A Persian Amsterdammer Blogs.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Digital Revolution

If we are serious about political and social change we have to embrace all the technologies available to us. Especially in a country like Iran where the state has a monopoly on education, media and most cultural events in the public sphere. Creative use of new media and technology was instrumental in getting rid of repressive regimes in Indonedia and Serbia (have a look at these interesting but dry articles on the spread of internet and its role in the revolutions of Indonesia and Serbia Serbia ), but even in the west the world is changing fundamentally: in a time that newspapers suffer from poor sales and ad-revenues one important reason for Obama's victory was his supporter's embrace of new media like blogs and Youtube.

One man who understands all this (and more, I'm struggling to catch up with him) is Arash, a Persian blogger in Canada. In his great blog he posts about current events in Iran, and especially things that happen in Iranian cyberspace. For instance, check out his recent post on the creation of the new digital police in Iran: http://kamangir.net/2008/12/18/new-digital-police-to-establish-in-iran/

So there you have it. If there's a new revolution on the way it will present itself in small messages delivered to your computer with hip music and slick animation.

4 comments:

Daikiki said...

"One important reason for Obama's victory was his supporter's embrace of new media like blogs and Youtube"

This isn't entirely true. He, nor his supporters, embraced youtube and blogs. Well, that's not true, obviously, but what I mean to say is that he and his supporters utilized media available to them. If anything, the big story here isn't the rise of blogs, but the fall of newspapers and network television. They now play a legacy role, catering to the people who are too unsophisticated or too uninterested to choose their own information sources. What Obama and his campaign did wasn't revolutionary. It was long overdue.

Sahand Sahebdivani said...

As always thanks again for the insightful remarks. I few things though:

- What revolution has not been long overdue? When something reaches critical mass and is embraced by the mainstream there's ofcourse people (and in this case nerds like you and me) who've paved the road for them. So you're right, Obama's supporters using new media isn't revolutionary, it's rather indicative of a revolution that's been simmering for a longer time. (Especially if you consider how long ago the Serbia and Indonesia example were).

In Iran there's a book circulating written for the Basij (the islamic militia who beat up people in the streets) to start blogging, in the book it specifically mentions how important this medium is in the country as Persian at the moment is the 4th language of blogs in the world while the government tries to censor the internet. The book urges the Basij to start blogging.

How I see the position of newspapers is a discussion we should get into another time.

xtravaned said...

good post.. USA = WAR

Kamangir said...

Thank you Sahand! Chakerim baba! :)