وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

SCI of Relief

Congrats, cybernauts.

According to Twitter headquarters, the #iranelection was the number one topic on the site for 2009, beating out #MichaelJackson, #SwineFlu, and #GoogleWave for that top spot. I would've been perfectly content to just have beaten out #Adam Lambert -- man that guy is annoying.

What's clear is that this wasn't some fad. I mean the #iranelection, not Twitter (jury is still out on the latter). So to have landed ahead of all that tabloid fluff and sorry excuse for entertainment stories is a victory for humanity, frankly.

During the height of the protests over the summer, I didn't get around to mentioning how this New Media phenomenon is actually nothing new for the diaspora community.

It all really started 1992. I spent a summer at my cousin's college campus, and got a glimpse of his computer lab. He introduced me to this thing called Netscape Navigator. Oh the world at your fingertips. (And all that porn.) A year later I forced my disbelieving baba ("It's just an assbehbazi!") to buy us a Macintosh Performa 405.

I learned then of Usenet Newsgroups, a straight-up ASCII global bulletin board which back then was one of the the only outlets on the interwebs for uncensored dialogue. Usenet was recently bought and resurrected by Google, which means some of my smack-talking stuff as a punk-ass teen is now archived forever and ever. Sigh.

One of the more popular discussion sections was Soc.Culture.Iranian, affectionately known by its acronym of SCI.  The hip moderators were based in Palo Alto, where some Stanford grad students were laying down the foundation to today's New Media landscape.

UPDATE: A few hours ago Twitter was hacked by a wannabe-hizbollahi group calling itself the 'Iranian Cyber Army'.  Damn geeks. Stop spending so much time with your assbehbazi.

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