Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, is visiting Iraq to bring the microblogging service into government and civil society there. In an interview with CNN's American Morning (embedded below) Dorsey says he hopes Twitter can help make the new Iraqi government more accessible and help spread good news from Iraq out to the rest of the world. Dorsey is traveling with a State Department delegation hoping that new social media will facilitate greater social stability in Iraq.
You'll see in the video below that CNN Anchor, Kiran Chetry, asks silly questions about terrorists using Twitter (it is available on cell phones, which terrorist have used) and about Oprah on Twitter. There's a reason why traditional media is being so effectively challenged by emerging media - the latter is more interesting and in many cases acts more like a meritocracy.
Hardly just a novelty, Twitter is a rapidly proliferating communication platform that is helping define a new era of technology as centuries old media models are disrupted. Put that into the aftermath of an 8 year war of historic importance and what does CNN have to say about it? "Tell me about terrorist tweets and Oprah." Nice. This isn't a USO show with dancing girls, this is an important act of free market, bottom-up, tech-based international diplomacy.
Twitter was among a number of web technology companies that visited Iraq as part of the US State Department delegation. Other participants included representatives from AT&T, Google, Twitter, Howcast, Meetup, YouTube, Automatic/Wordpress, and Blue State Digital.
State Department spokesperson Robert Wood explained the intent of the visit:
During their visit to Iraq, they will provide conceptual input as well as ideas on how new technologies can be used to build local capacity, foster greater transparency and accountability, build upon anti-corruption efforts, promote critical thinking in the classroom, scale-up civil society, and further empower local entities and individuals by providing the tools for network building.
Jack Dorsey is the third co-founder of Twitter, but our understanding is that he is uninvolved in day to day operations. Instead, he travels the world talking to people about Twitter. You can follow his updates at twitter.com/jack.
You can find ReadWriteWeb on Twitter, as well as the entire RWW Team: Marshall Kirkpatrick, Bernard Lunn, Alex Iskold, Sarah Perez, Frederic Lardinois, Rick Turoczy, Sean Ammirati, Lidija Davis and Phil Glockner.