Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chaotic Anniversary

Yup, Global Chaos deserves a birthday cake! Friday marked the first year since I started my very own blog, so I decided to write up a quick overview of major developments/highlights of the past 12 months.

I started blogging as a part of coursework for the foundation class in my program, International Communication. The original group blog - SIS 640 Communiacs - soon became an outlet not just for posting the weekly reading responses, but also for various thoughts and observations related to International Communication and international affairs. I guess we all owe special thanks to Dr. Craig Hayden for the inspiration!

Upon the end of the semester I decided to keep writing. After all, I had finally found an area I was genuinely interested in and decided to stick to (anyone who knows me personally will attest to the fact that I'm having great difficulty in choosing specializations - not the best thing, perhaps...) - public diplomacy and strategic communication. I had tried blogging before - twice - but, for some reason, I never managed to keep it up. This time I promised to myself to keep working on it. I incorporated some older posts, including those from the class blog, but made sure to add new ones at least once a week.

Chinese for "Chaos". The definitions of the word range from "unformed matter" or "a jumble", to "condition or place of great disorder or confusion". Whatever the actual meaning, I believe it very well represents our world (at least the one that I've seen so far). Hence, the name of the blog.

I started with some shots from the first DC Snowpocalypse, and writing soon became an obsession. I guess I was also strongly encouraged by the fact that other bloggers and several major blog digests started picking up and linking to some of my posts, increasing the number of visitors. Here, very special thanks go to Dr. John Brown and Global Voices Online, which, I am sure, not only helped attract more readers (and contributors!) to Global Chaos, but also increase their diversity. (OK, I'll thank Dorsey, Williams and Stone, too, for creating something called Twitter.)

As I looked at the map of visitors today, I should say I was pleasantly surprised:

121 countries! (Global chaos, indeed...) Of course, America is the top "source" of visitors, which says a lot about the level of interest in the general subjects/themes I discuss (as well as my actual location and language). Among other top visiting countries are Armenia, UK, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Russia (surprise, surprise!), France and Turkey. Some of the more surprising visits came from places like Mauritius, Laos, Belize, or Tanzania, to name but a few. Why surprising? I never touch upon subjects that would be directly relevant to those countries. Don't you just love globalization and the Internet?!

Seeing the most-read posts also provides useful feedback in terms of pointing out subjects of greatest interest. The most popular post by far has been the one on the Genocide Resolution and Armenia's PD failure that I wrote last March (heh, wonder why..?!). It is followed by "The Illusion of Knowledge", "SALT and the Story Behind It", and "Russian 101: R-Rated PD". This indicates (besides proving - yet again - that sex and controversy sell) that there is interest in a more honest and open discussion, meaning that Global Chaos should, indeed, remain an "UNdiplomatic blog".

RussiaToday TV (RT) is probably my favorite subject of discussion, after public diplomacy itself. I think it's obvious why.

The fifth most-read post was "New Media and Conflict Resolution: Cyber-Utopia?", which later provided the opportunity to join an exciting transnational project that aims to bring the people of the Caucasus together (special thanks to Onnik Krikorian for the invitation and encouragement!). Certainly, being Armenian, I cannot stay away from subjects that involve Turkey and Azerbaijan.

It was also great seeing comments, engaging in discussions, and getting "unofficial" feedback in person. I would only ask for more!

Now, as I hope to start serious work on my capstone project on Russian PD, my posts might keep focusing mostly on issues that relate to Russia and/or the region. However, as mentioned earlier, there are so many interesting things happening around (and so much chaos!), that discussing other subjects and issues would be simply unavoidable.

So, the major New Year's resolutions for 2011 for Global Chaos will be:

- Get readers from Greenland, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan (though, I'm afraid, they might be blocking Blogspot), and the Gambia (why not?!). Help, anyone?

- Write more often. I do enjoy it.

Any comments, suggestions, and contributions are very welcome, as always (exception: those that exhibit nationalism/xenophobia/intolerance in any shape or form). And no, there will be no ads (that's a promise)!

Lastly, of course, thank you for reading. Hope to see you back! :-)



  1. Congratulations... Շնորհավորում ու համբուրում եմ Լենա ջան... :* :*

  2. Rodica P. (another AUBG veteran)December 22, 2010 at 6:06 AM

    Lenka, congrats!!! and keep up the great work you're doing! Not only you manage to keep up with the chaos all over the world, but you make sense of it too and serve it HOT, just the way we like it;) Happy posts in 2011!

  3. Aww, thanks a bunch, dear dear people! :)
    Miss you much..

  4. Bravo be, Lenka, you rock my world <3
    Keep posting, I do love your blog!

  5. Keep up good work!
    The blog posts are almost always provocative and thought-provoking, more often than not insightful and usually informative and analytical.
    Conscious efforts to place the subject matter into theoretical frameworks deserve special mention.
    Also, usually posts are well-structured.
    While too much is written (and, in general, reported) about Russia these days in and by media and other sources, most of those reports are either biased or uninformed or both, or plain propaganda.
    I think "Global Chaos" is a pleasant exception, more so that it addresses mostly unchartered waters of Russia's PD.
    Good luck.
    I expect more interesting posts in 2011, which will give yet another opportunity to debate, reflect and discuss.

  6. Thank you, thank you... Do appreciate the constant flow of feedback, and certainly, would love more idea pitches! ;-)

  7. Woohoo, a blog with a history! Keep 'em coming!