I write about digital strategies and communications — and their intersection with culture, politics, journalism and social activism.

Entries in Facebook (16)


The Revolution Will be Tweeted

The evidence continues to stack up that the social web can be the midwife of political change.

The dissident blogger Slim Amamou is now tweeting from inside the Tunisian cabinet. Having played a major role in the 'revolution' itself, he is using Twitter to post comments on progress to word greater freedom in the country and urging continued vigilance by Tunisians.

Blogger Assaad Thebian reports in EMAJ Magazine ("an intercultural magazine, made by a network of young journalists from the Middle East, North Africa and the EU") that:

In May 2010, a huge campaign called “Free From 404” (Internet language for file not found) was carried out in Tunisia. Twitter hashtags, Facebook profile pictures, articles and videos were created to demonstrate the activists’ refusal of censorship . . .

Later in the same post:

Activists have also been uploading videos of demonstrations to YouTube using the hashtag #sidibouzid (the province where the demonstrations first began last month). Facebook pages such as: “Tunisian News Agency” were the main sources of minute by minute news with live coverage by photos and videos, with thousands joining.

And here is what Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, had to say today about Facebook's role both in preventing Tunisian hackers (from Ammar, the nickname given to the secret police censoring the country's Internet) and serving as staging ground for Tunisian opposition:

There has been a lot of debate about whether Twitter helped unleash the massive changes that led Ben Ali to leave office on January 14, but Facebook appears to have played a more important role in spreading dissent. 

'I think Facebook played a bigger role in this case,' said Jillian York of the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, who has been tracking the Tunisian situation closely. 'There are a lot more Facebook users than Twitter users. Facebook allows for strong ties in a way that Twitter doesn't. You're not just conversing.'

I will keep a record on this blog of these examples of successful social web activism given the rush among some public intellectuals to dismiss online advocacy with the same condescension they once discarded the social web as a "waste of time".


Blogging is Dead: Long Live Blogging

I was going to post my own comments on the false notion that blogging is dead based on this piece from a week or so ago at Mashable, as have dozens of others.

But Kimberly Turner writing at The Regator Blog (that's not her in the pic) has taken up the cause with more effect than I could. Here is the Coles Notes version of her well-argued comeback(my emphasis):

"The Mashable article’s (current) headline states: “Everyone Uses E-mail, But Blogging Is On the Decline.” According the study Schroeder based the post on, this is false. As the handy-dandy chart below (from the same Pew study) shows, blogging is on the decline in Millennials (18-33) and G.I. Generation (74+) but on the increase in all other age groups with an overall increase from 11 percent of internet users in December 2008 to 14 percent in May 2010."

"The Mashable post turns its nose up at blogging but makes no mention of stats from the same report indicating that even after blogging’s decline with teens, there are still more teen bloggers than tweeters."

"The blogosphere has become the realm for things that cannot be expressed in 140 characters, a place where significant conversations, debates, and information exchange can occur. This shift means the blogging is maturing and evolving—not dying."

"The evolution of blogs has made the very definition of a blog ambiguous. Millions access blogs such as Mashable, The Huffington Post, TMZ, Gawker, and Boing Boing every month. Because the line between blogs and other websites has blurred with blogs’ maturation, visitors may or may not consider themselves to be blog readers…even when they are."

I guess I'll keep at it.