Tweets from Tahrir , a small paperback containing — mostly — English-language tweets sent by people on the ground in Cairo during this winter’s Egyptian uprising is unexpectedly poignant and moving, and even exciting and suspenseful in places.

Obviously only a small minority of those in Tahrir Square were tweeting in English (and a larger minority were tweeting at all), but through this book, a picture of Twitter as a means of quickly bridging together different constituencies emerges — not everyone was tweeting, but everyone knew people who were tweeting, whether they were in the Square, discovering what was going on elsewhere among the hundreds of thousands of people; or elsewhere in Cairo and wondering if they should take to the streets; or watching from around the world. Twitter, text messages, Facebook and phone calls became a way of shaping the narrative, rebutting the official state media, arguing about the purpose and character of the uprising, and deciding when to hold fast and when to retreat. You get a real sense of Twitter as a thin, somewhat unreliable nervous system that nevertheless turns a crowd into a group capable of explicitly negotiating its actions rather than simply surging to and fro.

Read the rest on Boing Boing!

Verified by MonsterInsights