In Bangladesh, around 15 million people actively use Internet. It’s 6.5% of our population and we’re in the position of 157th in the world in terms of population vs users ratio. But our penetration is 28.5% which is really high compare to many other countries.
Hopefully by end of 2015, the number of active internet users will be around 30 million which is a very ambitious prediction though.
Our users have a very different approach to internet than what we see in developed country – we consume contents rather than spend online. So it seems e-commerce isn’t going to be any big hit here in near future.
The majority portion of internet users are on-boarded by Facebook. An interesting insight is – many of them have a guilty feeling for wasting their money for no good cause.
Local startups who’re taking internet as their business platform, are yet to set long-term objectives. It’s really hard to imagine what’s going on here as technology and people’s mind – both are changing too fast.
This story is originally published in Medium, both in Bangla and English. As the story is too long, I am publishing it here dividing in different chapters.
It was September 2005 when I first realised that websites could be made by ordinary people like me. Before that I imagined that making websites was similar in difficulty to building spaceships. I have always been very relaxed at work, but when I discovered the ease and beauty of website development – when I realised that this spaceship was easily attainable – I knew I’d discovered the secret to a long and happy life.
I was always good at maintaining pixels. This practice began on the first day of design school, where most of my friends were far better than me at drawing. I knew I couldn’t compete with them with my drawing skills alone, so I began using graph paper to make design plans and layouts. This helped me learn the manual process of using pixels. Over time, I became a pixel dancer. This helped me grab the attention many influential people.
One fine day in 2009, I received an unexpected email from London. A man I’d never heard of wanted to meet me to talk about the current status of the Internet in Bangladesh. At the time, his queries were irrelevant to my work. I was busy consulting for overseas clients who paid me an hourly wage. I had even been tasked with redesigning The Daily Star website! But I really never thought that the Internet could bring any change to Bangladeshi society.
The man from London had an extensive knowledge about the Internet and had even spent time working at Google. He taught me to see the potential of the Internet in a completely different way. I was extremely excited and finally felt that I could finally be a useful creature in society.
We had our first discussion about the Internet in Bangladesh in March 2009. G&R received the certification for incorporation in July 2009. Ours is an amazing story.
Our very first days at G&R were spent doing nothing but exploring possibilities. Early on, we decided to partner with a software company called eBizzsol for technical support. We held several brain storming sessions and drank a few hundred cups of tea. We were trying to find a single solution that would solve a few hundred problems. The word localization was on top of anything. We started following the tagline, Your local site!
RongDhong was an idea which I heard first time in middle of a night – that was a pleasant story. Later a long time passed which brought a bad story. After blending lot of good and bad stories, RongDhong became public at the middle of 2011.
RongDhong brings stories of life, the writers of RongDhong are you! It doesn’t need any expert opinion or any very thoughtful message. If any of your stories which you think will help other people, can be published here.
last month i’ve started another website www.201loves202.com. there is a long story behind the name. 201 was my class role and 202 was her. this website is totally focused on our works. so we are adding all our academic and professional works there. as well as we are running there a microblog to let you know about our new ideas.
You can’t say yourself happy unless you are happy. Life isn’t so easy at all – at least here in Dhaka which is declared by Economist as 2nd worst city in the world!
You’ll never know how long you have to wait under the burning sun for a transportation. So the definition of happiness is a term which we have to consider when we’re staying at home.
Have a look to the picture above. it’s from my balcony. I do water it everyday.
Few updates of my work: well, things around me has changed too fast in last couple of months. This is a site I’ve designed few months ago for Dropndot which was selected as a best site. This is a new kind of recognition of my work and I am feeling great about it.
Right now I am working with building an ad network which is quit a new experience for me. I hope I can tell you more about it later. Yesterday I’ve launched another sleepless night idea with one of my colleagues which you may have a look too.
I didn’t get a chance to write here in last couple of weeks though those were some of the most memorable times of my life. A new life began on last 4 March with new things, new responsibilities and new experiences.
Life is beautiful if you consider it in a beautiful way.
The Wise Donkey
The most important part is I am really enjoying my time. I hope this site is going to be more rich as a new writer is going to be added.
Well, life is beautiful if you consider it in a beautiful way. I am posting my beautiful stories in different places. I’ve created pages at blogspot, tumblr and today at odopod. You can have a look and I hope you’ll like it.
it was a dream to see this site live. i’ve talked with several persons… wanted to work with several people but i had to wait more than a year. it was good. because it gave me space to rethink lot of things… made me more specific about what should i do. after all these ajkerweather.com is live for beta.
i love to see weather sites… somehow the numbers create an atmosphere around me when i see them. unfortunately there is nothing from bangladesh. i hope it’d be a potential platform to serve bangladeshi weather updates. wish us good luck!
it’s the 5th year i am working at ebizzsol! sometime i wonder about this long journey… a journey of memories and lessons with lot of achievements. well, i don’t know how far i’ll go but i was mostly happy with what i had and right now i have some ideas in my head which are making me breathe. so i am alive!
i’ve started working with a new ebizzsol website from the end of 2008. it took a long year! we had some real hard time within this period and the truth is this new website is a kind of effort to regain our faith. i had lot of things in my mind when planning this site but as it’s normal, i didn’t able to express all my ideas. we are still working on some pages like the portfolio, weblog and new services. let us know what you think about it.
It took more than 3 months to write something about what happening around me. There were few reasons for the delay:
Very recently I’ve started feeling ashamed for my bad English and I don’t know how to improve it immediately.
There was no good or bad story.
I am in a loop of very boring routine.
I was at Shrimangal when the calender was changing. Before I went there, I thought to write a review about the concluding year. But it didn’t happen. Shrimangal tour was wonderful. We were a group of 20 friends and we stayed in a bungalow of tea garden.
If I look back to 2009 as a whole, I don’t know what should I say about it. Most of the time it seemed I am not having a good time though in the meantime I have got the chance to work with some great projects like TripBD.com, Prothom-Alo.com, GoromCha.com.
Once again I have fallen in love! But right now I am with bare hands and mind, looking toward the infinity for a miracle. It’s true and I never lose my faith.
the new prothom alo website has launched last 16 september. within last two weeks we have experienced ‘somethings’ which were really very new to all of us. prothom alo had published an ad on that day in their printed newspaper declaring the lunching of their new website which has brought million of visitors to the newly launched website. according to alexa, on this day prothom-alo.com got the highest visitors within it’s present history. that was wonderful… again alarming for us. we should agree that we had some limitations which has caused sufferings for many visitors… they didn’t able to reach the website. but within few hours we have able to fix maximum of the obstacles. after that we start getting feedbacks from users… more than three thousands of feedback within just 48 hours! it’s true there were some feedback criticizing the new design… some of them were really considerable and we are still trying to combine them to the website.
well, today prothom alo published an article about this new website. they mentioned our name in the article… ha ha ha! am i going to be famous? it’s something new to me and the truth is i am feeling good.
a year back when i first got the call from the daily star, it was like a dream to me. last one year i’ve passed half of my office time watching the news sites. i am still doing the same thing and comparing my work with the standard of the leading news sites and found that may be i’ve fulfill a dream of mine somehow but it’s still far way to go! prothom alo is the highest visited website of the country. so the plan was making it the biggest news website of the country. I was so pleased that people chose to stop here after perhaps a game of online bingo (www.foxybingo.com) or in between checking their emails. i know there are still lot of opportunities to serve the users but i hope this’d be an example. i am still studying and hope the next one would be definitely better and i am waiting to tell you about that.
the idea was simple… a complete base of information of all the destinations of bangladesh and possible accommodations of these places. we’ve started thinking to build such a thing at the beginning of this year and after six months of hard work the beta version of tripbd.com is live now. well, i am honored to get the scope of working with the design and functionality analysis part of this site. we have tried our best to have a good start… we went to more than 400 hotels from popular destinations of bangladesh in person and collect data about their features, pricing, offers and took photos of their rooms, lobby etc. we hired dedicated article writes who are collecting information and writing articles about various destinations of bangladesh. ‘branding bangladesh in tourism’ is our motto and we really believe we can do that. well, this site is built with a simple registration process with which you will get access to write article, make comment and manage several personalized features. we are encouraging you to contribute to this site and be a part of this journey.
This site was inactive for few weeks as it was hacked by someone!!! That was really surprising. I thought hacking happens with the famous things only and I never thought me so famous. But I think I am really thankful to this person who hacked my website and made me feel that I am someone… ha ha ha.
Well, if I count the differences those came to my life within the time this site was inactive… I should say – yes, I’ve got a massive change in my mind. I’ve reinvented something from around me which seems really extraordinary to me. Something like ‘…etodin chilo sadharon tarmajhe ekjon jake aj boro alada lage’… ha ha ha.
About my work: I’ve completed designing a blog for the daily star which hopefully going to be live within few days… I am happy for that. Few more projects are also coming where I was involved with the designing part… I’ll let you know when they will be live… and as well as I am working with this website… I want to give it a new look and add some new features.
this post should be published earlier of this year as this was mostly written on 29 december of last year…
This is going to be the last post of the year and I was thinking about the whole year when writing it. The first thought that came to my mind is I am getting closer to a destination… this is weird thinking but obvious… I’ll die! I could remember one of my childhood friends who got sick and died within 24 hours before starting any serious treatment. I often remember him and still can’t believe though it happened 10 years before. Two weeks ago another known face disappeared though as far I remember I never talked with him. But after getting the news I can’t forget the face. And lastly, one of my uncles died last Monday who was one of most talented but has been treated as ‘wasted talent’… that’s a big story. So I am thinking about my death. What probably could happen then? I don’t know and I can’t guess anything but I am thinking lot about it…
Last Friday on my way back to home I was thinking and found myself so happy. 2008 should be said as a year of achievement… I’ve learned lot of things. I did some freelance works those probably mentionable. I did 2 big print design works for care Bangladesh by the first half of the year. On the second half I got the daily star website project which was a really new experience for me. As regular job in ebizzsol I have worked with several design projects within this year…like , , , , , , , , ,  and many more…
At last it came to live… the biggest web designing task so far, a newspaper site. I was very ambitious about this project but the live version is not exactly what I had dreamed when started the work.
The Daily Star is the most popular english daily in Bangladesh. So based on the size of the opportunity and me, it was such a big deal for me. My responsibility was to create the look of the website… the web design.
Here you can see just 10%-15% of the total plan and I am not sure when we can call it a final version with all functional features from the plan book.
Again, this project is really bigger than me. So I have learned too many things and I would always like to work with such type of website design project.
For last few months I’ve published two posts on average in every month, but this month nothing yet. I was thinking lot to write something… few words or few lines. But nothing came up. So what happened to me? The season is changing… winter has come. So it’s foggy sometime… specially at night on my way back home I enjoy it. I am working hard… sometime harder. The newspaper site going to be live within few days, I got another project from a multinational organization…I’ve designed, gave name to a website for one my colleague. So I think I am doing good… and still in love with the idea of love… hahaha…
For the first time I am working with a newspaper site. So last few days I have been looking into the famous news websites so much and I could even see those in my dreams. the guardian is the best in everyway… it influenced me from the very beginning. It’s amazing how the designer designed it only with the contents… it has a feeling like nothing could be better than this. New York Times is another best one with the conventional newspaper feelings. Independent is a good example of placing ads. Los angelos times is modern with a flavor of conventionality. Washington post is a site with two logos… ha ha ha… they are in real dilemma with the old and new. Bbc is classic, cnn is well designed… and many more…
My client gave a book from their archive ‘the best of newspaper design 27’. It’s a huge world… and I know nothing about it.
Sigh… I know its 9 april but don’t know which day it is. Last 8 days I just had one thinking in my mind… even when I dreamed in my sleep, I just saw this thing. It’s over now and suddenly I have nothing to do… silence after the big bang! Nothing was perfect but somehow it’s okay. There were hundreds of mistakes in the catalog, the website still incomplete, there was no dhaki (folk drummer) and so the rally was almost silent. The food was readymade, not that much tasty. Lot of problems in the management but I don’t know why many of my friends thanked for the effort. Most of the senior said it was superb. Teachers said they even didn’t imagine that much could be happened in such short time… it’s like a milestone. I am happy because I myself even didn’t expect that much. There was hundreds of crisis, obstacles… but now nothing seems impossible. Well, I wanted to publish a post and let my readers know about the exhibition. But I am sorry, I didn’t get the time.
I’ve learnt few things:
1. work let you forget everything, even it’ll let you forget yourself.
2. you should have a ‘rhino skin’ if you are a part of the management of an event.
3. duniya shokter vokto, noromer jom
4. sobai to amra amrai. Doshe-gune achi, thaki na kichudin…
i am trying to show this site to many people because i really enjoyed working with this project. the blog page is yet not completed. i hope you can see this page with some nice post within a very short time. josh da gave me all the opportunities to make the site better. first it was a challenge for me to plan this site. i am not so good in this sector. some of my friends criticized it’s too whitish surface. but i like it. my main point of concentration was to make the site easy accessible for the users and i’ve tried my best to give it a simple ordinary look. your constructive comment will help me to go further. thank you.