This post is a kind of mash up, a mixture of different sources and types which show how the internet through its ability to allow participation is changing not just the way we consume media but the way we conduct our lives in the public sphere.
My first port of call is the video Iran: A Nation of Bloggers by students at the Vancouver Film School. The short gives a brief but insightful look at ones of the world's blogging super powers. All the more relevent given the way blogs, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube are being used by young people there to get their message out to the world at large as we speak.
The second video is by Clay Shirky at TED about how cell phones, Twitter and other such innovations can make history. How the old media paradigms are cracking under the weight of changes brought about by the internet.
However, amidst all the hype and glee about the opportunities such technologies offer let's not forget that in many parts of the world authoritarian minded regimes still seek to silence critics through the suppression of internet users and the stripping away of basic rights such as the right to anonymity. China, Iran and most lately the UK have ruled against the right to blog without declaring your identity. Nice to know Gordon Brown has chosen to align his government with such enlightened states. The axis of internet evil gains another member.