We’re all hearing a lot about how Twitter and YouTube are playing a role in Iran, and in the future of the Middle East. Let’s get a good look at the numbers that back it up so far.
According to social entrepreneurship blogger Nathaniel Whitmore:
People wrote 2.2 million blog posts about Iran in the past week.
YouTubers uploaded 3,000 first-person videos in that same time period.
Up to 100,000 messages about Iran are being posted per hour on Twitter.
This is an incredible amount of coverage. It causes me to wonder what these numbers may look like in the future with other movements and revolutions in the world. Some say Twitter is just in its infancy stages. What about Facebook? The Palo Alto company is essentially copying the real-time stream found in Twitter. Also, Facebook has many times as many users as Twitter. Will Facebook become the dominate form of social media at the vanguard of these revolutions?
By the way, will large numbers of mini revolutions caused or propelled by this type of communication keep springing up all over our little planet? Will this be the way that the 75% of Americans who want a single payer health care system actually get it in the future? Will we vote someday on Twitter or Facebook?
One Bloody Tweatstream
Oddly enough, I was able to really delve into the Iranian situation for the first time this week, with the help of just one twitter stream.
In my Skype community, one of my friends dropped a link into a conversation:
“Hi all. Watching this http://twitter.com/darafsh About to cry. Think he’s for real?”
Whether or not he or she is real is not something I am 100 percent sure of. However, there is no doubt that, as a clearing house for images, videos and articles on the Iranian developments, he or she is providing a treasure trove of information for the world.
This is where I found a now famous photograph of a dead woman whose face is covered in blood. This is where I saw videos and read first hand accounts of the ebb and flow of actual street demonstrations.
One thing’s for sure in our Twitter future.
We cannot be sure exactly sure if Iran’s government will acknowledge the desires of its people. It’s also true that we don’t know for sure yet what affect Twitter, Youtube or Facebook might have on the future of humanity. One thing seems clear though – the revolutions are being broadcast.
This story first went live on jboitnott.com in June 2009.