We’re an online journal of politics and foreign affairs analysis. For the most part, our views are Classical Liberal: a strong belief in free trade, limited government, and respect for human rights. We aim to have informed, polite conversation about the issues we find interesting.
Outside the Beltway was launched on BlogSpot on January 31, 2003 by James Joyner. It moved to its current domain on April 4 of that same year after the frustrations of Blogger’s service became too much to bear.
The site’s moniker was both descriptive and ironic: James had moved from Troy, Alabama to the Washington, D.C. exurbs of Dulles, Virginia to take a job in the publishing industry five months earlier. So, an author with a decidedly outside-the-Beltway mindset was now living in very close proximity to said Beltway.
OTB got some notoriety within a few weeks of its launch because it coincided with the controversial debate leading up to the Iraq War and its author was one of a relative handful of bloggers at that time with combat experience and academic training in national security policy. Early notice by ScrappleFace’s Scott Ott and VodkaPundit’s Stephen Green led to OTB’s first InstaLanche on March 13, 2003. All of which seems quaint a decade and a half later but, in those early days, long before Facebook and Twitter, blogging was social media and very much communal. In addition to much more linking to other blogs than would be the norm even four or five years later, there was a lot more navel-gazing. Blogging about blogging (and the various linkfests, ranking systems, traffic spikes, media commentary on blogging, etc.) was a cottage industry.
On November 6, 2004, Steve Verdon, Robert Garcia Tagorda, “Rodney Dill,” “Dr. Leopold Stotch,” and Kate McMillan began a guest posting stint while James was on vacation and they stayed on as co-bloggers upon James’ return. OTB has been a group blog ever since. Current front-pagers Steven L. Taylor and Doug Mataconis joined the team in November 2006 and May 2010, respectively.
Winner, 2006 Golden Dot Award for “Best Blog,” awarded by The George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet.
Finalist 2008 Weblog Awards for “Best Major Blog.”