It’s going on right now, today, in Egypt.
Egypt is right at the top among Arab Nations in Internet use. Facebook has huge penetration there compared to neighboring Arab States. Twitter, too. The Internet and Social Networking are driving the uprising that’s going on right there, right now.
I realize that the revolt is being led by the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that believes Islam is more than a religion and who may turn Egypt into an Islamic State if they prevail. Notwithstanding the difficulties we’ve had with Islamic States, the Egyptian version of this group seems more moderate. Regardless of their ideology, it’s clear that the Internet has played a key role in this little bit of history.
It’s no wonder the Egyptian government shut down virtually all Internet access last night. It’s their last ghasp attempt to control the situation.
Reminds me of the old days of Radio Free Europe: we were trying to create a revolution with information. I’m not sure how successful that was, but clearly, when people have access to information on a global scale, when they can see what they have and what they might become, they grow very impatient with their own oppression.
I’m not surprised at China’s attempt to filter the Internet and I’m delighted that Google made the decision to pull out of that market rather than buckle to their demands. I mean: it’s kinda hard to keep people under your thumb when they can see alternatives at the click of a mouse. Can you imagine what will happen when the citizens of China, Iran, North Korea, and any number of other repressive nations gain free access to the information we all take for granted?
To quote Shirley Bassey, it could ‘all be just a little bit of history repeating . . . ‘ Like the fall of the Berlin Wall.
(ok, get ready: here comes the tie-in)
It’s not unlike the struggle of home buyers and sellers over the past 30 years. They were at the mercy of Realtors who held information hostage – information about houses for sale, prices, trends. The only way consumers got the information they needed to make intelligent choices was through a Realtor.
Though the Realtor community fought tooth and nail to keep all that delicious information under lock and key, the courts and the consumers won out in the end. Today consumers can get almost all of the information real estate people once hoarded and held from them. Suddenly, the value of the Realtor had to shift. Value could no longer simply be access to information. Now the Agent or Broker had to actually bring some skill to the table.
To all this, we at Help-U-Sell say Bravo! Information without obligation has always been one of our core values. We’ve always believed in giving the consumer all the information they might need to make intelligent decisions. Our value is in marketing, advising, coordinating, selling, negotiating.
So, Viva Internet! Viva Egypt! Viva free access to information! and Viva Help-U-Sell!