The failure of 6 million Iranian diaspora in creating an organised opposition for the collective benefit of all Iranians has proved our inability to work together and to create effective organisations to help such co-operations. We do not need to look much further than this website to find out why things are the way that they are.
The old Iranian.com (IC) had attracted a number of writers and contributors with different styles and different interests who together had created an entertaining medium that could attract a healthy number of visitors. When JJ the previous owner of the site decided to sell the site he did not consider the future of the site or the cultural role that it played in the community. He did not consider the contributors as stake holders in this entity whose interest should have been considered and safe guarded in any sales deal. He could have approached media organisations such as Andishe TV or Sherkat Ketab who may have viewed the site as a valuable addition to their line of business. He could have considered selling shares to its readers and contributors instead of an outright sell to an organisation with little experience in such websites and no particular vision for its future. Instead he just called his main advertiser and offered him the site.
The new owner of the site disregarded the hard work that had gone into creating such a large resource and the diversity of its contents altogether. He did not regard the contributors as worthy stake holders in this entity either. A website with so much original content was brought down and replaced with an unattractive empty site with a promise that everything will be loaded into the new site later. Now, I come from an IT background and have never come across such a situation where someone makes a new system live before migrating the data from the old system into the new one and before considering how to handle the existing external links. Many of the writings in the IC had featured in other websites with links to the original blogs or articles in the IC, and all those links have been broken. As mentioned by some other contributors in other blogs, the unnecessary fast rotation cycle of the new site and its poor layout discourages the writers from creating time consuming original contents and it has increasingly become a copy and paste clipboard. The big elephant in the room is the decreasing number of visitors to the site and rather strangely this in some cases has been blamed on the contributors and the quality of their work.
In place of a site that had even started to bring him some fame, JJ has now started the Iroon.com which is as minimalistic as the new IC. Visiting that site you cannot help but thinking that JJ had been pinning all his hope on a charting tool that allows the visitors to answer all sorts of questions such as whether they preferred to travel with Levan Tour or Meihan Tour when they were back in Iran. The new IC has certainly not lived to any of the promises and has now lost a number of good contributors who are no longer present in the site. Iroon.com has not provided a worthy alternative either, leaving a gap for a good quality cultural site.
So who is to blame? JJ or Said Amin? The answer is “Us”. We were all aware that the site was attracting new investment but we never asked who was investing and what future did they have in mind for the site. There were some discussions about the features but the overall feeling was that JJ would take care of his brainchild. We did not see the site as a media with a social role whose future had to be protected by us. This is where we fail; we abdicate our responsibilities and hope for the best. In this regard I have certainly been as irresponsible as anyone else.