Tag Archives: social media

The 2009 Iranian Twitter Revolution

Many times in the past, I’ve heard derisive comments once the words “Twitter” or “tweet” enter casual conversation.

‘It’s a phase,’ someone amongst the group would say with an accompanying snort. ‘It holds no credible value.’

A simpler comment is often ‘it’s just plain stupid.’ Followed by several nods of agreement.

But now citizens of Iran are using the apparently unserious and “stupid” online social networking site Twitter as means to communicate their green revolution to both themselves and the outside world. No – it’s not green in the environmental sense, but instead political – touting green in online avatars, T-shirts and banners in support of their Iranian presidential candidate, Hussein Mousavi.

It’s a revolution, though not quite to the scale of 30 years ago when the Islamic Revolution shook Iran. But a revolution, nonetheless. And social networking site Twitter is caught in its centre.

Twitter Makes Way for the Latest Twitter Movement

Even the developers and insofar as the U.S. State Department seem to acknowledge this new rush to the Twitter engine. According to the BBC, Twitter delayed rountine maintenance in order to keep the Iranian flow of protest information uninterrupted.

In the same article, U.S. State Department reportly contacted Twitter, stating ‘we highlighted to them that this was an important form of communication.’ Twitter co-founder Biz Stone stressed that the U.S. State Department did not ultimately make the decision.

Getting the Word Out

Television news networks such as the BBC have received video from green Iranian protesters, who are otherwise cut off from the rest of the world due to a government clampdown of media. For instance, this footage was sent by mobile to BBC Persian TV. It depicts pro-Ahmadinejad militia firing on Mousavi supporters peacefully protesting in the streets.

Social media is a fascinating thing. Its future steps are hard to predict. Now Twitter is part of a revolution that it likely never dreamed to play an integral part.


Further reading…

Click here to read a Guardian timeline of Iranian unrest since the election (updated automatically on every minute).

Click here to read an LA Times article on the twits and tweets of the Iran presidential election protests.

Click here to view more videos and photos sent from Iranian protesters to the BBC.

Click here to view IranElection, its tweets and its followers on Twitter.

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What Media “Magic Bullet?”

Recently, the phrase “magic bullet” pops up when journalists discuss the industry’s next business plan.

The story has been told again and again: print is not the ad-selling, cost-efficient, information-spreading medium it used to be, but online distribution does not fill in the money gap. In short, news consumers have grown used to information being free, but news providers can’t provide this free service and still put bread on the family table.

So perhaps it’s natural that the phrase “magic bullet” has come up. This refers to a quick cure that ends all ills without a catch.

Truth be told, a magical cure-all for anything would be wonderful – but as reality goes, that is rarely the case. Therefore, in a plane of existence where journeys are complex and take many loops and nauseating turns before the finish line, let’s look and see at some of the progress journalism is currently making.

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Amateur Fun: What is Trendy?

Four days ago, I linked a study on major 2009 trends for online journalism. But before diving too far into the study, I wanted to do my own homework.

I could even develop a hypothesis, test it as if I were in a virtual lab and create my own theories based on my pseudo-facts, I thought to myself.

My fun project led me to an even more fun layman tool, Google Trends.

The procedure was very simple:

  1. Find the top social media and news media contenders.
  2. Pluck out the winners and pit them against each other, social media versus news media.

Hypothesis: social media will defeat top news media by a substantial margin.

But the real question in this fun exercise is, which social medium will it be?

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