Final Project: Overview

Tagline: “Your picture of America’s changing place in the world.”

Goal:

Here is my original mission statement that I created at the beginning of the class: “This site is here to follow the developments of the new president’s diplomacy with the Middle East, the European Union, Russia, and China. It will take note in changes from years past and gauge public reaction to new policy.”

I have focused on the areas that I originally laid out, except for relations with Europe. Really, most of my attention has been on Iran (and its relations with Israel) and Pakistan/Afghanistan because that’s where most of the news is coming out. I have read some interesting things about U.S. relations with Russia and China, but these consist more of big picture ideas and less of breaking news.

I have noted at points how policy is changing, but I need a better way for people to easily see the big picture of where America was under Bush and where it is now under Obama.

So I have come up with an exciting 2.0 version of what my site will be. I’m not satisfied with just a blog in which each post is a summary of a news item. My goal is to have a site that people can come to access relevant foreign policy news, and then read and react to less frequent, better thought out, essay style arguments that would be my blog posts. It would also be easy to click on an overview page for each country and get background info. Another goal is to write provocative ideas in my essays and get long, opinionated comment threads going.

Community:

My audience falls under the news junkie demographic – the people that seek out specific news they want to read, on a daily basis. Beyond prominent stories like North Korea launching a nuke, world news isn’t top of mind for the casual news consumer.

Another big element is the politically partisan. These people aren’t necessarily the best informed, but they really care about foreign policy. They want to see their opinions reinforced and they want to react against something they passionately disagree with. My challenge is to get the “unpatriotic” peaceniks and the “fascist” war hawks together in the same discussion. This will require stirring up some controversy.

More on the Community

Plan:

• A main page that has a drudge-style headline aggregation of relevant stories (that I would carefully pick and choose). I suppose this could be updated throughout the day.
• Then I would have pages for each of the most important countries – Israel, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China.
• Blog posts that aren’t necessarily daily, but periodical recaps of what’s going on, some of them with essay style arguments.
• On the editorial side, some controversial commentary that spurs debate.
• Use social networking tools and get involved in pre-existing message boards to connect with people passionate about foreign policy and politics.

Detailed Development Plan

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