Just this week Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, has been described as a “terrorist” and a “villain on the scale of Hitler”. Those were the words of Ari Rubin, the director of the Jewish Defense League of Los Angeles in response to a recent CBS interview with him.
But he’s also the leader of almost 69 million people, and a senior figure in the Islamic world. The country he presides over is also one of the most ‘prolific’ blogging countries in the world (although that might be changing), and probably the most outside the ‘Western world’.
So perhaps it’s unsurprising that a man as controversial as Ahmadinejad would set up a blog. After all, he has both a blog-literate domestic audience and a captive world audience who are all eager to find out what the man dubbed by America as ‘one of the most dangerous men on Earth’ has to say about things.
Ahmadinejad’s blog, http://www.ahmadinejad.ir/, is notable for many reasons. Aside from it’s content, the blog is surprisingly ‘web2.0’ – using AJAX functionality to create a very slick browsing experience.
To ensure his message is viewed by the widest readership, Ahmadinejad’s posts are presented not only in their original Farsi (the native tongue of Iran) but also in Arabic and English. There is also a link to French, although at the time of writing this didn’t appear to be working.
And if the results of a vote on the blog are anything to go by, the viewership is a decidedly mixed once. The response to the somewhat leading question “Do you think that the US and Israeli intention and goal by attacking Lebanon is pulling the trigger for another word war?” netted a surprisingly balanced:
41% (16017 people): YES
59% (22909 people): NO
If his first post is anything to go by (sorry, because of the AJAXness there are no permalinks) Ahmadinejad could do with a few blogging pointers.
For a start his rambling nature creates a somewhat turgid read. His blog reads like an Islamic verse rather than a punchy daily read. Hey, it makes my dyslexic prose look concise.
He also seems hell-bent (hmm maybe not a good term to use) on writing about his entire life story in a single post.
Fortunately I think someone, maybe his advisor in his blogging ministry, got a word in his ear about this as he ends his first post with:
“I will continue this topic later on as it took long in the beginning. From now onwards, I will try to make it shorter and simpler.”
Joking aside, I think it’s a very positive step (regardless of what I think about his policies). I wish more world leaders took the time to do this – where’s your blog Tony?
Oh yeah, I remember now. Despite harping on about the virtues of ‘digital Britain’ you recently admitted you still don’t even use email.
UPDATE: There are reports that for a while Ahmadinejad’s blog tried to initiate a malware attack on visitors arriving from Isreali IP addresses.