Nox: Curtain Call

Nox: Curtain Call

The final dialogue is to be delivered, amidst hushed silence.

After a year of enrapturing performances, we now stand at the edge of the stage with our backs to the curtain – amidst the orchestra’s parting outro, staring into an audience in darkness. After a year of faith and loyalty, of the highest reception and valued critique, the time has come for the Editorial to momentarily bid farewell to her beloved companion and most treasured counterpart – the Readership.

But not without the commendation, love, and gratitude it deserves.

So here we are, after the music has finally died out, the applause simmered away, and the lights have come back on – all in preparation for our final Curtain Call, before the next show begins.

State of the Blog returns!

It has undoubtedly been a very eventful year for the Editorial here at Rotaract Arts. So much so, that it was not until we stopped to look back at all that we have accomplished during the last twelve months did we realize the full extent of the impact that the Editorial has had this Rotaract year. We always knew that the Editorial would be special this time around, but never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine this. Trust us when we say that nothing could have prepared us for such an intense (and admittedly, sometimes scary) rollercoaster ride this past year; for the Editorial to take off the way it did and actually stick the landing!

With that in mind, we would be the most unappreciative and foolish people in the world if we didn’t take a moment to celebrate the team’s efforts by highlighting the overall progress of the Editorial. We are ecstatic to announce that as of 30th June, the Editorial of the Rotaract Year 2021/22 has published a grand total of 130 publications. We couldn’t be prouder of the team that helped pull off such a monumental year for the Editorial.

Take look at our detailed year-end statistics below!

This remarkable result would have been only a dream had it not been for our talented pool of writers who not only took it to heart to submit their best work but to also do so frequently. Our writers are such rockstars and they are in every way, the blood that flows through the Editorial. They are the reason that the Editorial was able to thrive the way it did this past year. As such, we owe our success to all of them. To all our wonderful writers, thank you for your unwavering support to our cause through and through. We are grateful, thankful, and in awe of the ridiculous levels of talent that you all possess.

We would also like to take a moment to celebrate that the Editorial went on to spearhead three massive projects this Rotaract year, namely:

  • Enigma (Co-chaired by Rtr. Yeshani Fernando & Rtr. Anjalee Wanduragala)
    • Phase I        –       October 14th, 2021 to November 16th, 2021
    • Phase II       –       May 28th, 2022
  • Forspoken (Co-chaired by Rtr. Nirmali Amarasinghe)
    • Phase I        –       November 18th, 2021 to December 7th, 2021
    • Phase II       –       May 28th, 2022
  • The SDG Roundtable (Co-chaired by Rtr. Tharini Ratwatte & Rtr. Gethmi Adikari)
    • Phase I        –       January 18th, 2022 to February 24th, 2022
    • Phase II       –       May 29th, 2022

‘Enigma’ was the Editorial’s first crack at a project this Rotaract year, which focused on unsolved mysteries across the globe. Each article explored the respective mystery, its background, and its public perception to date. The project, in its entirety, was launched with the intention of instilling interest within the readers and the writers of the Editorial regarding mysteries that remain unsolved to date. A subsequent, yet equally important objective was the improvement of writing and research skills among the members of the Editorial who provided their articles for the project.

‘Forspoken’ focused on mysterious landmarks that belong to multiple civilizations across the world. The main objective of the project was to create awareness and touch upon the beautiful and unique man-made structures around the world and delve deep into the histories behind them. Another objective was to provide a platform for the Editorial members to express and pursue topics they were interested in. In addition to this, researching, pursuing external sources, and compiling the gathered information into an interesting article were core skills that we wanted to inculcate within the novice Editorial writers.

‘The SDG Roundtable’ was an initiative by the Editorial that sought to educate the masses about the responsibilities that we as inhabitants of this planet have towards the earth by shedding light on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) introduced by the United Nations (UN).

On top of all that, we implemented some other changes to the Editorial as well, some small and others significant. Here’s a summary of some of the major reworkings we did.

  • Updates to the focus areas/pillars of the Editorial for the Rotaract year 2021/2023
    • Empowering our writers by giving them both the opportunity and freedom to write about what they are passionate about to best express themselves and their interests.
    • Injecting diversity and variety into our publications whilst simultaneously increasing the number of publications.
    • Creating internal roadmaps to ensure that all our publications are published in a sequential, orderly, and timely manner.
    • Investing time and resources into our website to make it the primary face of our club’s social presence.
  • Updates to our website’s design and functionality
    • Redesigning the website to give it a more modernized look and feel.
    • Streamlined the user experience (both on desktop and on mobile).
    • Streamlined our menus and content categorization to improve the ease of accessing desired articles.
    • Added social media redirection to our official PR platforms (Instagram, Facebook & Email) through the website’s homepage.
    • Added live social media updates (via our official Rotaract Arts Instagram feed).
    • Added a statistic tracker to track the performance of our publications.
    • Added an anti-spam integration to protect the website from spam.
    • Added an extra layer of protection to prevent the website from crashing due to malicious brute force infiltration attempts from 3rd parties.
    • Added the ability to directly share the website’s publications via an in-post social media integration.
    • Added a side navigation bar for a smoother mobile experience.
    • Added image optimization to reduce the website’s overall used disk space.
    • Optimized our media (via an image accelerator) for faster load times.
    • Optimized our website’s SEO Integration.
  • Updates/additions to our content line up
    • Interview
      • An article that serves to provide an insight into the life and respective Rotaract journeys of key members of Rotaract Arts through a series of questions and answers.
    • Month-In-Review
      • An article (published every month) that rounds up all the events, projects, and important club updates relating to Rotaract Arts during a given month.
    • State of the Blog
      • An article (published every six months) that summaries the performance of the Editorial over a period of time and makes announcements (if any) regarding potential changes/updates that will come to the Editorial in the future.
    • Poems
    • Short Stories
  • Changes/additions made to streamline our website’s content
    • The inclusion of new categories such as:
      • Editor’s Notes
        • A category that collects the articles of present and past Editors.
      • Blog Series
        • A category that collects the articles of all project-related blog series.
    • The inclusion of new pages such as:
      • Club Overview
        • A page that goes over what the club is, what it stands for, and its approach to its members and mission.
      • Meet The Board
        • A page that introduces each member of the EXCO belonging to the ongoing Rotaract year.
      • Our History (still being worked on)
        • A page that summarizes the feats of Rotaract Arts during each Rotaract year since the club’s inception.
      • Past EXCOs (still being worked on)
        • A page that aims to preserve the names of past EXCO members and the positions they held.
    • The addition of an archive
      • Due to storage limitations on our website, we had to make the difficult decision to move our past articles to another location. Currently, they all are safely collected in a Google Drive folder which you can access through our website. We are, however, actively looking for a way to either republish them on the website by upgrading our dedicated disk space allocation or through some other sustainable method. We respect and are appreciative of all the hard work that our past writer’s have put into their articles thus, preserving them is of prime importance to us.

Moving on, as previously established, we installed a statistic tracker on the website back in February of this year. We are elated to reveal our viewer statistics during the past few months since the tracker went live. The website has seen massive gains month on month. We hope that this upward trend continues well onto the next Rotaract year and the many years that will follow. Take a look for yourselves below!

Statistics provided by Jetpack

In case you somehow missed it, we officially announced our successors this month. Say hello to Rtr. Shihara Ferdinando and Rtr. Tharini Ratwatte! Two gifted ladies who have absolutely no right being as talented as they are! We can’t wait to experience their plans for the platform, only this time not as Co-Editors but once again as fans and avid supporters of the Editorial.

So, here we are, twelve eventful months later. At the end of our terms as Co-Editors. What a journey it has been. One of growth, learning, acceptance, and humility. It has been an honour to have served as your Co-Editors and in extension the caretakers of the Editorial this Rotaract year. We hope that you all are just as proud of the Editorial as we are.

To our successors, we are confident in your abilities and couldn’t be prouder to know that we pass on the legacy of the Editorial to two very capable individuals.

To our predecessors, we hope that we’ve made you proud. That we respected what came before, but also took steps to further improve the platform.

To the Editorial Team of 2022/23, express yourselves, voice your opinions, talk about what you are most passionate about but most importantly have fun! As your preceding Co-Editors, we have but one request, however. Take care of the Editorial, take good care of her.

And finally, to Rotaract Arts, thank you for the journey of a lifetime. We will forever be grateful.

With love,

Your Co-Editors,

Rtr. Vibhath Jayasinghe & Rtr. Janidu Wijebandara

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