#Egypt: The First Twitter Revolution

Egypt's uprising is a Twitter revolution, and probably not the last one we'll see.
Egypt’s uprising is a Twitter revolution, and probably not the last one we’ll see.

In the 1980s, the Fall of the Berlin wall was attributed to television.

In the 1990s, fax machines enabled the protests in Tianamen Square.

But today, in Egypt, it’s a Twitter revolution.

Internet social networking services like Twitter and Facebook have been the revolutionary tools of communications for protesters in Egypt.

According to  Al Jezzera, as soon as Twitter, Facebook and Internet access was disrupted, Egyptian protesters resorted to low tech work arounds to get out the word, like fax machines, dial up modems and HAM radios.  Clever protesters have been dictating their 140-character messages over landline telephones to friends outside Egypt who then transcribe them immediately on Twitter and send them out, (and back again) creating a landline to mobile device to landline “virtual Internet” relay that has been quickly keeping Egyptians informed.

Today, according to Reuters, Google Inc (GOOG.O) launched a special service to allow people in Egypt to send Twitter messages by dialing a phone number and leaving a voicemail, as Internet access continues to be cut off in the country during revolutionary anti-government protests.

The service, which Google said was developed with engineers from Twitter, allows people to dial a telephone number and leave a voicemail. The voicemail is automatically translated into a message that is sent on Twitter using the identifying tag #egypt.

Though Egypt blocked Twitter following the protests that erupted on January 25th, tweets about Egypt have surged in the days leading up to and after the start of the revolution that has rocked the world.

According to Sysomos, the number of tweets that contained the words “Egypt,” “Yemen,” or “Tunisia” increased more than tenfold after January 23rd: there were 122,319 tweets between January 16 and 23 containing these terms, and 1.3 million tweets between January 24 and January 30.

According to today’s SF Gate, in a blog co-written by Twitter founder Biz Stone on Twitter’s website, Twitter said that Egypt has to restore the tweets to the country, to allow the freedom of information to flow.

Published by Gisélle Bisson

I am a storyteller. I am a bridge between the worlds of high tech and high touch. The main communities I build are between thought leaders in Technology, Entertainment and Sustainability. (Kind of like a TED conference.) These are the early adopters, risk takers and super connected connecters who can set your ideas on fire! As a veteran Silicon Valley tech PR executive and product launch visibility expert, I have launched more than 30 paradigm-shifting products and consumer technology companies in my career -- products that changed your life and are used by tens of millions of consumers. I was on the teams that introduced major innovations we now take for granted -- like email, video editing, ink jet printers and mobile devices. I've promoted products that reached 5 million to 40 million customers -- paying customers, not eyeballs. We did this almost 100% with free PR and social media -- not paid advertising. Increasingly all business must be social, sustainable, sharable and conscious. And I believe social media is the catalyst of this conscious convergence and shift. I've learned that it's not just about "content" or "engagement" -- it's about creating authentic communities around an event that share your news and spread the word for you. I combine social media with press relations, speaking engagements, events, social ads, email lists and street teams to generate waves of awareness that catapult your launch and sustain it. Move forward, into the future. I can help you make a Visibility Shift.

4 thoughts on “#Egypt: The First Twitter Revolution

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