By Barry Rubin
One year ago, on April 31, 2009, when I began this blog I set for the target to have 10,000 subscriptions by the end of the first year. It's pleasant to say that this prediction has come true.
In addition, there are about 1,000 more individuals a day who visit the site as well as many who read my articles through reprints, reposting, in the Jerusalem Post, and visiting the GLORIA Center site. The total, then, could easily be 20,000 or so, double that for the articles that appear in a slightly different form in the Jerusalem Post.
That's pretty encouraging. Remember that a newspaper might have 500,000 readers but perhaps only 10,000 or 20,000 might actually read specific articles about the Middle East.
The next step is to get policymakers to follow my advice! That is the goal for the next year. LOL [see note]
During these 350 or so days so far I've written more than 700 articles. While it is fun to think out loud and write, my main motivation has been to help inform readers, especially since--unfortunately--a lot of the things I'm saying and questions I'm raising aren't being provided elsewhere. A lot of readers are academics, government officials, journalists, opinionmakers (that's you), and students. [That's in alphabetical order not in order of importance or moral excellence.]
The kind remarks that many of you make have also been a great encouragement. I also appreciate the fact-checking and proof-reading. We are going to be putting in a Pay Pal link for contributions. If you want to be notified about this, talk about making a donation, or ask a question please write me at profbarryrubin at yahoo.com
I always worry about producing too much as I know your time is limited but I figure that people read pieces they are most interested in. The fact that very few people drop their subscriptions--I'd say we are literally talking about only 40 or so during the last year, which means we might be doing something right.
Note: LOL is Internet shorthand for laughing out loud.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His new edited books include Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict and Crisis; Guide to Islamist Movements; Conflict and Insurgency in the Middle East; and The Muslim Brotherhood. To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books. To see or subscribe to his blog, Rubin Reports.