Category Archives: news

Iran uses Twitter to shout out

Today on FriendFeed I read Howard Rheingold’s message:

Smartmobbery moves to the core of world events more and more frequently

and this link to Smartmobs, a Website and Weblog about Topics and Issues discussed in the book Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold.  Here you can read Twitter: Following the Aftermath of the Iranian Election

Twitter appears to be one of the most reliable channels to receive a first-person account of what is happening in the aftermath of the 2009 Iranian “election”.  Tor Henning Ueland is actively compiling a a list of Iranians using Twitter.  Also, you can follow the realtime results for the #iranelection here.

The power of microblogging is obvious here. Twitter has moved to a crucial role in communicating news when other forms of communication, such as official news, mobile phones, sms chat, and websites are no longer functioning. Twitterer @Persiankiwi is being followed by many, many people – 4,916 when I last checked. These are the sorts of things he has tweeted:

websites being shut down fast. having trouble accessing tweeters. #Iranelection20 minutes ago from web

students arrested last night at tehran uni: Mansoor Mousavi, Vahid Sarfi, Amir Afzali, Kazem Rahimi. #Iranelection23 minutes ago from web

advice to people joing march. tavel toether with friends. do not travel alone. keep track of friends. #Iranelection26 minutes ago from web

 I’ve selected other tweets which give current updates on the situation in Iran, as well as the urgency of the people.

nR: RT @persiankiwi My twitter was hacked. am back in again. they are shutting down all internet services. #Iranelection
 
@NorwAnon They insist to take exam to show e.th is normal. No news about our exams but if I’ll tweet it!about 3 hours ago from Twitstat Mobile

It’s 4th day that SMS service is down. #IranElectionabout 3 hours ago from mobile web

I’m calling my friends to get some fresh news but they don’t answerabout 3 hours ago from mobile web

I have an exam @ 14 (At national time). I’m a little worried, ppl are going to street again tomorrow morning and afternoon!about 10 hours ago from Twitstat Mobile

@mahdi: I use this to update my twitter account http://www.twit2d.comabout 13 hours ago from Twitstat Mobile

RT @mahdi @keyvan: Oh oh! Hearing that they have brought tanks to cities!about 13 hours ago from Twitstat Mobile

@_Sober : Rasht, 3 minibus security guards on Gaz square surrounding the square.about 15 hours ago from Twitstat Mobile

RT @StopAhmadi It’s getting rough in Rasht tonight. Armed forces waiting for ppl to make their move to beat them #IranElectionabout 15 hours ago from Twitstat Mobile

RT @HatefRad They arrested Guilan university students and took them to an unknown place! #IranElectionabout 16 hours ago from Twitstat Mobile

 I can’t find my friends on streets.about 17 hours ago from mobile web

 They attacked protestors students in Guilan university. Blood and violence here… #IranElectionabout 17 hours ago from mobile web

Police arrested 100+ protestors in Rasht. #IranElectionabout 18 hours ago from mobile web

It’s third day they disabled SMS service #IranElectionabout 18 hours ago from mobile web

Mousavi’s meeting with the Supreme Leader http://bit.ly/si7rq (via… http://ff.im/3ZxBNless than 5 seconds ago from FriendFeed

RT @reuterswire Ahmadinejad due in Russia on first trip since vote: YEKATERINBURG, Russia (Reuters). http://tinyurl.com/mt7bpkless than a minute ago from web

RT: @alirezasha: lost in lots of rumors and lies in news/چرا نمیشه به اخبار اعتماد کرد؟about 1 hour ago from TwitterFox

Twitter Users Put CNN to Shame on Iran Riot Coverage #iranelectionabout 1 hour ago from TwitterFox

RT: @Change_for_Iran: We’re trying to stop Masood from going outside! there is no way they will listen to us right now. #iranelectionabout 9 hours ago from TwitterFox

@Change_for_Iran what can we do? where are you? #iranelectionabout 9 hours ago from TwitterFox

RT: @Change_for_Iran:typing as fastest as I can in bth English&Farsi,Still we need outside help,I really don’t want to be captured by Ansarabout 9 hours ago from TwitterFox

@flashpolitique we are moving either toward a north korean style dictatorship or a more open and democratic societyabout 9 hours ago from TwitterFox in reply to flashpolitique

URGENT GET THIS OUT TO IRANIANS: ghalamnews confirms mousavi & karroubi WILL BE AT MARCH IT IS ON 100% AS OF NOW #iranelection2 minutes ago from web

RT @persiankiwi please tell all – march is NOT CANCELLED today. Mousavi is in danger of being killed. #Iranelectionabout 1 hour ago from web

Many roads are blocked in Tehran right now, it is like martial law out there right now. Government is panicking #iranelectionabout 1 hour ago from web

RT @persiankiwi I am online for few minutes. total communication blackout here. gov panicking. very dangerous. #Iranelectionabout 1 hour ago from web

intrepidteacher No matter what happens nothing will be the same in Iran again. I have been waiting for this my whole life. #iranelection

Irannews

Many pictures have been posted. Here are a couple:

http://twitpic.com/7fmr0 

 http://twitpic.com/7fmo8

Here are more videos and pictures of demonstrations in Iran 

http://tehranlive.org/

I’m following developments on Twitter about the situation in Iran with interest – regular updates and personal information from people who are in the thick of these riots make this kind of news more dynamic than news from a traditional source. This is the new journalism.

This is very disturbing. I could read the updates all night, but I’m going to stop. Here is the last tweet I’ve read:

RT @drewb : #Iranelection web blocks via @IranPishi : “cant update topics on twitter anymore.cant open any webpage. hope you can see this.
You would have to be shortsighted to have read these developments and not recognised the role Twitter has played in new communication possibilities.

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Teacher’s guide to Twitter

Still in Twitter mode, I’d like to share the teacher’s guide to Twitter by Kate Klingensmith on her blog Once a teacher.

Kate’s post answers those who question whether Twitter is worth the effort – and perhaps all of us have been there. I was certainly there not long ago, and am still expanding my Twitterverse.

Most people start off in a rocky relationship with Twitter.  It doesn’t seem to be as easy or as useful as everyone has said, it takes awhile before you find your niche, and there is an overwhelming amount of information to deal with.  But, just hang on – it’ll be worth it!!! 

Kate links to Mark Marshall’s post ‘Twitter: what is it , and why would I use it?’  Mark explores how to get started, why you would want to share stuff with strangers, and how to get followers in order to make  Twitter a meaningful experience. After all, there’s nothing sadder than a Twitter account with only a handful of followers.

Kate also posts useful information, such as how to manage your life on Twitter, how to control all that information, and favourite Twitter-related tools, and Twitter links.

Finding people to follow is initially problematic. Kate helps out by sharing directories of educators and professionals on Twitter, or suggesting that people use the Twitter Grader keyboard search, or Twitterholic.

I found Kate’s advice about keeping up with the everflowing or even overflowing Twitterstream very helpful (since at times it’s like trying to keep up with the treadmill without falling over

You’re standing on the bank, enjoying the stream as it passes, but you can’t worry about enjoyoing every drop of water that’s there.  Don’t worry about the tweets you missed – I promise that there are always, currently, very interesting things to read.  But – it is nice to catch up sometimes by browsing old tweets on peoples’ profile pages.

Also useful are the links to shorten urls, such as tinyurl  and fun symbols you can use in your tweets. It’s all part of the Twitter grammar and vocabulary.

My favourite section of Kate’s post, however, is the one that links to her favourite Twitter-related tools. Tweetdeck is a more attractive and organised way of receiving tweets; Retweetlist tells you who’s hot on Twitter; and my favourite for today – Twistori, where you can search tweets that start with ‘I love; hate; think; believe; feel; wish.

I wish that I could twitter about something other than food today, but I’m so hungry now;

I love the way the brain cell finally gets up when the body has already begun the day

I hate chasing the clock

Okay, that’s enough reblogging. Here’s where I discovered this fantastic post – on Top 100 Edu Tweeters, which has been revised recently, I’m sure.

Thanks to @Elizabeth Koh for the Top 100 link.

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Earthquake in Melbourne: Twitter beats breaking news

Sitting on the couch earlier this evening, I felt a strange sensation of moving with the couch, as the bookshelf behind me creaked. Melbourne had experienced a light earthquake. Did it happen or did I imagine it? After a while I tweeted it in the form of a question, hoping to ascertain whether it really happened or not. Sure enough, Twitter exploded with tweets registering similar experiences.

Meanwhile, the TV was on, but no news about an earthquake. Look at ABC news online – nothing. Channel 7 Breaking News remained unbroken – just a repeat of the stories that had been broadcast several times already this evening.

Gradually, traditional news providers came on board. Channel 7 finally acknowledged the quake at 10.27 pm. Very slow, considering John Connell had already completed a post about the Melbourne quake from Scotland.

Here it is, and he has an image of the first 18 twitterers – I’m there on the right. I would have been quicker but my laptop was doing its usual slow-loading.

 

As Craig has pointed out in a comment below, Breaking Tweets (World News Twitter style)  reported 800 tweets before media jumped in.

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The world is talking; are you listening?

globalvoices

Global Voices aggregates, curates, and amplifies the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore

At the moment the special coverage reports on Gaza strip bombings, Thailand protests 2008, Google street view arriving in Japan, and more.

I’m always looking to expand the often selective media coverage on mainstream news services.

A map at the top right of the screen changes its focus on different countries; you can click on the country to reveal how many news articles and links are available for the current day. Today in Kazakhstan there are 3 articles and 11 links available.

There are offshoots of this website including Rising Voices which

aims to extend the benefits and reach of citizen media by connecting online media activists around the world and supporting their best ideas.

This section includes project updates, Delicious links, videos and flickr photos;

Global Voices: Advocacy – Defending free speech online;

Voices without votes –

Voices without Votes opens a window on what non-Americans are saying in blogs and citizen media about US foreign policy and the 2008 presidential elections

 This site is easy to navigate with a search option or browsing option within countries, topics and authors.

I think this would be a valuable teaching resource. Worth noting is the Creative  Commons Attribution 2.5 License with ‘some rights reserved’ at the bottom of the page.

Please let me know what you think, and how you can envisage using this resource in the classroom.

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Do you turn to Twitter when you’ve escaped death?

planecrash-22-december-2008-009

Photo from The Guardian UK

Interesting to read this article in The Guardian news blog.

Plane crash survivor texts Twitter updates

What’s the first thing you’d do after narrowly avoiding disaster

The first thing Mike Wilson did after surviving the Continental Airlines 737 crash when his plane slid off the runway in Denver was use his mobile phone to update his Twitter community.

A dedicated microblogger or …? Whatever he is, he has now made history as the first person to tweet a plane crash directly after an accident. Twitter might be the up and coming way to communicate after trauma. I think psychologists may eventually decide that sharing directly after a traumatic experience decreases shock or at least somehow alleviates stress. What do you think?

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Newsmap – attractive news

newsmap

What is Newsmap?

Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap’s objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe.
Newsmap does not pretend to replace the googlenews aggregator. Its objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media. It is not thought to display an unbiased view of the news; on the contrary, it is thought to ironically accentuate the bias of it.

So, in a way, Newsmap is an interpretation of the news, allowing patterns and biases to be visualised.

I think this needs to be viewed over time to get a feel for it. Meanwhile, it stands out as being a very attractive way to get world news.

Has anyone explored Newsmap? What are your thoughts?

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