neweurasia is a network of weblogs about Central Asia and the Caucasus. neweurasia's central idea has revolved around "bridge blogging", enlisting bloggers who speak both English and local languages to serve as links between the English and local-language blogging communities ("blogospheres"). The project also focuses on training new bloggers, both within the network and on the ground in the region itself via workshops and training seminars.
Initially a 2005 side project of Thinking-East.net, an "e-publishing platform" consisting of news analysis by Middle Eastern and Central Asian university students, by 2006 it developed into an independent operation. While Thinking-East.net (or simply, Thinking-East) has since become defunct, neweurasia has grown to become the largest blogging platform in the region. The project reports 100,000 unique page views per month.
The project is supported by Hivos, a non-governmental organization based in the Netherlands, and by the news service EurasiaNet. It has previously been supported by the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundations Network.
The online news aggregator Google News lists neweurasia as one of its 4,500 news sources. The project is also listed as one of the seven blogs on the Russia navigator page of the New York Times and was mentioned in The Guardian print edition twice. The project staff claim that there have also been multiple cases of Central Asian news sources cross-posting neweurasia material, such as The Times of Central Asia, KUB.kz and Gazeta.kg. Roundups of the Central Asian blogosphere appear on Global Voices Online as well as several local-language major and minor news services throughout the region.
In February 2006, neweurasia teamed up with Transitions online (TOL), an online magazine based in Prague, Czech Republic, to "explore the vast potential of blogging to act as a cost-efficient, powerful instrument of free speech, free press, advocacy, and self-expression in Central Asia." In July 2006, neweurasia was blocked in Uzbekistan. Also in 2006, TOL and neweurasia published "An Easy Guide to Blogging" by Nathan Hamm, a founding editor of Registan.net and "Safe Blogging & Online Privacy Made Easy."
Beginning in September 2006, TOL and neweurasia held a conference on blogging in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Since then the project has run over twenty workshops on new media and blogging in Central Asia and post-Soviet Eastern Europe.
In February 2008, neweurasia announced the start of a book project entitled, CyberChaikhana: Digital Conversations from Central Asia. The project combines elements of crowdsourcing and traditional editing. Additionally, the marketing plan for the planned Russian edition has apparently been inspired by the methods Samizdat.
In June 2009 the main website was rebooted. The new design integrates the formerly separate English and Russian sites while devolving greater autonomy upon the network's local language sites.
- Final Year Report for 2007/2008 to Transitions Online (internal document).
- neweurasia: "About the partnership," June 22, 2006.
- Reporters Without Borders, "Authorities Block Neweurasia Blog Platform," July 27, 2006.
- Basil B. Akimov, "В Алматы прошел круглый стол, посвященный проблемам блоггинга," СМИ и Право, September 29, 2006
- Валерий Сурганов, "Блог – оружие массового оповещения," Интернет газета Zona.kz, September 20, 2006.
- Christopher Schwartz, "CyberChaikhana: What's New?," March 25, 2008.
- Announcement of the website reboot.