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Making an example of ourselves

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.

Balatarin

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faraway

faraway

Ultimately, this site will be the reflection of its owner and his agenda. We can't really decide how he wants to shape and mold this site. We will have to see how the owner's vision going to be implemented in the future.. Thanks again for being courageous and speaking your mind without the usual Persian habit of appeasing and ingratiation.

divaneh

divaneh

Thanks Faraway jaan. I think we can decide the shape of this site and he listens. I know I have been harsh on the new owner but I do have confidence in Said's integrity and good will for this site. I am just annoyed by what happened to the existing content and with the demise of the site. I have one more writing in completion that I may post here and after that will take a break and wait for the improvements and restoration of the old content in a searchable format.

daneshjoo

daneshjoo چه آورده رژیمت، شیخ شیاد ++ بغیراز جهل و جور و فقر و بیداد؟

دیوانه فرزانه:
مثل همیشه منطقی، صمیمی، وسازنده نوشته اید.
خوشحالم که بازمیشود با شما ارتباط داشت. دانشجو

divaneh

divaneh

دانشجوی گرامی از زیارت مجدد شما بسیار خوشبختم. شما یکی از شاعران و نویسندگان خوبی هستید که جایتان بسیار خالی است. البته با این اوضاعی که پیش آمده نمی توان از کسی پرسید که چرا وقت گرانبها را در اینجا صرف نمی کند. آدم باید اسطرلاب دستش باشد و ساعات سعد و نحس انتشار مطالبش را حساب کند. امیدوارم که باز بتوانیم مطالب ارزنده شما را در این سایت و یا سایتهای دیگر مطالعه کنیم.

faramarz

Faramarz

Divaneh Jaan,
If you start writing and contributing, we will be there to appreciate your contributions.

Rome was not built in one day, and Ghom will not be gone in one day! How's that!

divaneh

divaneh

Faramarz Jaan I am always grateful for the support that I have received from good friends such as yourself. I do agree with you that it takes time to make a site popular but that does not explain why it was made unpopular so needlessly. I have one more submission and after that I do need to see the old content here in a searchable format. To give you an example I spent many long hours on research when I wrote the relations between the Shia clergy and British. I would like those articles and their references to be available to any interested reader or researcher who may want to do a fuller research on the subject in the future. I am not the only one who has spent the precious time on his/her submissions and the site was a huge resource of Iran related materials that I took advantage in my own work in some instances. It was a slap in the face and if you ask me the cause of many departures from the site.

Zendanian

Zendanian An injury to one is an injury to all.

Divaneh jan, it took the old IC about a decade to evolve into what it was, when the owners changed. If I'm not mistaken it started as an Iranian Adult site.
Again if I'm not mistaken the major distinction between how much the contributors have a say on a website's content an format comes down to a simple distinction:
For profit, or non-profit.
As long as a site is for profit, there could be little chance of incorporating writers' wishes into everyday operations of the site.
Thanks for another thoughtful blog, cheers

divaneh

divaneh

Dear Zendanian, I am not against the change and evolution but I am against careless actions and haphazard decisions. I do not agree with you about the profit and non-profit aspect of the site. A for profit business that relies on free volunteers is better to listen to those volunteers or look for a buyer before it is too late.

Azadeh..Azad

Dr.Azadeh.Azad http://legacy.iranian.com/main/member/azadeh-azad

"A for profit business that relies on free volunteers is better to listen to those volunteers or look for a buyer before it is too late." I second that.

Plus, volunteer bloggers/writers MUST participate in Said Amin 's decision-making process. It's only FAIR and ...DEMOCRATIC.

Now, addressing Said: Come on , Said, give us a feedback, don't tell us that new changes are "Coming to a theatre near you", but discuss with us the issues brought up in this blog! Cheers, ~~

faramarz

Faramarz

Thank you Divaneh Jaan for your blog.

I completely agree with you that we have lost some important parts of Iranian.com in the “transition” that took place 2 months ago. We now have two sites that reflect the differing visions of their owners; JJ and Said. Many of the bloggers have also split into the two groups of “Aksaryat/majority” and “Aghalyat/minority” as is customary in the Iranian politics, while some have decided to sit this out.

JJ who is a journalist by profession has remained a hands-on editor, has streamlined and simplified his new site and has introduced chart and graphs, and multiple choice questions. If I were to describe his site, I would call it “neat and quick”! You can navigate his site in 60 seconds and be on your way to the next thing. It almost feels like a half-empty but elegant restaurant with a small menu where a few old couples are quietly eating dinner and everyone minds their own business! I believe that the site reflects JJ’s “let’s all get along” nature.

Said on the other hand is a businessman who’s been involved with dating sites and you can definitely see his business philosophy in the new site; you post your profile and depending on the category an algorithm decides your placing and your matches are found! So if you are in the right age group and in a busy area you get many “chat requests”. But if not, and you did not post a good picture of yourself, you get stuck in the bottom of the pile with no dates or prospects! The site feels like a very busy kitchen with many cooks putting out plates, waiters running in and out and grabbing things and in the process some orders get lost and some customers becoming very unhappy! A total chaos!

divaneh

divaneh

Faramarz jaan, I like your analogies but I think both restaurants are now serving junk food. I have raised two points, one was the unnecessary burial of the old content which included many research, literature, reports, interviews, art and photography that could be searched by any interested party. The second is the fast rotation of the material that has reduced the creation of original content in this site. Many have left silently and are no longer around and those who are left seem a lot less active.

JJ is now owner of a dull site with some graphs that on average attracts about 20 views per item, probably by the same 10 people. Nothing wrong with that, but unless he makes some drastic changes or show some innovations nothing will change. This dating site seems to be on the right path for the same number of visitors.

faramarz

Faramarz

The old stuff is still available http://iranian.com/main/member/divaneh.html but not readily available.

I totally agree with you that the new design and the migration of the old stuff (what migration) was done without much care or user input. JJ punted it to Said, and Said didn't have any emotional connection to it, the way you and I and the rest of the bloggers did.

divaneh

divaneh

Yes it is available but as I have repeatedly complained it cannot be searched or reached through external links or cached searches in search engines. It is as good as not being there altogether.

The problem is that Said thinks these material are like a man or a woman who has found a partner and is no longer of any interest to other site users.

EsfandAashena

Esfand Aashena

Divaneh you are indeed as your name suggests = CRAZY! First of all this line of thought that blames the entire Iranian nation on something or someone is BS! Every society goes through cultural and historical evolutions, some of which very bad, most of which is accomplished when one generation is 6 feet under.

You've now taken this line of thought and blaming "us" for the failures of Said and JJ?? We actually had TONS of discussions about how to improve the old i.com. I for one had lots of blogs and lots of comments about this very issue and most people participated in at least one of those discussions. There were many others.

The fact that the old i.com changed a lot of its formatting and organization was a direct result of user input. Why and how do you think JJ moved from the wild wild west of people using profanity against other users' sisters and mothers (including JJ's) in the comments with 100% "freedom" to first moderated comments and then registered comments?

So my friend this mess has nothing to do with "us". The blame rests 100% on the shoulders of JJ and @SaidAmin and 50/50 at that. Now they've been at this for only 2 months but in my view 2 months is a lot and in this environment you can lose a lot in 2 months. Lastly, Said is not new to the internet business, he has a very successful internet dating site (I should say sites) which has made him a millionaire who does NOT need our subscriptions as subscriptions will kill this site for good! So the jury is still out.

divaneh

divaneh

As usual you have not got the point. If you would like to know what is all this BS about, then please read it again and try to understand it.

EsfandAashena

Esfand Aashena

"As usual", yes of course! Like trying to start a revolution from Europe. That's ok, you can believe what you want to believe.

divaneh

divaneh

What did I say? You never get the point. New reading glasses may help.

Shirzadegan

Siavash

Interesting blog.
For some reason the viewers on the new site are dropping drastically. I remember on the old site I wrote a blog about Golshifteh Farahai and it was viewed over 5000 times. Where are all those viewers?
My blog about Hitler Norooz greeting to Reza Khan was viewed about 6000 times and Iran's royal family norooz greeting was viewed about 13, 400 times. Where are those people now? Most of the blogs were being viewed not more than 2 or 300 times.It would be surprise if the blog get clicked over 1000. I think the old format was working very good. No need to change that format. I think the only part you were nolt agree relates to the authourity of the writer over deleting the comments that he/she didn't sees as appropriate. That could be fixed without changing the format.
Siavash

divaneh

divaneh

The number of visitors has surely dropped and if what we have see so far is an example of the competence of the new management, it will fall further. I am sorry that I sound so harsh, but honest feedback is always more useful that false praise.

Shirzadegan

Siavash

yes, I think it has something to do with management because I wrote a blog about Hitler Norooz greeting to Reza shah the great. The blog was viewed about 6000 time. At that time JJ was manager of the site. I also wrote a blog regarding "Reza shah the great" when ownership was tranfered to Mr. Said. The blog only viewed 906 times. Way different from JJ time JJ. Even thought the format was the same, but viewers were dropped when the ownership changed. I think management is very important.

P.Galenous

P_J. An Iranian!

Dear Divaneh,

Your wisdom always impresses me. I could not agree with you and Azadeh more. I can’t understand the reason behind this sudden drastic change, that is more like an upheaval, but as you mentioned may be we are all at fault and to be blamed.

I miss the old contributors, even the Shahollahi/Hezbollah characters that I vehemently disagreed with, i.e. DK, Anglophile and the rest. This should be a forum open to all Iranians and from all walks of life and a great exercise in democracy!

Thanks for the thoughtful post!

PS: Navigating this site is a BITCH, and that come from someone who has closely worked with them for years!

Shirzadegan

Siavash

"I miss the old contributors" P-J
Deep down in your heart you missed Iran during shah days. Padeshahi is deeply rooted in our culture. As Carl Jung says it is in our "collective unconscious". You probably don't realize it because it is UNconscious process.

P.Galenous

P_J. An Iranian!

Shirzadegan,

I am extremely proud of my Persian culture and our heritage and their accomplishments in the fields of art, poetry, philosophy, science, technology, and democracy. Since, Cyrus the Great was the first truly democratic ruler. He respected minorities and Persian Empire, as vast as it was, never adopted either an official language or religion in respect for other minotities and cultures.
My extreme disdain and fire is reserved and focuses on those incompetent traitors that ruled us, and by their mere wrongful actions destroyed our prestige and GOOD name, a name that had been acquired by our ancestors and passed on to us during their long and glorious tenure of more than 7000 years, in a continuous civilized manner; the dim witted idiots who destroyed our worldwide prestige, people like M R Pahlavi, the traitor, and kings of Qajar dynasty, the Islamic Republic and the rest. I also believe that time for monarchy has come and gone, expired; all you have to do is to study and observe monarchies that no longer exist, in Europe, Asia, and Africa; you will see that 95% of those monarchies are already gone and for the better.
King Farouk of Egypt had once said, in the early 50’s, that in the not too distant future, there would only be 5 kings left, four in a deck of card and the king/queen of England. And he was practically right and on the money. In third world monarchy has been synonymous with dictatorship, i.e. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Syria, Egypt and the list goes on and on and on; we should learn from that and should protect our peoples from making another irreversible disastrous mistake(s) and avoid the situation of having to deal with the ascendance of another group of Neanderthals like the members of Islamic Republic. We no longer could afford to listen to deceptive words of individuals like Reza Pahlavi who will tell us exactly what we like to hear or anyone else for that matter except to strive for a democratically elected leader, and learn from the heroic people of Egypt!.

Have a GREAT life!

Shirzadegan

Siavash

"I am extremely proud of my Persian culture and our heritage" P_J
I am also extremely proud of my ancestors who introduce monarchy as a political system for the first time to the history of mankind. We have over 5000 years history of monarchy and we should respect our history. Sometimes it was weak shah such as shah soltan hossaine. Sometimes we had strong shah such as Nader who did a lot for Iran. That doesn't mean we dismiss our rich history and talk wirth contempt about Iran's history.
The most demcratic countries such as Sweden, Holland, U.K runs by monarcy. Dictatorship is NOT result of political system. it relates to the level of people's education and many other factors.

divaneh

divaneh

I agree with you on the poor design and difficult navigation of this site. I also miss many good contributors who created original content here. Change is good but not always. Burning of Iranian libraries by invading Arab armies was also a change but albeit not a very good one. Dispensing with what was collected over many years was a very poor vision that has robbed people of a cultural resource.

Azadeh..Azad

Dr.Azadeh.Azad http://legacy.iranian.com/main/member/azadeh-azad

D jan: the previous site's materials are *archived*. Each writer can have access to their own stuff, by clicking on their names. Now, how to find their names, that's a [problem. I am lucky that the last page contains an article by me, so I can go and see my writings if I want. However, I do not know those whose names are not on the last page can have access to their stuff. This problem should be solved, plus all the materials should be accessible to everyone as in the past. Basically, I do not know the logic of archiving the old materials. It is the owner that has changed, not the contributor; and the latter are those who keep the iranian.com alive not the owner(s). ~

Azadeh..Azad

Dr.Azadeh.Azad http://legacy.iranian.com/main/member/azadeh-azad

Sorry about the typos above. In the future IC, we need to be able to correst our mistakes when we write a comment. Exactly like our blog.

Azadeh..Azad

Dr.Azadeh.Azad http://legacy.iranian.com/main/member/azadeh-azad

Dear D.,

I agree with you 100%. I liked the oleic much more than this one. Plus, we can what Esfand was asking - each blogger being able to delete the comment they don't like.

I see Dictatorship and lack of respect and empathy for others is the root of problems you mentioned.

Let's make this site a democratic one - for real and not by giving slogans. For instance at this very moment, Said is working hard on the new stuff. Well, why
Weren’t we consulted? One single person decided for the format and the rest;
well, they have to put up with that.

Let's begin the process of democratization of the site ourselves. The first question we need to ask is: Do you prefer the Old IC to this one? Yes - No. and let's give a week or 5 days for the responses. We can then negotiate with Said, whom I invite to respond to this blog.

I don't know how to create a "Yes-No" voting system. If nobody knows, then, D: you can create 3 blogs with the titles: I liked the old IC more, I like the new IC more, and I don't mind about the format.

What do you think?


Azadeh

divaneh

divaneh

Thanks for your suggestion Azadeh Jaan. I think I would be out of order to conduct such referendum and I think it would be a wasted effort that would fall on deaf ears. It is the destruction of the previous material that I find unethical most of all. Despite all promises the old contents are still buried in an unsearchable site.

P.Galenous

P_J. An Iranian!

Azadeh,

Word of advice: First type your blog on the Word document and after the spell check, use Copy and Paste.
I could not agree with you more, regarding the drastic changes made, and can’t understand the reason(s)? Change is rational and necessary when you go from something Bad to something better or GOOD; this is the reverse! If it was a matter of money, how could possibly losing bloggers, meaning revenue LOSS, have been helpful and a solution; knowing full well that advertisers compensation is directly connected to the size of the audience or number of participants.

Anyway; I wish the best and I hope that Said makes the right decision and make the right change!

Azadeh..Azad

Dr.Azadeh.Azad http://legacy.iranian.com/main/member/azadeh-azad

Thanks for the advice , P_J. It does make sense!

maziar58

maziar 58 Maziar

I hear you Div... jaan
But c'est la vie.

divaneh

divaneh

Maziar Jaan, it may be too passive or you maybe right, but I don't need to put up with it.