5 Reasons GreenWhite.org is a Success

A guru blogger once shared the following piece of wisdom with me:

Posts with lists are more ‘successful’.

Here is a list of reasons why I think GreenWhite is a successful blog. I have to write this post as a lot of people have approached me this week and asked what GreenWhite.org ( GnW) is all about and whether it actually is a successful blog or not. Among the people who have asked this question are:

GnW, for those who don’t know, is a technology blog focusing on the news, innovations and emerging trends in the Pakistani IT industry. I am no blog analyst, but I would call GreenWhite a big success because:

  1. GreenWhite has built a community – In the two years of its existence, GnW has managed to gather and engage a strong bunch of IT professionals around itself – people who are writing and participate in valuable discussions on the Pakistani IT industry. As a Pakistani IT professional who follows 400+ Pakistani blogs semi-regularly, I do not know of any other IT blog focused on the Pakistani IT industry that comes close in this regard. Do share the address in the URL if you know of one.
  2. GreenWhite serves a small niche successfully – This post is intended to be read by a dozen or so people – it does not matter if 50 or 5000 people read it, as long as the intended target audience gets the message. Similarly, if we stop fooling ourselves, the Pakistani IT industry is TINY – GnW aims to serve this small niche, and if you will go through any 10 random posts on GnW, you will agree that it does the job well, which is another measure of success.
  3. GreenWhite has original content – Since our tiny IT industry does not generate hundreds of news items every hour, so GnW authors have no option but to write original content. The posts on GnW are not ‘originalized’, which is my term for picking up a few dozen ‘blogworthy’ hot news items from a few hundred (preferably before the competition does it, so that your post gets listed for a few Google keywords) and quickly remixing and rewording the resultant body of text before pressing the publish button. To use a hackneyed expression, GnW usually has something to say, while most local blogs have to say something.
  4. GreenWhite has been a catalyst - My first introduction to GnW was through the Startup Insider sessions, which was a commendable series of informal sessions between the wannabe entrepreneurs and the veterans, held in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in collaboration with P@SHA. Dozens of CEOs and IT professionals were speakers / panelists, and hundreds of people participated in the series, but apparently that endeavor did not get the projection that it deserved, as many IT bloggers say they have heard the GnW name for the first time only recently. Just as the Bloggers’ Meetups are attempting to bring the wannabe bloggers together, the Startup Insiders brought people interested in IT startups together and gave many of them the push needed to ‘do their own thing’. Not many other blogs can claim to ‘walk the walk’. GnW can.
  5. GreenWhite has decent statistics – I think many of the worlds’ best blogs are undiscovered, and usually have less than 100 regular visitors, and yet there are many people just want safety in numbers, so they go by analytics figures, don’t waste time on any blog that doesn’t get trackbacked by a million other blogs and dont read a book until it is a bestseller or a movie based on the book is in production. For people measure success in percentages and clickthroughs, GnW has around 1000 subscribers, is usually in the top 100K blogs on Alexa (and has #666 rank in – though I am not a stats freak, but achieving a sub-100K Alexa rank with 90% audience coming from Pakistan and a few hundred thousand visitors a month, all without explicit SEO might mean something to the statistician sort.

So there you have it, for what ever it is worth, GreenWhite is a successful blog IMHO.

Before I go, here is a bulleted list of pointers:

  • I was approached by strangers (now friends) during the LBM08 event, and then on Skype during the KBM08 event – they wanted to meet and congratulate GnW representatives, and I had to tell them that the blog was based in ISB. I wish GnW was represented in the meetup, but regardless of whether GnW attends any meetings or not, this is the only measure of success that I would aim for if I owned GnW – actually no further justification of success should be required.
  • Hot Chick - reallyI read some twitter friend LOLing and saying that people believe that the success of a blog is limited to those who aim to create a difference in their society. That would be wrong, though I don’t know any blogger who would generalize success like that. I believe that boobie blogs may have their need in the world, just like gadget blogs, social welfare blogs or porn. The measure of a blog’s success is whatever its owner and readers want it to be – sometimes it is thoughts and dreams, sometimes it is rants, sometimes it is monetization by prolific content generation, and sometimes it is pics of hot chicks – but that is just my simplistic view of things, and you are welcome to disagree.
  • To answer another (very enthusiastic, judging from the !!!s) friend who said “… success story? honestly, this is the FIRST time I read this blog or even heard about it!!!” – it is simply because you belong to a different segment. You are facing the west, GnW is facing the east. In the blaagosphere fruit market, you are an apple, GnW is an orange, and there are melons and mangos and hundreds of vegetables, fruits and nuts like me around. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your knowledge of a blog’s existance is not a measure of success – after all, ten years ago, you didn’t know where babies come from!!! (I kid).

Disclaimer/Disclosure:

I have written 3 odd posts on GreenWhite.org so far. They are:

http://greenwhite.org/2008/10/24/rentacoder-says-stay-away-from-pakistanis/

http://greenwhite.org/2008/10/29/rentacoder-removes-offensive-message-and-applogizes/

http://greenwhite.org/2008/09/23/the-evolution-of-begging/

11 Comments

  1. aqeeliz says:

    I have been reading GnW for quite a while now, and I agree, it’s the best blog (actually I know only this one) which serves this niche.

  2. [...] I stumbled on a piece and thought that it is  one of the best blog posts that I’ve read in some time. Shoaib Athar of [...]

  3. bilish says:

    I’ve no doubts about GnW success but what you posted herein this entry is awesome. I talked about it here.

    http://bilishy.wordpress.com/2008/12/30/what-if-i-dont-have-a-best-blog-post-of-2008/

  4. Great post Sir!

    These days, few kiddos react as if they are Bill Gates *laffs . Until quite recently, they didn’t know about netxpress and CIO Pakistan also, so does that mean a Success Story or a Successful blog/mag doesn’t exist? No of course, that means they are misinformed about the local industry and therefor they SUCK!

  5. [...] I stumbled on a piece and thought that it is  one of the best blog posts that I’ve read in some time. Shoaib Athar of [...]

  6. [...] I stumbled on a piece and thought that it is  one of the best blog posts that I’ve read in some time. Shoaib Athar of [...]

  7. Mahmood says:

    No new posts on GnW for the last few days and the link is currently down. Why so?

  8. bilish says:

    GnW link, not working for me.
    ???

    //off topic
    Sohaib, You are not settling for a theme at present. :)
    All the minimalistic ones you have tried are cool. I like this “plainscape”

  9. shirazi says:

    Where was i when you were writing this blog. Nice to be here. (See the meetup post again).

  10. Sohaib Athar says:

    Mahmood:
    Yes, the website was having some DNS problems due to a recent hosting move – it should be working now. New posts… everyone who writes there is pretty busy it seems.
    Bilish:
    Yes, I like this one myself, just sorted out a few widget issues (wordpress bug, if your previous theme has multiple sidebars, and you switch themes, the widgets stay associated with previous sidebars and are not available to be added again!)
    Now if I can find time to fix the broken XHTML…
    Shirazi:
    Coming from you, that is quite a compliment – thanks :-)

  11. Osama A. says:

    Hi Sohaib,

    Strangely enough, I just came across this post – I’m honored and thanks so much for the kind words.

    As for not many posts recently… at gnw we’ve tried to make it a community-run blog. So if you feel you can keep the light burning and write on it, by all means please contribute.

    //Side note – your captchy spam thing made me write “Arouse Secretary” to post this comment… I kid you not.

    Regards

    Osama A. from Greenwhite.org

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