Croatia Week supremo Paul Musin, with Croatia football coach Niko Kovac).
I suppose in some ways we are competition with Croatia Week, the lively online news portal which has been keeping foreigners updated on life in Croatia. Although we are both chasing readers for Croatian-related subjects, somehow it has never seemed like competition. Paul Musin, the founder of Croatia Week, is too nice a guy,and he has been kind enough to feature the Total project on several occasions, most recently reporting on THAT blog.
It occurred to me that, while Croatia Week has been busy reporting on the workings of others, nobody has tried to find out much about them, so I sent some questions to Paul about his project, which he was kind enough to answer immediately.
1. In a short space of time, you have become many foreigners (and locals) place to catch up on the news from Croatia. How did Croatia Week start and what were you aiming to achieve?
Croatia Week launched just over 2 and half years ago and the reasons were three-fold really. After talking to a number of expats living here it was clear that finding out what was going on in Croatia in English was difficult as there were not many English language news websites based here. We also wanted to create a portal which would help second/third/fourth generation Croats living abroad, who perhaps did not read Croatian, keep connected with what was going on back in the 'Motherland'. Lastly, and a big reason, is that we wanted to promote Croatia, and hopefully become a go-to point for the large number of tourists and potential tourists to Croatia.
2. You are producing a lot of articles every day - it must be a full-time job. How many hours a day are you working on the site?
As Editor of the portal it is fairly time-consuming as you well know, and it has some odd working hours, but I am very lucky that I have a small team who help contribute with articles. Like getting anything started, it can not be done without support, and Croatia Week is no exception.
3. Where are the majority of your readers from?
Literally from all parts of the world. One of the surprising things has been the number of readers we have in Croatia. It seems to be popular amongst both the expat community living here in Croatia, as well as with locals who want to catch up with news in English for whatever reason. We also have a large number of readers in countries with big Croatian communities such as the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK, Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand, but also readers in places such as Dubai, Qatar, Kenya, Soloman Islands, South Korea, Japan and India.
4. Are you getting official financial support for the portal? How are you making money from it?
At the moment Croatia Week does not receive any official financial support. It currently relies on a team of dedicated volunteers and a bit of advertising to keep it going.
5. What are your most successful articles so far, and what is the one you most enjoyed writing?
A number of articles have been very popular, which has seen them linked by some of the world's leading websites such as Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Reddit, Buzzfeed and Bleacher Report, and most of Croatia's major portals. Croatia Week aims to generally be positive and stays away from politics as much as it can. Articles which have a tourism angle, anything to do with the Croatian football team, and interviews, which we have done with a number of Croatian personalities such as Jelena Rozga, Sandra Perković, Gibonni and Borna Ćorić, are always popular.
One of the articles I enjoyed writing the most was 'Why do Croatians Swear So Much' (http://www.croatiaweek.com/why-do-croatians-swear-so-much/) - mainly because of the reaction it got. It is always nice to open up debate and that article seemed to stir up some reactions and got people talking which is always a good thing. It is also nice to write articles that help people discover something about Croatia they never knew, and help them decide to one day visit hopefully.
6. If a business would like to promote themselves on Croatia Week, how do they do that?
Very easily. We would love to work together with any business in helping them promote their product. All they need to do is drop us a line here.
Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljić
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