Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Brillante Weblog Premio: Hoax Award?

After receiving the (seemingly prestigious :) 'Brillante Weblog Premio 2008' award by two different bloggers, I decided to track it back to creation and source. Like Paula, I discovered that the 'award' could not be traced back immediately, to anyone. And I discovered it is being spread in two separate forms, one of the logo icons is dated 2008, another continues under a 2005 logo. That is always a bad sign of a either misuse or an online game being perpetrated. Since, the Internet is prime for trickery and deceit and since nothing that is placed online can ever be removed (only altered) it becomes pretty obvious that much we view and do online has to be seen as either games or hoaxes.

The propagation of Internet myths and urban legends abound and not all are revealed without a great deal of checking. I decided to do my own research and search backwards for the source of this one. I can only find the original award that was then, apparently distorted.

The current source seems to be of The Brillante Awards for Excellence, a national society of Hispanic MBAs. Thousands of America's Hispanics leaders will be honored at the NSHMBA 2008 Annual Conference and Career Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta Georgia. This is the most prestigious honor granted by the organization, and is given to bright, radiant, and shining leaders whose work and contributions reflect NSHMBA’s mission “to foster Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development in order to improve society. Obviously, none of us wants to mistakenly distract from this wonderful organization or its awards.

Previous connections links to other awards using the word "Brillante" meaning of course...brillant, bright, a diamond, for example. So, previous links connect to previous awards based on brilliance. Brillance means of supreme brightness or quality, so of course it is something we all want to be recognized for ;)

I can only assume that during this process, someone created a weblog based on these nominations and that awarded mutated......or became its own urban legend, much like memes have. Most bloggers mistakenly assumed that a meme is 'all about me' and posts have mutated to simply become that.

The word meme first came into popular use with the publication of Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene in 1976. Dawkins based the word on a shortening of the Greek "mimeme" (something imitated), making it sound similar to "gene". Dawkins used the term to refer to any cultural entity that an observer might consider a replicator.

Internet Awards, like memes, appear to replicate, or be copied, often in a changed or distorted form. Many of the current 'awards' swarming the Internet, are simply games that someone has created a widget for and propagated as a way of seeing how vast their own blogs reach is...often linking the image or widget back to their own blogs so as to boost their own ratings.

As bloggers, we use 'awards' for the same reason. By selecting a random number of bloggers (in this case 7) to 'nominate', we create link backs to our own blogs....which boost our own ratings. Each link back, links once again or 7 x 7 or whatever, again. The more we are mentioned in a link back, the greater our 'influence' and 'importance' for search engines and weblog counters

So, as in the case of 'buyer beware' awards nominees and nominators beware as well. In the case of the 'Brillante Weblog Premio Award'...whether using the 2005 logo or the 2008 logo...and both are currently in use (a major tip off)...use in fun or don't use it at all. It appears to have begun in Europe, was propagated or spread through the Spanish and Italian communities and then into Scandinavia and then over to the Americas.

So, if we are, indeed, linking back and boosting some trickster's ratings every time we post about this subject, then we (meaning myself, as well) have become part of that game and their ratings

And like all good memes, hoaxes, scams and warnings: Please pass this on as a warning!