A look back and ahead

A few editorial musings about the past and future of the Digital Toolbox for Iranian Studies, upcoming changes and plans.

It’s been a while, over a year to be more precise, since I wrote my first editorial on this blog. To be honest, it still sounds way too pompous for me to write an “editorial”. After all, I’m just running a simple blog and not a magazine here. But I like the idea that media offerings on the Internet should also be accompanied by a foreword from the editor. And besides, I wish I wouldn’t remain the only contributor to this blog in the long run. But more on that below. A lot has changed since the first editorial: I wrote a few articles (some of which I am currently revising), the layout of the blog has changed, and most importantly, the Digital Toolbox for Iranian Studies has grown significantly and now contains 650 digital resources. With many links still being in my backlog, I guess we will be approaching 700 resources until the end of December.

Some statistics and a sincere “thank you”

Apparently, I’ve been viewing incomplete visitor statistics for all of last year. Only now I see the actual numbers: According to the more detailed statistics of the blog, during the past year over 104,000 total site hits were recorded, while my analytics software (Matomo) counted around 4000 unique visitors from at least 40 different countries. While I am not a fan of such quantifications, since they are just another level of reification in this hopeless attention economy we all live in now, nevertheless it makes me very happy that my little science blogging project and the Digital Toolbox fo Iranian Studies is useful for people from so many different contexts. Some of you have written me lovely emails full of hints to valuable digital resources. Also the kind reactions on Twitter motivate me a lot to continue the blog and expand the toolbox. To all contributors and friends on Twitter, many of whom I would really love to meet in real life: my sincere thanks for your support!

From now on, I will write an editorial more regularly and report on the state of the Toolbox and my further plans. Also, having a regular editorial is a fine opportunity to bring a more personal note to the blog and to share some of my musings on Academia’s gloom and bloom, and perhaps occasionally some poetry and lyrical prose.

Expanding the Digital Toolbox

Very soon I will finally switch the navigation of the blog from German to English, however the language of blog posts will vary from case to case (German, perhaps Dutch, English and Farsi).

Changes implemented
  • A better layout with easier navigation for the Digital Toolbox
  • Toolbox section on Iranian publishing houses
  • Additional pages with a focus on certain topics
  • Separate page about collections and archives of the early photography of Iran and the region
  • Seperate page about historic and contemporary travelogues and the Iranian discourse on foreign travel writing
  • And many more 😉

Future plans & funding

vezvez-e kandū is an independent research blog to advance academic and public knowledge in the field of Iranian Studies and it is not funded by and not affiliated with any political or religious institution, group, party or movement. Any links shared on this blog are not to be understood as endorsements.

With that said: From the very beginning, I intended to realize this blog project as a collaborative effort, but for the time being I am still the only one responsible for its content. I sincerely hope to collaborate with photographers, illustrators, typographers and calligraphers for individual articles in the future. I want to offer them a reasonable payment for their contributions and artwork, which I unfortunately cannot financially handle myself in my current life situation. That is why I am considering accepting donations in the future, although I am not sure which donation platform would fullfil this purpose best for me. Of course, I will be transparent about the donations received and their intended use. But for now, the blog is still completely self-funded.

I wish you all well,

Vincent Vaessen

Cover photo: a blooming Fritillaria kurdica between rocks in Dālāhū county, taken by the author in 2018, CC-BY-NC-SA-Licence 4.0.

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By Vincent Vaessen

Works in refugee and youth welfare, former student of Iranian Studies, avid music collector, podcast listener, Linux and free software enthousiast.

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