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.
Below is a screen capture of @persiankiwi’s final tweets with the second to last tweet indicated. You can see it and scroll the entire tweet timeline by going to http://www.twitter.com/persiankiwi
Persian Kiwi’s Final Tweets
@persiankiwi’s second to last Tweet: “thank you ppls for supporting Sea of Green -pls remember always our martyrs- Allah Akbar-Allah Akbar #Iranelection”
It is a Tweet that grabbed our hearts and imaginations as @persiankiwi tweeted while fleeing the Basiji describing the horror all around him.
What make @persiankiwi’s Tweet poignantly memorable is the grace, thankfulness and love it expresses for us, for those who are martyred and for God as he faced capture and quite possibly death.
What Tweet this year can possibly be more important or potentially world changing?
Whatever country you are a citizen of; chances are like me you do not wish to see atomic weapons in the hands of the current Iranian dictatorship government. It is a brutal government that held an illegal coup last June and holds a fully disarmed population in its grasp by police and military might not will as the real election results indicated. A free and tolerant Iran will not only benefit the Iranian people, but the whole world will be safer.
Here’s why I am asking you (Yes, YOU) to join with me in nominating @persiankiwi’s second to last tweet for best Tweet of the year
Despite the fact that @persiankiwi’s second to last tweet cannot win according to the current rules, nominating it and calling attention to the fact that you did that can in a great del for everyone involved. There is no downside or losers if we create a wave of nominations for #persiankiwi—except for the unconstitutional Iranian dictatorship.
What this free and easy act on your part can do is draw a great deal of attention and publicity to the cause of Freedom for Iran. This will also alert our own governments and Iran ‘s to the fact that we continue to stand strong for the cause of Iranian Freedom.
Peter Cashmore and the people of mashable.com (@mashable) and Mororla are web savvy and publicity hip. If they are swamped with nominations for @persiankiwi for best YouTube video of the year they will recognize the value of the publicity for themselves and run with it. It works for them to either change their rule immediately or create a special award to commemorate the Tweet and/or the brave Iranians who use Social Media in 2009 for the cause of freedom.
Media such as CNN, ABC, NYT, etc., will also have what they crave for a story: authentication, as @persiankiwi’s Tweet stream is available for anyone to see on Twitter. Their story then becomes all about a Tweet and the people on social media who are swamping the nominations with @persiankiwi. We can even make #@persian kiwi become a Trending Topic on Twitter.
You can help make a difference, by a simple click in the blue button below that will cost you only a few moments of time.
Want to do more?
Please Tweet about this blog and urge others to nominate others to nominate @persiankiwi’s next to last Tweet for Open Web Awards’ Tweet of the Year. Post this request on Facebook walls, on MySpace, in emails, plus whatever you can think of. Please add any ideas or ways you have helped promote to the comments below.
You can also copy and paste this tweet or message, which has no reference to this blog:
Together, We Make History
While countries have banded together through their governments to assist causes and people in other countries, last summer, for the first time in history people from many countries, of different faiths and governments, even some who were supposedly enemies came together to help the cause of Iranian freedom as individuals. The brave Iranian Freedom protesters united Israelis and Palestinians, Pakistanis and Indians, Venezuelans and North Americans, and more. On Twitter, under the #Iranelection Trending Topic we were an active and Tweeting example of what the United Nations is supposed to be.
It was @persiankiwi and others like him/her that inspired us.
We have a record of what happened to him and what happened in Iran . It is up to us to make that record known. Thabk’s to @mashable’s awards we have an easy way to accomplish this.
We can call the world’s attention to what happened to @persiankiwi and what he did with and for Twitter for the cause of Freedom, and without realizing it for Social Media itself. We can honor and remember the history making relationships that @persiankiwi and many of the young Iranian protestors had and still have with the outside world thanks to Social Media.
The people of the Open Web Awards mean the awards to be significant and stand for the best of the Web. They just never anticipated that a seemingly good rule would exclude a Tweet like @persiankiwi’s.
So lets fill the nominations for @persiankiwis second to last tweet as Best Tweet of the Year to inspire Mashable And Mororola to create a Special Honorary Award this year for @persiankiwi and the people who used Social Media for the cause of freedom.
God is Great! Baruch HaShem! Praise the Lord! And, in the words of @persiankiwi, Allah Akbar!
Please leave your comments, suggestions, remembrances of the summer’s events regarding the protests, etc.