Expanding the Web Presence of Revolution
This is true in regard to the print edition of Revolution, and the web edition. Funds are needed both to expand distribution, and to make the site more attractive and accessible, so it can be more easily found and used online.
Currently, Revolution reaches thousands of e-subscribers each issue, as well as being read online by people who come to revcom.us. E-subs are free… to readers, but cost money to send out. Since Revolution does not charge for e-subs, they are currently subsidized by our present level of fundraising. Additional funds will allow us to expand the number of e-subs we send out. And additional funding will allow us to do much more targeted emailing of specific articles. Plus, additional funding will allow us to advertise articles online.
Here’s an example of how our current online presence could be radically improved with an expanded fund base: In celebration of Black History Month 2007, Bob Avakian contributed a series of four articles to Revolution: “The Oppression of Black People and the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression.” These articles spoke to the bitter reality—and the fundamental source—of the oppression of Black people throughout the history of the U.S., from the days of slavery down to the present time, and pointed to the revolutionary road to ending this oppression, and all forms of oppression and exploitation. We purchased a few sponsored search ads on Google, so that when people searched for “Black History” this series appeared as a prominent paid listing. Hundreds of readers found the series this way. We also emailed this series out to selected lists of activists, academics, and others. And we networked with other web sites to promote this series. The series was also reprinted at the Black Commentator web site.
This exciting project used up our small budget for online advertising and expansion. Imagine how much more of this we could do with more funds – identifying audiences for articles, and attracting readers online.
Increasing online distribution is part of the budget for our project to expand the circulation of Revolution, and your contribution to that project helps increase web readership. But increasing web readership hinges on improving the look and functionality of our site. When we do attract readers to revcom.us, they need to find a more accessible, more dynamic, more graphical, and more interactive site.
People read this online edition under all kinds of conditions, from homeless people in public libraries in the US to readers in the Third World with primitive Internet connections, to people who expect automatic content downloads onto their handheld devices. It is painful to get complaints from people reading the paper under these conditions that our page designs do not print well, or are hard to download or read in their viewing environment. We need to upgrade our web design expertise, hardware, and software to produce web content that is universally accessible.
On the other end of the spectrum, many people expect to find graphics, and audio and video content. Providing media at our site would create all kinds of exciting opportunities to reach new audiences. Think YouTube. Creating this content costs money that we currently don’t have. Money that will allow us to acquire a web hosting service with substantially more capacity to store and send out media, as well as a new generation of computers and software to produce and maintain modern web content.
“ In the series, ‘The Oppression of Black People and the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression,’ Bob Avakian is talking about slavery from a point of view that history will show that slavery was unique in a sense that it has never been made clear its real purpose. We need a brand new consideration of slavery. Black people have been cheated out of the history of what really happened. It was fantastic that he was willing to write that history. I want to thank him. Being a historian myself, I am concerned that the true history has never been told, it's been hidden. Revolution has the most intelligent and factual information that people should be aware of in the present time.“
—Hal Perry, member of USF Dons 1955-56 NCAA basketball championship teams, captain on the 1956 team
[Translated from Spanish:] “ I love movies and documentaries. I think it is very important that you keep writing (and translating) Revolution because it has a focus which we don't often see, or consider, or we forget. The movies that you select to review are very good, as is the extra information you write about them. It would be great if you could publicize your newspaper in the universities and other schools.
“ —An 18-year-old communications student at Ciudad Universitaria [the main campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico] in Mexico City
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