His Peace Upon Us (HT: DG) links to an interesting and massive study of the Arabic blogosphere conducted by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. A pdf of the report is available here.
A few interesting findings:
1. The Arabic blogosphere is organized around countries, including: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Syria.
2. Most bloggers blog about personal life and local issues.
3. Discussing the United States, war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and terrorism get little airplay in Arabic blogging. The study's authors write: "Across the map however, when discussing terrorism, Arab bloggers are overwhelmingly critical of violent extremists. We consider this a positive finding, although qualified because the issue of attitudes toward terrorism hinge on the term’s interpretation across the Arab world. Whatever its presence in other, less ‘public’ online venues, overt support for violent global confrontation with the West appears to be exceedingly rare in blogs."
4. Religion: "Religion is a very popular topic in the blogosphere, and appears to be discussed more in terms of personal religious thoughts and experiences than in its political or theological aspects. Criticism of other faiths is minimal, though can be strident. The exception is a cluster of bloggers within the Islam-focus area, from various countries, who write about Islam from a conservative perspective and frequently criticize other faiths."
5. Lots of YouTube linking.
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