Our Plans for 2012
An animated story series – This is the project we are most exited about! We want to make an animated series of Sikh stories. The idea is to have the hero be a Sikh girl. Set in modern day times, the hero and her friends would go on adventures where they are using their powers of meditation, seva, Bani, Bana and other Sikh tools. Although the stories would be fun and engaging they would also teach Sikh identity values and universal values. The motivation for the series is to create very entertaining media for Sikh kids, that makes them proud to be Sikhs. Animation is expensive, so this project is pending funding from donors.
Printing of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib - We are in the process of formatting the Dr. Sant Singh translation with original Gurmukhi text alongside, for a 4 volume set of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. We are going to need sevadars to help with this. Although we don't usually work with printed media, we are very excited about this project. Now there will be a volume of the Guru available where you don't have to wonder what a "mumper"is. Dr. Sant Singh's easily understandable modern English translation is already easily available all over the internet, but this will be the first time it is printed out.
More mobile apps for kids - Lots of ideas are still in the works. We have seen other apps where you can dress up a Disney princess, and we thought of making a similar one where Sikh girls can dress up a Shakti princess (Kaur). This app will focus on children, and girls specifically, which we feel is much needed in our modern times as most of the outward Sikh identity is focused on boys & men with their beards and turbans.
Re-design SikhNet –Our last redesign was in 2008. It was then that we moved to a database-driven content delivery system called Drupal. We have many ideas about how to make all of the SikhNet content more accessible through Drupal, but this is a big project that will require a lot of programming. Instead of all the videos and news stories going into an unending archive, the content will be cross linked by topic, so relevant content doesn't just disappear. It re-appears. We are also planning a Sikh classifieds section, a Gurdwara website template that anyone can plug into to create an interconnected network of Gurdwara listings with calendar events and localized announcement abilities. We also plan to totally revamp the Youth Q&A section. Each one of these ideas is a huge project and we have many more ideas too.
Gurbani Media Center expansion and improvement – There are lots of technical improvements on our list including more options for the embedded player, allowing Shabad page ranges for Gurbani lyrics and lots more.
Inspirations videos for the empowerment of women – We view women's empowerment as an important way to uplift our society. A society is measured by the way it treats its women. In Sikhism, women, and the feminine creative energy, are regarded as the highest aspect of God. We plan to launch an Inspirations Video series that teaches women how to access their inner power and stand tall as the daughters of Guru Gobind Singh that they are.
Inspirations video series on parenting – As Sikhs we are householders, and parenting is a difficult thing to do, even for people with a spiritual path and discipline. We plan to launch an Inspirations Video series that helps parents provide their children with a supportive, disciplined, and spiritual upbringing.
English translation of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib in audio format - This is currently in progress We bought some special audio recording equipment for this, and a few enthusiastic local Sikhs have volunteered to record the audio. We are splitting the shabads up by the SikhiToTheMax shabad ID system, so these audios can be used in different ways such as creating a continuous file for Akhand Paath, or listening individually. Note - this project is separate from the English audio Hukamnama katha by Sukha Singh where he explains the shabads word for word. This purpose of this is to be a straight reading through of the entire English translation.
What we did in 2011
- Karma - The Ogre's Curse – The recent weeks have been marked by the completion of the long-awaited
"Karma Game - The Ogre's Curse" - an online adventure game that teaches
spiritual values and Punjabi culture. Guruka Singh spent much of his
time on this project and after 18 months of hard work on everyone's part
it has finally been released. The game is animated and voiced with the
same high quality as commercial video games, except that this game is
designed to be positive and uplifting. It has a fascinating and
spiritual storyline set in a captivating environment. Over 700 kids are
now playing it and loving it! Karma - The Ogre's Curse
- GMC mobile app - Gurbani Media Center - With the SikhNet Gurbani Media Center app you will have the world's
largest archive of Gurban Kirtan audio available to you wherever you go!
Never before have you been able to so easily have such a large volume
of Gurbani that you can listen to anywhere (so long as you have a data
connection for your device). Gurbani Media Center app
- SikhNet Audio Stories Mobile App - This app is packed with all the stories produced by SikhNet since 2008.
Kids can easily browse and listen to stories on their own. Listen to the
stories instantly when connected to the Internet, or download stories
to your mobile device for off-line listening in the car and airplane. Stories Mobile App
- SikhNet Stories for Children - Through the dedicated service of Harijot Singh, SikhNet published even
more Stories for Children this year, including the original new "Team
Khalsa Save the Langar". Through better equipment, and more importantly,
improved skill and care taken, the production quality has improved
tremendously. These are very professional and engaging stories for
people of all religions and ages. Audio Stories
- Inspirations videos - We released 35 new SikhNet Inspirations Series videos this year
and counting. We introduced new videos on keeping kesh,
vegetarian diet, self-esteem, nimrata (humility,) Receiving Amrit,
experiences, Gyan, forgiveness and much, much more. The Inspirations
topics are inspired by SikhNet users writing to us about topics they
to hear discussed and questions for which they wish to have answers. The
production quality also increased with professional lighting, DSLR
camera recording, audio equipment, backgrounds etc. The new videos are
noticeably quite different. SikhNet Videos
- Gurbani Shabad Printer & Customizable Hukamnama Page - The Shabad Printer is allows you to beautifully customize, share or print any daily
hukamnama or Gurbani Shabad. You can choose from many different background
frames, font styles, language types (Gurmukhi, Larivaar, English Translation,
Spanish Translation, Romanized, etc). You can select to view in line by line
format or block format. Change the sizes and alignment and all kinds of other
things. This is an easy way that anyone can customize the Daily Hukam or
Gurbani to display in a really beautiful way, and share it. Shabad Printer
Customize how you view the most popular page on SikhNet, Hukamnama Page, with the same options as the Shabad Printer. You longer need a Gurmukhi font to view the Hukamnama page. You can set the format to 'paragraphs' or 'line by line'. etc. You longer have to view translations you don't want to. Change the fonts, layout and colors and your browser will remember your settings, so you can view the hukamnama the same way you like it, every day! Hukamnama Page
*These were actually released at the end of 2010 but were not included in the 2010 annual report.
SikhNet Radio Improvements - The SikhNet Radio has always been an easy way to just click play and listen. We added the ability to see what track is currently playing by what artist. You can also see a listener map. We added lots of new live channels for major Gurdwaras that are broadcasting, and we improved the overall look and feel of it. SikhNet Radio
Story Script Competition - We held a competition so our users could create new original Sikh-themed stories. We encouraged people of all ages to participate. The number of original ideas,inspirations, dramas, lessons and insights was really inspiring. Every story had merit and that's what made deciding on a winner a difficult process.The winning story, "Team Khalsa: Save the Langar" was produced into a professional audio story. The script writers are 13 and 11 year old Japman Kaur and Triman Singh. Congratulations! Read more
6th Annual Online Youth Film Festival - Since its debut in 2006, the SikhNet Youth Film Festival has become an annual event. Most people in the world don't know who Sikhs are and what we are all about, nor have they experienced our love of Seva and our Cherdi Kala spirit! This unique event is a great way to spread the living experience of Sikhi and Sikh identity to give people the experience of our spirit, values and culture. Our intention is that this educational and fun event will allow many people to get involved in the world of film and media and continue explore its benefits to the Sikh community. Film Festival
Our Mission Statement
Our policy for the SikhNet News is "good news, good will". We avoid posting political news, or news that's negative in nature, rather we focus on what can inspire and inform. SikhNet is not funded by, nor does it represent, 3HO or any other sect, or organization. We do our part to create unity instead of division, we do not take sides and we do not promote or condemn any Sikh group. Our ideals are to be universal, uniting, inspirational, uplifting and neutral, and that's why we focus more on what can inspire us to be more spiritual human beings rather than on controversy and politics.
How SikhNet is funded
SikhNet is not funded by any other organizations, and relies on two funding sources (1) Donations from users and sponsors and (2) SikhMatrimonials.com membership fees. SikhNet uses these funds to employ three full-time staff, two part time staff, to pay for office expenses, Internet hosting expenses, and to pay for contract labor for special projects, programming, graphics, bookkeeping, system administration etc.
Since we started SikhMatrimonials more than 10 years ago, many more matrimonial sites have appeared on the scene. Since we are a small non-profit company we don't have the resources to be able to compete with such big companies, nor is that our intention. We fulfill a specialized need and we rely on our long time customer base which has let us continue to offer this service. In fact, while other websites may be larger and have more features, SikhMatrimonials continues to have the most Sikh profiles online.
What SikhNet does
SikhNet is the largest Sikh website, receiving over 20,000 visits every day. The most popular feature is the Daily Hukamnama followed by many other services such as the daily SikhNet News, khalsa.com email, SikhNet radio, the Gurbani Archive, Childrens Stories, Featured Videos, Sikhiwiki, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib online and our downloads (Bani files, kirtan audios, Sikhism wallpapers, Gurmukhi Fonts etc.). Explore the World of SikhNet.
The SikhNet staff do web development and programming, SikhNet news population, SikhMatrimonials customer service, fundraising/networking, content creation (such as articles and videos) coordinating initiatives like the Sikh Youth Film Festival and events like Jaap Sahib, and Camp Miri Piri.
At SikhNet we couldn't do it without volunteers. The SikhNet staff and the international "cybersangat" deeply appreciate the discussion moderators, the English Hukamnama translators and transcribers, the Sikhiwiki contributers, the Youth Q&A moderators, the GurSikh Speed Meeting organizer, the video interviewees, stories for children narrators, and the many members of the SikhNet family who send us news articles, comments and feedback. We are grateful to Art of Punjab for exchanging your beautiful artwork which has and continues to visually brand our new website. Thank you so much to our donors who make this all possible. Donate Now!
History of SikhNet
SikhNet went online for the first time in 1984 with technology that seems primitive to us now. From February 1986 until October of 1994, SikhNet was online as a computer bulletin board system. For ten years, SikhNet was up and online 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, but it finally stopped in October 1994 when Guruka Singh was no longer able to serve as the Sysop (System Operator). After SikhNet had been offline over a year, by the grace of God and Guru, Gurumustuk Singh, our wonderfully talented and creative young Webmaster appeared. Through the efforts of the development team, through your donations, and in collaboration with Sun & Son (a Khalsa owned software development firm based in New Mexico), SikhNet was funded and finally reborn on the World Wide Web on March 24th 1996. More >>
Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa - Webmaster and Chief Operating Officer
Guruka Singh Khalsa – Teacher and Chief Executive Officer
Gurujot Singh Khalsa – Creative Director
Gurujot Singh started working at SikhNet in April 2005. At that time he was involved different aspects like Customer Service Management and doing the SikhNet News. While doing Graphic Design school on the side he has taken on the video development, as well as designing and producing much of the graphics and products you see on the Web site. He also helps oversee customer service with Loveleen.
Loveleen Kaur Ahluwalia – Customer Service