A different anniversary

Azam Khan, whose "Alal o Dulal" song was our blog inspiration.

On 22 March, Alal O Dulal was officially 1 year old. Our first post was a quick blog post by deyalpotrika on Bangladesh’s entry into the Asia cup final.

Since then, we published another 397 posts in one year.

We started off with 6 part-time bloggers, some of whom used to blog at the now-retired Unheard Voice blog. We have since hosted writings by another 20-odd bloggers.

We have pioneered in translating from Bengali crucial voices such as Faruk Wasif, Zia Hassan, Anu Muhammad, and others who primarily write in Bengali.We also express our solidarity with other progressive blogs, including the feminist blog Thot Kata.

We believe writing in English or Bangla comes with specific audience choices, and we are committed to working as a bridge between Bangla and English blogging.

We are against the culture of “kopa-kupi” that has made blog debates acidic and dysfunctional, and we are committed to pushing for a more civil tone in online blogging.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of hate speech on our blog– be it racism, communalism, sexism, or anything else.

We went from 2,531 page views in April 2012 to 31,897 page views in February 2013.

Our all time most viewed blog post thus far is Giltimia’s essay on Shaon and our society. Most importantly, we had 1,600+ comments left on our site. Our most commented blog post is Shon Papri’s thoughts on protests outside New York’s Time Square Marriot, easily one of the best pieces of original reporting on AoD.

The Shahbag debate generated the maximum amount of articles in English (and translation) and several of our posts have been reprinted in Dhaka Tribune, BdNews24 and elsewhere. We are however committed to highlighting crucial economic and environmental crisis (garments workers wages, Rampal plant) that are usually neglected in the over-emphasis on the national level Al-BNP battle. When other blogs focus exclusively on the national crises, we choose specifically to look at underexplored issues such as Rampal.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have you as an audience because writers are nothing without their readers. We have benefited from listening to your thoughts, and we would like to hear from you on how we can serve you better.

– The AoD Team

5 thoughts on “A different anniversary

  1. I feel that you are wasting too much space by putting up pictures in the front page along with the post listing. A few lines of synopsis along with the view number will be informative enough. This will also free up spaces for more articles on the front page. You could ask each writer to send two lines of abstract with the article submission. Most viewed or most commented posts can have featured position at the top.

    • Point taken, but we find that readers engage a lot more with an article with visuals.

      We have been trying to give more prominence to most viewed and most commented articles separately, but WordPress platform isn’t always as flexible as we want it to be unfortunately. Definitely on our list of things to do.

      Many thanks and keep the suggestions flowing!

  2. Quite honestly, as a bideshi living in Bangladesh and with so many friends and family here now, I believe AoD to be arguably the best Bangladesh blog available (certainly in the English language though I am slow when reading the Bangla blogs!). Well done to all the team, some of whom I feel are becoming friends. I value your contributions and have your posts as my highest priority to read each day. Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Ken thanks for the kind words. We hope to live up to the high expectations you have of us!

      • Oh don’t worry about that! As a fellow blogger about all things Bangladesh I live in awe of the quality of writing and research undertaken by the team (and the English is pretty darned hot too! 😉 ).

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