At long last, gyaan.in is finally here. The concept has been in cold storage, then development for quite a while and I’m happy to say that we’re launching today. Yes, it’s been delayed for some time, but I’m quite happy that we’re launching today. ;)
gyaan.in is primarily a forum where Indian quizzers can interact with each other – share questions and question archives, notify upcoming quizzes, discuss general topics. One thing we felt was that many options out there right now were technologically lacking. Most quiz forums these days are on Yahoo! Groups or Google Groups and neither of the two provide flexibility to users in terms of uploading attachments, embedding images and YouTube videos, embedding audio files. Quizzes these days use multimedia in higher proportions. gyaan.in‘s platform doesn’t restrict you in such ways. We also aren’t using old-school forum software like phpBB which, frankly, look terrible. We’re running Vanilla Forum which gives you more usability with a better interface than the others; interface is quite like an email inbox actually.
The technological advantage isn’t the primary reason why we’re starting this. We want to provide a platform where there are no ‘official positions’ – the community chooses which direction to take the forum. To put it quite simply, a forum where we quiz for the love of quizzing. To this extent, we have created a charter for gyaan.in:
- Nothing Official About It
At gyaan.in we intend to extend informal interactions between members. For too long in the quizzing circle people have considered each other in a mildly to overtly hostile manner. Informal interactions – members getting to know each other as real people – instead of simply ‘competitors to defeat’ should make a nicer quizzing world.
- Don’t Be Evil
An extension of point 1, at gyaan.in we intend to ensure that no sort of politicking kicks in. To maintain sanity (actually, to combat spam) we will have moderators on the forum but we do not intend to have any sort of ‘positions’. You – the user – have your say in matters and the community decides collectively on its future. What we will have, instead, are evangelists / moderators within the community to spread the word. If you’re interested in being more actively involved in organizational matters then please get in touch with us at contact [at] gyaan [dot] in.
- Quizzing, But Not For Points
We do not intend to have a league table to keep track of who’s getting how many questions right on the gyaan.in forum or events. Partly this is intended to ensure that members who arrive late to the scene aren’t disadvantaged by early adopters who have had a head-start in answering questions. The main reason, however, is that we don’t want it to become Yet Another Place To Look At Other People As Competitors.
Once members get acquainted with each other on the Web, we would like to extend the interaction by holding ‘offline’ meets where you can get to converse with members IRL (‘in real life‘). Some of these meets could be where a small quiz is conducted, others could be simply informal meets.
- Quality Content
Providing regular, quality content quizzes, articles, news, archives. Giving you a platform where you can share such resources easily – with our dedicated team of gyaan.in moderators providing editorial support. Content would cover oft-ignored topics in quizzing circles too such as technology and contemporary music.
- Promote Quizzing In Delhi, Especially In Schools
Compared to other cities like Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai etc Delhi is often considered to be ‘lagging behind’. While that isn’t entirely true, we do feel that a lot more can be done in encouraging schoolkids to take up quizzing. Our first focus would be to make significant progress on this front in Delhi.
Getting started at gyaan.in is easy. Visit the site and if you aren’t already a member, then click on the ‘Apply for membership’ link. This is a short registration form which will send some basic details. A moderator will manually approve your account – this is done to ensure that no spam bots get into the system. The forum is not pre-moderated, i.e., as soon as your account is active you can start being a part of the discussions. We will not put messages into a moderation queue for posting. However, if community members report content as offensive or spam then we’ll look into and try to resolve the situation.
That’s basically it! Click on the ‘Start a new discussion’ link to start a new topic. You have a WYSIWYG editor to compose and format your message. If you want to embed YouTube videos click on ‘HTML’ in the formatting bar and insert the video code. Images can be uploaded as attachments, or uploaded online elsewhere (say imageshack.us or TinyPic) and then inserted by pasting URL after click the ‘image’ icon (next to smiley icon). To send messages to particular user on the forum, click on that person’s username. This will take you to that person’s profile where you’ll find a Facebook style ‘wall’ where you converse directly with a user on the forum.
I’ve been using the pronoun ‘we’ in this post, so who exactly is ‘we’? We are the moderators behind gyaan.in. I’m Ankur Banerjee, you can find out about me here. Rishav Dey proposed the idea for gyaan.in and has played a major in role in reminding me that deadlines to launch were whooshing by again and again. I’m indebted to him for bringing this idea up. Prateek Vijayavargia provided inputs on what exactly the student community wants gyaan.in to be. Karmanya Aggarwal and Vishesh Kumar have supported this venture from the very beginning, being a part of the discussion that went into this and worked on some web development aspects of the project. विशेष धन्यवाद to Vishesh Kumar, for he’s the guy who created the gyaan.in logo. Other moderators on board are Aditya S, Agrim SIngh, Arjun Attam, Chirag Jain, Mridul Kapoor, Vivek Nair, VS Karthick.
At gyaan.in, we are open to feedback and discussion on the future of this community. Please do send in any suggestions, bugs in the forum software, queries, critcisms, praise – anything you want! If you’re interested in becoming a moderator and are ready to devote time to this project then do drop us a line. Our email address for all concerns is contact [at] gyaan [dot] in. Spread the word!