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August 26, 2006

Blogging Ideas

While it is not yet end of month for my usually abusive engagement with my readers, whatever dwindling number there may be, I wanted to pitch a thought or two and see where current interests are.

First, regarding the pitching of a thought.

I have been toying with the idea, and have obviously discussed with the Sultanet Aqoul, the concept of having a sub-blog to Aqoul focused exclusively on MENA business and economic development issues (which includes politics, but would require posts focused not on the politics qua politics, but economic development, or business issues as in a political-business risk perspective). Economic issues are my real passion, but I have the impression that they garner largely a specialised readership and interest. I think Aqoul Iqtisadi (my working title) would be interesting and fun, but would like it to be more than just The Lounsbury whanking on - not that I have anything against that per se, but my work on lauching some funds is going to keep me bandwidth narrow and also a diversity of informed comment I think is often more fun than just one whanker.

Suggestions on (i) if this might fly, (ii) if there might be bloggers out there who would like to contribute, (iii) other thoughts are actually welcome.

Second, while blogging to be honest is all about what catches one's eye at themoment, so planning in advance is a bit of a empty pretension, I thought I might solicit ideas of issues to treat. And please, Eva, if you suggest anything, try to make it focused, I am not open to 'Write about the Biggest Thing in Islam Today."

Posted by The Lounsbury at August 26, 2006 01:56 PM
Filed Under: Blog Notes - Admin

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The big issue is diversifying out of hydrocarbon dependence, of course.
One very interesting thing that I saw you hint at somewhere along the way was the whole issue of water and how it affects relations between Israel and its neighbors. First off, a post on those issues would be welcome, and secondly, I can't imagine that's the only place where availability of water affects what happens in that area.
The currency union about to be tried among the Gulf states is also very interesting.

Posted by: pantom at August 26, 2006 04:44 PM

I would prefer for the business/development posts to stay on the front page. I know I read them, and think of them as part of the main stream of what Aqoul does (and have tried to add bits and pieces in that vein when I could).

Posted by: Tom Scudder at August 26, 2006 04:54 PM

like tom, i'd prefer it remain on the front page. i don't always read them due to mental bandwith constraints but when i do i find them quite interesting. plus, it makes aqoul look like it's about more than sex.

perhaps E could setup an RSS feed just for economic/business/financial items so that interested parties can get a direct feed minus the sex...

i'd be interested in a more formal treatment of the impact of shutting down the rail line between Tunis and Casablanca.

Posted by: drdougfir [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 26, 2006 05:07 PM

Never fear, you are unlikely to get much business-related commentary from me, unless it intersects with sociocultural isses.

Posted by: Eva Luna [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 26, 2006 05:18 PM

Let me clarify.

I was not thinking of removing biz posts from Aqoul, but having centralised side presentation.

Posted by: The Lounsbury at August 26, 2006 05:29 PM

let me clarify.

i dont like the idea of side presentation. if people really want to pull the biz posts out to read, they can use the categories tool. keep it all together. no point in fracturing all that is aqoul.

but, then again, my opinion hardly matters. you'll do whatever you want anyway.

Posted by: drdougfir [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 26, 2006 05:37 PM

Front page is not an issue, note that all the sub-blogs (eerie, Lounsbury and Books & Media) already get published on the front page.

However, when L and others feel like publishing business entries/notes that are obviously too wonky and technical for the general Aqoul audience, they have a separate space for it that still integrates with the main Aqoul site. It also opens things up for other business types to contribute if they are inclined (am looking at you pantom).

Of course, am still working out the scope with L.

Posted by: eerie [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 26, 2006 05:38 PM


you're going to make me subscribe to yet ANOTHER RSS feed, aren't you?

Posted by: drdougfir [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 26, 2006 05:43 PM

Yes. Life is hard!

Posted by: eerie [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 26, 2006 05:46 PM

Well, putting in my 2 kopecks (a totally worthless sum, BTW) - econ isn't my main focus by any means, but I like to absorb the thoughts of others - and am more likely to bother reading stuff if it's smack in the middle of the main page.

Posted by: Eva Luna [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 26, 2006 06:08 PM

A separate column somewhere just off the middle of main page. Prominent but not central. Unless the business issue intersects the HOT TOPIC (eg Dubai Ports).

Posted by: matthew hogan at August 26, 2006 06:49 PM

e: flattering, but really, I read Mr L's stuff and realize this is a world I know nothing about. I mean sheesh, I looked at an Arabic grammar a few weeks ago and just shook my head in amazement (TWO glottal stops? I mean, c'mon!), and I actually once was very familiar with Iroquoian language grammar, so it's not like I haven't seen exotic languages. But Arabic is just whacky.
I'm told by Jews I know that Hebrew is similar, which isn't surprising, so maybe I should try going to Hebrew school or something. Or really wimp out and take Farsi.

Posted by: pantom at August 26, 2006 07:31 PM

I don't think there are enough business post to justify a separate blog.

Posted by: David Weman at August 26, 2006 08:06 PM


Not at the moment, I often refrain as I feel many items would not be of sufficient interest to put on Aqoul, given the main interest based on trafic and the like is socio-political issues.

I don't personally like to break up the flow and there are some items that simply are not of a general interest.

Pantom: Grammar of Arabic has fuck all to do with the subject.

Posted by: The Lounsbury at August 26, 2006 08:17 PM

I should note that one of my lines of thinking in this area is that the Biz Eco line tend to have a divergent audience from the main Aqoul and while they would still show through to Aqoul, a seperate main address over time for Eco Biz stuff would fill a market niche that is not presently being addressed.

There are, to be blunt, lots of blogs that do Aqoul type things - although often not as well - but far fewer that treat Bizi/Eco issues in MENA.

It may be that demand is not there, but what the fuck, zero added cost.

Posted by: The Lounsbury at August 26, 2006 08:38 PM

Well, go ahead then.

Posted by: David Weman at August 26, 2006 09:23 PM

If there are many blogs that do what 'Aqoul does, then putting the bizecon stuff on the main page would be a good differentiator. Of course, like you said, zero cost added for a separate section and all that, but I think that the number of contributors still being under 15 with about 4 or 5 frequent ones, it would be nice to have one RSS that delivers it all in one place. Pick and choosers could also get their own if they really don't care about either the bizcon or the sex. You are one of the most salient features on the site, and having three (or more?) different blogs to catch everything seems like a bit much.

Posted by: Frandroid Atreides at August 26, 2006 10:03 PM

Hmm. I feel a draft.

Posted by: pantom at August 26, 2006 11:16 PM

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