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Blogs remaining free in an era of online paywalls, paid content

By Andrew Moran     Mar 21, 2013 in Internet
Boston - In an era of online paywalls and paid content, the Amvona blog remains free to readers. The website does not generate any revenues or profit – no advertisements and paid exclusives have been turned down.
Amvona continues to teach readers with up-to-date information in the hopes that its audience will understand the greater meaning of the important issues of today. Amvona is a blog that reports, analyzes and opines on matters of faith, finance, economics and technology. The blog continues to bring about awareness to important issues.
A retail photo business that was started in 1994 and began selling photo equipment online through eBay in 1998 paved the way for where the blog is today. In 1999, Amvona, a retail photo equipment website, was launched. Amvona was transformed into a social site between 2005 and 2006. A blog was officially launched on Amvona in 2009. The business ended its retail photo equipment operations in 2010 and shifted its focus exclusively on the blog. In 2011, founder Gregory M. Lemelson was ordained as an orthodox priest. The refocused site coincided with a new focus in his life.
Before closing up shop as a retailer, Amvona had sold over one million photo accessory units to approximately 300,000 customers around the world. Meanwhile, Amvona’s photo-sharing community provided photographers and artists in the same field an opportunity to showcase their photography and images. It also established a venue that connected professional and amateur photographers alike in the industry.
In 2005, Alexa ranked Amvona as one of the top ten online photo retailers. According to data from Google Analytics, Amvona had surpassed approximately 750,000 unique visitors each month. Amvona later ceased its retail operations in 2010.
Since he started writing, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson’s work has been featured on Gurufocus, Seeking Alpha and several other sites. One of his biggest hits entitled “Houston, We've Got A Problem – Bevilacqua” was featured twice on the home page of Seeking Alpha and was estimated to have reached over one million readers. Equally impressive, the article was cited on Salem Deeds, the website of the county of Salem, Massachusetts. This was a private blog posted on a government website. This article planted the seed for what became the Occupy Homes Movement.
The article entitled “How we lost investor’s money on Cisco” generated nearly 28,000 views on Seeking Alpha and was ranked in the top 99.9961% of nearly 70,000 articles, making it one of the most read articles on the site.
Another article entitled “Apple’s Crime and Punishment” was ranked the second most popular in one day.
The latest news on the blog focuses on the financial crisis in the island nation of Cyprus, the budget debate in the U.S. between Republican lawmakers, the Obama Administration and the analysis by credit rating agencies in the European Union.
In an interview with Investment Underground earlier this month, when asked about his role with Amvona now, Father Emmanuel responded, “To write articles that are in some way instructive and that hopefully lead the reader beyond the immediate or discrete issues to their greater meaning. For instance, the recent financial abuses in housing caused many to suffer unnecessarily. Critical questions ought to be asked – how did it occur on such a massive scale, and in of all places, the US? Many of the greatest minds in finance have either ignored the issue of economic injustice or perhaps don’t understand it fully, which is a shame because they have influential voices and could affect change.”
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