This week I've been completely startled by the rapid rise of Twitter in Iran. In some moments, it appears as if the very nature of journalism is shifting before our eyes.
Suddenly this strange little tool, a simple idea that no one had heard of a year or two ago, is helping people in a locked down state communicate words and images instantaneously to everyone else (including news agencies) around the globe. And it's beautiful.
The police in Iran are trying to crack down and take cameras and phones away from people and threaten them for speaking out and it's TOTALLY BACKFIRING.
Something historical is happening in Iran, and communication has forever changed. What are the implications of this?
Three months ago I would meet with authors who asked me with a laugh "What's the deal with Twitter?" Three weeks ago, authors have begun to tell me that they have started to Twittering. Now this free service with no revenue model is being asked by the State Department to stay online and delay updates so that the Iranian people can communicate with the outside world.
Amazing times. So how important is Twitter, this tool that people laughed at only months ago?