Social Networks are reaching critical mass, the latest evidence can be seen with the huge impact that sites like twitter (virtually unknown just a few months ago… and still misunderstood by most), YouTube and Facebook are having on global opinion.
I started paying attention when Iran-related tweets started appearing on the trending topics section of twitter. People started getting fired up because mainstream media was not giving the story as much coverage as it deserved.
The networks reacted. It does not surprise me that most networks are now covering the story 24/7. Frankly, I am saturated… but quite happy.
- I am happy that people care
- Happy that so many Americans care
- Happy that the media is covering what a large group of people consider to be relevant (versus their own agenda, for a change)
Which brings me to Venezuela and Chavez
Chavez has been successful in controlling the message. He was able to shut down the RCTV station 2 years ago without ruffling too many international feathers. I know, because I was getting my news updates on the subject via Venezuelan news papers, bloggers and a few glimpses of Globovision. Virtually nothing on US media.
Globovision is the last standing TV network that openly criticizes Chavez and his regime. Globovision’s days are numbered.
Watching these events unfold is certainly interesting. I hope that the People of Iran get treated fairly. I feel that their chances are better thanks in part to:
- The clumsy and oppressive hand of their rulers
- The awesome way in which technology has meshed with social networks (cellphones + cameras + the social web)
- The elections in Iraq and Afghanistan
A successful Iran can be the tipping point for Venezuela and other countries in desperate need of change.