Site History

This is a history of this site’s history, including its gradual evolution from a Russia-specific blog pushing a generally “Russophile” agenda to one based on objective analysis of geopolitics, future global trends and discontinuities.

Da Russophile (DR)

January 2008: Created Da Russophile on Blogger, with the following title and creed (note the explicit admission of pro-Russia bias):

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Their Thesis: the Western media tells us Russia is in a death spiral,
its economy is one giant oil bubble, suffers from endemic corruption,
inequality and lawlessness and is presided over by a KGB kleptocrat
dead-set on resurrecting the USSR and launching Cold War II.

My Antithesis: Russia is a normal country with a booming non-hydrocarbons
economy underpinned by a well-educated and secular workforce.
The Putin administration has affirmed democratic values, worked to improve
human rights and pursued Russia’s national interests abroad.

Your Synthesis: ?

I confined my blogging to Russia and demolishing select Western myths and stereotypes about it. I also made a few posts on a short-lived and long-forgotten sister blog called Sublime Speculations. Eventually I ditched it in favor of a more personal, self-hosted WordPress publishing platform.

July 2008: I made the Facebook group Russophile Union, which currently has 37 members.

Sublime Oblivion (S/O)

November 2008: Moved to self-hosted WordPress at the site Sublime Oblivion. Though I started blogging about many other things, my main focus at this time remained Russia.

March 2009: I spruced up the design of my blog by making a big series of randomly-changing headers, all of which you can access here (current inaccessible). Immediately after I made this change, the number of visits (as opposed to visitors) jumped by a factor of five or so, presumably because people started assiduously refreshing the site to get a look at all the artwork. I would later praise myself for this in the post Best Designed Russia Blogs.

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I started a Twitter account, Sublime Tweet (now @akarlin88). My first tweet:

hi i got “with it” on twitta lots of things to say now and then too short for separate post.

Jan 2009: Da Russophile, A Year On.

May 2009: Sublime Oblivion 2.0 – I made the strategic decision to gradually shift away from a slightly artificial pro-Russian viewpoint, towards objective analysis of geopolitics and future global trends – though Russia obviously remains a major topic of interest. In other words, I hope to become something like another Stratfor!

I also introduced my current design with snowy white background, multi-level header menu and nested comments with avatars.

The menu allows me to make many more pages and build in a much greater degree of depth to my blog, a work that is still in progress. I added an About Me (the best such page amongst all blogs according to poemless),  My Photos (it’s password-protected for privacy reasons), Publications (which has its own history), intro / summaries of my work and various other stuff about my hobbies.

June 2009: Blogging in WordPress.

June 28, 2009: Responses to Common Russophobe “Arguments”.

July 2009: I start my Russian-language blog Возвышенное Забвение on LiveJournal.

July 4, 2009: Russophobe Myths.

July 9, 2009: Categorizing the Russia Debate, the most popular post with 82 comments.

August 2009: I acquire a presence on YouTube with Sublime Oblivion: anatolykarlin’s Channel, where I plan to host a videoblog in the near future.

I start making reviews for Amazon posting under my true name Anatoly Karlin.

I make a Facebook group for Sublime Oblivion.

September 2009: Removed fancy AJAX navigation features and rotating tag clouds to improve loading speed. Integration with Facebook.

All told I received 16,500 visits at Da Russophile (SiteMeter), 200 visits at Sublime Speculations (SiteMeter), 18,500 at Sublime Oblivion from November 2008 to May 2009 (SiteMeter) and 13,8000 from June to August 2009 (Google Analytics) and perhaps a few thousand at my Russian-language blog Возвышенное Забвение, not to mention the other thousands who encountered my work through Facebook, Twitter and publications on other blogs. In total my online work has probably been encountered by up to 50,000 people and I hope to continue increasing at an exponential, Moore’s Law-like rate… ;)This history was written on 09/03/2009.

25 September 2009: Record-breaking 674 visitors and 761 visits.

October 2009: Created Sublime Oblivion Forums (bbPress) and the Sublime Store (CafePress).

Initiated the Sublime Strategic Reports (SSR’s) series on my posts on the global trends, regions, and geopolitical dynamics that will shape the 21st century.

Created a page for my upcoming book and Sublime Store.

5 November 2009: Created personal webpage at http://akarlin.com/ as an online resume kind of thing.

17 November 2009: Russia’s Sisyphean Loop.

7 December, 2009: I get interviewed at Siberian Light.

16 December, 2009: I founded the Collapse Party to “… Reinforce resilience… Inform the people… Prepare for collapse!” (see party manifesto for more details), to be run on the principles of Green Communism.

You can also join us on Facebook.

EDIT 10 May, 2010: Sorry folks, this project hasn’t gone anywhere – nor is it likely to.

(Also, feel free to join the (spoof) Revolutionary Extremists on Facebook).

4 Jan, 2010: Green Communism, an ideology for the Collapse Party?

9 Jan, 2010: On the blog’s 2nd anniversary, poll results indicate that the bulk of it should remain unchanged.

5 March, 2010: Nonetheless, sluggishness finally motivated me to radically simplify the blog, including removing the advanced AJAX navigation features.

1 May, 2010: A Short Guide to the Top 10 Russia Blogs ignited a storm of reactions: Leos, Natalie, SL, James @ RA, and LR.

10 May, 2010: Using minimalist Thematic theme. Blog approaching 400 daily visitors, but still handles well following installation of the WP Super Cache plugin.

2 June, 2010: Got tired of Thematic’s blandness and switched to zBench (inspired by Sean’s remodeling of his blog). It ain’t a great theme, so I doubt I’ll have it up for long. Fixed “Next Page” –> 404 error issue.

7 June, 2010: Introduced nifty sitemap on front page, remodeled Archives page to contain expandable archives and tags. Introduced my fan page Anatoly Karlin @ Facebook as my primary social media platform.

19 June, 2010: I have to say the developers did a great job with WordPress 3.0. I’m now using the Twenty Ten theme, which has a lot of Thematic’s functionality but neater (albeit it has a few formatting bugs). I’ve added a Facebook “Like” plugin to the sidebar which I hope won’t slow down operations too much. In the future I may add a widget area to the top of the blog and insert the Social Media links there.

Sublime Oblivion 3.0

5 July, 2010: Now using the Weaver Twenty Ten child theme, and probably for a long time. My second major platform is the S/O Facebook page.

December, 2010: The end of the Collapse Party.

27 May, 2011: My loltastic interview with La Russophobe.

AKarlin 1.0

25 March, 2012: I completely redid the concept of my blogging, following a pharma hack of the old site. I moved to WordPress.com, and used the opportunity to split the blog into two:

(1) Da Russophile, now focusing on “Exposing Western myths about Russia.”

(2) AKarlin, with the motto “The world as it will be, not as we want it to be…”

“This blog is about everything that interests me: Peak oil, climate change, IQ, Human Biodiversity, game, transhumanism, cliodynamics, China, geopolitics, futurism, languages, survivalism, world travel, etc.”

4 April, 2012: Summary of old DR and S/O history in: Who Reads This Blog Anyway? A History Of S/O In Graphs.

6 June, 2012: A major change to my blogging philosophy at AKarlin.

As of August 2012, I was extensively quoted in a book on Russian politics, have written articles for Al Jazeera, have multiple references on Google Scholar, 423 Facebook subscribers, 511 Twitter followers, about 1,500 AKarlin and 1,000 Da Russophile daily visitors.

AKarlin 2.0

November, 2013: Back to self-hosted! This time it’s managed, so hopefully no more pharma hacks. ;) Major upgrades to site functionality and navigability.

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Visitor numbers, however, are substantially down from what they once were. There’s work ahead.