- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 April 11, 2003 

Outside Eye: A non-Armenian's view of life in his adopted home

I want to tell you who you are.

And where you are, how many you are, and what you had for breakfast this morning. Ok, I made that last one up, but I can answer the other three questions thanks to information about visitors to ArmeniaNow that we get from a tracking service.

It makes for fascinating reading and truly illustrates the unique power of the Internet as a medium of communication capable of bringing together people who could never otherwise forge a common bond.

Last month, 25,000 of you visited the website, most more than once, often spending an hour or more reading the news reports and features produced by our reporters. In an era of gnat-like attention spans, it's pretty gratifying to know you like spending time with us.

You live in 93 countries, representing the full span of human culture, but share an interest in events affecting one small republic that has not yet entered its teen years.

Most of you live in the United States, understandably given that it is the biggest Armenian Diaspora and the one most wired to the web. In fact, ArmeniaNow has readers in 46 states; we're still waiting for people in Mississippi, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana to find us.

Over the border in Canada, readers log on from nine Canadian provinces with Ontario and Quebec leading the field. We even have a reader in the Yukon Territory and we'd love you to drop us a note telling us what life as an Armenian is like out there.

People in no fewer than 40 countries in Europe visited ArmeniaNow in the past month. The United Kingdom has most readers (gratifyingly for this Brit), followed by the Netherlands and Germany. Sweden, rather surprisingly, comes next, just ahead of France and Russia.

One of our ambitions for ArmeniaNow is to produce the site in Russian, so that we can better meet the needs of this large and increasingly influential Diaspora community. But besides the big boys of Europe, it's intriguing to learn that we also have fans in Monaco, the Faroe Islands, and the Vatican City.

Armenia is placed under Asia by our tracking service and it heads a list of 34 countries in the region where we have readers, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Iran.

All logical enough. But how to explain the 18 visitors in North Korea, supposedly a closed society with strict controls over the Internet? Or that Taiwan registers more readers than India? Interesting, too, to note that ArmeniaNow even gets readers in Azerbaijan.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say hello to our readers in Nepal, Cambodia, and Mongolia. Not often a journalist gets to say that in one sentence.

Egypt tops the chart of eight countries in Africa where we have readers, but it's strange to discover that we're also big in Mauritius, which comes second. Knowing that Uruguay is our most popular Latin American base, out of seven countries there, is obviously much easier to fathom.

Australia doesn't miss out either, recording seven times as many readers as neighboring New Zealand.

Your lives and experiences are as varied as the countries you inhabit. But what brings you together here at ArmeniaNow is a shared passion for knowledge about life in this small corner of the globe.

The fact that you keep coming back suggests we are doing something right and that you find what we do useful. So here's where all this is leading.

We want more of you. We want this community to flourish so that when you log on, you know that there are thousands of like-minded people around the world who share your enthusiasm for Armenia.

If each of you tells just one other person to check out ArmeniaNow over the next month then the visitor numbers double. If you like what you read, then share it by spreading the word.

I'll let you know in a month or so how many of you take up the challenge.


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  Photo of the week
  Drawing Criticism
Click on the photo above to enlarge

Drawing Criticism

An exhibition of cartoons has been on display at Moscow Cinema since April 1. It is the first such exhibit in 17 years and not everybody is pleased about whose work was included. Among the aggrieved was this group of young cartoonists whose cartoons were not selected. They rallied outside the cinema Monday, wearing their work.



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