I've never really taken Twitter seriously. I suspect that's largely due to me not being the target audience. It was aimed at younger, mobile people. And, sadly, I'm neither of those. I like to consider myself reasonably technologically sophisticated, but I knew signing up for a twitter account would be useless. I can barely managed to keep my Facebook status updated on a regular basis. Finding 140 pithy characters several times a day wasn't going to happen.
Doesn't mean I don't enjoy parts of it. I have a couple of authors like Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis who I follow on Twitter. But I honestly thought, especially when it exploded in popularity earlier this year, that it was going to be one of those fads that was going to curl up and die within the next two years. Myspace was hot shit a few years ago. Now, it's dying a low death.
However, it's been fascinating watching Twitter try to overthrow a country.
I'm sure there are any number of sites talking about what's happening in Iran. Lord knows it can be overwhelming. I've been using Andrew Sullivan's blog, which has been doing an excellent job of processing all the twitter feeds, emails and other information coming out of Iran. But essentially people are coordinating and passing word about what's happening via Twitter.
Even beyond Twitter, the whole cyber-warefare aspect of this "revolution" is interesting. Denial of Service attacks are being launched on websites both inside and outside of Iran. The government has been trying to shut down internet and cellular connections to try and disrupt things. People are finding away around. One side adapts; the other side counters. It's fascinating to watch.
Also fascinating, although in a much more depressing sense, is how badly CNN is being crucified during all of this. Once upon a time, CNN was the leader when it came to this kind of coverage. If they really were as silent as many are claiming when things blew up, well, that's pretty unforgivable.
I wonder how all of this is going to play out? I hope for the best in Iran, but fear the worst. The protesters have numbers and technology. The opposition has guns and no shame. That's not something that normally works out for the protesters, if Tienanmen Square (20 years ago this month) is any indication. I pray I'm wrong, but I suspect I'm not.
But I think the fall-out is going to go well beyond Iran. It's going to be interesting to see how people view new technologies like Twitter, the usefulness of mainstream media, politics and a whole host of things after all of this settles down.
1. Remember you're a girl - Kaiser Chiefs
2. Mother - Tori Amos
3. Be right - Spirit of the West
4. Blossom - Ryan Adams
5. Red right hand - Nick Cage and the Bad Seeds*