Posted by: Adriana | June 23, 2010

Bringing Thai Summers to the US.

Summer is a time that brings back many great memories for me. When living in Thailand summer was a time to relax on the beach with great food and drinks wearing comfortable fashionable beachwear and accessories, but as I now live in the United States I no longer have access to many of those things. As Executive Director of the Thai Trade Center I am working hard to bring many of the summer products that I miss most from Thailand to the US.

Summers in Thailand:

With the constant scorching heat the one thing that I would do a lot is drink a variety of cold drinks every hour. Although the heat was sometimes too much to handle the drinks would make up for it. I remember lying on the sand sipping on either a Mango Freezie, iced coffee (ga-fae-yen) or a Gluay Bpu  (banana shake) .Whole fruits are a primary source of food intake in Thailand, and a primary export item as well.

Anybody can make any of these drinks as they only require two easy steps.

The Mango freeze you just blend the mangoes, orange and lime juice along with syrup and yogurt and put it in the freezer. And you do the same thing for the banana shake blend bananas, milk and ice.

Same as for the coffee combine the coffee and condensed milk in a small pitcher and mix well. Pour into a tall glass filled with ice. Delicious

Thai Chef Naam Pruitt and author of Lemon grass and Limes cookbook is great at teaching you how to make a variety of refreshing drinks and salads.

One of the most popular salads for the summer is the Green Papaya which has a mix of limes, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, Thai chiles and green beans—summer on a fork.

And finally when the sun would go down I would sit at an outdoor cafe and drink either a Chang or Archa beer with a couple of friends. The smooth light taste of these beers made the day end just it had started relaxing.










Beachwear and accessories:

When people go to the beach in Thailand they want to be comfortable but stylish because as most people know Thailand is known for its trendy fashion.

On the beach you can see an array of different colors as ladies wear beautiful sarongs made of silk or polyester. The sarongs can be worn in different ways.

Thailand is one of the few countries in the world that can supply the complete textile industry chain, from petrochemical and natural fiber production, to fabric and textiles, all the way to design, production, and sale of apparel.

Also well-known Thai fashion designers like Koi Suwannagate and Sretsis get creative during the summer time.

So as you can see summers in Thailand are refreshing, full of color and fashion. If that’s what you like please contact us at the Thai Trade Center to see how we can bring a Thai summer to the US.

Posted by: Adriana | June 10, 2010

Thai Food–A Unique Experience

Spicy, salty, tangy, mouth-watering, tears of excitement due to the exotic blend of fresh spices, and equally satisfying to the eye, nose and palate are all words and phrases I’ve heard before when  someone has experienced Thai food. Many bloggers like expat SteveHyewon and Sarah, Snickie, Pinky Mcbanon write about their addiction to the combination of sweet, sour, hot, salty and bitter all combined into one dish. It’s a unique taste that you can’t find in any other cuisine which is why people crave it so much. And people like Chef McDang have done a good job in branding the Thai cuisine as one of the best in the world.

Not only is the taste and aroma of the dish important but its visual appeal is too which allows it to beautifully stand out. Thailand food presentation has been elevated to the status of an art which can require years of study and practice.   This type of food art  is beyond words which is why I’ll let  the pictures below speak for themselves.

As you can see Thai cuisine is more than just food. The United States alone has thousands of Thai restaurants which is great for us at the Thai Trade Center. Just this past April certain Thai Trade Center Representatives were in Oregon talking to members of Portland’s Thai community, principally restaurateurs, about Thai government strategies to support Thai business in the United States


They discussed Thai government programs to promote Thai food products, cuisine, and culture through Thai restaurants and encourage creation of restaurant business networks.

So if you consider yourself a true die-hard Thai Food Lover or miss the home cooked meals of  family members in Thailand and want to see more of it around your area contact the Thai Trade Center.  We want everyone’s taste buds treated to a daily feast.

 As Garrett Graff states in the article for Infonomics, “Obama for America wasn’t just the most successful online political campaign; it was arguably the most successful web 2.0 deployment to date,” which I completely agree.  Clay Shirky’s thesis about the power of organizing without organizations is about providing a promise, a tool and a bargain and that is exactly what the Obama campaign did. Obama’s promise was for you to be a part of something, the tool was the interactive Web site,, and finally the bargain was that you were going to be measured as being a representative for Obama. The Obama campaign made you feel like you were an important part of the campaign; it will be hard to compete with that.

It’s hard to predict what will be key to winning the 2012 elections. As we’ve discussed in class technology and social media platforms are constantly changing and that after four to six years  someone creates a new platform. We also discussed Moore’s Law which basically means that the I-pad will be four times as powerful but twice as cheap in one year. When it comes to technology it’s hard to predict what will help in connecting people to a certain  candidate.

People are saying that the future is all about mobile communications now that we have the I-phone, I-pad, the Android and other mobile devices. The vision for the future of mobile communications is a fully interconnected world where every citizen will access, create and use content. This is the fastest growing technology in the history of mankind and is also the most effective technology known to date to enable individuals, particularly those at the base of the pyramid, to participate in the global economy. The I-phone has already created an application to be connected to the 2012 elections.

President Obama’s team seems to already be quite up to date on social media; it’s now up to the Republican Party to see what it comes up with for 2012. So far it has created a grassroots Web site titled, “Republican for a Reason,” which has a variety tools one of them being that it provides information via a mobile device, at least, it’s  using mobile technology.

Technology is important but as Garrett Graff explains in his article the Obama campaign did not use any fancy tools it was just using existing tools. I think the key other than the new mobile device communications is openness: transparency, accountability and sense of ownership…I feel that will go a long way in 2012.

I’m responding to my classmate’s blog about the 7-year-old boy from Russia who was sent back on a plane to Russia alone because his adoptive mother could not put up with him anymore. I agree with Ideacellar in that the blame in this case should be put on everyone who had something to do with this adoption. First of all this is a kid–7 years old–how hard could it be to ask for some help to calm him down.

I know growing up I would sometimes misbehave and cause my parents a few headaches but they didn’t give up on me. But like anything in life I can’t apply my personal perceptions and judgement to this situation because everyone and each situation is different; nobody really knows how the Tennessee adoptive mother was feeling, but still I’m left with many questions on how hard could it be to control a small 7-year-old boy.

The mother should have been aware to the fact that many children from Russian orphanages can present special challenges, due to such conditions as fetal alcohol syndrome. A child who has fetal alcohol syndrome has problems with daily living, has hyperactive behavior, and has poor reasoning and judgement skills. These are all severe problems which not everyone can deal with so the criteria to adopt a child with this condition should be stricter to make sure the adoptive parent can deal with it.

This case should not discourage other parents from adopting; there are about 3,000 American families who have already begun the process of adopting children from Russia. All children deserve the love and protection of adults; so whether it’s a kid in your neighborhood, work, a family member or your own child we must look out for them because without love those children will be forever lost.

As a person who has studied journalism my mind is a very curious one so I’m always wondering WHY? In that case I feel that it’s important for a society to be exposed to all there is to know about war. I’ll explain why in just a second….

There is always two sides to a story so before we can take action on something we must be aware of what is out there.

As for the war in Iraq it was good to hear from the people on the ground, the Iraqis and the soldiers since they were the ones truly living this war. I feel that we all have an obligation to hold people accountable for their actions especially those of authority who we vote for so that they could provide us with the best.

If all you ever heard about the War in Iraq was this speech President Bush gave in declaring war against Iraq you were definitely left out in the dark. Actually if all you listened to were these major news outlet, ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, and CNN reporting on the War in Iraq you were also in a very dark place because they are all controlled by big corporations looking out for their best interests.

So if you were not left out in the dark…you were exposed to how extreme the military was in restricting soldiers from blogging and saying, “Passing on classified data — real secrets — is already a serious military crime.” Well rewind to the 9/11 commission report that said, “government should classify less information  because when hoarding information from the public it affected the government’s handling of the threat from al-Qaeda. There you go in trying to be so secretive you’re not able to see all different angles to something; it’s important to be more engaging.

It’s also important to teach the youth, who are sometimes not sure what to do after High School, that war is not some glorified and fun video game. Like I said there is always two sides to a story; you have to read Salem Pax’s blog to understand his frustrations of living day in and day out hearing bombs go off at all hours and then read a soldier’s blog who talks about survival in trying to make it back home and some not wanting to reenlist. These are the stories that we need to hear because this is what the war is all about.  My advise just read all kind of different blogs to have a better perspective on the issue.

Going back to the first week of class…with the Internet…markets are conversations.…so utilize them because it’s the era we are currently live in. So on a side note to some: It’s going to be very hard to control conversations.

Posted by: Adriana | April 20, 2010

Personal Blog# 3: Graduation Time!!!

Two years of my life have gone by so fast….in one month I’ll be graduating. I was of the philosophy that I didn’t need to get a masters just as long I was networking with the right people and doing what my bosses needed of me I would be fine. But then I realized that most of the jobs for the senior level positions were asking for a masters degree. So if I wanted to be boss I had to get that paper diploma to put in my resume to look more appealing.

What can I say working full-time and going to school part-time is tough and it feels like you never have a break to just breathe…..but I am happy that I took the step to get my masters. I had been working in communications for a couple of years and was definitely meeting a lot of interesting people and doing some cool projects, but realized that the profession was changing so much due to technology that I felt that I needed a stronger base on how to keep up with the constant changes.

This masters has given me a more in-depth look at the strategies and tools needed to create an effective communication’s plan. So in essence it all worked out. It’s important that I now have a stronger base in communications, but also through this program I was able to expand my horizons in meeting people from all over the world who taught me so much about the status of communication and trends in their cultures that I realized how much we are all really connected. I leave this program with a better understanding of the fascinating world of PR, but most importantly with long-lasting friendships with people from Bulgaria, Colombia, Thailand, Taiwan, Peru, Germany, and Greece. A well-rounded education is not just learning from a book but having that human contact to learn from other people’s experiences.

Now off to a new chapter in my life…………hmmmm what could that be?

What a coincidence that this blog post is about exploring Global Voices because just a couple of weeks ago at work–State Department— I took a course on how the United States could be more engaged with other countries. The one site that the department recommended was “Global Voices” in order to be more aware of what is happening in other countries. With embassies–a US presence– all around the world the United States has realized that it needs to understand the history and cultures of different countries better before imposing any type of policy.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech on “Internet Freedom” and when discussing religion(something that pulls people apart) she said, “But connection technologies like the internet and social networking sites should enhance individuals’ ability to worship as they see fit, come together with people of their own faith, and learn more about the beliefs of others. We must work to advance the freedom of worship online just as we do in other areas of life.”

The State Department is getting there toward the 21st Diplomacy Hillary Clinton is talking about with sites like Global Voices.

For this assignment I decided to look at blogs from Azerbaijan which has a reputation for being a country rich in oil so I was interested in knowing what the people of that country would be blogging about.

One of the blogs was about  Novruz, the Zoroastrian holiday marking the beginning of spring. The four Tuesdays prior to the holiday each have a name: Water (to purify), Fire, Wind, and Earth (new life)….Who knew about that but quite interesting!

The one thing that really caught my attention and that should be out in the mainstream media in order to change the perception of hatred among certain countries was the blog post about the incident of Emin Milli, co-founder of the Alumni Network grassroots youth movement and Adnan Hajizada, a video-blogger and co-founder of the OL! Youth Movement. They were seriously beaten by unidentified persons while dining with a group of other civil society and youth activists in a downtown Baku restaurant. After reporting the incident to police, the two activists were instead detained and have now been moved to a prison facility.

This incident caused Armenians and Azerbaijani youth to come together to protest the imprisonment of Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada in which both are from Azerbaijan.

As some might know there has always been constant conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. This conflict is well documented in the books and in the news so it’s weird to see that the youth came together on that one incident. These blogs from Azerbaijan have opened my eyes that two conflicting countries can find a common ground on something for the need of the greater good.  So if the youth can do it….can the governments do it??

I know I’m like a couple of weeks late responding to the historic passage of healthcare reform and to this NY Times Op-Ed, but then again this country was only a century late bringing healthcare to its people. President Teddy Roosevelt was the one who got the ball running on healthcare and then many presidents after that tried with Bill Clinton being the last one to try.

In reading this Op-Ed I was just disturbed and saddened to discover how much hatred this healthcare bill brought about….Just look at the images and video.

I agree with this Op-Ed that regardless of what party you come from you can’t to sit there and watch certain people hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank, bring guns to health town hall meetings, spit on tourists wanting to visit the Capital, and send death threats to certain members of Congress

So a special note to those people: We’re a long way from universal health care. Over 15 million Americans will still be uncovered — and that means about 15,000 will still lose their lives each year because they will not be able to afford to see a doctor or get an operation. But another 30,000 will live. And as this Op-Ed states this bill’s prototype is the health care legislation Mitt Romney signed into law in Massachusetts.

These people who were so AGAINST this bill should have realized that this bill was a far cry from a government take over, but then again I’m not too sure if their anger was really just about healthcare??

After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, some responsible leaders in both parties spoke out to try to put a lid on the resistance and violence. The arch-segregationist Russell of Georgia, concerned about what might happen in his own backyard, declared flatly that the law is “now on the books,” which is something that needs to happen today as well. Our leaders in the Congress and Senate need to speak out to those who transmit hatred regardless if they’re Republican or Democrat. We really need to stop this if this country is going to move forward.

And on a final and completely separate note: to those who state their concerns about having to pay more taxes don’t worry; if you have a high income, you face higher taxes. Starting in 2013, individuals would pay a higher Medicare payroll tax of 2.35 percent on earnings of more than $200,000 a year and couples earning more than $250,000, up from the current 1.45 percent.

I don’t think any of us yet make $200,000??

Posted by: Adriana | April 4, 2010

Weekly Blog # 8 Wikipedia Still a Trusted Source?

Well from the time my professor asked the question, do I trust Wikipedia my answer has remained the same in that I do trust Wikipedia.

As we discussed in class a third of all edits are made by those that make the 1000 plus edits.The people who make less edits like less than 9 are considered a crowd and the one who makes the 1000 edits are the community. Wikipedia co-exists among a crowd and community. Those who make less edits are the ones who have the biggest presence in the Wikipedia group.

So in essence we are getting about the same information from those who contribute less as to those who contribute most…so there is a balance in the information we are getting. Both sides have a voice…..just like a Democracy.

When it comes to news events it seems to me that Wikipedia is also one source to trust. In class we learned that Wikipedia is known as Systematic journalism.  We discussed that the Moscow Train Bombings and the London Bombings started out as episodic journalism and once more information came out it turned into systematic journalism; all the research was organized in a more systematic way

In reading the news about the Moscow Train Bombings I decided to compare both the Wikipedia entry and the NY Times story on the bombings. First of all there was a lot more details in the Wikipedia entry because it gave more background on the reasonings for the bombings. It stated the history Russia has had with Chechen separatists and also provided a map on where the incidents took place. Anything that you could have thought of about the Moscow Train Bombings was included in that Wikipedia entry as for the NY Times story you just got the bare facts and that’s it.

I just have to give credit to anyone who is able to post all those details about an incident. I just finished taking the tutorial on how to use Wikipedia and using Wikipedia is not as easy as we all might think it is. You actually have to cite your sources and be credible or else your information could be deleted.

So citizen journalism is alive and well. As Dan Gillmor states in his book, “We the Media,” citizen journalism is growing in strength, complexity, and power. It is not to say that we should ignore the newspapers and other media sources, but it’s a wake up call to the newspapers to get more active in engaging the publics in conversations. By engaging them more details will come out and people will be given more of a voice.

So a question I ask to everyone is news today going to turn into news activism and if so is that a good thing?

The question is whether we should trust Wikipedia as a resource…well there is always two sides to a story…the good and the bad.

So first I will lay out what I think are the  positive features to Wikipedia and why I would trust it:

Wikipedia is more popular than the New York Times, CNN, and Yahoo because of its simple to understand content about complicated issues. You can understand it better than what an expert or someone from the academia world would write– who would probably use a lot of jargon.

Secondly, if I for example I’m passionate about “Mediterranean Cuisine,” I would greatly enjoy having the ability to contribute to something that I truly care about without having to pay a penny. “This desire to make a meaningful contribution where we can is part of what drives Wikipedia’s spontaneous division of labor” (Shirky, p. 132). If you are passionate about something it’s because you truly care about it; and know everything there is to know about it which means that you are most likely to be pretty well-informed to write about it. You don’t have to be an expert to write/contribute!!

In a study conducted by Nature to see the accuracy of Wikipedia’s content compared to Britannica’s  discovered that , Wikipedia had 162 such problems, while Britannica had 123. That averages out to 2.92 mistakes per article for Britannica and 3.86 for Wikipedia. Just goes to show you that the average person is not that stupid.

In my master program (MPPR) I feel that I have learned more when working in groups than working alone because I learn by sharing ideas and collaborating in how to implement those ideas. Two brains are better than one. According to Jimmy Wales, “No single company or university, no matter how big, can deliver more information bang-for-buck than a community working together.” I feel that we get more out of collaboration than from one person trying to control everything which usually happens at some companies.

So collaboration and crowdsourcing are great but of course there is a downside.

Is it really about giving every person from every walk of life an opportunity to contribute/write on  Wikipedia or is it only granted to a few?

“Fewer than two percent of Wikipedia users ever contribute, yet that is enough to create profound value for millions of users. On the contrary, most large social experiments are engines for harnessing inequality rather than limiting it” (Shirky, p. 125).

Blogger Aaron Swartz discovered  the following,“I expected to find something like an 80-20 rule: 80% of the work being done by 20% of the users. But it’s actually much, tighter than that: it turns out over 50% of all the edits are done by just .7% of the users.” Even Jimmy Wales says that it’s a very close tight community who dedicates themselves to Wikipedia.

So in reality we are only getting information from a selected few; it’s just the active users who take control and push out the least active ones; the content is not as free-flowing as we all thought it was.

So does Wikipedia need to change its formula in being more trustworthy in allowing the least active users to have more of a role or will allowing so many people to all collaborate at the same time break the system or would it make  it harder to control Wikipedia’s already chaotic model??

Wikipedia’s equality is now stuck way down the long tail where some people are enjoying it. But at least we all have some ability to make some type of contribution to wikipedia….hopefully that will grow!!

All in all I do trust people who are passionate about contributing to something….like anything in life there will always be some bad apples trying to ruin it(putting out wrong information)….but just throw them away and keep going!!!

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