The book, released to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the protests that swept the country and Mubarak off his chair, is a brilliant, uninhibited and very convincing manifesto of the power of the Internet — and, more particularly, social media —to transform the world. Ghonim is a convert to and a proselytizer of this idea. The book is not only an account of the events that lead up to the resignation of Mubarak on February 11, 2011, and a heart-wrenching personal story, but also a manual on how to run a revolution using social media. And, at times, it even reads like a self-improvement book: “forget the past, live in the moment,” “let the crowd make its own decisions,” “the power of the people is greater than the people in power,” are some of the mantras decorating the dust jacket.
Much of the text is an exegesis of the messages that Ghonim posted on the Facebook page. He offers us a line-by-line account of the developments on the Net that led up to the massive demonstrations on January 25 and beyond, breaking down each comment he made and explaining to us the rationale —with reference to marketing principles—for the sentences he wrote, the words he used, the tone he adopted. For example, he tells us that his comments were posted in the first person singular because it feels more genuine and sincere, whereas the “we” alienates readers and makes them suspicious. For similar reasons, he chooses colloquial Arabic over modern standard. He keeps his identity hidden at all times, not only for security reasons, but also because one of the basic pillars of his philosophy—what explains the “2.0” in the title—is that, with the advent of the Internet, revolutions are no longer led by individuals, but by the masses.