The Sri Lankan Internet isn’t big enough. Kottu has, in my opinion, plateaued when it should be growing faster. This site has plateaued. Rather than waiting for the Internet population to grow, I think it’s important to actively grow it. To that end I’ve been getting into print media. I don’t especially enjoy print, but at this point I think it’s necessary. Through whatever, I have backing and access to a print and distribution mechanism that can currently produce and distribute 100,000 copies per month. The targets are to ramp this up to 500,000 biweekly. And I need help. This post is to ask if there are any writers/artists/photographers interested in contributing, and detailing where and what.
The magazine is 077 and it is produced and backed by Dialog. As such, it has a business goal of promoting Dialog products and services. A lot of the content is specific towards that end. Personally, I think Dialog is a good company and that connectivity (their business) is what I’m also trying to promote. Suppose you can make your own decisions ’bout that so. 077 is a Dialog product.
Distribution and Reach
Right now the distribution is through Dialog arcades nationwide, franchises, and KIT retailers. The pick-up in Colombo is slow and the market feels over-saturated. Where weâ€™re seeing demand is outstation, especially places like Galle, Kurunegala, etc. The highest demand is for Sinhala content. This is why Iâ€™m heartened to see so many new Sinhala Bloggers, and excited to see their Blogging Marathon on April 18th. There is also demand for Tamil, and we have one Tamil copywriter on board. Numbers-wise the print run is huge (close to a Sunday paper), and Dialog has the network to get it out to people nation-wide.
There are some ongoing columns which involve following the latest news and reporting on them in E/S/T. What we need most are Sinhala writers, especially those who can type Unicode. The broad topics are as follows:
1. Latest Phones
2. Latest Gadgets
3. Interesting Mobile/3G/Broadband websites
4. Office Productivity (like Lifehacker.com)
For these its preferable to have people who watch Dialog TV, hopefully a bit too much
5. Sinhala Cinema and Teledramas
7. Western Film and Entertainment
9. Kids programming (Dora, Dexter, activities)
10. Online Gaming
11. Online Video
12. Sinhala/Tamil Content
13. Blogging/Web Design
14. Home Improvement
The model Iâ€™m thinking of is where content is submitted online (thing built, roughly, not launched) and the best content (by popularity and relevance) gets printed. The website will theoretically drive the print version. The rates weâ€™re looking at are Rs 3-5 per word. Thereâ€™ll be a premium for Sinhala content and specific articles we need on Dialog related stuff.
Then there is the additional compensation of having your stuff read by a large number of people, and hopefully growing the net literate population by some amount such that itâ€™s possible to make a living there one day.
Anyways, if anyone is interested you can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Preferably the Dialog address.