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November 16, 2003

Iran has confirmed its participation at the summit, as we reported yesterday - which is interesting as the country supports a particularly vigorous online culture, with Persian blogs mutliplying by the day.

A few days back, Hossein Derakhshan celebrated the second anniversay of the Persian blogging day, the day he first published a step-by-step guide to creating a Persian weblog.

Hossein, who blogs in both English and Persian, reckons there are now over a 100,000 Persian weblogs in existence (pointing us to this useful Google listing). Iran now has its own version of blogger - PersianBlog

These blogs produce "tons of Persian content everyday about the lives and minds of Iranians in a very important period in the history of Iran, when the religious regime has clearly failed to respond to its own people and is gradually changing," he argues.

In a talk on Persian blogging, Hossein says that blogs are having a real impact on Iranian life, promoting the values of a generation that favours individuality and self expression, providing eye witness accounts of major news events, and building links between those in Iran and the Iranian diaspora.

"If only the language barrier didn't exist, the whole world could see the most accurate and unique insight into the most complicated nation in the mid-east region, and maybe world politicians would really find out what would be the best approach to deal with the Iranian regime," Hossein says - though it's worth visiting his Persian blog even if you don't speak the language, as it provides summaries in English.

Persian blogging has also caught the attention of the world's media - with articles from the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the BBC, Wired, Newsweek, Online Journalism Review et al...

David Steven @ November 16, 2003 12:13 PM

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