Monday, February 21, 2011

No. 0975 The Social Network - the Real Deal

The Original form of Social Networking

Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey was recently asked in an interview about the role of social media in the Egyptian revolution. His response: they shut the internet, and the people only grew stronger. Egyptians are all natural social networkers, both online and off. Just go to any cafe, look along the streets. 

I particularly loved the next bit he said: Being an Egyptian is basically like being a college student - until you are 60. ;-)  (Indeed, living in Egypt, is similar to living in many other mediterranean countries in this respect: strong coffee; great cafes; and a "relaxed" version of deadlines and time.)

When the government cut the Internet in Egypt, it only fueled the word of mouth even more. It just goes to show: You can take the internet out of the social networking, but you cannot take the social networking out of Egypt - it is at its very core.

In view of this, it should really not be so surprising that the Egyptian and Arab youth have mobilized so well through social media. Already a naturally gregarious people, politically oppressed with total clampdown on freedom of speech, it is natural the Internet came to be a vehicle for conveying their grievances and for sparking their mobility. 

Yet, I expect this is just the beginning, and in the near future we will see even more innovation through social media emerging from this region.

This is the video interview with Sandmonkey: 

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