The new Lonely Planet features this blog (indi.ca) and Kottu (a blog aggregator), which is very nice. Thanks to Ryan Ver Berkmoes, and one hopes they’ll be helpful to lonely travelers. The links are on page 17, in the Need To Know section. They list four websites, Lonely Planet, Ceylon Today (like Daily Mirror without so many ads?), indi.ca, and kottu.org. Which is nice, and I hope useful to guests. Maybe next time they’ll include YAMU.
Archive for the 'kottu' Category
This new blogger Chithrakatha has been scanning and uploading covers (and backs) from older Sri Lankan magazines. They seem to be from the nineties and oughties and have some interesting drawing styles. The basic motif seems to be girl in hippy jeans and guy with shirt buttoned down, in lauw. There is also the village lass, mourning village lass, and varieties of cascading hair. I see these mags on the street (though few seem to be hand drawn anymore) but rarely pick them up. They’re always charming to see.
Janith has updated Kottu with rims and shit. Seriously, it looks pretty good. You could say the desktop look is cosmetic, but check out the mobile. Kottu now looks like an app with settings and menus and such. The biggest problem with K2 is me, ie, it now takes me up to a month to respond to emails. OMG I’m scared of my email. But Janith’s done this code and design update all by himself and it looks pretty good. Check it out. There was one bug with the previous page link. Lettuce know if there’s any more.
I spend an inordinate amount of time on this Canadian based Sri Lankans Without Borders Facebook group. For the poutine. Actually, for the punishment. There are a lot of Sri Lanka haters on there, and you have to fight through to the occasional respectful conversation.
Roku is the latest project by Janith, with some ideological input from me. If he’s Prabhakaran, I’m Balasingham. Here is his introduction, which I excerpt below. Roku (working title) is a new type of commenting debate/system. Instead of just commenting in one big thread below, you can take sides (for, against, or neutral). You can upvote each comment, which creates a final score, a ‘winner’ for that particular debate.
Today on Kottu there are a few popular topics. One is reactions to the death of Titus Thotawatte, director, editor but – to many young people in Sri Lanka – remembered for his creative dubbing of popular cartoons, localizing them beyond language. Another trending topic is teenyboppers, or, what’s with the kids these days.
Kottu’s been going through a lot of ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Janith has rebuilt everything from scratch and I’ve been scratching at the surface. Every post now has chilis next to it, like a menu, so you can tell how spicy it is. By spicy we mean popular (clicks, tweets, likes). Anyways, where was I, oh yeah. Kottu needs a logo.
My main innovation with Kottu was Wordpress and I guess the color red. Both are now gone now, leaving only ideas. Kottu is now truly designed by the younger, faster and better Janith Leanage, and it is good.
I read HeyDude’s blog now and then, he tells some quite good stories. This is a classic about moving to another country, not having much money and loving your kid. I know a bit how it feels: “This story is not funny at all. We hadn’t brought much cash with us when we arrived here. And everything was unexpectedly, artificially and humorously expensive. What we had we had to spend so carefully till we got our first month’s salaries. The little one who had a roomful of toys at home (both his and his sister’s) was fingering the toys in the shops here and but never asked for them. We gritted our teeth and prayed for the salary.”
Kottu now has tags. THANKS TO JANITH. Boy is a genius, seriously. I work in duct tape and he works in marble. There’s a thin line between categories and chaos, but I think Kottu is walking it now. Basically, bloggers can tag posts as they please. Kottu takes the first three tags, sese if they fit into our taxonomy and files them accordingly. What I think is especially cool is that language and popularity and category filters all work together. Thus, you can get a vegetarian kottu with extra chili but no onions, so to speak.