I received the following email from a friend yesterday:
Wanted to let you know as much I’ve found twitter useful, this weekend with all that’s gone on in Iran it’s really shined. Still unsure about how you eventually monetize it but clearly an extremely useful and unique value proposition. As much as there is a lot of noise to screen out, Twitter continually pointed to new and interesting data sources that no one else had. The news that flowed out of Twitter was better than the Times, Drudge, CNN, etc.
This is not a unique perspective, of course. As per my post yesterday, Twitter is enabling the type of open, global communication that can start revolutions and topple regimes.
This for tweets coming from within 15 miles of Tehran is all you need to understand the power of the platform. Even Ahmadinejad can’t hide.
The bottoms-up, user-revolution that is the Internet is the best enabler of democracy we have. And as it turns out, Twitter and its community of users may be its most powerful tool.
Woody Allen, Annie Hall, 1977
Whenever Woody releases a new film, my friends and I inevitably bandy about some of his vintage quotes. This is one of my particular favorites.
I was fortunate enough to see Whatever Works at the Tribeca Film Festival premier. While it’s not his best work, it’s vintage Woody – smart, obsessive, neurotic and at times gut-wrenchingly funny. I wouldn’t miss it.
Tom Friedman, NYTimes - Winds of Change?, 6/14/09
On this, Friedman is dead on. I’ve long believed that mass distribution of technology, specifically the open broadband Internet, is the key to helping alleviate the geopolitical divisions that so plague us today.
In the Muslim world especially, which is controlled by limiting access to information, the Internet is the antidote.
When people of any race, color or creed have unfettered access to information and communication tools, all is possible. Forgive me while I channel here for a moment, but I’ve often joked that if you give the third-world broadband plus unlimited porn, the walls will quickly come down.
The Internet democratizes access and information, and it does so internally and externally. Case in point: the coverage of Iran’s election. The and the are exposing internal divisions in Iran to the world that would otherwise never see the light of day.
For my money, I’d wire the whole third-world before I ever contemplated bombing any of it.