Google, Twitter, WordPress Reps Go To Iraq

    April 21, 2009

Don’t be surprised if a lot of blog posts, tweets, and YouTube videos start pouring out of Iraq in the near future.  The U.S. State Department has led a number of corporate representatives to Baghdad, and the group includes executives from Google, Twitter, and Automattic/WordPress.

Employees of AT&T, Blue State Digital, Howcast, Meetup, Wired Magazine, and YouTube are also part of the team, which has been dubbed the "New Media Technology delegation."  Their journey began yesterday, and should end on Thursday the 23rd.

State Department

As for what exactly they’ll be up to, Robert Wood, Acting State Department Spokesman, stated during a briefing, "During the trip the delegation will meet with representatives from the Government of Iraq, the public and private education sectors, Iraqi technology companies, and groups active in Iraqi civil society."

He also explained, "[T]hey will provide conceptual input as well as ideas on how new technologies can be used to build local capacity, foster greater transparency and accountability, build upon anti-corruption efforts, promote critical thinking in the classroom, scale-up civil society, and further empower local entities and individuals by providing the tools for network building."

So Google and the other companies may soon be involved in pretty much every aspect of online life in Iraq.

You can follow the delegation’s trip, if you want, through Jack Dorsey’s Twitter account and Raanan Bar-Cohen’s blog.