Spending time on social networking websites have become a fashion now. Mostly, youngsters join social networks for passing free time or to make new friends. IN reality those relations are not very strong. On the contrary, you find friendlier atmosphere on Urdu forums. The members share happy and sad moments, you find good and sincere friends, and you get an opportunity to learn from others as well.
This interview of Mr. Waqar Azeem is not for the publicity of his service for “pakistanipoint.com” nor is it to publicize the website. The sole reason for this interview is to answer all those questions which arise in the minds of students of my age, don’t get satisfactory answers. You may be surprised to know that many of my friends even don’t know about Urdu Forums. This interview is very unique and educational because it contains detailed information about running a forum. Read this interview to find out how Pakistanipoint.com is spreading Information technology and Urdu literature.
Q: What is your hometown? Where were you educated, and what made you decide to become an Electrical Engineer?
Ans: My hometown is Sargodha, Pakistan but my family moved to Jeddah, KSA in 2001. I returned to Pakistan for education, and passed my FSC from Muzzafar Garh Abdalian Higher Secondary School, and then went back to Jeddah. I did some small Courses; MCP (Professional Certified Microsoft) and CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate). After that I worked as a Network Engineer for two years in Jeddah. My father is not very education. He was very proud of his friend Alamgeer because he is an electrical engineer (Ma Sha ALLAH). So I thought how proud he will be when his son will be an electrical engineer. Therefore, I left IT field and came towards engineering.
Q: How is the educational system in Malaysia and what difficulties do Pakistani students have to face while studying in Malaysia?
Ans: Malaysia used to have a very good educational system because it was very affordable. Educational system is still very strong but the economy has dropped. Private universities are raising the tuition to earn more money. Immigration is another difficulty the students have to face. If the GPA drops even a little bit then they make excuses to give visa, even if one semester did not go right, they start threatening you of deportation. While some students become more serious, many had to face difficulties because of this.
Q: What is the first Urdu Forum you joined and how you came to Pakistanipoint.com?
Ans: I registered on an Urdu Forum “Friends Corner” in 2008; I used to post and read the threads only in Islam Section. A boy, the real admin of “Pakistani Point”, invited me to join his forum. So, I came to “Pakistani Point” and never went anywhere else.
Q: When did you become an Admin, and what struggles you had to make to bring “Pakistani Point” at the stage it is today?
Ans: I become the Admin, after the three months of registration at “Pakistani Point”. I contributed very less part to bring “Pakistani Point” at the stage it is today. The credit goes to the member, their love, dedication, and sincerity brought “Pakistani Point” at the point it is today. Members run the forum; there are several members who have been with us in every good and bad time. I always pray for them.
Q: How has your routine changed after becoming the Admin, how much time you have to spend daily on forum and how much you have to spend from you own pocket?
Ans: I left all the social life after I became the admin: cricket, gym, rugby, I left all the activities. Now my first priority is study and then “Pakistani Point”. Whenever I have time, I log on to “Pakistani Point”. The total spending is about RS 40,000/- per month. We have hired a few boys for scanning the books. Site Admin, Mr. Shahzeb, and I pay them from our pocket money.
Q: Why is that you have decided not to make money from your forum, while many others do so?
Ans: We have always wanted to be different from other forums in a good way. Other forums are good too. But we wanted to have a quality that others don’t possess. So, we decided not to make money from our forum. “Pakistani Point” is like a home, and the members are like family members. We don’t like to make our home a commercial, a Dua (pray) coming out of someone’s heart is more important that the money coming out of his pocket.
Q: How do the Admin make money, and who gets it?
Ans: As far as I know, Admins can make money only by two ways: putting advertisements, and by selling the membership. And I think the admin gets the money or the person who bears the hosting.
Q: What does one have to do for the promotion of his/her forum? What kind of data is required to make a forum popular?
Ans: You have to do good and unique work for promotion. You have to keep unique data that other forums don’t have, for example: unique software, best books etc. Then people refer the forum to other. IT forums depend on the complete Urdu courses they have, because you will eventually find software from somewhere. But computer courses in Urdu are very rare.
Q: How old is “Pakistani Point”, what privileges you have given to your members, and how your forum is better than the other forums?
Ans: “Pakistani Point” turned three this year. It is the only forum that has both: IT and Urdu literature. Other forums work either on IT or on Urdu book. We have provided 22 different courses which include famous courses like Adobe Photoshop, Java, CCNA, MS Word and MS Excel.
Six, seven designers have uploaded video classes for deigning. And Al Hamdullilah we have succefuly uploaded more than 2000 books from September 2011 to February 2012. Whenever the digest comes in the market, we scan and upload on the same or the next day. Other than that we have also provided several Urdu novels and “Imran series”. And it is totally free. We don’t charge for anything. “Pakistani Point” is the only forum where no one can discuss songs, movies, and serials which is very rare on other forums.
Q: How many team members do you need to run a forum and do you have to pay them?
Ans: The team members depend on how many members and section a forum has. Our team consists of eight members: one site admin, one management, three super moderators and three moderators. May be the teams of other forums asked for money, but our team has not asked for it.
Q: What do you think how many people take advantage of forums in Pakistan, why is that mostly nonresident Pakistanis join forums?
Ans: It is very sad that Pakistani youth is wasting their time on Facebook; I haven’t seen any good in it. I think Facebook can only harm you. That’s not only me but most members of my forum don’t use Facebook. People should join Urdu forums, IT courses that are available for free on the internet. People from abroad mostly join Urdu forums because they don’t have access to Urdu books, even if they do, the books are very expensive. One has to think several times before buying. IT in Urdu and Urdu books attract them to join Urdu forums.
Q: What is the advantage of ranks? And what is the information that regular members don’t have access to?
Ans: Every forum has different rules. We give ranks for one’s creativity and handwork. If someone has been doing very good work in IT section, then we make him/her the moderator of that section, and they get certain privileges that can only be used in that specific section, so they can delete spammed posts, and take care of the section. Regular members don’t have access to some section. For example, there is a section that only team members can see where we discuss several issues of forum. There is a Super Moderator zone, which only super moderators, admin, and management has access to where we discuss the issues that we don’t want moderators and others to know. There is another section which only admins can see where we make sensitive decisions of forum.
Q: There was an explanatory post on Mar 26, 2011 that “we are sorry for whatever happened on forum yesterday” why had it happened on that day? Is there a rivalry between forums?
Ans: Several events take place on forums. I don’t remember what exactly happened on that day. But I think a very trustworthy member was spamming wand forcing members to join his/her forum. I was not online at that time. But as soon as I logged in, I banned that member and apologized with everyone… it happens when someone makes a new forum , instead of making it unique by having good data, they go on different forums and ask the members to join their forum, which is not right. Yes, there is rivalry between forums. We used to have rivals too, but now we have stopped thinking that way.
Q: What will you suggest someone who is making their own forum, can someone contact you for help?
Ans: It is very costly to make forum. Price of VBulletin license cost of hosting company, etc. I only suggest not having a Haram (unlawful) motivation. Don’t make a forum that promotes songs, movies & etc. We are already spoiled. We need forums that are positive and enhance the creativity of others. If someone wants to make such a forum, then surely we will help them InShaALLAH.
Q: Would you like to give a message to Pakistani youth and internet users?
Ans: I only suggest that rather than wasting a lot of time on chatting and Facebook, use that time on study. I understand one cannot study all the time, so if you want something for entertainment then go on good websites where you get to learn something as well.
Forum URL: http://www.pakistanipoint.com/