This is a follow up of Osama recent article about the Daily Jangâ€™s Urdu Blog. It was followed up by a debate on whether there is a place for Urdu web sites, portals and blogs. This article will shed some light on what is the current status of Urdu in the cyber space.
Urdu, is the language of millions of Indians and Pakistanis,it has the potential to grow into a major online lingo. The massive growth of IT in Pakistan and India has enabled people to interact in the cyberspace quite easily. Majority of Pakistanis who access the cyberspace, donâ€™t have adequate English language skills, for them its comfortable to interact in Urdu language. Already thousands of Pakistanis/ Indians visit the Urdu web portals daily .Some of them are quite popular.
BBC URDU, The Urdu portal of BBC has been making waves in the Urdu Web scene for many years. The quality of the content is truly amazing and adds to this the liberal approach of the management, thus proving a best deal for the readers. This portal was the pioneer in starting Blogs in Urdu language. Now these blogs attract hundreds of comments everyday, indicating the huger readersâ€™ base and interest.
Daily Jang is also one of the most popular Urdu portals. Being the largest circulated Urdu daily, it also attracts major chunk of online readers many from abroad interested in whats happening back home. Itâ€™s definitely a late starter in Urdu blogging and the quality of the blog is still not up to the mark, how ever the news contents are latest. Another sister publication of Jang group, Akhbar-e-Jehan also enjoys a loyal base of readers. Then there are many other sites dealing in News, Literature, Poetry, Cooking, Health n Beauty and numerous other fields.
Urdu Blogs are also on the move. Although we don’t have any Urdu Blogs which enjoy mass popularity and there are still very few Urdu Bloggers but still there are signs of improvement. Mera Pakistan is one of the most popular blog of Urdu language, being visited by many people. Hopefully other Urdu blogs will follow the same path soon.
There are some other popular Urdu websites like Urdupoint, Pehchaan, UrduPlace and many others are attracting reasonable Internet traffic. These sites have everything on offer whether it’s Politics, Literature and Poetry, Cooking Recipes and Beauty tips. As far as the daily traffic is concerned, unfortunately it’s still much lower on Urdu websites. While conducting a traffic survey on Statsaholic, I found that Jang attracts the highest traffic followed by UrduPoint and then Akhbar-e-Jehan. BBCURDU is not included in the top 100,000 most visited sites, maybe because it has a niche audience (it’s secular approach also irks many).
Generating revenues for Urdu websites remains a problem as they get very little advertisements and that too of local companies. Many Urdu websites have been closed down as they were running in total financial loss. Keeping in view the huge readers base of Urdu portals, one wonders why the bigwigs and MNC are not sponsoring on these sites.
As far as the potential for growth in Urdu content is concerned, I see a real bright future ahead. Even many Pakistani homemakers are embarking on an online journey, as discussed by me in an earlier post. Most of them prefer to visit Urdu websites as they find them more familiar and entertaining (not to forget thousands of recipes/beauty tips etc available on these sites). In the end, it can be assumed that Urdu has a potential for growth in cyberspace and it’ll definitely grow.