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Archive for October, 2009

Nominate @persiankiwi for a Free Iran

October 30th, 2009 by Admin | 1 Comment | Filed in Inspirational Stuff, Social Media & Media

The Open Web Awards are currently accepting nominations. This is the third year for the awards, which are presented by Mashable and Motorola. From the categories it is clear that the awards began to celebrate and promote web innovation, especially in social media.

One category is Tweet of the Year

Three years ago it was unlikely, if not impossible to foresee some of the ways that people would use social media. Twitter was still being promoted as a place where one could go to let friend’s know you are enjoying a cup of coffee. Some people continue to use it as such.

But a large and growing number of people now rely on Twitter to meet new and interesting people, plus get or announce real time news and events.

One of those people was an Iranian known as @persiankiwi.

@persiankiwi came to be one of the people, perhaps the person who represented the unsung heroes who risked their welfare and lives to bring us reports, via Tweetcasts of the Iran Freedom protests. This Twitter member became so well respected and known that he/she merits a page on Wikipedia .

@persiankiwi’s follow count continues to grow along with his Twitter legend since his last tweet at 11:36 AM June 24 th . He is already included on 23 lists as I write this, although the list function is still in Beta testing stage.

@persiankiwi’s poignant second to last tweet deserves to win for Best Tweet of the Year – but there’s a catch that disqualifies him.

According to the Social rules: “The nominee must be publicly available.”

In other words, anyone who wins the award, or representatives of a company, has to be able to accept the award, which is generally a good rule as it excludes criminals, spammers, and fictional characters. Three years ago this was a good rule.

However, unlike the Nobel prizes, The Academy Awards, Grammys, Emmys, and many other notable awards, the rule also excludes political prisoners and those who became deceased during the year.

That rule means that nominations for any of the any of the brave Iranians who risked their lives for freedom by peaceable means by posting Tweets, videos, pictures, blogs and messages to Social Media and web sites.

NEW!  Until November 11, 2009 we only knew that @persiankiwi was arrested by the unconstitutional Iranain dictatorship forces on  June 24, 2009. Due to this article and campaign, on November 11, 2009 @judyrey received compelling evidence that @persiankiwi is alive and supports this nomination and effort.

We know that as things stand, even if “The Kiwi” as many of us called him might not be allowed to travel to the USA, where is would be an instant media darling as he reported first hand on the repressive and brutal dictatorship in Iran. However, @persiankiwi seems to be available to come to the USA, unless prevented by the Iranian government to now all the nomination criteria are met!

We can bring good publicity to the awards, social media, the ongoing cause on and beyond social media of real freedom, democracy and religious tolerance in Iran, plus be a tribute to @persiakiwi and those brave Iranian members of social media and the peaceful Green movement.

Although the brave and usually peaceful Iranian freedom protesters used many forms of social media well, it was the moment by moment Tweetcasts that upstaged and usurped the reporting of traditional media, such as CNN, BBC and NYT.

While You Tube videos are and were riveting and incredible, there is not one specific videographer who stands out. There are several shot from various angles of most of the important events. There is not one single You Tube video or Flickr picture that can be successfully attributed to any individual. What is impressive and newsworthy is that there are such a grand amount of visual materials uploaded despite the ongoing peril of injury, imprisonment, torture and even death for such activity.

There are two tweets that memorably stand out

One inspired a new large scale work of art that I am creating. Immediately after it was tweeted by an Iranian protector many people RTed it, or translated it into many of the world’s languages.

I call it the “Tweet heard around the World”. Unfortunately, I have no idea who originally tweeted it.

My own Art Tweet, using a Twitter character I created and a painting that uses strokes that are the original letters of the Bibles book of Esther, which is set in Persia is below. It is part of a large scale art piece and group of works about Social Media and the Iran Protests for Freedom that I am creating.

“Tweet Heard ‘Round the World” (detail) by Judy Rey Wasserman

Although by the Social Media Award rules we could nominate my artistic rendition of this tweet, the honor of representing the cause of Iran’s freedom needs to go to a brave Iranian not me, even though for a while my Twitter Profile sported the information that I lived in Tehran. In reality I am the American artist who is the founder of Post Conceptual Art, including the branch known as UnGraven Image.


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