Berkman Center, Morningside Analytics Map Persian Blogosphere

As someone obsessed with data, meeting John Kelly from the new stats and mapping enterprise Morningside Analytics was one of the high points of Re:Public last month. Now The Berkman Center for Internet &
Society’s Internet & Democracy project has just released a major study
on “Mapping Iran’s Online Public: Politics and Culture in the Persian
” that is based on Morningside’s data and created with them,

One sound bite: “In
contrast to the conventional wisdom that Iranian bloggers are mainly
young democrats critical of the regime, we found a wide range of opinions representing religious
conservative points of view as well as secular and reform-minded ones,
and topics ranging from politics and human rights to poetry, religion
and pop culture.”

Quick stats:

  • The Persian blogosphere has  approximately 60,000 routinely updated blogs.
  • The Iranian blogosphere is dominated by four major network formations
    with identifiable sub-clusters: 1) Secular/Reformist, 2)
    Conservative/Religious, 3) Persian Poetry and Literature, and 4) Mixed
  • Anonymous blogging is more common in the Conservative/Religious network formation than in the Secular/Reformist one.
  • State blocking of blogs is less pervasive than expected, though
    clearly more common in the Secular/Reformist network formation.
  • 40% of the blogs are by women; a huge number are about poetry (!)

Going to dig in and learn more, can’t wait to see the stats on Russia, Europe, the US.