Written by: Farhan Uddin Ahmed
Back in August 2019, Shanjida (former Head of Fellowship program) reached out to me about this group called “Youth Policy Forum” and asked if I would be interested in contributing. I liked the idea of the group and its vision. So, I reached out to Abir Bhaiya (one of the co-founders) and he asked me about my field of interest. I told him I didn’t have anything particular in mind but would like to discuss various national issues on the group page. He liked my idea and told me to make a newsletter for the group.
That’s how the idea of Around the Globe (ATG) started. Our first issue got published on August 23rd, 2019. Back then we would just post it as a long thread on the group page. And people liked the initiative as well. We got a huge engagement in our first issue. This encouraged us a lot and the three of us (Shanjida, Ezaz, and I) worked despite our academic schedules.
The ATG team grew and we became more organized as the days passed. However, new Facebook algorithm rules meant ATG posts were displayed to a lower number of audience. What started with posts with more than 50 likes and comments soon turned to only a handful of likes. We have tried out various initiatives- referring the group posts to the website, having an infographic, having a group of accompanying images, and even starting out a Bangla version.
The most obvious solution is to post sensational news content as it would generate the most engagement. But keeping in mind YPF’s Vision for a Bangladesh better served, posting such news would not help the country in any way. So we decided to keep our original vision (that is to aware and engage YPF members of the latest in the policy) despite the lure of better reach.
Sometimes the lack of engagement has often demotivated my members and me as well. At times, I did question if continuing ATG is worth the time. But when hearing from people that ATG helps them keep updated about the world, that young ones first want to join YPF as ATG members, that someone from Africa shares our posts on Instagram, and someone from UNDP is a massive fan of our work- it keeps us motivated. And these stories have helped us go on for 150 weeks!
We are still trying to be better so that you all can be informed of the world, not just the breaking or sensational news. We are always open to new ideas and opportunities. So feel free to reach out!
Thank you to every YPF member who has supported ATG for 150 weeks. One ATG member wrote he wished to see it go to the 1500th week one day. Keep on supporting us and we can achieve that as well!