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We Want You!

Development Intern is now 18 months on from its first ever post, reblogged from a wordpress site I started so I could vent my frustrations somewhere away from the office.

I really enjoyed blogging. I loved trying to write my way through issues I was grappling with at work – both professional and theoretical. I liked discovering and engaging with the amazing development blogosphere. I liked getting recognition for my thoughts and having people respond to what I said – a massive departure from the relative anonymity of a long-term intern.

But I couldn’t keep it up.

Successful blogs need to be updated regularly and I just didn’t have the energy or, frankly, the inspiration to keep churning out three pieces a week. My blog wound down. Other (much better and more popular) development blogs closed down as well: Think Africa Press, Kariobangi, even the mighty Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like. Too often, the burden of keeping such sites going is concentrated on one person and it gets to be too much.

So why not get other people involved? I had figured out the tricky back-end business of putting together a website and built a modest audience. I realised I could

With a relatively stable bunch of regular writers, we’ve put out close to 100 posts in that time. A lot of them I think are genuinely great blog posts which I often refer back to in my academic and professional life. 18 months is actually relatively long lived for a development blog. But things inevitably start to slow down. People lose interest or get distracted by work/university or run out of things to write about or get poached by thieving Australians running a different website*….

But I don’t want this site to run down. How can I stop that? By inviting more people to get involved!

Running this site has shown me that a) there are some amazing voices out there that deserve a platform (probably a better one) that I can give them and b) having more people involved means you cover more diverse topics and gather different points of view. Of course I should get more people on board.

Join us here!

This was previously our internal writers group. We post ideas for blog posts, discuss articles and generally help each other out. Now, I’m inviting you guys to join. I will continue to act as editor and site manager, helping you craft your messages and promoting them as best I can. I will also regularly post ideas for articles anybody can write.

This is blogging made easy. Here’s to another 18 months with you guys.

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*Obviously, I’m super proud of Jennifer becoming editor at WhyDev and only very occasionally curse out Brendan and Weh.

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Learning

Top Five Posts Of The Year

In a time honoured blogging-in-December tradition, here is the run down of our five most popular posts this year in order of hits.

  1. We Need To Do Something About Television – a post on a shocking Italian reality TV show filmed in a refugee camp. Yes, seriously. [Written by Rowan Emslie]
  2. Working For The Poverty Barons – a look inside the oft-misunderstood world of development consultancies. [Written by Julia Lipowiecka]
  3. Networking: A guide for interns – a somewhat snarky take on the difficulties of networking for bottom rungers. [Written by Iris Leikanger]
  4. Optimism In Africa – an examination of polling and the importance of governance in measurements of optimism. [Written by John Favini]
  5. Before The Internship: What I’m expecting – useful for prospective interns and employers alike, some nice insight into what expectations first-time interns have before entering an NGO. [Written by Ben Butcher]

We’re delighted to announce that we hit our first 10,000 hits late last month. For those of you who were interested in this whydev.org published article by me about how useful Reddit is for development organisations/blogs/websites, more than 40% of those 10,000 hits were generated through the so-called ‘frontpage of the internet’. Ignore it at your peril, particularly as it seems that Facebook has begun its inevitable decline.

We’re excited to develop this site as we continue to work out exactly where we fit in the wide world of the development blogosphere. We’d like to thank our good friends at whydev.org and Aidsource for support and feedback in the last few months.

Finally, we’re always looking to publish new writers (our No 2 most popular post was written by a guest writer) as well as invite people to join our core team of talents.

Go ahead and take a look at the Submissions page – we’re excited to hear from you.

Here’s to more posts, hits and voices in 2013.

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