"A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. " ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Desi Writing Forums?

I remember when the community first started - it found its home on an online networking community - more popularly called a "social network" - Google's Orkut. It began a little slowly but then quickly grew to a modest size, although a very small faction of its 600+ members actually posted. I never understood the reason behind joining a community and not letting your voice be heard. It's a problem we're facing on the site now, and it becomes irritatingly acute when the moderators of the site are involved in the intensities of their own lives.

Although we've since moved off of Google's servers and onto our own, establishing a dream we'd planned out for two years before it formalized and took concrete shape, thanks to yours truly. Yes, I am going to toot my own horn here, and frankly, I don't see why I shouldn't. We would still have been on Orkut because the other moderators, bless them, are brilliant writers but horrible implementers.

And that brings me to the site. A little marketing rumble, if you please. We've got a quarterly e-zine with a first of its kind polling system to determine which pieces should make it (remember that strange little thing called: democracy?), and we've got the forum where all of it "goes down".

But, and here's the catch, there don't seem to be a lot of people aware of it. I mean, we've got a burgeoning mass of people keen to join the now, moderated Orkut group, but relatively fewer people flocking to its very prevalent successor. That community, for all purposes, is dead. Its forums are lifeless and people who do post aren't, pardon the chauvinism, writers from any stretch of the imagination. And we like our writers - we have a system of approving requests based on a valid reason for joining - are you a serious writer? Looking for some serious criticism? Because you're going to get it, and if you think you can handle it, that's who we're looking for.

We're trying, in our own way, to encourage literary and creative thought in the desi population - a fast fading thought, it seems - but I rebel! There are people out there, who like us, are looking for an appropriate forum to voice their thoughts. And I'm here to tell you: there is hope.

And there is a lack of desi writing forums out there - I know, I checked - I searched intensely and found a lot of "desi forums" but nothing catering to readers and writers. Sure, there's desilit.org and desiwriters.com which, by the way, was formed by a member of ours, but lacks our official seal of approval. Hey! The man stole our domain name, I think we have a right to be picky here!

So, we're here for any interested. The blog's here, the website's here, the forums are there, the e-zine's up and running with a newly created editorial policy but more on that tomorrow.

Lovely! I've got something to talk about tomorrow.


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