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Moussavi's Broad Blogospheric Appeal

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, June 12 2009

As addendum to Matt Burton's post on the ongoing presidential election in Iran, Morningside Analytics' Shifting the Debate blog talks a look at the Berkman Center's mappings of the Persian blogosphere and makes a fascinating observation (though its import won't be all that clear until the election's votes come in). Mapping out the links that connect the top two contenders for Iran's presidency -- the hard-line sitting president Mahmood Ahmadinejad and the reformist candidate Mir Hussein Moussavi's -- we see a pattern familiar from the last months of the '08 presidential race in the U.S. Similar, they say, to what we saw with Obama just before that vote, Moussavi isn't just being talked about more than his opponent in the blogosphere at large. He's being talked about more in the traditionally non-political parts of that blogosphere. Meaning, perhaps, that his message is resonating outside that base of Iranians predisposed to focusing on politics and reaching a broader, less activist population. Links to Moussavi in Iran's poetry blogosphere, for example, swamp links to Ahmadinejad. (Tough blow for a poet.) But will that broader appeal once again translate into turnout, votes, and the presidency? We'll see.

More: Argh, I'm seriously begrudging the All Rights Reserve designation on this Flickr'd peek inside Moussavi's "war room." Otherwise, I'd be running the photo front and center. Worth a click through though, I swear.