@mousavi1388 – Iran, Twitter and the Disintermediation of News
In today’s New York Times, a story by Brad Stone and Noam Cohen, “Social Networking Spreads Iranian Defiance Online,” almost makes up for all the idiotic tweets and Facebook updates you’ve had to endure (“Shoes feeling a little tight, need to trim toenails before bed”) while trying to figure out what to do with social networking. Maybe social networking is not about sharing the stultifying details of your life. Maybe it’s not a new way to sell stuff. Maybe it’s about creating momentum for social change. Not only do Stone and Cohen show how people in Iran are using digital tools to coordinate their protests, they also make it possible for you to monitor what’s going on in real time:
A couple of Twitter feeds have become virtual media offices for the supporters of the leading opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi. One feed, mousavi1388 (1388 is the year in the Persian calendar), is filled with news of protests and exhortations to keep up the fight, in Persian and in English. It has more than 7,000 followers.
Mr. Moussavi’s fan group on Facebook has swelled to over 50,000 members, a significant increase since election day.
This is more than social networking. This is the disintermediation of news. No reporter or state filter of information stands between events and the public. It’s a powerful concept, and one that will be extraordinarily difficult for the marketers of the world to monetize. I am not convinced that is a bad thing.