Five years ago today we delivered the first copies of the SylhetTimes in Oldham, Rochdale, Manchester and Hyde.
That was back in the days when newspapers were actually printed on paper!
Founded on the cohesive collaboration of Muz Khan, Kashif Ashraf and Les Howarth we felt well equipped to represent the goings-on in our diverse part of the world with our philosophy of “let’s look for some good news”.
Since then others have joined the media publishing game, creating our community’s very own “media city” in Westwood. Some followed, split-up, reformed, crashed, revived and spun-off amazing new things. Meanwhile the Sylhet Times is going strong. Better than ever actually. In the three years since we converted to a totally on-line publication we have greatly extended our reach and readership.
Our aim was never to sit in the corner, talking amongst ourselves; but to spread the news of the interesting things going on in our part of the world far and wide – so transferring our creation to the web was a natural step.
It worked : our readership in the last year increased by 30% both in number of visitors and the number of pages viewed. Followers of our pages increased from 16,200 to 23,800 with page-views rising from 240,000 to 350,000. Of these more than 55% are from the North-west/Greater Manchester, around 30% from London and the remains coming from various places around the world, including Bangladesh.
Some of our most popular topics include Education, Environment & Energy and Sports. Cycling in Bangladesh has been a big feature on several occasions – in particular when we ran a blog from the 2010 Sylhet-to-Cox’s Bazaar “Ride for Green” which was sponsored by Clemon in Bangladesh. Youth sports activities have also been popular – and while we don’t do politics as such – our coverage of the last UK General Election was heavily featured and drew a lot of new readers. So we look forward to interviewing hopefuls at the next one.
This is a special year and in conjunction with our partners we are planning some special events around the country during 2013.