You may have noticed changes in Iranian.com in recent days. Well now it’s official: iranian.com 12.0 has gone live!
The site has gone through many changes in its look and feel since its launch in 1995. This time, however, the transformation is more fundamental. For the first time visitors have the power to self-publish. You can leave comments immediately on the site, have your own blog and submit articles more efficiently. Basically, you are no longer at my mercy to have your voice heard around here (do I hear “thank god”?!)
Finally, iranian.com is catching up with the rest of the internet and will offer you the kinds of services you have long been expecting.
About a year and a half ago the cost of maintaining iranian.com rose by $500 per month. That was enough to make me realize that I cannot go on as usual, which I would have, forever, publishing material manually on my own, unconcerned about the site’s gross technical deficiencies and financial mess.
Unable to pay the bills, I spoke to a good friend of mine and declared my unconditional surrender! I told him I am now ready to listen to his repeated advice and bring iranian.com into the 21st century.
Within a few months, he attracted a group of Iranian and American investors in the San Francisco Bay Area and “Iranian, LLC” was formed. What you see today is in large part the result of their faith in the site’s mission and potential.
The total investment so far has been less than $100,000. So we are a very small company. But that’s the beauty of the internet. You can be small and do very big things. I remember when I wanted to start iranian.com in my Manhattan studio, I spent only around $7,000 to buy a computer, scanner and modem with my mother’s credit card and I was all set.
Twelve years and more than 30,000 pages later, the site became way too large to manage and maintain on my own. I’ll give you a simple example that you can relate to: Readers would comment about something and it would take me weeks to include it in the Letters section. That, in this day and age, is totally unacceptable. Those who have put time, thought and energy into reacting to a piece don’t want to wait practically forever to see it published.
Now when you register, you can see your comments online immediately. You can start a blog and publish with a click of a button. How beautiful is that?
We have adopted the Drupal “content management system” to help keep track of the articles and make everything more accessible. This will relieve the burden of crafting each page manually (and making mistakes), but it does impose some rigor and challenges that may be annoying until we can smooth out the rough spots. Please be patient with “teething pains” — and be sure to use “Contact Us” to point out bugs or features you want.
This is a new beginning, although there’s still a long way to go. For now, I would like to give my thanks and appreciation to several volunteer testers who helped us get here with their constructive comments and suggestions. They are Parham, Nazy Kaviani, Leva Zand, Mehran Ebrahimi, Sanam Dolatshahi, Nazli Kamvar, Javaneh Javid and Bruce Bahmani.
And most of all a big thanks to our team — Business Manger Wayne Willis, site engineer Foaad Khosmood and designer Ardalan Payvar — for their hard, wonderful work, despite my tantrums and unreasonable requests.
I’m very happy I listened to my friend’s advice. I hope you will too.