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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Third Child: A Personal Take On Desicritics' First Anniversary

We were on the 90E thruway heading for Boston last December. After the initial scare (misplaced the car keys) and the rain, the skies had cleared up and we hoped to make it in time for dinner with J and A and then a late night rendezvous with friends who were leaving for Nassau early next morning.

Between Jagjit and NFAK I mentioned to M the email I had received the day before from a Aaman Lamba. He had written in that email:

I've visited your site and think you're a pretty good blogger....I write for, a leading source of news and opinion. We are starting a new channel/website with an Indian/South Asian focus. ( I wanted to invite you and your co-writer to write for this website....Let me know if you would like to write for us. We will launch soon and I wanted to invite some of the best bloggers on board pre-launch....

M had mixed feelings then, but when we returned to Toronto M encouraged me to try Desicritics out. Am glad I did.

Desicritics was officially launched on January 26, 2006 and I made my first contribution On Take-offs and Blast-offs on February 2, 2006. I find it hard to believe that in the course of a year I have contributed 172 poems, articles and opinion posts.

Somewhere along this journey I got acquainted with many interesting people and have made some good friends - have met a few in person and hope to meet a lot more in the coming months.

It was sometime in February after weeks of sleep deprivation that Aaman sent out an invite for volunteer editors and Sujatha and I were selected from among the desis.

(Aaman and Dee, Sujatha and V, and M and I have two children each. Hence the title.)

Today we have a team working to take Desicritic to the next level.

What does an editor do? Arghhh. You would not believe it if I said a major time is spent cleaning up spams. Well, it was true until last week when Philip Winn instituted a new program which seems to be working.

For me the front page of a site is like a person's face. And spams are the warts that make it ugly. More than mediocre writing, more than writers who make the same errors every time, more than writers who do not fill in ASIN numbers, or sub categories, or sub headers, more than writers who do not spell check and mix its and it is and their and there, more than anything the spams irritate me most.

A confession: there was a time when I almost gave up and threw in the towel. But, hopefully in a few days more when Philip Winn's system gets hold, the spamming as we see will be a thing of past.

Numbers: I think Aaman will mention them. The hits per day, per month have increased.

I can speak of the contributions that I have seen over the past year. We are attracting better writers and the quality has continued to improve.

If you are not a Desicritic yet please join us and contribute your thoughts and ideas. If you already are a Desicritic, then here's to another successful and satisfying year!


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