What does the Arabic blogosphere look like?

The BBC reports:

Bloggers are having a real impact on opinions inside many Arabic nations, finds a broad look at the blogosphere in the Middle East.

The study has given web researchers insight into the issues and forces that are shaping online conversation in the Middle East and beyond…

“‘Blogger,'” Mr. Ibrahim said, “has become almost a revered term in Egypt. Groups that are otherwise completely disenfranchised, the only outlet for them is online.”

“We found that the Arabic blogosphere is organised primarily around countries,” Mr. Kelly said, noting that Egypt formed the largest cluster on the Arabic blogging map. The study also singled out Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Syria as having sizable blogging clusters.

Within a given country, the make-up of the blogging cluster turned out to be quite varied. The Egyptian cluster, for example, “is characterized by secular reformist bloggers” on one hand, and yet also “by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that is technically illegal in Egypt but whose online presence appears to be tolerated.”

Saad Ibrahim, a Harvard professor and well-known Egyptian dissident, was not involved in the study but he spoke at the Washington event to launch the report and offered his opinion on Egypt’s prominence in the Arabic blogging world.

You can read the full piece here.


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