It seems like it hasn’t been that long since our 100th post, but here we are. This may be a rather long post, as I’ve been saving up a lot of nuts-and-bolts type stuff for this post rather than clogging up content posts with it, but please do take the time to read it. I think you’ll find most of it interesting, and you may even find a way to get yourself more involved. I really would like to get more people involved, and there are going to be a number of NEW ways to do that, so focus, people!
The Present: ChinaGeeks through today
To date, the website has gotten over 80,000 unique visitors. We also have around 630 RSS subscribers according to Feedburner, a number that’s been steadily climbing since we started tracking it a few months ago. In addition to the major China blogs, our posts and translations have been linked by major media websites like the Wall Street Journal (US), Le Monde (France), the Telegraph (UK), BusinessWeek (US), and Harper’s Magazine (US). These statistics are, I assume, paltry compared to the traffic ChinaSMACK, Danwei, the CDT, or ESWN sees in a day, but things are going well (thanks in part to links from all of those websites!).
Our community, too, is growing. At the time of our hundredth post we had just under a thousand comments; as of this writing we have 2,473 (probably more by the time this gets posted). What’s even more impressive is that, while the debate here isn’t always as reasoned or as polite as we would like, we’ve thus far managed to maintain our no-moderation commenting system without having our comments reduced to ChinaSMACK-esque racist arguments and shouting. Hats off to everyone who comments here, I hope we can continue to maintain the current level of discourse here, and perhaps even elevate it.
The Future: Where ChinaGeeks is Headed
One of my main concerns with this blog, and “bridge-blogging” about China in general is that it tends to be a bit one-way. (On the subject of bridge-blogging, check out this Global Voices Online article that I, along with Fauna of ChinaSMACK and Jeremy Goldkorn of Danwei, was interviewed for). We take things in Chinese and translate them into English, but there’s not a lot of opportunity to connect with the Chinese community as many Chinese don’t speak English well enough to read this blog. We hope to change that with the introduction of a Chinese language version of this blog. What we need is someone willing to edit it. Specifically, I’m looking for someone who is…
- a citizen of Mainland China. You don’t have to be currently living there, but we’re looking for someone born and ideally raised in Mainland China, someone who can write well (in Chinese, obviously) and is familiar with PRC politics, culture, and especially the blogging scene, as well as Western takes on Chinese issues.
- Reliable. You won’t be expected to update as frequently as ChinaGeeks English does, but you will be expected to post something of substance once a week (bare minimum). Occasional breaks are OK with advance warning, but no long unexplained absences.
- Moderate and Open-Minded. Your political views don’t need to mesh exactly with mine, but you need to be someone who is willing to consider alternate points of view and doesn’t consider the West (or the PRC government) to be completely evil. We try to subvert “black and white” here and we’re hoping the Chinese version will do the same.
- Can read and understand English. You won’t be needing to write in English but you would be expected to read the English blog (just as I will be reading the Chinese blog), so you need to be capable of doing that.
You should know, this is not a “translation” job; the curator of the Chinese-language blog would be expected to write unique posts, although if they chose to translate or comment on an English ChinaGeeks post or some of the comments therein, that would be great.
So why would anyone be interested in this? Well, for one, it’s a fairly unique endeavor (as far as I know). May be there’s a good reason for that but we won’t know until we try! Anyway, if you’re the sort of person who is inclined to blog anyway, this would offer you the chance to do so with a guaranteed audience, free hosting for the blog on a server outside China (host fees will be paid by me, still), and the chance to be in on the ground floor if we ever start making money (that’s the long-term plan.)
Interested? Email custerc at gmail dot com for details. Readers, don’t expect ChinaGeeks Chinese to pop up tomorrow or anything. We’ll wait for the right person to come along, which may take a while.
I’m also looking for some new contributing writers for the English blog, as my old ones seem to have vanished. If you’re interested send an email with your prospective first post to custerc at gmail dot com. Your first post cannot be an opinion piece.
You may have noticed that our t-shirt store has grown a bit more robust. We’ve switched to CafePress, because (1) we’ve purchased several shirts from them before and know the quality is great and (2) they allow you (the customer?) a ton of choice — you can get one design on dozens of different colors and materials, on everything from t-shirts to sweatshirts and underwear.
It’s meant to attract what may be a wider clientele than just the people who read this blog. China geeks will find plenty to their liking. Fans of the blog can sport our logo in a variety of colors and styles, as well as enjoy shirts inspired by specific posts. Travelers to China who speak Chinese can ward off incoming harassment (note: this shirt is likely to attract lots of people, actually). And for fans of non-sequiturs, well, we’ve got those too:
The other great thing about CafePress is that we can update it whenever something new comes to mind. Got requests? Send them our way. Even if you don’t, if you like wearing clothing with characters on it, check back frequently as there’s bound to be something you like sooner or later, and when you buy something, you’re doing a kindness and supporting a (very) poor blogger.
Thank you to everyone reading this for continuing to support the blog and post comments. I love you all like my own family (who don’t comment on here at all, the bastards). See you at 300!
Oh, and happy Halloween!