Monday, June 15, 2009

Now we're talking!

I’ve been watching events unfold in Iran through twitter for the past two days and have been marveling at the experience. I’m reading reports from the street, seeing photographs and videos right after they’re being taken, hearing how the people closest to the situation are thinking and feeling about what’s going on, and also getting a look at how these events are affecting others. A mosaic of thoughts, opinions, images, sounds.

And I’m blown away by the role technology is playing. Each time the Iranian gov’t shuts down one avenue for communication, another pops up. They can’t stamp it out. They can’t completely silence the voices or stop the flow of information.

And just now, this tweet: @sarahjsmith I CANNOT wait for next semester to start so we can discuss the #Iranelection in my Middle Eastern Politics class...!!!!!

Her tweet strikes me for a number of reasons, but primary among them is the fact that there is no question in her mind that #iranelection will be discussed, and there is no question that the discussion will be fruitful. And she’s EXCITED just at the prospect of engaging in that discussion!

What’s happening on Twitter is, to me, more profound then what’s happened with other social networking tools so far. This is immediate. It’s accessible. It’s all in one spot. It’s entirely democratic. It can’t be stopped until all power sources in Iran and anywhere near Iran are completely turned off. How likely is that?

The times they are a changin’

edited to add link to a post in The Atlantic about how to sift through all the noise coming through in the various threads about Iran. Quite useful...