Tehran, Twitter, and Tiananmen. Despite the surface similarities, this is not Tiananmen in 1989. The proliferation of information technology and the phenomenon of citizen journalism have made it much harder now to turn the lights out. When, in the wake of the disputed vote that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, Iran’s government shut down the Internet, texting, and out-of-country calls, blocked access to social-networking sites, and imposed tight restrictions on foreign journalists, it was making a strong, if inadvertent, commentary on the legitimacy of its claim to popular support. If the people are truly behind you, you don’t need to carry out your business in the dark. — The Daily Beast
Blogging the revolution. About six months ago Crikey selected this animation about youth, blogging and revolution in Iran as our video of the day. Given the rise of micro-blogging service Twitter in the dissemination of information, its use in organised protest and communication in the rebellion that has followed the national elections in Iran this week, we thought it prudent to revisit. They are calling the crisis in Iran the first cyber-war — perhaps the revolution will be blogged?
Clay Shirky on Twitter and Iran. I’m always a little reticent to draw lessons from things still unfolding, but it seems pretty clear that … this is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Chicago demonstrations of 1968 where they chanted “the whole world is watching.” Really, that wasn’t true then. But this time it’s true … and people throughout the world are not only listening but responding. They’re engaging with individual participants, they’re passing on their messages to their friends, and they’re even providing detailed instructions to enable web proxies allowing Internet access that the authorities can’t immediately censor. That kind of participation is really extraordinary. — TED
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Ahmadinejad sucks at Photoshop. The crowd in this pro-Ahmadinejad rally in Iran appears to have been clone-tool enhanced:
Ann Curry defends foreign correspondents, Twitter; Rick Sanchez defends CNN . They were speaking about the “disruptive nature” of Twitter to traditional news gathering, just two days after major news networks came under fire in the Twitterverse for their perceived lack of coverage of the violent protests in Iran. A real-time battle about what it means to be traditional media in a “now media” world unfolded.
“I think journalism is a battle and I feel the scars and I see the blood on my sword on a daily basis for fights for foreign coverage to be more present in our broadcasting.” Ms. Curry said.
“You,” Mr. Sanchez said, addressing the crowd, “and the social media on Twitter have been pushing us at CNN to drive the story about whether this Iran election was legitimate or not. And I have read on Twitter countless reports that it wasn’t. I have checked with our sources on the ground there and not a single one of them have been able to confirm that there is an impropriety.” — The New York Observer
The philosophical significance of Twitter: consciousness outfolding . Now, attention is focused on Twitter’s practical applications in the disputed Iranian election and its unique capacity to harness real-time events. In the larger picture, the most intriguing thing about Twitter is not how it is different from other online communication mechanisms, but how it is the same: one more technological innovation enabling the outfolding of consciousness — the collective turning-outward of human thought. The explosion of online communication/networking tools this decade seems teleological; it is as though human evolution has a clear destination and the vehicles to get there are appearing and being adopted at lightning speed. — Huffington Post
Elle ‘controlling and prickly’, says magazine . Elle Macpherson, aka The Body, has rubbed an Australian business magazine the wrong way. The supermodel is on the cover of this week’s issue of BRW , which features a story about how she created her $120 million business empire. But it seems the 45-year-old’s behaviour was less than model-like at times during her BRW interview. The magazine said Macpherson could be beautifully charming but also “controlling and prickly”, yelling at her staff and only approving certain photos for use. “During her sit down with BRW , Macpherson insisted on scrolling through the images captured by BRW ‘s photographer saying `yes, no, no, yes’ as she checked the screen on the camera,” BRW said in a media release. — The Age
Crikey question: Since when is it appropriate for news organisations to distribute media releases regarding the personality of interview subjects?
Why advertising isn’t that important to YouTube . Google would like YouTube to become profitable — a tough task when it’s providing free bandwidth and video storage for much of the world’s videos, most of which have limited interest to advertisers. But providing all that bandwidth isn’t as expensive and YouTube is far closer to break-even than previously thought, according to IT outsourcing firm RampRate. In a study released today, RampRate estimates that YouTube will lose a mere $174 million in 2009, a far cry from the $471 million loss estimated by Credit Suisse in April. What’s more, YouTube has already paid back part of its cost to Google by making the data the search engine delivers over the internet more efficient. — Advertising Age
Why travel writers rarely tell the truth . News that an American travel writer has launched a website where fellow journalists can finally tell the truth about bad experiences should see plenty of traffic, but I doubt much of it will come from Australia. The reason? Few if any media companies here are prepared to pay for journalists to travel independently, so they are forced to rely on the generosity of tourist boards, wholesalers, cruiseliners and airlines. This leaves them hopelessly compromised – it’s very hard to write too critically about your latest freebie when you know the company who hosted you will read the piece, and possibly advertise alongside it. — Thumbrella
Former HuffPo CEO on departure: “bummer” . On Monday, the Huffington Post announced that it had named a new CEO, longtime board member and venture capitalist Eric Hippeau. Current CEO Betsy Morgan, who joined the online publication in October 2007 from CBSNews.com, would be stepping down and relinquishing her own spot on the HuffPo board, the company reported. When we spoke to HuffPo founder and namesake Arianna Huffington later that day, she told us the move had been in the works for awhile and that the split was amicable. Morgan, on the other hand, told Fortune ‘s Patricia Sellers that “her firing came as a surprise to her.” “Bummer,” Morgan told Sellers. — Media Bistro