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Candide’s Middle East
Come See Me at About.com

Yes, I’ve been a bit of a slacker for the past couple of months here, but for a good reason. I was competing for — and was hired to be — the Middle East Guide at About.com, the New York Times-owned information site that tells you everything you wanted to know from the ideal brewing temperature of white tea to the itch inside Taliban militants’ beards. I’ll be part of the News & Issues section at About. They have a terrorism site. They have an international news site. They have an atheism and humanism site, a liberal politics site, an illiberal politics site (so-called conservatives) and 600 other sites. Hard as it is to believe, they did not have a Middle East site. Now they do, and it’s mine to build and maintain. Naturally, I intend to ma it the News & Issues’ segment most current and lively site. That’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of months, starting a new blog and tying it to full-length content. Come see me there.

From here on I’ll be adding new content at About almost daily: Between the Iraq war, Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine, Lebanon and the rest of that region’s hyper-manic presence on everyone’s radar, the challenge will be keeping up with it all, not scrounging for material to write about.

There won’t be any changes at the Notebooks. The Daily Journal will carry on, and I aim to have about three or four featured pieces a week in the main column. My new material at About will be prompted in the right column, in summary form. Those abstracts aside, there won’t be any cross-posting: About holds exclusive rights for materials I write over there as long as I’m live on that site. The About site includes a forum, so you’re welcome to join in, seed it, get it going. The blog portion of the site includes its own comment section. Same rules there as here, which is to say as few as possible as long as libel, threats are left out.

Your visits at both sites are always appreciated of course. If all goes well, and anticipated coronaries aside, I’ll take a day off on March 21, 2012

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