by PIRAO Chief, May 10, 2004
MIM's central task: "to create public opinion and the independent institutions of the oppressed to seize power."
For the first time in recorded statistics, MIM has suffered a setback in its web page readership. The most important statistic in web page traffic is the number of computers who visit. In April 2004, the figure was actually lower than in 2003, when the big anti-war demonstrations were trailing off and MIM web page growth was 123% over 2002.
There were a number of bright spots in April 2004. April and May see MIM winding up the largest printed MIM Notes offensive in its history. Prison circulation is on track and it is already clear that May prison circulation statistics will be the highest in MIM history. Also, MIM completed the 90% threshhold for Notas Rojas distribution for the biggest single issue distribution in MIM history.
Another bright spot is the second-most important web traffic stat, which shows that despite a decline in readers, the pages served per day actually grew. It means we have fewer but more serious readers. It also means that counter to what our many enemies say, the masses are not writing MIM off after reading a few of our articles with tough tone, unconventional spelling and implacable line opposing exploitation and oppression. As I have said in previous reports, even if MIM were smashed tomorrow, MIM has proved that it is possible to achieve this level of readership within range of what was expected by Lenin in 1915 with a line as implacable as MIM's.
To put another positive spin on this question, I wondered whether our relative stagnation this past two months was an indication that the opposition to the U.$. wars had gone mainstream. In 2003, both Democrats and Republicans were backing the war to the hilt and the media was trumpeting instant victory and a toppling of a dictator. In that circumstance, many concluded MIM was a way to balance the propaganda. Now with dead Amerikan bodies coming back and the torture scandal in the air, perhaps our readers have decided that they can return to getting their information from the mainstream media instead of MIM.
To test this hypothesis, I broke down our report further to exclude the agitation section where our Iraq articles rest. In 2003, that section showed phenomenal growth driven by the anti-war movement.
When we exclude the Iraq agitation section of the web page from the analysis, we see that MIM readership increased 3% over the year. In other words, the data excluding Iraq shows that MIM has hit the wall but not decreased in readership.
In any case, this is all bad news for our Five Year Plan and we continue to have some unevenness in being able to channel all the input from the public. A backlog of work continues to exist. On the other hand, we do continue to press on with new ideas for the advance of our central task. No one should think we are going to accept hitting "the wall" for readership. At least to some degree new and less active comrades can help MIM meet the gap by stepping up their own contributions to the struggle.
We expect the May and June statistics to firm up this analysis. After those months we should have a better idea how much of our problem stems from the ebb and flow of the movement against the Iraq war.
|Statistic||April, 2003||April, 2004||% change|
|Number of different computers MIM served||51029||49568||-2.8%|
|Avg. MIM pages served per day||3735||4669||+25.0%|
|MIM data transferred||213.85 megabytes/day||136.63 megabytes/day||-36.1%|
|MIM Notes printed copies compared with pre-911=100||211||222|
|All language newspapers printed copies compared with pre-911=100||222|
|MIM prison circulation averaged over two months Jan 2002=100||112||125|
|Number of top 53 cites of U.$/Kanada receiving at least 1000 MIM Notes**||Unknown||15|
|Average days after print date by which 80% of papers have been distributed||Unknown||+10|
|Number of Art page users||6355||10246||+61.2%|
|Number of different MIM web page files actively chosen from||3436||4669||+35.9%|
|Amazon visitors sent from web page||702||832||+18.5%|