by PIRAO Chief, April 8, 2004
With only 37% annual growth over March 2003, March 2004 was our worst month I can remember since doing these reports. March is usually a very important month for our web readership growth for the year. This year, I can advance a few main ideas about falling below our planned pace for the Five Year Plan requiring 80 to 120% growth a year: 1) Last year at this time, we benefitted from huge rallies regarding Iraq and as we said before there is nothing that beats getting out there at a rally to hand out the MIM Notes. This year rallies were down. 2) In February, we set ourselves back by failing to publish one issue of MIM Notes and as a result, people did not turn to the web page from the newspaper that did not come out. 3) We've simply reached a "wall" in terms of our readership. I expect by June that I will be able to inform the party whether or not the web traffic trend we see here in this report is a one-time matter or a new difficulty.
With regard to the worst-case scenario of the "wall," I would like to say that something like "continuous revolution" or disruption is necessary for this central task report to reflect meeting our Five Year Plan goals. I assume we will not meet our new goals just by staying on a steady path or chugging along like a well-oiled machine. The machine will have to become bigger with more various components.
At first glance, it seemed that individual readership of articles set many new records. Also, the culture and arts aspect of the web page as judged by the numbers below are still chugging along at pace for our Five Year Plan. It is only by probing deeper that we see the statistical trend problems which I will not be able to cast more light on right now.
In another matter, I have to raise the issue of funding. Since September 11th, 2001, MIM did shift into an offensive gear out of the recognition that such events tend to become historical turning points. We have distributed millions of newspapers and leaflets. We also average over a million web page articles distributed per year. Of course, the imperialists are countering that with more than 1000 times as much material quantitatively speaking. We are just the yeast, so we have to go on answering questions people have and dispensing the enemy's quantity with our quality. The enemy succeeds with the Big Lie and repetition, but we have to keep puncturing the Lie for whatever portion of people are concerned with hard truth. We are in a major position of obvious-to-the-world "We told you so" with the war in Iraq: thank you George Bush and thank you Democrats for all voting for the war so that everyone can see what you are made of. People can see that MIM answers questions more accurately than people in the U.S. Government who have the job of answering questions of international war and peace. The degree to which we take advantage of our current position and the military position of the Iraqi liberation fighters who supposedly would not exist according to the U.S. Government will depend on money.
In this process of advance and consolidation, the summer is a period of consolidation. This year we have planned scaling back for summer. With the resources that we have, that makes the most sense. In contrast, we imagine that some of you our readers might have different ideas, that maybe we should change how we do things to take advantage of the national liberation upsurge in Iraq and the politicization surrounding that. Maybe some of you don't like the idea of decreasing the MIM-led offensive, at least not in this particular summer when it may be possible to unravel the whole U.$. intervention in Iraq and put the "Patriot Act" type fascists on the defensive.
In fact, with the resources we have had with some one-time funding, right now we are planning a step backward for the fall and winter as well. Hopefully in the coming days and weeks, new donors will step forward and the fall and winter offensives for 2004 and 2005 will proceed on even higher levels. Funding in the next six or eight weeks will help the most in making sure we do not disassemble the apparatus we have put together at some start-up expense. In the worst event, there will be some offensive in the fall of 2004 and winter 2005, but just not on the scale we have seen in recent months. I provide this level of detail as a matter of accountability in case anyone thinks they can contribute to extending the MIM-led offensive instead of letting us scale it back.
If someone or a combination of people out there would like to change MIM's resource outlook, it would take at least $10,000 to start changing our tactics so that we see more offensive activity in the summer. As before, MIM has no professional staff. Funds go into printing and transport. We also have expenses for the prisons and sleight expenses for the web page. As always, we advise people to send in money orders made to MIM, not from your persynal bank accounts but in anonymous form while keeping the stubs for a while.
Lately some have increased their regular donations and we've had some catch up on their donations and start making their regular donations. They know who they are and we thank them. However, looking at these central task reports, it would seem that we should be picking up new donors and some of our infrequent donors should start becoming regular. That's why we emphasize picking up new and more regular donors as necessary to increasing the MIM-led offensive.
There is one last point I would like to make about the division of labor and funding. Right now, we know that high schools are buzzing with talk about MIM articles. The suspicion still runs deep among youth that the adults are propagandizing them on any variety of subjects including communism. Likewise, a whole new strata of people in their twenties are taking hard second and third looks at the questions of Stalin and Mao. If MIM were smashed 100% later today, there are many youth who would continue probing deeper into questions that older people regard as settled with "communism is dead" propaganda.
At the same time that MIM's readership increases, we need to realize that except for the very wealthiest youth, money will not generally be available in high school. Our readership can and does expand hugely among the youth without generating an immediate financial lift to the party. Such is the disadvantage of being in the position of "yeast" in contrast with the major parties that spent $800 million campaigning just for president in 2000.
People in high school are learning to read more competently, type and write better. Skills and experience as a revolutionary continue to build in a persyn's twenties and all through life. It's important not to get discouraged by the gap between one's desire and one's abilities. As some bourgeois do-it-yourself-entrepreneur types say, if we all improve 1% a day or even a week, that is more than enough over the long run of years. If someone high school age can figure out how to obtain MIM $30,000 great, but if not, it's just a matter of staying on the revolutionary road and not getting discouraged.
|Figure||March, 2003||March, 2004||% change|
|Number of different computers MIM served||37500||51399||+37%|
|Avg. MIM pages served per day||3085||4435||+44%|
|MIM data transferred||138 megabytes/day||143 megabytes/day||3.6%|
|MIM Notes printed copies pre-911=100||194||222|
|All language newspapers printed copies compared with pre-911=100||222|
|Number of top 53 cites of U.$/Kanada receiving at least 1000 MIM Notes**||Unknown||8|
|Average days after print date by which 80% of papers have been distributed||Unknown||+15||MIM prison circulation averaged over two months Jan 2002=100||0|
|Number of different MIM web page files actively chosen from||4601||4859||+5.6%|
|Number of Art page users||7711||16665||+116%|
|Amazon visitors sent from web page||499||980||+96%|