It’s been said that the key to becoming an expert in any field is to practice that specific task for 10,000 hours. But that’s a lot of time and your schedule is tight, so instead of dumping that workload on you, we talk to the experts, glean valuable morsels of their expertise, and then condense that knowledge into one informative and entertaining 10-minute nugget. Bilal Ahmad is from Pakistan and received his MBA in Banking and Finance from Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar in 2012. Despite his relatively remote location, his site Tech Maish offers a wealth of information on blogging, social media, technology, and all things online. Before getting into that though, I had to ask him about the name of the site.
First, can you tell me about the name you chose for the site? Is ‘maish’ kinda like ‘mash’?
Frankly speaking, ‘Maish’ has no meaning. It is my own created word; it’s an abbreviation which has a secret meaning, relevant to me alone. I know it makes no sense, but I went for it.
What’s the goal of Tech Maish?
The goal is very simple – to provide a platform for bloggers and webmasters to share their knowledge, tips and experiences with our readers.
How do you find new writers?
Several bloggers have added TechMaish.com to their list of “Top Guest Posting Blogs” and word of mouth has spread all over the blogging and internet community. This has encouraged writers to contribute to my blog. I do not run any promotions to encourage writers to submit articles for TechMaish.com, but it is the value they see in my blog that encourages them.
How much do you personally write on a weekly basis?
I get 40 to 60 “guest posting” requests every day. More or less, all the time I am very busy moderating articles and replying to writers. Thus, my contribution in terms of actually writing for TechMaish.com is very minimal. I do share giveaways, promotions and trendy articles with my readers, but overall my contribution is restricted because of the workload.
People who visit your site might be surprised to learn you live in Pakistan. Are there any difficulties with living there and running an English-speaking site?
I am proud to be a Pakistani, and I feel even more proud when my work is appreciated throughout the Online World. Pakistan has a lot of talent, but unfortunately the lack of education and resources has pushed us far away. The only difficulty I face here is the excessive “load shedding,” also known as rolling blackouts (if you are hearing this word for the first time, it’s not surprising, but in Pakistan it is very common).
In Pakistan, the most commonly used sentences are “electricity is gone” and “electricity is back.” In this scenario, you can imagine how difficult it can be at times to manage my online world. Regarding running an English-speaking site, yes it is difficult, and I always have my content proofread for grammar issues. English is not my native language, and sometimes I find it very difficult to convey the exact idea, but over time it has now become easy for me.
How do you choose subjects to cover on the site?
I encourage bloggers and webmasters to only contribute on blogging, SEO, social media and technology. However, if I think an article contributed by a writer can be useful to my readers, then I always publish them.
I see you’re working with a site called QuickHaggle.com. What’s that about?
In this modern world, where people have plenty stuff they aren’t using just lying around, they are more than willing to exchange it for something else of value. QuickHaggle.com is built on that very concept: to provide a platform for users to swap, exchange and trade products, services and skills.
For example, an SEO expert exchanges his/her service with a social media expert, OR a wedding planner exchanges his/her service with a financial expert. An iPhone user can exchange their smartphone for a Samsung OR maybe a Nokia Lumia user wants to exchange his/her phone for a Samsung Note. There could be several examples of how trading can be done on QuickHaggle.com.
This is one of my dream projects, but unfortunately, because of the time constraint, I am unable to spend more time on the promotion of QuickHaggle.com. Recently, the site also was listed on Dmoz.org, which encouraged me to really focus my attention on the site promotion. Hopefully I will manage my time to take this site to the level.
Judging by the frequency of your posts, it seems like you’re quite busy. Do you ever find time to disconnect from technology?
For me, there are now two worlds (offline and online). Most of the time, I am in the online world. It is very hard for me to disconnect from technology, and my wife always tries to keep me disconnected by stealing my laptop and so on… and rolling blackouts are always there to keep me disconnected as well.
If I ever find myself in Pakistan, what dish should I be sure to try? By the way, if you ever visit the US, stay away from the McRib.
You are more than welcome to our beautiful country. We are known for hospitality and Pakistani cuisine is known for richness and flavor. If you ever come to Pakistan, I am sure you will enjoy every dish, but the most popular dishes are Kabuli Pulao (one of my favorites) and Lassi (In English it is known as a “curd shake”).
Thanks for the time, Bilal!