makes me feel
like an observer,”
says Amr hassanein.
“It gives me a sense
of what’s going
on around me
at all times.”
of interest include Hands Along the
Nile Development Services, a nonprofit
organization that promotes intercul-tural understanding between the U.S.
and his native Egypt. Now working as a
freelance producer for ABC News, Hassanein is also using Facebook as a vehicle to showcase his own firsthand accounts of political unrest in the Middle
East. Recently, for example, ABC sent
him to Libya to assist with news coverage of the nation’s conflict.
“My usage of social media tools is
from a neutral side,” says Hassanein,
sounding very much like an objective
news reporter. “Social media makes
me feel like an observer. It gives me
a sense of what’s going on around me
at all times. The impact events here
in Egypt, like the demonstrations,
were organized and known through
Still, it’s impossible to live through
these times without getting caught up
in the politics. His sympathies remain
with We Are All Khaled Said, an anti-
torture group that uses social media
to allow voices of the Arab uprisings to
be heard. (Sample Facebook post from
the group: “Gaddafi has vowed it will
be a ‘long war’ in Libya. Let’s hope his
[sic] wrong & Gaddafi’s massacre of his
people will end very soon.”)
Hassanein recognizes that social me-
dia provides an opportunity to deliver an
unfiltered message to the world about
local developments, as well as debunk
stereotypes about people of the Middle
East. Yet, aside from this bigger-picture
purpose, these tools allow him to easily
remain in close contact with loved ones
and work associates.
Hilts, A., and Yu, E.
Modeling social media support for
the elicitation of citizen opinion,
Proceedings of the International
Workshop on Modeling Social Media,
Toronto, Canada, June 13–16, 2010.
Kärkkäinen, H., Jussila, J., and Väisänen, J.
Social media use and potential in
innovation, Proceedings of the 14th
International Academic Mind Trek
Conference: Envisioning Future Media
Environments, Tampere, Finland,
Oct. 6–8, 2010.
Blogging around the globe: Motivations,
privacy concerns and social networking,
Computational Social Networks, Abraham,
A., (Ed.), Springer-Verlag, London, England,
Social media analytics: Tracking, modeling
and predicting the flow of information
through networks, Proceedings of the 20th
International Conference Companion on
World Wide Web, hyderabad, India,
March 28–April 1, 2011.
Mehlenbacher, B., McKone, S., Grant, C.,
Bowles, T., Peretti, S., and Martin, P.
Social media for sustainable engineering
communication, Proceedings of the 28th
ACM International Conference on Design
of Communication, São Carlos-São Paulo,
Brazil, Sept. 26–29, 2010.
Dennis McCafferty is a Washington, D.c.-based
© 2011 acM 0001-0782/11/07 $10.00
max mathews, often referred
to as the father of computer
music, died on April 21 in san
Francisco at the age of 84 from
pneumonia. in 1957, as an
engineer at Bell Laboratories,
mathews wrote the world’s first
program for playing synthesized
music on a computer. the
on an iBm 704 mainframe—
served as a foundation for much
of today’s music.
“mathews was above all a
visionary and an innovator,”
says michael edwards, program
director for the school of Arts,
Culture and environment at the
university of edinburgh (and
author of this month’s cover
story; see p. 58). “his legacy is felt
At the time of his death,
mathews was a music professor
in the Center for Computer
research in music and Acoustics
at stanford university.