Picture of the Day: ATP going forward

Posted on August 18, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Photo of the Day
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Adil Najam

We are in the process of making some important changes here at ATP and I thought this picture captured very well the mood of these changes. A mood of accomplishment; and of possibly having sown some seeds that might just take root if the conditions are right.

Regular readers would remember that from the beginning the goal has been to turn ATP into a team-blog (here). When I first started the blog on June 11, I was not sure anyone would even come to visit. Today, just over two months (68 days) into the experiment, this is the 158th post and we have had over 60,000 visits. In many practical ways Guest Posters but even more so for the active discussion from all of you.

Now its time to take the next step.

Please welcome Bilal Zuberi and Owais Mughal who are joining me in the day-to-day management and editing of ATP.

Most of you are, of course, very familiar with both Bilal (on Naii, on Ishtiaq Ahmed and Inspector Jamshed, on Mueen Akhter, and on The Greeing of Pakistan) and Owais (on Goth Alla-Bino, on Chai, on Fountain Pens, and on Rickshaws) who have been been regular and frequent posters of ATP. They have already been very active on ATP and now kindly agreed to take on major responsibilities in its management. They will, I am confident, bring even greater variety and diversity to ATP.

We will, of course, continue to have Guest Posts from the wonderful bloggers who have been contributing in the past and, hopefully, from more new ones. I believe that these have been a central element of how ATP has developed and we want to continue on this path. I would like to thank all who have been contributing Guest Posters and also invite our readers to consider contributing Guest Posts (see here).

Unfortunately, none of the above means that I will disappear. Getting rid of me will not be that easy. I am having too much fun doing this to let go. While you will see a little less of me (as I actually start doing work for those who pay my salary), you will probably still see more than you want to; at least for a little while longer.

And, finally, about the photograph at the top of this post. Titled ‘The Farmer’ it is part of the portfolio of Razaq Vance. Razaq sahib is in the same profession as me – a teacher – but is immensely more talented and his photographs always leave me entirely mesmerized. I plan to do a proper feature on his photography soon, but along with Umair Ghani (where work we presented on ATP here and here), Razaq Vance captures the grandeur of life in rural Punjab like few others. Thank you Razaq Sahib.

[By the way, the second post I did with Umair's photogrpahs - about the rural-urban divide in Pakistan - was one of my most favorite posts on ATP; both because of the topic and becasue of his photographs].

17 Comments on “Picture of the Day: ATP going forward”

  1. Shirazi says:
    August 18th, 2006 12:12 pm

    Welcome Bilal and Owais. I am sure this is going to be a great ‘tea house.’ It alreay is.

  2. mansoor says:
    August 18th, 2006 12:28 pm

    welcome!

    adil jee.. it would be sad to see you go…. so… please dont :D

  3. Mus says:
    August 18th, 2006 1:19 pm

    So ATP is about to change hands and a new team takes over.Whoever takes charge,these suggestions may be noted.
    *Several topics may be combined or consolidated into fewer ones.An average visitor visits just a single topic or maybe two,other topics,which might have received replies go unoticed and unvisited.So better to consolidated all those topics into fewer ones,I would say one would make it even more interesting and everybody will get to read everybody.

    *emphasise more on text than on visuals(videos and pictures).Keeping in the mind ATP gets loaded faster with more text than with visuals(not everybody had high speed broadband anyway).

    Hope it is noted.

  4. Mus says:
    August 18th, 2006 1:22 pm

    Oops I noted several spelling and grammar errors in my last post.Since there is no option to edit or correct errors before posting so once posted is not correctible.

  5. August 18th, 2006 1:23 pm

    To be part of ‘All things Pakistan’ has been one of the best experiences for me. We strive to keep our readership’s interest alive and we’ll do out utmost best to bring even more interesting and diverse topics to this forum.

  6. Farrukh says:
    August 18th, 2006 2:08 pm

    Welcome, Bilal and Owais. And I like the ‘Pak Tea House’ metaphor. I think the politics of this site also has a similar bent. *grin*

    I actually like the variety of posts of different topics and the mix of words and pictures very much. There is something for everybody. I note that some people comment on some type of issues, and others on different ones. The pictures are a major part of the charm of this place, so I would keep them. If speed of loading is an issue then maybe use lower resolution.

    I thought from the post that Adil was taking the very Un-Pakistani step of developing a team rather than remaining solo. The messages suggest is he leaving. Which is it?

    By the way, great photograph that of the farmer.

  7. Adnan Ahamd says:
    August 18th, 2006 2:02 pm

    True! This is already a tea house.. in memory of the legendary one recently closed in Lahore. I think the owner is building a commercial plaza in its place.

  8. Aziz Akhmad says:
    August 18th, 2006 2:33 pm

    Adil,
    Congratulations on making the progress you have on this blog in such a short time. You have already received some good suggestions from Mus on how to improve it further. Here are a few more:

    1. As mentioned earlier, please increase the font size of the comments. As it is, it puts a lot of strain on the eyes to read them. As you know it’s the comments and discussion that make a blog interesting. So make them more readable.

    2. After reading or skimming a post one always tries to go to the “Recent Comments” parts on the right hand side. Therefore it should always be somewhere high up, if not at the very top so that one does not have to scroll down to look for it.

    3. Minimize the visual “clutter” if you can, which means the highlighted parts, capitalization and reference to links should be kept to essential minimum.

  9. August 18th, 2006 2:56 pm

    Some great suggestions folks…keep them coming. It’s been such a pleasure to see this blog become a virtual chat room – the tea-house analogy is a wonderful one. While I was a kid growing up in Karachi, my dad would often spend his evenings hanging out by the Mohalla ‘super store’. Several men of his age would come around and they would just do gup shup, sitting on benches spread outside. We jokingly called it his “Chandoo Khaanaa”. I am proud to be associated with this online Chandoo Khaana.

  10. Aziz Akhmad says:
    August 18th, 2006 4:06 pm

    While googling for what is the best font size for a blog I came across the following comment from what seems to be a blog professional. I thought it might be helpful to ATP team:

    “So, why is so much website text so hard to read in the first place? Two theories:

    1. Most web designers are young, and so have perfect vision. Tiny text doesn’t bother them as much as it bothers people on the other side of 40. Designers also tend to own expensive, high-quality monitors that are easier on the eyes.

    2. While creating a website, designers don’t actually read the information on the pages. They simply glance at the text to make sure it looks great. In fact, many designs are approved with “lorem ipsum” standing in the place of real copy. When you don’t have to read the words, it doesn’t matter that the characters are small.

    Because so many sites have made bad decisions regarding font size, users commonly need to change it. Early IE versions supported this need, offering users two standard toolbar buttons: one that made text bigger, and the other that made it smaller. That’s the way things should be.

    Mr. Gates, please give us back the good design you shipped in IE4 for the Mac.”

  11. August 18th, 2006 4:21 pm

    Adil bhai hope you would keep sharing your thoughts as a “Reader/commentor”.Welcome to new guys.

  12. August 18th, 2006 7:02 pm

    Thank you all for these kind messages.

    Mansoor, Adnan… don’t you worry; I am not going anywhere; at least not yet 8-)

    After all, I am a Pakistani. I was trained never to give up anything at all… not without screaming and shouting… as a friend of mine used used to say: ‘salli bhi muft millay to lay lou, patta nahiN kab kaam aaa ha-aye’ 8-)

    On the design, I agree with many of the sentiments; especially the very small font on the comments (my browser, Safari, allows me to change the font on the but I believe other browsers don’t). On some of these things (including font size or ability to edit/spell-check comments) we can do little, because the template is pre-set since we are on the free WordPress service. A number of friends have already convinced us to move to a domain of our own and supposedly that will allow us more flexibility in these things. We will try to do so soon and one of our priorities would be finding a new design that allows for larger font size for easier writing and reading of comments.

    I am also told that this and all WordPress blogs are best viewed by using Firefox (downloadable free) and sometimes style problems come up with Internet Explorer … can people confirm if that is so?

    On the downloading speed issue, Dr. Awab (Teethmaestro) had earlir alerted me to the fact that our download was too large and too slow. He also taught me some tricks using which I cut the size of the page into half (mostly by using lower resolution pictures). We are now very careful on piccture size. We will keep trying to improve download speed. Can people who are using telephone connections tell us just how big a problem this is for them so we can figure out how drastic our response should be.

    We hope to do a redesign over the next many weeks so if you have other ideas.

  13. Roshan Malik says:
    August 19th, 2006 12:27 am

    Welcom Bilal and Owais !!!
    Thanks Adil for such a wonderful initiative. Its always pleasure to see the ATP posts and to particpate in the discussion. Hope everybody will participate with the same spirit.

  14. Roshan Malik says:
    August 19th, 2006 12:59 am

    Thumbs up to the contributions of everyone involved for making ATP such an interesting blog and an integral part of our daily internet life :) A very warm welcome to Bilal Zuberi and Owais Mughal and best of luck with ATP’s future endeavors.

    Picture of the day and its title are appropriate for these changes and accomplishments. An excellent pick!

  15. August 21st, 2006 4:54 am

    Somebody made a suggestion to emphasize text more than videos/pictures. That is NOT a good idea. This blog is interesting the way it is right now, please don’t make it a bland text based one.

  16. Eidee Man says:
    August 28th, 2006 2:50 am

    I think it would be cool if you could develop a sort of “show-case” website on the site to archive some of the articles that don’t deal with politics, problems, and that kind of stuff. It could be a very good resource for someone trying to learn about the culture and character of Pakistan by reading these articles and looking at pictures. It would be good PR at a time when we oh-so-desperately need it :).

  17. Haris says:
    September 15th, 2006 1:25 pm

    Great pictures here. Beautifully done. And good to get a snapshot of this site’s history. (Some of the links are broken).

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