Brian White has spent a lot of time in Mongolia, including the country-side, and uses his Mongolian to provide insights on current political and social developments on his blog, The Mongolist. I got to know Brian through his and my association with the American Center for Mongolian Studies and have always appreciated him his for his knowledge as well as entrepreneurial spirit.
With Mongolia’s mining boom seemingly only accelerating, the country has been attracting a fair bit of writing that is not based on any particular insights, but rather on hasty surveys of the political scene or geopolitical situation by writers who get a quick grasp of current developments, but seem to be writing the same stories over and over again.
Brian’s blogging will obviously be quite different as his first few posts show already.
My favourite is obviously his ranking of Mongolian medals at the London Olympics on the sheeple index (total medals) * (sheep population)/(human population).
More seriously, Brian will easily establish himself as an independent blogger who is neither beholden to a particular foreign viewpoint, nor mired in some of the domestic political ties and obsessions. For an example of this independence and insight, see his post on portrayals of foreign investors in the Mongolian public.
The Mongolist posts will certainly become regular and required reading for me.