Join the crocs
By Tahnee Hopman

Once again, welcome to the swamp. In April, a gang of crazy crocs decided to take the Sri Lankan online scene by storm with the Kimbula Forum. Two months, 400 topics and 8000 posts later, the Kimbula family continues to grow. Here are some of the Kimbulas themselves, speaking of their beloved swamp.

"Kimbula is definitely your everyday forum," says Chetharaliya. “To me, this forum has brought me closer to a whole new kind of Lankan youth. Some of them made me realise how much we stereotype at the end of the day. I must say it is one diverse pond with Kimbul breeds of all kind. It is a Lankan experience but definitely not a clichéd one! You need to join for yourself and see the difference."

Whether it is to mingle, brainstorm or flirt, Kimbula has something for the most varied of online fanatics, and to quote ‘Sigma,’ one of the Kimbulas, the swamp as it is known by its residents, is a fun discussion board on, "topics ranging from social and cultural issues to the versatility of towels."

For others – particularly the Kimbulas abroad, this Sri Lankan swamp does away with homesickness. Says 'Amerynth,' "I lurked around Kimbula for a while before I decided to dive in. It has been my connection with home in a very different way to emails and phone calls – a connection I can't quite seem to wean myself off..."
Unlike the average social networking site like Facebook or hi5, Kimbula focuses more on the concept of a forum, where in giving vent to opinions, members can also make friends among themselves. Of course, given the fact that the 483 Kimbulas are all radically different, brawls ensue fairly often, but they are all in good fun and soon forgotten. Dimitri, the site administrator – or Pissukimbula (PK for future reference) as he is more often known, has this to say of the Kimbula Forum. "The interactions over at Kimbula, better known as the swamp, are simply amazing and the members are just brilliant; all credit goes to them for making this a success."

Two months down the line, with more and more new Kimbulas entering the swamp, many new features have been added. The latest of these is ‘The Frequency Underground,’ which is to promote the work of local musicians. Artists can hand over their material online and the team will stream it over at Kimbula. Members can listen to, discuss, and talk to the artists or simply rate an audio track. If the Audio Lounge kicks off as expected, the team is ready to take things to the next level and promote tracks internationally.

In addition to the online fun, over the next few weeks, the Kimbula Forum will launch the first in a series of drives it hopes to conduct over the next few months. "It is a small step we know," explains PK, "but it is a step in the right direction."

Kimbula will be collecting donations for the Animal Welfare and Protection Association who require dry dog and puppy food, milk powder, dry cat and kitten food, rice, bread, fish and chicken, soap, disinfectants and basic medical supplies. Starting from June 16, 2008 members who wish to donate can do so, till the end of the month. The collections will then be delivered to the Animal Welfare and Protection Association (AWPA) by the team. The collection point for donations and other details can be found at www.kimbula.com.

If you are still not a member, what are you waiting for? Join the friendly crocs as they rally together for the sake of their fellow beings!

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