Announcing the launch of a new website: ‘wiredpakistan.com’:http://www.wiredpakistan.com/. At the moment the only thing there are the ‘tech forums’:http://www.wiredpakistan.com/forums/ which had previously been on ‘this site’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/forums.

In a nutshell, these forums had grown large enough to justify their own domain name, plus this way more features can be added as needed.

Ideas for the future of wiredpakistan.com:

* A ‘wiki’:http://wiki.wiredpakistan.com, with information on all things tech in Pakistan.

* articles

* a site blog

* further suggestions welcome!

From the “initial post”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2005_04/tech_forums.html at the launch of the forums:

bq. For a long time, I’ve felt the absense of a Pakistani technology discussion site. There is one, the “Spider weblog”:http://spiderisat.blogspot.com/, but blogspot is very unsuited for discussions. Once posts move of the front page they’re impossible to find again, and all posts are given equal importance, so often times active topics suddenly move of the front page, effectively killing the discussion. With a forum, active topics are moved to the top, and one can easily go back to old topics.

p. And so came these forums, a place to discuss all things tech in Pakistan.

bq.. For many months now, I had been discussing with a few other people of buying a domain and starting a Pakistani tech site. That hasn’t happened so far, but if/when it does, I’ll move these forums there. For the time being, I’m putting them on this site: “http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/forums”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/forums/

This is an experiment – I don’t suppose in the beginning these forums will be that active, but as people join, it should develop to become a viable community.

p. It’s been a year since, and the forums are getting to become a ‘viable community’. The stats after a year are: _(on May 2, 2006)_

* Total number of registered users: 639

* Total number of topics: 554

* Total number of posts: 4646

bq. There are already a lot of Pakistani forums discussing local politics and news – so that is off topic on these forums. There are already thousands of technology sites/forums on the internet, so this forum is more about what is available/possible here – a “geo-centric” forum so to speak.

A year later, that is pretty much where these forums are. A place to discuss all things tech in Pakistan. That does mean that once a month or so I end up deleting a thread on kashmir or some other ‘hot’ issue, but suprisingly enough, it doesn’t happen that often.

Another worry from a year ago:

bq. It could be argued that when too many people who don’t quite understand online communities/forums/whatnot end up discussing things near and dear to their heart there will be a big mess. I present every single Pakistani music and political forum as a good example of this.

Who knows where they’ll end up after one more year?. I ended up posting these ‘forum rules’:http://www.wiredpakistan.com/forums/misc.php?action=rules, but hardly anyone ever reads them. Still, disscussions remain generally civil, and informative.

h4. wiki, wiki everywhere

The ‘wiki’:http://wiki.wiredpakistan.com has the most potential to be usefull. Buying anything tech in Pakistan is a fustrating experience, as no shopkeeper I’ve come across knows much about what they’re selling, and the whole procedure is highly non-transparent and very expensive. The wiki is a aim to providing information on the mess which passes for a tech market in Pakistan. Initially, this will remain a restriceted wiki, editable by a few. While it would be great to just throw open to the whole world, as “Nicholas Carr points out”:http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/04/web_20s_numbsku.php:

bq. the quality of the product hinges not just, or even primarily, on the number of contributors. It also hinges on the talent of the contributors – or, more accurately, on the talent of every individual contributor. No matter how vast, a community of mediocrities will never be able to produce anything better than mediocre work. Indeed, I would argue that the talent of the contributors is in the end far more important to quality than is the number of contributors.

It makes sense to keep it to a small group first to build up a structure, then add more users later. This is still a super small forum, with a averge of 12 and a half posts a day, excluding the posts I had to delete.

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