Be heard.

A few months ago, a discussion sprung up on the community about the viability of podcasts in the writing world, or to be more specific, in the Desi Writer’s Lounge writing world. It has, like most great ideas, petered out until someone revives it (presumably me).

Podcasts. In case you’re wondering what they are, they’re broadcasts for the internet, subscription based and mp3’d so you can download them to your iPod or mp3 player of choice, hence the term – “podcast”. i”Pod” and broad”cast”. Nifty, eh? It’s one of the best ways to create literary awareness, and contrary to public speculation, there are a wealth of podcasts for Pakistanis by Pakistanis and if there aren’t literary based podcasts, well someone has to create a market for them, right? For something to have a market, it has to be created. Basic economic theory. To create demand for a product, supply it and if it’s decent, people will flock to it.

I don’t think the writing community has really understood the impact of podcasts – I have seen a few sites that offer readings of select pieces as a podcast – but they aren’t updated regularly, and subscribing to their feed is entirely pointless. And why should we limit ourselves to readings? If we can start a show about literary offerings in the country – have scouts around the country in major cities – and ask them to monitor and keep an eye out for any happenings, well…? T2F (The 2nd Floor) in Karachi is doing an interesting job of it – they’ve got readings by some newer local authors, and impromptu readings by aspiring authors – they haven’t limited themselves to just that, they’ve incorporated government policies as well. But that’s in Karachi, and anyone who lives in Pakistan, knows that Karachi is a country in itself, separated from the rest of the country in both geography and population. If it were closer to either Lahore or Islamabad, traveling there wouldn’t be entirely impossible. No one wants to spend close to Rs 18k for one trip there, as opposed to the 1k it’d take to take a return trip to Lahore via Daewoo.

And that’s another advantage podcasts have over their more traditional counterparts – location. You don’t need to be in either of the reporting cities, or even in the same country, to get the information – readings, people talking about h-interesting things, the latest happenings in the arty world.

So expect podcasts to hit’s airwaves over the next few months or so. This is one idea I’m not prepared to let go of just yet.

There is other news: preparing for the fourth issue of our e-zine in April ’08, I’d like to have assigned editors in charge of our various column/sections (The Poet, The Writer, The Rambler and The Abstract Thinker). So if you’re interested, drop me a line at Be prepared however: you’ll need to do this pro bono, like the rest of us. So if you’re looking for a way to make some extra cash, this isn’t it. Sorry.

We’ll also need podcast gurus – people who have interest in creating a show and/or being a correspondent for their city – and those who have experience in creating one. True, I hail from a Computer Science background, but those days are largely over. With my jobs spanning from being a project manager to technological consultant (largely marketing) and now, an entirely marketing job. I’ve done my fair share of programming, etc but would prefer to move out of that life although I do run a website, but hey! We’re hiring…or…well, you know what I mean.

I do however, encourage you to participate in the forums first, to see how well you and your experience would gel into our existing community.

Oh and news: we’re starting our official Book Club. True, we had one before but that was more of a “let me tell you what book I’m currently reading” or “I’m confused, people! Tell me what I should read.” Beginning this month, we’ll all start reading a book together and then meet every two weeks to discuss, which brings me to my next post.

Book clubs and reviews.