe, “People We Do Not Know”, those strange faces that we encounter in every walk of life, in the coffee shop, the market and like a social disease in the social networks. We are every where, we have different skin colors, different social and economic status, but we do not notice those little almost insignificant details that in our everyday life are so important, but not in here. We can not see them as being an impediment to get together as one, as if we were part of the same family.

One of my closest friends, my new found brother Raja Mujtaba have showed me what real trust and friendship is. He owns an online newspaper

Foresight With Insight

That in short period of time have positioned itself as one of the best sources of real news in the world.

It have been the power of the social networks, the interaction with these people that we do not know, that we talk and make part of our everyday life, that have made this little newspaper to grow and positioned itself as one of the most read newspapers in the world.

For years the world was used to the NEWS, but with the coming of the instant communication corridor, we have realized that the NEWS is not what is given to us in a silver box. No…the news are being made everyday, by all of us..we are interchanging NEWS everyday. The TV stopped offering us the TRUTH. I quote a phrase from his website “His conviction is that there can be no peace without justice thus the root cause to every problem must be identified and addressed. Justice leads to peace that develops love” I m over thrilled with his vision for our world, that with closed eyes I help him in his crusade for justice and peace.
The Free Press: The New Press
The Virtual World: It is the New World Order, where the citizens of the world, are taking the world back.
We do not need to receive “News”, we are making the Real News
Every moment someone somewhere write a new Article, Upload a new picture, and they are as real as the people are.
We are the new Opinion Makers of the World, we don’t need Editors. Because the truth is Raw and should be given as it is without dressing or photoshoping as it is been for quite sometimes.
Be happy, the good news are here.

Welcome to the New World Order of life, where the world is coming together in a credo of brotherhood, raising together our voices for a better life for everyone.

Raising our complains to the leaders that “We Appointed” to represent us and work for us.
The Virtual world welcome you, we are more closer than we ever been, the walls are down, the old school of Media is obsolete now, we are the New Press, the Free Press, we are photographers, video technicians, writers, poets, opinion makers: “Where the Truth is the News, and we are the Opinion Makers”.

During my virtual travels I have had the pleasure to meet beautiful people, specially in Gaza Strip..that little piece of land besieged by Israel Madness, but their people do not give up their hopes for Freedom, for Peace, and their dream to lead a normal life.

Take for example my dear Shady Alassar, a photographer from Gaza, that despite all the instability of his land, he keeps striving for a better future.

Gaza Photography Exhibition

Shady Alassar Photography , Gaza Strip, Palestine

He won’t stop trying to leave Gaza at its will, travel out for pleasure or business. Who are those people inside Gaza that we see with different eyes because we been programmed to do so for so many years of propaganda, Gazans are people like you and me, they are people “We do not know”, but only because we do not dare to know them. It is amazing that now, we “chat” to them as our best friends, we treat them as family. Imagine what will “Bush and Company will say”, our brothers and friends live in a Land out of boundaries to the world, but not for us, the “people” of the networks.
The social networks this phenomenon that took us in a wild ride, unexpected. We live every day their economical crisis from far away, we cry with them for them.

What is our role in this drama, we are part of their drama, we were there in that part of his life, recently he was part of an exhibition of Gaza Youth photography, and he made us part of his happy moments.

Do you know him? maybe you have see him in the walls, it might seem not important, but it is important, you are proud with him. Gaza was in the news, and we were part of the news as well, sharing those moments with the world, we wonder what really happen to all of us?…we take pride in their achievement, we suffer their struggles, we are being part of this strange alliance of hope, where we are coming together as a family.

Shady Alassar is a normal guy like your neighbor , like your son or brother ,what make him special? really in this virtual world that we are being part of, we all are specials or we all are ordinary world citizen. It is your perspective of the world what it make it look beautiful or gray.

Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip

The Social Networks unleashed “POWER TO THE PEOPLE-FOR THE PEOPLE”, the invisible revolution is unstoppable, you can feel it in the air, in the wires.

The Internet came to stay. Do not allow it to be taken away. It’s our right to fight for a common cause. Peace Worth it, Love Worth it, You Worth it. I Worth it.

Why is this?. we have no specific answer but we connect with ease, we give our phone numbers our emails, we treat each other as we know for long time.

Can somebody really understand why are we doing this?… Nobody really knows, we just “DO IT”, it is as if we have broken the stereotypes, we have broken the imaginary line that kept us apart.
The religious, social, economic, and race stigmatization, and marginalization that have kept us worlds apart it gone,  now, we not do see it, we do not feel bounded by those ideas, now we want to explore all religions and cultures, we want to learn and feel their struggles as ours.

The Poet Of Love

Munir Mezyet Palestinian Poet, he is my dear friend if it was not for these walsl I would not know him, he lives exiled in Bucharest, but he is not far nor stranger, he is as close as my best friend next door.

We are free now, we feel this freedom to choose to add friends, to share our morning coffee with a complete stranger. The walls that for some people like Germany and Palestine have hold them apart, now  “The Walls” are bringing us together.

Berlin Wall, Tear Down in 1989
The “Walls” are keeping us together, they are spaces in the virtual world where we share more than ideas, passions, fashions, love experience, causes for freedom.

We are being part of the world with “People we do not Know”.

These intercontinental connections, long distance calls that few years back would have been impossible, for different reasons;  social and economical reasons. We calling to Australia, Tunisia, Gaza, Brussels, Argentina, Afghanistan…the whole world is part of our geographical area, skype and messenger broke the barriers of time and space.

We losing our sleep over “People we do not know”, odd, don’t you think?

What have it changed today? we are comfortable interchanging mobil numbers to a complete strangers, if you want to see us this way. We do not think twice before we type out our “private email”.

We interact few times in the walls, in the channels, the spaces. and we call ourselves friends, brothers, comrades. We go to extreme lengths to fight for your rights, to fight for your country, to fight for your causes.

We stand strong for a reason we do not completely understand, other than doing a social justice to peace and friendship.

What really had happen to all of us?, that suddenly we raise our voices for your flag, for the protection of your individual liberties, your civil rights. Really why is this?

What it is going on in the world? Do we find that we were missing the link to Love? Are we able now to befriend and Love a complete stranger? The connectivity of the Universe is showing us the signs that we were overlooking, love is so easy to find, to expand to hold and express, in a single line on a chat room, you can find your long long waited twin love, or your lost friend or new friend.

Do not be afraid to show your kindness, the sensitive fiber of your heart. Love is at the reach of your finger tips at the end of the keyboard. Expand your conscientiousness, open up your mind to the pureness of Love.

I have found more than friends, I found a new family…brothers, sisters, sons, and dozens of nephews and nieces….there is so much diversity in our cultures, but that is the greatness of these new encounters, that is what it make it so special. The relation is more familiar, because you start knowing their beliefs, ideas and soon..you are part of them and they are part of you. You start loving your new family as if you have always know them. The new faces become your everyday experience, your morning, your breakfast your day goes interacting with them. You miss them, you love them because they become part of you.

The social networks have opened the doors the collective conscientiousness. Love is not inclusive of your close families.
The state of the mind now, have reached the tip of the idea that Love is not a feeling but a state of the mind, balanced ripped to the age.

Welcome to the new era of Universally. The web of ideas finally is at its best. LOVE IS ONE. And we are One. Because we are Love.

Meet me at the “Walls”, I think I already know you, if you are a virtual traveler, you are an enlighten being. We all the same, we suffer from the same pains, the red blood that runs throughout my veins is warm with love, and does not see color, but feel the love that you project to the world.

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