“I’m not away from my computer”

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Since the recent disputed Iranian election, the online world has emerged –with renewed vigor– as the outlet of informative discourse.  Though YouTube videos are ubiquitous and more widely cited than Al Jazeera across the Middle East, Facebook has more users than all but a few countries have people, methods of communication such as Twitter remained fringe.  Many doubted the extent to which 140 character “Tweets” could substantively impact discourse; today Iran is proving that wrong.  Though the conversational value of Twitter remains dubious, it provides a newfound ability to track rapidly changing information on the ground through its use of hashtag (#) attribution. More than the AOL, Gchat, or Facebook status update evolution, Twitter has enabled informative directional broadcasting, signaling, and information sharing.  What started as “I’m away from my computer,” has become a novel form of laconic expression, and a means to re-tweet (RT) vital information to personal networks of followers.

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