Update on Facebook-in-Egypt

FACT: According to a Sunday Washington Post front-page story today recounting the events leading up to May 4, a “day of strike” called for by social-networkers as a protest against government policies, “By late afternoon, of the 74,000 people who had registered on the Facebook protest page, only 15 – three men and 12 women – were still eager to gather for a protest.”  [Note: the Facebook page had only been launched in late March.]

ANALYSIS: Last week I wrote about media coverage of Egypt’s Facebook affair, and noted that the Post and others had only covered it on media blogs, not in the actual newspaper.

This morning I picked up my Sunday-morning Post and saw the story, “Fledgling Rebellion on Facebook Is Struck Down by Force in Egypt,” right on the front page, which means that across Washington this morning, and other capital cities through clipping services, many in the foreign policy elite and punditocracy may be reading for the first time about the Web 2.0 facet of these events. 

Reporter Ellen Knickmeyer also posted today a related online “Field Notes” column about the challenges of covering the Facebook activists.

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Media Says, IBM is Good for Government. Ah, Strike That….

FACT:  Federal Times, which was first to break the story, is reporting this afternoon that “IBM has been indefinitely suspended from doing business with federal agencies, according to a General Services Administration Web site.”

ANALYSIS: People accuse me of being too cynical.

I admit, I am something of the opposite of the great line from This is Spinal Tap, when the David St. Hubbins character says, in the random interview clips at the end of the movie, “I believe virtually everything I read, … and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human, than someone who doesn’t believe anything.”

I do have trouble believing things I hear and read from most mainstream sources at first blush. 

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