I found Wael Ghonim’s book Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir to be a really inspiring and enthralling read. In Revolution 2.0 Ghonim recounts how, through media, he found himself a leader in the Egyptian revolution of 2011 that overthrew the Mubarak Regime. The memoir is truly a page-turner, and in my opinion, a beacon of hope for future change. Ghonim, after his growing resentment towards the Mubarak regime peaked with the torture and murder of Khaled Mohamed Said, was driven to create a Facebook group that could serve to spread awareness and unite Egyptians against the injustices of the Mubarak Regime. “Kullena Khaled Said,” or “We Are All Khaled Said” in English, was the name Ghonim chose for the Facebook group. For me, some of the most important lessons Ghonim teaches are in how he marketed his Facebook group so that it could be most successful. As an executive at Google Ghonim knew the importance of the language he chose to use on the page. By using all-encompassing, colloquial Egyptian, and fairly neutral language (as opposed to the already existing, site that took a more belligerent approach) he was able to reach a larger audience. Additionally, in using techniques such as the first-person singular he was able to open a direct dialogue with the page’s member and through creating polls he was able to gain insight and involvement.
Ghonim’s largest success might have been in his ability to move the participation and community he had created online, in the virtual world, to the real one. Although he stresses throughout his book, and especially in the epilogue (and rightly so), that it is because of the masses that supported and participated in the movement that revolution occurred, still, Ghonim did a commendable job in propelling the revolution and more importantly, outlining how, through social media revolution is possible. Ghonim says “thanks to modern technology, participatory democracy is becoming a reality. Governments are finding it harder and harder to keep their people isolated from one another, to censor information, and to hide corruption and issue propaganda that goes unchallenged. Slowly but surely, the weapons of mass oppression are becoming extinct.” (p. 293)