State of the Blog: The Parting Words and Insights 

State of the Blog: The Parting Words and Insights 

Well, here we are at the end of this journey. Penning (or rather typing) this final article as the co-editors for the Rotaract year 2023-2024 feels surreal. It’s funny how you always know things will come to an end, yet you always find yourself unprepared when they do. We don’t want to wax poetic, but it feels like the end of an era.

As we present the “State of the Blog,” we can’t help but reflect on the journey we’ve taken together. No more alarms at 12.58 p.m. for those much-needed reminders to share the scheduled articles on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. No more making captions or rushing to get things done while texting each other frantic updates. Each of these moments, though seemingly small, made for an experience that we will never forget.And so, without further ado or boring you with our sentiments, we present to you the “State of the Blog.”

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The Editorial avenue might not always be at the forefront of Rotaract events, but we have always been working behind the scenes on every project. The avenue was not only involved in publishing articles and maintaining the blog but also in creating captions for posts and projects by our club. Our commitment to bringing quality content and maintaining the blog’s standards has been unwavering.

In terms of publishing, we generally stuck to the dates our past co-editors published on: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, all at 1 p.m. Believe us when we say it truly was a struggle, as at times we felt that the blog had a mind of its own. Sometimes we had to wait more than an hour to publish just one article because the blog would be down, and most recently it was down for more than a week (which is why you are getting this article quite late). Nonetheless, it was a successful year, with the editorial publishing 108 articles in total!  

We called for articles in all three languages and were determined to make the editorial as inclusive as possible. The Month in Review was almost always published in trilingual, and the posts shared by other avenues were also translated by a group of amazing translators of the Editorial. However, in terms of articles, we are a tad bit disappointed to say that we only received a handful of Sinhala articles and no Tamil articles at all, despite repeatedly calling for them in our Editorial group. However, we didn’t let this get in the way of our commitment to inclusivity, and we hope that the incoming editors will continue to better represent all voices in the future (which we are thrilled to hear they are planning to do!).

Our writers were absolute superstars, and that is not an exaggeration. The blog would not have been what it is without their constant support and their willingness to pen articles, poems, and more, even while busy with academics. We would like to extend our thanks and sincere gratitude to them early on in this. 

As for the publishing, the two of us divided the responsibilities among ourselves. We took on the tasks of editing, publishing, and creating banners, Instagram stories, and captions every other day. One of us would handle one day, and the other would take the next. 

A significant addition we made to the Editorial was starting to post about the articles on Instagram stories. The Editorial had always shared the story among the club groups on WhatsApp, but we thought we could do with more exposure as we wanted our writers’ work to be celebrated the way it deserved. Furthermore, we thought this would act as an incentive for our members to write more. Therefore, we made Instagram posts for the article and sent them with the IG handle of our authors to Public Relations Avenue’s directors. In addition to that, we made posts called “Monthly Round-up,” where we showcased nine selected articles by our writers as Instagram posts.

Projects

The Love Gazette

The Love Gazette (TLG) will forever hold a special place in our hearts. It was our first project, and we were so excited to begin our editorial journey, and we were not disappointed. TLG was a project where we wanted to celebrate love in all of its forms. It was not limited to romantic love, and our writers perfectly understood our vision and provided us with articles on self-love, maternal and paternal love, and sibling love. We are thrilled to say we published a whopping 24 articles for this project, which goes on to show the level of enthusiasm our writers had!

The Cinematic Narrative

We both love cinema, TV series, and dramas (basically, we love to watch everything!) and decided early on to center one project around this shared love. The Cinematic Narrative was an ode to visual media, and the writers were asked to pen their reviews, reflections, or ruminate on experiences related to these. By the end of this project, we had published 17 articles ranging from movies, TV series, and more in different genres and languages. 

The UNIverse Part II

One project we had fond memories of from our general member days was the “UNIverse” project. We loved it so much, so we decided to continue it this year as well. The idea was to publish articles chronicling the experiences of our writers and members. We wanted it to be authentic expressions of how it feels to be an undergraduate in the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo. Our writers understood the assignment, and we had so much fun reading them! We published 11 articles in total.

The Month in Review (MIR)

As the name suggests, the Month in Review is the article published every month (or twice a month in some cases) where we capture all the projects and plans of all the avenues in our club. It was quite a daunting feat because there were quite a lot of updates, and we also wanted to publish it in all three languages. At the beginning of the year, we assigned one writer from our MIR team for every avenue to communicate with the respective avenue directors for the updates for the month. After the English update was written, translators would translate it into Sinhala and Tamil. Seven MIR articles were published during this year, three of which were double updates, combining updates from two months. 

Subprojects and Miscellaneous Articles

In between projects and in general, the Editorial has always encouraged writers to send whatever pieces of writing they would like us to publish. Although there were a few times when there was a shortage of such articles, we are happy to say we published 19 miscellaneous articles ranging from articles to poems to short stories. In addition, the blog also published these articles, as below:

  • Introduction article by the President, Rtr. Jehan De Silva
  • Rotaract Reflection
  • Editorial Reflection
  • Meet the Board: An Article Introducing the Executive Board and Directors
  • State of the Blog: A recap of the first six months of the blog
  • Installation Ceremony Update
  • Year in Review: An article summarizing all the projects of the year
  • State of the Blog 2: The very article you are reading right now!

Another project was Beyond the Labels by Professional Development Avenue, where they interviewed six women in various sectors and wrote articles based on them. Consequently, all six were published on the blog.

Finally, the series of farewell articles by the outgoing executive board and directors were published in the series titled “So this is it…“. All 16 of these articles were published throughout June and in the first week of July. 

Diving a bit more into statistics

These might bore you to death, but do bear with us as we take you through some of the statistics of the blog during our year (and we kept it short!). Right off the bat, we want to say that we marked the highest number of views in a month that the blog has ever seen! In June 2024, the blog saw total views of 3,394, which we are very giddy about even now!

For your easy reference, the statistics from July 2023 to June 2024 have been presented in the table below!

All statistics are from Jetpack

Amazing, isn’t it? We are even happier because there were bouts of times when there was an acute (not exaggerating, okay?) shortage of articles, and there were times we took breaks due to exams or special holidays. Still, we managed to publish 108 articles, which for us feels a bit crazy and yes, just plain amazing. 

Due to the blog malfunctioning for a week or so, we couldn’t publish for some time in June and had to take about 9 days from July. During this time, we gathered 1,247 views, which are not factored into the statistics table. Also, please note that the average views per month and day have been rounded up. 

All in all, we are very happy with how this turned out! 

And so we say goodbye…

You thought we were done being sentimental? Well, you thought wrong! Even if it made our lives a bit harder (understatement here), we are going to miss this blog. After all, when you do something so religiously for a year, it is bound to happen. Editing and publishing the farewell articles in the last few weeks have made us more mentally prepared, dare we say, to accept that our time as editors is coming to an end. Yet, while we are writing this, we find ourselves already missing it a bit. One day, I am sure both of us will look back and think of these days fondly and with a full heart. We are so proud of ourselves for achieving so much and for coming this far.

It’s easier to step down knowing the blog is in capable hands. Rtr. Chamodi Peduruarachchi and Rtr. Janani Kumarasiri have proven themselves during the year that they are more than ready to be two amazing Co-Editors. And to them, we wish nothing but luck and strength. We hope that the two of you will bring about new changes and make the blog even better. The two of us have so much hope in you, and we are more than sure that you will do a fantastic job. 

As the article nears its end, we find ourselves thinking there is both much to say and nothing left to say. What we can say is that we set out with a mission, and we did our best. We can only hope that our past co-editors, who to this day remain our good friends, are happy with what we have achieved. We want to thank Rtr. Shihara Ferdinando and Rtr. Tharini Ratwatte for everything they did for us. Countless times, when we had issues, be it the blog or the general blues and disappointment, they were always there for us. Most of all, thank you for entrusting us with the blog. You were the ones who kicked off this journey by believing in us. 

If we don’t mention the other duo that made it all possible for us, we are doing a disservice! Rtr. Vibhath Jayasinghe and Rtr. Janidu Wijebandara, the coeditors for the year 2021-2022, thank you for your advice and help! It meant the world to us! Hopefully, all of us can go on a much-needed editors’ dinner soon!

And with that, we say goodbye to you all. Thank you for being with us, writing for us, reading our blog, or helping us in any little way. You all made this possible. 

Now, as our keyboards quiet and screens dim, we will take our leave. Here’s to new beginnings and a year well done!

With lots of love,

Rtr. Kusali Rupasinghe and Rtr. Sajani Jayasinghe

Co-Editors of the RI Year 2023–2024

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