I am watching the #iranelection stream at It is mesmerizing - the #iranelection stream is updating at more than 1 tweet per second right now.

Of course, it is messy, sloppy, repetitive, rumors mixed in with facts, a lot of retweets and it needs better authority, curation and editing tools, but still…

It is like a window into the future has opened. This one of those special moments in technology from which you realize there is no coming back.

If the Iranian protests succeed, Twitter will have been to Iran what fax machines were to Eastern Europe.

The stream is pouring out everything from news, to links to videos, to messages of support, to advice on how to, say, disable a Soviet-era tank or which embassies are or are not taking the injured.

It makes Google News look vulnerable to The Daily Show's question to the NY Times about "Why is 'aged' news is better than real news?".

Google News can’t be any faster than CNN, BBC, NY Times et al and it does not matter how good those organizations are, no individual organization can keep up with this type of mass-produced content.

It is why Larry Page said Google needs sub-second indexing; it is what Borthwick expressed very elegantly about real-time here.

I did not understand real-time a year ago; I understood it intellectually, maybe three months ago (but even then you think: do I really need Techcrunch or even Flight 1549 in "real-time"?)

But watching #iranelection tonight there can be little doubt about the direction in which distribution is irrevocably headed.

Posted on June 20, 2009 and filed under Online Media.