Adding technology to keep tradition alive. That’s what developers of mobile apps and web-exclusive magazines offering Diwali anks (Diwali special magazines) seem to be doing.
“When we thought of coming up with a Diwali ank, we decided to be Pune’s first technology only magazine,” said Nikhil Kadadi, a founding member of techmarathi.com whose web-exclusive Diwali ank will go live next week.
Their articles are not scholarly or technical in content but more generic like poems, essays, short stories and articles. “Contrary to the perception that only youngsters like technology, our website has a lot of readership from senior citizens who we hope will read the Diwali ank, too,” he said.
While this may be the first technology magazine, there have been many e-anks over the last couple of years. The Diwali Upakram or Unique Feature’s Password in audio format released last year was one. But is the audience accepting this medium?
Mumbai-based Sayali Rajadhakshya whose WordPress site digitaldiwali2014 went live on Tuesday shares a few numbers. “In a span 24 hours, our site had 1,600 visitors from 20 countries,” said the food blogger who started working on the site from September end. “While I agree that there is no substitute for traditional print magazines, we need to engage with a more tech-savvy readership. Our site offers not just reading. For instance, if an article mentions an old song, it would have a weblink to play that song and refresh your memory,” she said.
Pune-based social media expert Amit Paranjape who wrote an article for it said in the digital age, merging technology with tradition is the right approach.
For the smart phone generation, there are a variety of mobile apps to choose from.
One developed by Vedant IT Academy offers a Diwali magazine on subjects as varied as travel, food recipes, lifestyle, literature and sports. “When we searched for a Diwali ank app on mobile and couldn’t find any, we thought why not use our professional skills and create it. This way, even people living abroad can be rooted to tradition,” said Swapnil Gondkar, founder of the free app Tarunai that has over 5,000 downloads.
While these digital magazines are new, some older and popular Diwali anks have woken up to bridge the digital divide. Navi Peth’s Dr Nitin Sangamnerkar who publishes Shatayushi, a Diwali ank on health with over 40,000 print copies, came up with an app on the same.
“I think a couple of years from today, print will be dead and hence I decided to put my Diwali ank available on mobile. That’s where most of the younger generation spends their time now,” he said.