17 June 2009

Social Media, Iran, and You

It's an amazing time to be paying attention to social media. Over the last three days, Twitter has been one of the only places where accounts of the protests are coming in. The #iran and #iranelection have been blowing the mainstream media out of the water! People, USERS, are sharing content and building community at an unprecedented rate. All the terms we read about (social media, user generated content, read write web) are typified by this moment.

I can hardly peel my eyes away.

Here are a few articles and blog posts I've been putting into de.licio.us about it:
*The Inquisitor's piece is excellent in giving some context to how social media is over throwing some traditional media outlets.
*Excellent coverage from the New York Times on social media's role. To my mind, they are setting themselves apart with an article like this.
* The Huffington Post is doing great work on their blog. The Post at 2:42 am on 6/17/09 draws an excellent comparison to the Chinese's efforts to quell protest around Tiananmen. My only complaint here is that it is past tense. My excellent friend and mentor, Rob Williams, just returned from three weeks in China during which he and his team of mobile journalists were unable to Tweet, blog, or upload content as the Chinese "celebrated" the anniversary of Tiananmen. Their blog, China Mojo, is well worth reading for a variety of reasons. Check it out.
*Mashable has done an excellent job explaining what's happening on the social media scene and inciting action:
Social media comes fast, and because of that, the information can be overwhelming. Use filters and tools to help you understand what’s happening in real-time. If you’re looking for background on the situation, get yourself up-to-speed using Wikipedia (Iranian presidential elections 2009 and 2009 Iranian election protests are being constantly updated).
Finally, if you want to help bring awareness to the situation, then share! Share the videos you find via Twitter, blog about the situation, email your friends: everybody can play a part in this new media ecosystem.

So share, post, Tweet. This is an exciting moment for social media and a tipping point for the people of Iran.

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