Social Networking in Iraq

April 21, 2009

From nine technology executives are on a U.S. Department of State led trip to Iraq to show Iraqis how to use existing social networking options. The largest hindrance to Iraqis using services such as Twitter and Facebook are that only 5% of homes have internet access. Internet cafes can be quite popular in the cities, so the 5% doesn’t imply that the other 95% of households don’t have any access to the internet, but still it is a very low number. Raanan Bar-Cohen, one of the nine executives, said that optimistic reports show 60% of Iraqi homes could have broadband access in 18-24 months.

Apart from internet cafes, cells phones and SMS usage is quite high.

“There is also a ton of SMS (short message service) usage here, which is encouraging as it may provide an alternative means of interacting with certain services as Iraqis wait for internet broadband (to) develop,” Bar-Cohen wrote.

Twitterers can follow along with the trip by searching “.IraqTech”


The New Bebo

April 14, 2009

Bebo, a social networking site, grew by 50 percent in from February to March this year. This comes with a redesign of the site that was launched at the end of February. Mashable also explains that the growth is in part due to Bebo’s partnership with AIM, the most popular Instant Messaging service in the country.

Court Rules MySpace Content Not Private

April 13, 2009

A California appellate court has ruled that a University of California student has no privacy rights to content wrote on her MySpace account. Student Cynthia Moreno sued a local newspaper for publishing a negative rant she posted on her account. Its appearance in the paper allegedly led to death threats made against her and her family. Read the story here.

Social networking for social revolution

April 9, 2009

From Wired, organizers of a recent violent protest in the former Soviet republic of Moldova used Twitter, Facebook, and LiveJournal, among other sites, to find and recruit people, and organize the protest. The protests were in response to the recent parliamentary election in Moldova. Protesters Tweeted before, during, and after the protest. There’s also some footage on Youtube if anyone’s interested.