– mapping the arabic blogosphere

A study at the Berkman Center at Harvard came out in June 09 entitled “Mapping the Arabic Blogosphere: Culture, Politics and Dissent“. [link to the report]

Here are some of the key findings:

The Arabic blogosphere is organized primarily around countries. We found the primary groupings to be: Egyptian (largest, with distinct sub- and associated clusters, e.g., Muslim Brotherhood bloggers, including some women); Saudi Arabian (second largest and focused comparatively more on technology than politics); Kuwaiti (divided into English and Arabic language sub-clusters); Levantine/English Bridge (bloggers in the Levant and Iraq using English and connected to the US and international blogospheres); Syrian; Maghrebi/French Bridge; and Religion-Focused. Demographic results indicate that Arabic bloggers are predominately young and male. The highest proportion of female bloggers is found in the Egyptian youth sub-cluster, while the Syrian and Muslim Brotherhood clusters have the highest concentration of males. Arabic media ecosystem: Bloggers link to Web 2.0 sites like YouTube and Wikipedia (English and Arabic versions) more than other sources of information and news available on the Internet. Al-Jazeera is the top mainstream media source, followed by the BBC and Al-Arabiya. Arabic bloggers tend to prefer more politically oriented YouTube videos over cultural ones.

In addition, the Berkman Center organized a workshop entitled Online Discussions in the Arab World: Dispelling the Myths.

Watch the live webcast here at 10 AM ET: http://origin.usip.org/arabblogs/.