My Blog Didn’t Make Me Any Real-Life Friend: Did I Just Waste 4 Years?

Simply put, because I’m blogging in a language that nobody in my country speaks, I’m only reaching people of an international level.

About four years ago, I started this blog because I wanted to reach wider range of audience — audience that wouldn’t be barred because of language barrier. Although I’m still not perfect, I have to say that it was a brave move because back then I had very little knowledge in English. Still taking up keyboard to write everything in a foreign language without any institutional course is somewhat crazy. I have to admit, I’ve come a long way only because I was determined.

However, four years later, I’m looking back and trying to figure out what happened to those who didn’t follow my route and continued blogging in Bangla. Not to mention, blogging has gained unimaginable popularity in Bangladesh over the years and there are more than dozens of active bangla blogging community. Each of these platforms has over thousands of individual bloggers. So, what those individual bloggers have achieved over the years?

Bangla blogging community works quite differently. There, after you’ve been marked as a safe blogger (as opposed to spamming or objectionable content writer) you get access to what is called Front Page. As the benefit of getting front page access, each of your posts will be shown on the front page, much like Freshly Pressed here on WordPress.com, until your post gets pushed down by newer posts by other bloggers. I know I may have failed to write it clearly, but I guess you understand how it works.

So, when you publish a post and that’s on the front page, thousands of other bloggers read your post immediately and starts commenting. Of course, you don’t get that much impression or comments unless you have a catchy headline and interesting post, but it’s at least in front of others’ eyes. This way, building up a readership and community is quite faster and easier than here in WordPress.com where we have to kind of market our blogs by commenting on others’ and sharing on Facebook. Because growing a community is easier, years later, those bloggers have a good networking around the country. It’s like they are always in a community. If they need help with something, they’ve got a lot of people to come forward.

bloggers in bangladesh

A bloggers' meetup held in Dhaka in 2009. Click the image to read more.

But I’ve been blogging actively here in English language and that’s enabled me to reach people from other countries. I haven’t grown much of a reader base internationally. But I’ve got some followers here and all of them are virtual. By virtual, I mean I can’t meet anyone if I’m feeling bad or nobody can come forward [physically] to help me with anything. In other words, they are virtual and they will always remain virtual because of not being local.

Please don’t feel offended if you’re a subscriber or follower of my blog. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I respect and love my readers regardless of country, religion and race. All I’m saying is that who’s achieved more: me or the people who continued in their mother tongue?

I can only tell that my achievements are reaching more and more people globally. But that isn’t really going to help me in what they call real life. On the other hand, those Bangla bloggers have managed to create  a local community where they can throw parties, go out, hang out, come forward in issues and so on. I’m still in front of my computer like I used to be back in 2008. The only difference is my words are being read by more people than it used to be in the beginning.

Just so you know, I always find myself in deep dilemma when deciding something. Of course, it isn’t possible for me to be active in bilingual blogging. So I had to choose my language first. I was in great dilemma. I occasionally write fictions so each time I have something in my mind I find myself spending days thinking which language I should be writing in.

Anyway, the bottom line is, I think those people who kept blogging super-actively in Bangla blogging communities have achieved something that’ll be helpful in their real life. On the other hand, I’ve got something that only pleases me.

What do you have in mind to add to my thoughts in this regard?

20 thoughts on “My Blog Didn’t Make Me Any Real-Life Friend: Did I Just Waste 4 Years?

  1. Without you realising , yet! One days if you really have passion in English times will come itself. It’s very complex. I knews, i do understand. I got the point from what you wrote. So please, still be here. Keep it up. I didn’t compare to my friends the same profesion like me because i knews very well my speed & which market i’m in..

  2. Who said you don’t have readers from Bangladesh. Like me there are many frequent readers of you and who love your writings.
    You are a great writer and obviously you a got popularity, not like the other Bengali bloggers rather an different kinda taste I mean simplicity and uniqueness there is in your writings. Keep on writing.

    And actually this is not possible to make real friends virtually what i think. But there are few exceptions everywhere :( .

    however never get disappointed and we are with you. Whenever need us just call. we we’ll be there for you (us).

    Probably your HSC exam is going on :\
    Best of luck man!

    Sorry for bad english

    • Hi bro, thank you very much for your kind words! I’m delighted to know that you are here. But if you take a look at Bangla blogosphere, you’ll see that they have tendency to leave a comment so bloggers know who their readers are. Of course, majority of bloggers don’t leave comments, but still there are readers who always comment.

      Last year, I spent a few months actively on Bangla blogging community and i developed some readership there. I could tell people’s name who were reading my stuff and who knew me just by my name. But here, I can’t really tell who is reading because not everyone leaves a comment. Moreover, you will see that Bangladeshi people have a tendency to avoid everything that’s in English. It’s proven that most people don’t like to read English. As a result of that I don’t really have a huge readership which I think I’d get if I continued in Bangla.

      I can’t deny the good consequences of blogging in English language, but I was just thinking of having local connection. You are right. I have readers from Bangladesh but you can see they don’t really interact with me. So, I don’t know who is reading me.

      Anyway, thank you for being with me and reading my blog. And no, my HSC exam will be held next year. :)

  3. I’m not sure I agree with everything you have been saying here. If you want to make real-life friends then the blogging sphere is not really the place to do it. Our friends here come from all over the world and this is exciting and very productive – but it is not the place to find friends you can go round to see when you feel down – as a rule.

    Facebook, Twitter and other sites are the social networking sites to go to and, by the sounds of it, the Bangla Blogging platform you use does a similar job. Write in English if you want an International audience. I think this is worthy in itself. Get your ‘real life’ friends from the Bangla blog.

    I disagree with your comments about English. This is a very popular language in Bangladesh and is often referred to as the second mother tongue of Bangladesh by many Bangladeshis and in print in both languages. The fact that most newspapers here have editions daily in both languages says a lot.

    My blog has about 200 readers from Bangladesh who return each month and that number is growing daily. Although I have more from the UK and America, often there are more reading my blog from Bangladesh than elsewhere when looking a daily stats. I think this is pretty good considering I have had to earn each and every reader from all over the globe (or at least each one that returns each month) rather than having some kind of automatic posting of my blogposts. I’m sure you get more having been around a lot longer.

    As Bangladesh continues to grow in wealth and prosperity and the Information Technology Age continues to develop here, I am sure many more will be reading our blogs in English. But you’re not necessarily going to be best friends with any of them!

    • Well, you’re missing the point. When did I say I’m blogging to make real-life friends? Please read my post carefully and try to understand what I’m saying. I started with saying that I looked at those who kept blogging in Bangla blogosphere and I found out that they were making a lot of real-life friends which I couldn’t make because of blogging in separate platform and in English. There’s a huge difference between wanting to make real-life friends and discovering that others did make real-life friends and then comparing that with myself. So, you’re wrong to say that I’m trying to make real-life friends with my blog. I’m simply comparing to figure out what I would get if I were active in Bangla blogosphere.

      You yourself is an English speaker so it won’t really catch your attention. We over here have a really, really huge and strong community of Bangla bloggers and in real life — all of them agree with the fact that Bangladeshis don’t tend to read English stuff. Of course, there are differences, but I’m talking about the majority. And most newspapers don’t have bilingual editions. Only handful of newspapers have compared to the total number of Bangla newspapers that get printed every day.

      I’m sorry but I had to disagree with most of your comment. But yes, I agree that the number of people who care to read, write and speak English is growing. But in general level, it’s rather slow.

      • Forgive me Bhai if I have misunderstood your use of English. Your title implies this blog was to make real-ilfe friends otherwise why would it be a waste? The whole post compares how your friends on Bangla blogs “have managed to create a local community where they can throw parties, go out, hang out, come forward in issues and so on” but you can’t. Maybe it is just your use of English…

        You say “You yourself is an English speaker so it won’t really catch your attention.” but as you don’t know me you really can’t make any assumptions about me at all. You may well have a lot of friends who all have the opinion but I am sorry but you don’t speak for the whole nation any more than I can speak for mine and you can’t tell me what “won’t” catch my attention. Such talk is racial prejudiced.

        I found 31 newspapers printed in English after a couple of seconds of looking with 5 of them being major ones read all over Bangladesh. Whilst I may have overstated my position without statistical information to hand, I don’t call that figure a “handful”.

        If you take the nation as a whole then yes, English is not spoken by many. But as as much as 70% have little or no education then this is a skewed statistic. Amongst the educated classes the figure rises considerably and if you include the 80 million, or so, Bangladeshis who live abroad and the fact a majority of them will speak English, then the figure becomes rather significant.

        But, as I say, maybe I am just misunderstanding your use of English…

        • Why bother with title alone? Titles are usually meant to catch attention and not describe the entire opinion/story. And I’m not a good headline writer anyway so.. :(

          Speaking of newspapers, are those all national dailies? Did you count how many Bangla newspapers are there including local ones? Stats don’t always show correct info. We here in Dhaka see a lot more newspapers in Bangla that we don’t even hear the name of anywhere else — some of them don’t even have a website. And most online stats will give you outdated info.

          I’m not just talking about who’s educated. Without having much education you can blog in Bangla but in English, not really. When I’m speaking of local people I mean every sphere. Trust me, six years in Bangla blogosphere (as a reader, mostly) have made see lots of people including highly educated and positioned people who may speak English at their offices but don’t feel okay to write/speak English in blogging world which they term to be a place to relax. Bangla blogosphere is bigger than you can imagine. You have to spend at least a year to understand what type of people are there and how the general people feel about English (and particularly English, I mean).

          But I guess there’s no point of debating because you’re making your point based on the people around you and you interact with and I’m making my point based on the people around me and those I’ve seen/read on the Internet. Because we’re different, our view is not really likely to match. :)

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