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An Open Letter to the #140conf


I hope this finds you well and not too overwhelmed by the hundreds of nominations folks have sent in for the #140conf –especially after your carb-laden drive back from IHOP today and what was surely a stimulating  visit with one of my favorite online connections, @geogeller.

With Twitter censored/blocked/banned/muted here in the Middle Kingdom and my VPN suffering some neural disorder of late I apologize that I didn’t catch the call for attendees nor did I make the deadline for nominations. Here below the far side of the Great Firewall we have to make-do with state run papers, tunnel networks, and year old broadcasts from Hong Kong of American Idol’s Got Talent in Funny Home Videos to keep us acculturated until we return to the land of round doorknobs, boneless chicken and (insert envy here) IHOP.

I am writing in hopes that you were given leads for a few China-centric microbloggers. No, not the ones who live within arms reach of San Francisco and its technocentric, wash-my-back-and-I-will introduce-you-to-my-VC and his friend who lived once in Shanghai–the financial Haight-Ashbury of China where all the pretty people go to gamble on the Chinese version of the American Dream–who knows a lot of peeps. The real China Twitterati. And please don’t get me wrong: I cherish my association with many bright successful entrepreneurs and old China hands in Shanghai and SF, but, I digress….

Here is what I mean to ask of you:

A military medial supervisor of mine, years ago in Germany, was giving a lecture on psychopathology and said that the real definition of “crazy” was fighting someone twice your size. During my tenure in China, I have come to call such actions “bravery” and am glad that there are those crazy enough to wade in treacherous digital waters to lead others through China’s information Killing Fields…

Too often U.S. and world conferences ignore Asia and the folks who will make up–according to Forrester–almost 50% of the world’s Internet traffic. While @Loic lamented, at France’s LeWeb, America’s narcissism and self-centered deprecation of anything not engineered in Silicon Valley, there was little Asian representation at that event–and this after Loic had been an invited guest at Open Web Asia. And Blog World Expo has routinely ignored a demographic with more users now than America has citizens. Those wanting to Digg their way to China (sorry) simply don’t have the tools to do it nor a craftsman to show them how to use them if they did.

140 conference

Apart from the human rights imperative that the government here has created with censorship and dis-information, there are hundreds of millions of Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese and other APAC Netzens that would love to be part of the global conversation and could teach us all a great deal about business and cultural opportunities beyond our borders.

And while I seriously feel that there are extraordinary China savvy expats both here and abroad, I advocate for native voices who are part and parcel of the social networks here: Dr.@ganglu the founder of Open Web Asia;  @Isaac the first blogger in China, Harvard Fellow and founder of CNBloggercon; @zola, China’s first guerella blogger and citizen reporter; and dozens of others…

Your last conference should be applauded if only for drawing Al Jazeera and the Israeli Consulate to the same event. Here’s hoping you continue setting global conference precedents at your next 140 character conference.

Wishing you much success,


China Business,China Editorials,china internet,Chinese Internet,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Online Digital Marketing China,social media,Twitter

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “An Open Letter to the #140conf”

  1. geogelleron Jul 26th 2009 at 6:20 pm

    hi ho – jeff just sent me this – he is on his black berry picker on the train home – thanks for the nod and heads up concoctions i mean connections :-) – i think that is a great idea with real chinese from china who live and breathe the daily virtual community life – and also thanks for pointing out the al jazeera and israeli consulate in same event – that went un-noticed for the most part and was brilliant on jeffs part – 140conf was amazing – fyi jeff and i are co-hosting a 140charactersSHow – expect the un-expected – soon to be launched – looking more at characters and people who are making a difference – maybe one day we shall meet and talk about a conversation i once had with mao’s doctor of 25 years – but that is another story – its amazing how the west is so west-ego-centric – we are experts at changing the facts to fit our needs – the 140conf los angles should be amazing – i will let jeff announce the location when the time is ripe

    until then

    be well


    the art of living is making your life an art

  2. adminon Jul 26th 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Thanks for the reply Geo….

    I am glad you guys are open to this…
    story of Mao’s physician Li Zhisu: His son, Illinois Poet Laureate Li Young-Lee, is an old acquaintance of mine and we did a wild man retreat together shortly after Bly made it fashionable….But, again I digress….

    Looking forward to meeting in first life sometime soon…


  3. geogelleron Jul 26th 2009 at 9:14 pm

    hi ho – as so you know more about this then meets the eye – Mao’s physician Li Zhisu: His son, Illinois Poet Laureate Li Young-Lee – interesting – and robert bly – i too know bly and went to a wild man day talk in nyc with a dancer i was working with who taught akido, and to danced too and took american indian dancer from lakota tribe to africa and also danced at the paris opera and i put him together with a dancer who dance with american ballet theater among other things – i also loved that bly learned norwegian to tranlate knute hamsung Hunger – i just noticed on wikipedia that bly is still alive and still kickiing here is the link on wikipedia to bly

    but again you/i digress – can you send me some of the links and abstract of who these people you suggest are and to any other people you think should be on next 140 conf – to my email this way i can –

    on another digression i am interested in the collage collision of east and western art and how it is influenced by different the meeting of east and west

    until soon in the first life


  4. adminon Jul 26th 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Bly was the reason I became a poet. The poem Counting Small Boned Bodies in his award winning Light Around the Body so impacted me that I knew I would spend the rest of my days trying to reach people as he had me….

    I have a lot of friends who are connected to Bly, but only met him once at a humanistic conference (he poo-pooed most New Age stuff) where he joked with me about synchronicity….As an aside: I still mourn the loss of Joseph Campbell who was one of Bly’s mentors…

    I once did an interview with Li Young (he is hard-wired to a wonderfully different reality) years ago on tape and the pocket-corder ate it…I remember crying at the end of each of telephone conference we would have, but never knowing quite why…Had the same experience with Shambala author Linda Leaonard…

    I did a poll once of poets in my MFA program and all of them–given one word to describe Li–called him “beautiful”…And so he was/is…

    I will fire you off some names…and also a few connects to some E-W arts folks….



  5. geogelleron Jul 26th 2009 at 10:58 pm

    i hear ya
    Bly was the reason I became a poet. The poem Counting Small Boned Bodies in his award winning Light Around the Body so impacted me that I knew I would spend the rest of my days trying to reach people as he had me…

    lovely story – i hear ya on joseph campbell if you send me your email to my – i will send you a link to some conversation around madness and god that i have been having by somebody who spent 30 years studying many of the religions and scriptures from around the world not just the major ones and who has also been diagnosed with schizophrenia and been hospitalized – its not open to the public

    hmmm li young – do you have any links to english translations – sounds like title of a poem yet to be or not to be (hard-wired to a different reality) – in the wikipedia link on bly i discovered that he was responsible for discoverinng pablo neruda among many others – i filmed kenneth koch last live appearance and a bunch of tributes to him with all sorts of suspects – koch and bly were contemporaries –

    sounds good with the names of some of the folks

    i read you nanking story – i think it was ted leonis former pres of aol and founder of snafilms too – the doc on nanking should be on – you might want to check it out too

    staying tuned


  6. Yu Yuon Aug 7th 2009 at 12:15 am

    @geo Bly is very much alive. He just doesn’t like Twitter. Then again, he’s Bly, he doesn’t need Twitter. :-)

    @lon – Thing about Burma though, not a lot of folks are opening up to blogging or discussing the issues. Those who want to don’t necessarily have the means either skill set or technology wise. Those who can are mostly underground. And there are those like me who want to avoid politics and risking family lives etc. to have the ability to get in and out of the country so they can create real change. Then of course those who are comfortable in their lives abroad who really don’t want to be bothered. It’s sad that all the talented young people are not really living inside the country, nor do they have the ability or care enough to converse with the world at large.

  7. adminon Sep 12th 2009 at 11:07 pm

    I think if Bly could manage to get drum sounds behind his tweets he might come on board 😉

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