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Re: More Green Left web readers

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  • bobgould987
    By Bob Gould A general question for Peter Boyle, over and above factional and polemical considerations. This report of the extraordinary number of hits on the
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 6, 2005
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      By Bob Gould

      A general question for Peter Boyle, over and above factional and
      polemical considerations.

      This report of the extraordinary number of hits on the Green Left site
      is encouraging from the point of view of socialist propaganda.

      The World Socialist Web Site, which positioned itself early on the
      web, seems to get an even more spectacular response, and that's also
      encouraging, in a general way, for socialists.

      It's an open secret that sales of printed socialist newspapers,
      including Green Left Weekly, are probably at an all-time low.

      Personally, I'm inclined to favour persisting with print socialist
      newspapers as an agitational tool. From that point of view, despite
      political differences, the print edition of GLW is a considerable
      achievement.

      Nevertheless, the effort and cost of producing the paper is obviously
      considerable.

      I wonder how, despite the enormous number of hits on radical web
      presences such as GLW, WSWS and others, it's possible to generate
      enough finance on the web to cover the cost of up-to-the-minute coverage.

      Joaquin Bustelo, for instance, seems to have a very expansive view of
      the possibilities of the web, but it seems we need an objective
      discussion of the issues and possibilities for socialists on the web,
      and what continuing utility printed socialist propaganda has as well.

      I'm not convinced by Bustelo rubbishing the idea of printed socialist
      journals.

      Our experience at Ozleft isn't in the same league as the mainly
      agitational web presences of GLW and WSWS, but our experience is that
      even for a site that concentrates mostly on history and theory, the
      interest and access rate is going up rapidly.

      This also has a bearing on printed magazine projects such as Seeing
      Red, Dissent, Arena, Overland and others.

      One thing that Peter Boyle might gives us, if he doesn't mind, is the
      raw figures as to how the hits on GLW break down between Australia and
      overseas.
    • Peter Boyle
      ... I think the degree to which the internet is cutting into hard copy distribution should not be overstated. Over the last couple of years, while the weekly
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 6, 2005
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        bobgould987 wrote:

        > It's an open secret that sales of printed socialist newspapers,
        > including Green Left Weekly, are probably at an all-time low.

        I think the degree to which the internet is cutting into hard copy
        distribution should not be overstated. Over the last couple of years,
        while the weekly street sales of Green Left Weekly have gone down from
        an average of about 2000 to about 1500, this seems more related to the
        amount of activist time put into that form of distribution. This varies
        with the state of the movements (which has been low), degree of
        organisation, competing demands for activist time, etc. However, with
        relatively little attention, we have maintained in addition to those
        sales, some 1300 domestic subscribers (including members of DSP and
        Resistance). And the rate of street sales has remained pretty constant.
        With the announcement of details of Howard's proposed new union laws,
        Green Left Weekly distribution has been rising again.

        So despite the fact that many people are turning to the internet for
        their politics (see Downloading Democracy
        <http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/01/12/1105423548673.html>, I
        Surf and I Vote
        <http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/02/1088488154538.html?from=storylhs>),
        there is still an important political role for printed publications on
        the left, both as an agitator and organiser.... and finance raiser!


        >
        > Nevertheless, the effort and cost of producing the paper is obviously
        > considerable.
        >
        > I wonder how, despite the enormous number of hits on radical web
        > presences such as GLW, WSWS and others, it's possible to generate
        > enough finance on the web to cover the cost of up-to-the-minute coverage.
        >
        If and when we discover "the secret" of making big bucks from left
        publishing on the internet, we will tell all our friends! But we are
        researching seriously, don't you worry about that.

        > I'm not convinced by Bustelo rubbishing the idea of printed socialist
        > journals.
        >
        Neither am I.

        >
        >
        > One thing that Peter Boyle might gives us, if he doesn't mind, is the
        > raw figures as to how the hits on GLW break down between Australia and
        > overseas.
        >
        I think it is about 70% overseas but still enough domestic web readers
        to ensure

        > During the election, the Labor Party was the second most popular site
        > and /Green Left Weekly/ received more visits than the Liberal Party.
        > Hitwise recorded that the most popular search terms that political
        > visitors typed in were "Michael Moore", "globalisation", "abortion",
        > "Vietnam War", "US military casualties", "Aboriginal flag", "Nelson
        > Mandela" and "Mark Latham". -
        > <<http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/01/12/1105423548673.html>


        and

        > “If you look at the top websites that Australians visited just last
        > week, Michael Moore was the number one, you know, global site that
        > they went to. The second one was the /Green Left Weekly/ which has a
        > huge proportion of 18- to 24-year-olds.” - Tessa Court, from the web
        > monitoring company Hitwise.
        > <http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2004/590/590p9.htm>


        See also:

        ABC Media Report with Mick O'Regan, "A Young Person's Media Guide to
        Politics"
        <http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/mediarpt/stories/s1203687.htm>
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