A common Pakistani internet user, when logs-in the computer with Internet Access, he has usually nothing much to do, besides email, facebook and maybe couple of news sites at most – and then what? If he is not Yahoo/MSN chatter then he is left with not many options to explore but to sign-off and get back to his life.
If we are talking about 5 million broadband users in Pakistan in coming 3 years, then the current scenario is not very favorable for achieving such goals. And reasons are so simple: Why would one come to internet if it has nothing interesting in it?
Okay, if you are thinking that TechCrunch, Engadget, Washington Post, Scribed, etc are there to amuse Pakistani audience, you are highly wrong here. As we are not talking about geeky and pro internet users, we are talking about common Pakistani internet community (and potential upcoming community from far flung areas) who has nothing to do with Global Politics and Silicon Valley Gossips.
This common man wants topics and content of his interest and in his/her local language.
Here is an example, why ITDunya.Com has more interactive users than any other forum in Pakistan? This is because itDunya has a rule, i.e. no one can post in English, and instead users are encouraged to use Roman Urdu for posting and replying the threads.
English Lovers: No offense – but for an 8th grader from Chaman, an electrician in Chakwal, or for a laborer from Ghotki websites with local content and language would be a preference.
We know our government is familiar with situation, it has well identified the issues and is working on it – but let’s not wait for government. Alongside, Online Entrepreneurs should come forward and play a key role in generating local content.
We know there are monetization issues with the website in Urdu or with majority of Pakistani audience, but we have success stories like UrduPoint and Hamarweb are with us. Funding from government (its like dream but let’s not overrule it) can encourage small companies for monetizing their ventures.
This was an introduction post over the topic, we are planning to do more of posts on the topic with words from experts’ and those who are expensively engaged with local content generation.