Juan Cole: Starts a group blog





Some of us are launching a group blog, Informed Comment: Global Affairs.

Iran expert Farideh Farhi weighs in today on the gasoline station protests in Iran and their real meaning. Many thanks to her for an incisive posting!

The problem with keeping up a successful blog is that one has to do an entry every day or readers forget to come back to you. I found this out through early experiments at IC, where traffic fell off dramatically if I missed days, even weekends. Most journalists, analysts and academics don't have time to blog daily, and therefore don't blog.

This outcome, of absence from the internet owing to being busy, is undesirable, since we need more informed commentary in the blogosphere, and serious analysts need to interact with the public if our democracy is to be vital.

Some sites, such as Crooked Timber and Wampum, have solved this problem by essentially forming a blogging cooperative. That way something goes up every day, but no one person is always responsible for it.

We'd like to experiment with this form. Readers are always asking for a wider range of coverage at my site-- Afghanistan, Palestine/Israel (as if I'm not in enough trouble), Pakistan, etc.

So I thought we'd test the waters with this form. The site is in its infancy and I hope it will grow over time. I've got some agreements from colleagues and hope to have more. It will also be open to guest submissions, and to already-existing bloggers who want to go outside the framework of their blogs, and to do a link-back.


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