| Jan 5, 2022
Berzin Archives Year End Report 2021
By Dr. Alexander Berzin | Founder and Author of Berzin Archives
As another year draws to a close, we find that we have yet another variant of the Covid-19 virus now to deal with – Omicron – and in some countries further restrictions and possibly even lockdowns. It’s very important when facing such challenging times as these that, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama always advises, we do not lose hope. Hope gives us the strength and courage to face these difficulties, whereas if we get depressed, it depletes our energy, and we sink into a state of fear and despair. This is especially important to remember if we have children at home, who are perhaps having an even more difficult time coping with this situation. If we lose hope and get depressed, what kind of example are we setting for them?
Further, if we think only of ourselves and our own situation, that just leads to self-pity and unhappiness. But we are not alone in this situation – this pandemic is affecting everyone. Staying mindful of that, we gain a stronger conviction in the oneness of humanity. Knowing that we are not alone gives us further strength and courage. So, try to think of all the others around the world who are similarly facing this situation and perhaps having to deal with even more difficult circumstances than we have.
As the new year dawns, let us all resolve to try our best not to let worry, fear and other upsetting emotions defeat us. We need all our strength to face the possible challenges that lie ahead and emerge victorious. There are many obstacles we need to overcome on the road to enlightenment and, in that larger context, this pandemic is just one of them. So, if we are aiming to become Buddhas to be of best help to everyone, let’s not let this pandemic get in the way. Together with all humanity, we are stronger than that. We can transform this negative circumstance into a positive one to give us even more determination to follow the path to enlightenment to its end.
2021 has been quite the year for us at Study Buddhism. Back in May, we celebrated 5 years since the relaunch of the Berzin Archives as Study Buddhism. And now in December, we celebrate 20 years since the Berzin Archives went online. If you didn’t catch it before and you’re interested to see how the website has changed over the last few years, you can see that in the GlobalGiving report we sent out in early December.
Now, let me share with you some of our achievements over the past year. In 2021, we have had more than 1,000,000 unique users of the website, who've read over 2.37 million articles in our 32 languages. The amount of readers in English dropped by 3% to 27%, no doubt due to our hard work in bringing the website’s content in 11 new languages - covering the whole of Southeast Asia, much of the Indian subcontinent, and Israel.
We now have 12,526 articles on the website, which means that this year we have added to the website just about 1,900 articles. Altogether, we worked on and produced more than 6000 translations of articles and subtitles, which comes to a whopping 16 every single day! Just under two-thirds of users visited the website on a mobile device, 2.6% visited on a tablet, and desktop readers actually grew by a few percentage points, making up close to 34% of users, as people around the world spent more time at home.
Our social media community has continued to grow, with our Facebook page seeing new users - especially from India, Nepal, and Bhutan - join our pages. This year, we have shared 19 videos on Facebook, which have garnered 2.1 million minutes viewed on the platform - that’s over 1450 days worth of non-stop viewing! Meanwhile, all of our content put together - including videos, articles, quotes and so forth - has been seen 5.8 million times.
Despite the fact that our video production has slowed down - the coronavirus pandemic has brought a stop to travel and many in-person events - Study Buddhism’s YouTube channel is enjoying great success, with our subscribers now shooting past 35,000, and our all-time views also passing the 2 million landmark this December. We now have a total of 437 videos, and have expanded out of the Tibetan Buddhist circle to include Chan Buddhist teachers from Dharma Drum Mountain, engaged-Buddhism-expert Sulak Sivaraksa, and authority on Buddhism in the USSR, professor Andrey Terentyev.
Over on SoundCloud, we’ve had a 15% increase in followers and a large increase in people downloading our audio tracks. Our top listeners are from Sydney and Perth in Australia, followed by San Francisco in the US, Moscow in Russia, and Ma On Shan in Hong Kong. This year, we also relaunched our Instagram account which had been dormant for some time. In the space of a few weeks, our followers shot up to 3,400, and our videos, quotes, and articles have proven to be extremely popular, with over 1 million views since October.
All of our work, from maintaining the website and creating new material, to producing video content and translating thousands of subtitles and articles, relies upon you, the public, and your donations. So, I wish to thank you all for your continuing support. Please share with your loved ones and friends our project, or anyone who might be interested in the wisdom of Tibet but does not know of our website and might like to help support our work. Together we shall “Make the Ageless Wisdom of Tibet Available to All.”