Headline July 23, 2015/ "' THE CYBER-HOUSE UNITED ''' : ''' !WOW! "'


''' !WOW! "'

FACEBOOK  WISELY, does not make public the total number of friendships in any one country. But-

Ethan Zuckerman a blogger and activist, used independent data to estimate that these links represent roughly  1-2%  of the combined total of friendships on Israel and Palestinian accounts.

Using the same method for Greece and Turkey, his estimate was 0.1% of the combined total of friendships. That understates role of Greek-Turkey friendship groups, or groups dedicated to music or films that both countries like.

Among, say, people from either country who are studying outside their homeland {and have a better than average chance of becoming decision-makers}, the share of trans-Aegean links would be far higher. 

And their mere existence sends an important moral signal.

BUT Mr Zuckerman frets that the internet really serves to boost ties within countries, not between them. Using Data from Google, he looked at the top 50 news sites in 30 countries.

Almost every country reads all but 5% of its news from domestic sources. Mr Zuckerman believes that goods and services still travel much farther than ideas, and that the Internet allows us to be  "imaginary and cosmopolitans".

Peace on Facebook offers data for India and Pakistan, too.  That is even harder to put in context.

Pakistan has banned Facebook in the past, and offers too few users to qualify even for independent estimates.

John Kelly, founder of   Morningside Analytics, a firm that analyses social networks, examined links between blogs and twitter accounts in India and Pakistan and discovered two hubs that link the two countries.

South Asian expats in London and self-identify as  "Desis"   -people from the subcontinent   -link freely to each other and to their home countries. And cricket fans in both countries link up spontaneously.

 Mr Kelly believes that clusters of Internet activity, when they do cross national borders, flow from pre-existing identities. Baloch bloggers in three different countries link mainly to each other. Blogs in Aghanistan show some ties to NGOs and American service numbers-

But a far greater number to Iranian news services and poetry blogs. That reflects old reality, not some some new discovery. 

There is also some hope in Morningside's data. Four websites most consistently account for links between countries: YouTube, Wikipedia, the BBC and, a distant fourth Global Voices Online     

The last of these launched, launched at Harvard University in 2005 and mainly funded by American Foundations, works to create links between bloggers in different countries, and to find what it calls  ''bridge bloggers'' : expats and cultural translators, like  London's Desis, who help explain their countries to each other.

Onnik Krikorian, Global Voices editor in Central Asia, is a British citizen with an Armenian name. He couldn't go to Azerbaijan, and had difficulty establishing any online contacts with the country-

Until he went to a conference in Tiblisi in 2008 and met four Azeri bloggers. They gave him their cards, and he found them on Facebook. To his surprise, they agreed to be his friends.

Mr Krikorian has since found Facebook to be an ideal platform to build ties. Those first four contacts made it easier for other Azeris to link up with him. 

But the Internet is not magic it is tool. Anyone who wants to use it to bring nations closer,........... like !WOW!,  has to show initiative, and be ready  to travel physically as well as virtually.

As with telegraph before it  -also hailed as a tool of peace   -the  ''Internet Does Nothing On Its Own.''

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' A World Crier '''

Good Night and God bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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