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
Blogosphere” 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.”
- 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.