June 19, 2009
Using Social Media to Track Events in Iran
Yesterday, I was watching CNN report on the events surrounding the elections in Iran. They were relying on social media sites, especially Twitter, to get real time information due to the limited coverage permitted by the Iranian government. As you probably know, Iran practices and extreme form of Internet Filtering (see OpenNet Initiative's Filtering Map organized by country).
CNN did not want to reveal their Twitter sources for fear of the authors' safety. That could be legitimate, but I'm not sure. The importance of social media in this particular crisis was underscored when President Obama asked Twitter to delay an upgrade in services scheduled for this week in case it disrupted citizen reports from Iran (see, for example, the Reuters article).
In any case, I did find a posting at Mashable on the subject that was short and to the point. In How To: Track Iran Elections with Twitter and Social Media, Ben Parr gives you tips on how to find those tweets, and has recommended hashtags being used by people tweeting about the Iranian elections. If you don't know how to use hashtags you can look at the Twitter Fan Wiki on using hashtags. Parr also recommends using Monitter which allows you to track tweets using a web based search engine. Good for people not tweeting!
Barr recommends supplementing Twitter with blogs, video (You Tube), and photographs (Flickr). He gives you his recommendations for his favorites and also tells you how to expand your coverage. By the way, I have seen this blog posting repeated almost verbatim at other blogs. I think Parr's is the original. If you have others to add, we would like to know! Or let Mashable know! (VS)
June 19, 2009 | Permalink
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