Twitter Effect

This past weekend there was an election in Iran.  Now we won’t get into history about how the U.S. almost squashed the past democracy, but we will get into how Iran almost got away with squashing its own.  For the two people out there who haven’t been reading the news, it seems that the outrageously unpopular president won in a landslide and it all seemed rather fishy.  Well, people took to the streets.  The government kicked out foreign reporters — or at least didn’t let them send information back — and shut down phone and internet service.  Yet one thing remained: Twitter.  Somehow, someway, these ingenious folks turned to Internet hackers to get the word out, organize, and protest.  Now I won’t get into how it all is playing out, there are many other more experienced persons that can easily be read all over the blogosphere, but I wanted to make mention of just how cool it all is.

Of course the Internet’s purpose is communication.  There are ways to get your point of view out there, regardless of how sane or insane it may be.  Loads of information is at our fingertips, both made up and fully factual.  It is the people who keep it all organized and presentable that should be getting more pats on the back.  Sure anyone can sign up for a url on GoDaddy and get themselves set up with a blog or some content management software, but somewhere in the past someone had to write up that software to make it easy for just anyone to do.  That is what programmers do.  We build seriously complex software to make everyone else’s job easier.  Now granted, my programming talents probably shouldn’t be compared to say someone who has to worry about the actual bits and bytes and memory allocation, but we do have to worry about all kinds of crazy setups out there.  To me, it’s pretty cool being a part of a revolution.