Blog, blog and away
It's incredible, there are more blogs than there are Iranians
Decembe 29, 2005
By Ali Mashangian
Mostafa Moghadass started his weblog before he even had a computer in 1999.
"I wrote it on bits of paper," he says. "They never made it online. But I handed them out to my friends."
One entry, which he keeps in pocket, reads: "This morning I woke up and made tea."
The 27-year-old student says that at the time he had no idea he was at the forefront of a communication revolution. "I was just brushing my teeth and writing about it," he says.
Iran has a more BPH (blogs per head) than all other countries combined. "It's incredible, there are more blogs than there are Iranians," says Gamboo Barfi, who runs gamboo.blogspot.com.
Many were surprised when she revealed before the election that the then presidential candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a beard.
"We thought we were first with the news," says Maryam Saboonshenass, a reporter on reformist newspaper The Daily Boogh. "It sent shockwaves through the media."
But, she adds, there are fears Iran's birth rate will be unable to support a sustained proliferation of blogs. "It's terrible. There will be countless Gamboo Barfis who won't get a chance to shine in 2026."
Critics, however, are not impressed. "It's all nonsense," says Parham Pourmand, one of few non-bloggers left in Iran -- or "braggers" as he puts it. "Western journalists are surprised when third world people can operate technology. Look how they reacted to our cinema."
Cheeta Koochooloo, a resident of Tehran disagrees. Her daily posts appear at oo-oo.meymoon.blogspot.com. The most recent reads: "I'm off to a conference in China. Bloggers are Iran's New Journalists. Next week I am in Kuala Lumpur :0)!!! where bloggers are meeting to discuss what it is they do precisely."
Moghadass's most recent post sums up the radical atmosphere of the blogosphere: "This morning I left my apartment without turning my gas off, after cooking eggs. Mmm. I can't believe what Ahmadinejad said about Israel. Too bad he's an idiot. What image he is sending to the world? Where did I put my clean socks? I'm going to a conference on eggs in Munich in April."