The History behind PIRC
Encyclopedia Phoeniciana -- Phoenicia.org
Long before the PIRC became a reality, Phoenicia.org was started in 1996 and has since been operated and personally funded by its author, owner and editor, Salim Khalaf. Its purpose continues to be to research, compile and disseminate information through a website about the Canaanite Phoenician people from the dawn of time till the present day in Lebanon and the Diaspora of the Phoenicians of the ancient world and of today around the world. Phoenicia.org is officially incorporated as not-for-profit organization.
The organization has contributing authors from all over the world and in many languages. They represent historians, archaeologists, researchers and history enthusiasts. Further, the organization has a following audience of readers in hundreds of thousands per year, nearly one million sometimes.
History or Background:
The website was created by the author in 1996 and evolved to run under the name Phoenicia.org as of January 11, 1999 till now. It started out as a few web pages but today is equivalent to almost 1,900 printed pages.
The mission of Phoenicia.org is to research, preserve, promote and disseminate information about the history and culture of the Canaanite Phoenician people by ethnicity and association from the earliest millennia until the 21st century in the Phoenicia, its colonies and the diaspora. It is very close to the mission of PIRC.
Phoenicia.org is the largest compilation of studies about the Phoenicians on the web and has created an uninterrupted presence and reference since it went online. It has received the "Superior Cedars Award" in 2008 from the World Lebanese Cultural Union, World Council (WLCU). Further, it has served as reference by academic and literary writers and publishers all over the world. A number of major publications and more than 180,000 websites use it for reference. Further, it ranks among the first hits in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engine hits.
Readers from all walks of life, including older and younger researchers and interested parties, make Phoenicia.org their permanent reference for the study of Phoenician history and culture. Academics and university classes base their curricula on material from its website, as well.
Need or Problem Statement:
At this time, while there is tremendous interest in materials available on line, the organization is in need of manpower to continue the work. There is one person who does all the work on this website right now which includes research, web management, web design, publishing…etc and there is a definite need for more hands to assist with this huge project. The hope is that PIRC would play a major role in supporting the needs mentioned herewith.
The related website will continue to hold top ranking on the Web and will be more likely to be used as reference and source; consequently, serving the community of Lebanon and the eastern Mediterranean, as well as communities from the Punic Diaspora and their descendents around the world.
Methods or Activities:
Staff will be employed to assist in the daily running of the project while it is being overhauled. Further, experts would be engaged to help improve the design and information management of the site to give it better visibility and impact. Interactive forms would be installed to receive feedback surveys to improve on better visibility and access.
Traffic tracking using Google Analysis and other applications are and would continue to be employed to track the trend in general usage and ranking in results, in addition to keeping track of in-coming links. Further, mass mailings would be used to promote the site as well as soliciting promotion of the site on other websites, publications, discussion boards and listservs.