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# 1 Martian SEO Expert

will this seo martian pron get me locked up Oiwan

I am not at the top of the rankings as a Martian Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert in the universe, but I might be after this post! The algorithms that govern what is and is not registered by search engines like Google and Yahoo! are shape-shifters: They catalog combinations from blogs and websites that can mystify, amuse and swindle you. For example, I am #1 in Google for Adult Pampers Makers even though I can’t remember mentioning diapers on this blog. I am too old to remember using them and too young to worry about them just yet. I believe, like Robin Williams, that diapers are like politicians and should be changed frequently because they are both full…

But, I digress…

I know about this listing because someone searched for the term, and my analytics program identified from whence they came. There are other authentic one-hit wonders for which I rank highly, though I am clueless about why people searched for them or why I showed up tops. They ALL beg for an aside, but I am resisting, thinking that you can use your imagination: Pocket Fisherman Diagram, Moscow Prostitute, Pig League Facials, Plentiful Breast Pictures, Professor Asshat, China Olympic Athlete Blog, There is the sex that americans admit to, Hairy Chinese Women, Wedding dress Market Report in China, I had my hepatitis shot, but the test says I have no immunity, Naked nurse teaching in China, Anais Nin commerative coin, American Prostitute Self, Naked nurse teaching in starbucks china, quota of America to China, You Tube Hong Kong Free Sex Video, How culture affects the way we use utensils, and Cartoon Photos of a man being massaged among hundreds of others…

Some SEO “Experts” list some of the keywords they claim to have earned in Google’s top ten rankings. They claim that these listings attest to their prowess, and they use these words to convince you that they can move your blog, site or company into a position where you will get more hits and gain international fame and fortune. Most of the words are like the ones above: once in a Martian moon sighting you will get a hit. Some seem remarkably credible like “UK SEO Expert.” He sounds, or can make himself sound, like the marketing go-to guy in England–that is, until you do some research on Submit Express and discover that on any given day there are ZERO searches for that term.

Far too many Chinese SEO firms prey on clients using this strategy. And most businesses, woefully unaware of SEO methods, are bilked out of thousands of dollars every year. The cost for a “hot word,” one with search results in the millions (think “Buddha,” “free buffet,” or “online video game”), is staggering: the top ten in Google is 20,000 RMB a year ($2,500 USD). A “cold word” with low search returns (think “delicious rat recipes” or “Japan learned everything it knows from the Tang dynasty”) will pull 10,000 RMB ($1,250 USD) from your wallet.

So “UK SEO expert,” at 2 million returns, would cost you 20,000 RMB and bring you absolutely no traffic. I’m always suspect of the word expert anyway: in bomb school, an expert was laughingly referred to as a “former drip under pressure”–never a good thing in explosives. It was a surefire way to tell someone was not what they purported to be.

I have many great search results I’m proud of, but were someone to actually come to them, I would worry about their mental health or my ego. I am number one for “American professor” in Google, hands down, and I frequently use this in lieu of a business card when I forget one. I am also in the Google China top ten for “American blog” (out of half a billion returns) and number 1 for “handsomest American in China” (move your Canuck ass over, Da Shan!) and ridiculously #1 for America’s Best Blog. In all humility, I found I rank quite high for “China blog about nothing” and “Lonnie isn’t exactly the sharpest guy in the world,” which isn’t exactly what you’d want when you are trying to build up your China business consultant site that’s already number 1 for “china business consultant blog” in Google, Google China and Yahoo.

If you are really interested in a legitimate search engine marketing provider, drop me a note at [*santini47@yahoo.com *]–spambots, eat your heart out (thanks R)! I’ll turn you on to the likes of Fili, Ryan, CWM, or someone else who will be able to get their hands out of your Paypal pockets at some point. And if you’re considering marketing to Martians anytime soon, you know where to look…

FYI: I am doing SEO work or global marketing lectures free for nonprofit groups or companies who agree to donate my normal fee to the China Dreamblogue project.

By the way, with this many links in a post, doesn’t it look like Dan Harris wrote it?

American Professor in China,Asia,Asian Humor,Asian Women,Beijing Olympics,cartoons,Censorship,China Business,China Business Consultant,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Expat,China Expats,China Humor,China Olympics,China SEO,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Gratuitous Cheesecake,Greater Asia Blogs,Guangzhou,Guangzhou China,Hong Kong Stars,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Internet marketing China,Japan,Just Plain Strange,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,SEO China Expert,The Internet,The Sharpest Guy on the Planet,Top Blogs,UK SEO EXPERT,Uncategorized,Weird China,中国,中文

6 responses so far

Happy Earth Day From China

Happy earth day

Asia,cartoons,China Cartoons,China Humor,Environment,Humor,In the news,中国

4 responses so far

The Screaming Meme II

Internet meme

I have been teaching Global Internet Marketing this term. It has been more of an education for me than for the students in class. They have stepped up to the cyber-plate and created a host of amazing blogs and websites and some already generating popular content on subjects from Chinese Cooking to Study in Macau.

One of our brainstorming sessions involved how to bring new readers to a blog still digging in the sandbox. The “sandbox effect” is geek-speek for an unknown newcomer who cannot get a good ranking in Google even if he is popular until the blog has achieved a certain maturity. It theoretically keeps link-buying cheaters from playing with the big kids for a time.

So, we searched Technorati (banned in the mainland) for ideas and discovered that the top blog (Boing Boing) has 27,000 other blogs linking to it. The blog last on the top 100 list has some 3,000 plus links coming in. It is a big sandbox over at Technorati!

But, the top favorited blog ( Engadget) has about 1,700 people tagging it as a fave while the #100 site has less than 200 cheerleaders. So, in a school where students have scores of friends it should be easy to get folks to catapult you into celebrity, right?

Well, it seems, after reading a post at the fine Singaporean blog East Coast Life (nominated for “hottest mommy blogger” in the Blogger’s Choice Awards), that our class was not the only one to notice this disparity and bloggers are taking a multi-level marketing approach to upping their visibility. Here’s the hot momma’s (she is really attractive) take on the MEME and the challenge:

“Most of these Top 100 Favorited Blogs are Internet . Are they really your favorite? Technorati has become the marketing and ranking tool for these marketers, hasn’t it?

Well, I would probably incur the wrath of the Internet marketers and I have nothing against them. This is ‘Survivor in Blogosphere’ – You outwit, outplay, outlast other bloggers. Everyone is entitled to a little shameless advertising. I’m grabbing mine! hehe…..

For every blogger who clicks my Technorati Fave Button, (Please leave a comment so I would know. Thanks, dearie.), I’ll return the favor. Fair?

It’s gonna be harder to get into Technorati Top 100 Favorited Blogs due to the tremendous promotion going round the blogosphere. Only the early birds would catch the worms!

I know there will be many who won’t be bothered with these link love exchange thingy, but please Fave Me! I want in!

Keep the train moving!
***Start Copying Here:***

Here are the rules:
1) Write a short introduction paragraph about what how you found the list and include a link to the blog that referred you to the list.

2) COPY the Rules and ENTIRE list below and post it to your blog. To avoid duplicate content and increase the amount of keywords your site can accessible for, go ahead and change the title of the blog. Just don’t change the links of the blog.

3) Add 5 Blogs that you’ve just added to your Technorati Favorites to the “My New Faves” section. Remember to also add the “Fave Me” link next to your new blogs (i.e. http://technorati.com/faves?sub=addfavbtn&add=http://www.fave.com)

4) Add Everyone on this list to your Technorati Favorites List by clicking on “Fave the Site.” Those who want good kharma will fave you back. If not, you will for sure get the benefits of faves from the bloggers who continue this list after you.”

Here ’tis (and yes, I will fave ayone on my roll who just asks). And no, there is no penalty for non-participation:

This is to Fave Onemanband:

FAVE ME!!!

And this one needs real attention as it is associated with the Charity trip across China:

Travel China-r-us the (Fave the China Dreamblogue)

Cartoons-r-us by Shtikl (Fave it!)

Bollywood’-r-us Miss Bolly (Fave it!)

Indonesia-r-us Adriantai (Fave it!)

Gay-r-us Scott-o-rama (Fave it!)

Asian-girls-r-us Stone Camel (Fave it!)

哈哈-er-us Sinocidal (Fave!)

Singlish-r-us at East Coast Life (Fave!)
And let the games begin!

Blogroll Diving,Bollywood,cartoons,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Greater Asia Blogs,Internet marketing China,MEME,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,Singapore,The Internet,Top Blogs,Top China Blogs List,中国

10 responses so far

Yahoo!!!!

Yahoo! is getting sued in two separate cases: The wife of a jailed dissident writer and by a human rights/anti-torture group.

Yahoo’s lame excuse to-date has been that Yahoo its own employees in China would be endangered if it did not follow Chinese law (“Ve vas just following ze orders”). If THIS were the most visited website in the world, as is Yahoo!, I doubt I would be shaking in my corporate wingtips. If mean, if a hack like Drudge can bring about the impeachment of the president of the world’s biggest economy….

yahoo censorship

cartoons,Censorship,China Cartoons,China Editorials,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Human Rights,In the news,Personal Notes,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

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Google’s New Motto: Do a Little Evil…

google

“Those passing familiar with Jesus’ teachings know He taught that the path to the Father led through the ordinary. Those who prefer other metaphors may wish to think of a heterogeneous universe, where meaning and love imperishable exist side by side with cruelty, horror and absurdity. And we must choose whether to try and understand it all or create and defend a bubble in which love and meaning truly do exist.

For these somewhat fanciful reasons I hope that the blogosphere will become less a cockpit of argument and ideas — though it will always be that — and more a forum for action: a place to facilitate meetings between real people, develop actual applications and accomplish physical tasks. There never was a flower, a glass of beer or a child’s laugh that was ever truly futile. Et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.” The Belmont Club

This blog has always endeavored, albeit circuitously at times, to be a forum for aid and action. And I endlessly question the efficacy of anything I write toward those ends. Despite attention-getting attacks I am nurtured by comments of encouragement, links to posts that are calls for compassion and email reports back to me that something good came of this hobby cum-obsession.

Today, one of the charities featured in recent weeks received a small donation that will further their work and the combat soldier in Iraq who had to take out loan to pay for his father’s funeral is now a bit nearer to paying back his debt.

Net Neutrality is essential to the propagation of charitable and humanitarian ideas. Should a handful of companies ever control access to information, mediate content, mandate who gets paid for what politic and then how their site will rank in search engine findings because of what values they espouse, then cyber-facism will rule. China’s attempts to roadblock lanes on the information super-highway will look like child’s play.

By the time this article is posted I will have removed all Google ads on the site. I will wage my one-man boycott of all things Google for all they have done in recent months to warrant suspicion, fear and anger in anyone living as I am in the midst of repression and a growing concern that the waves of censorship do not begin here, but instead are washing inland in increasing magnitude. I am no Internet Robin Hood: I don’t believe ill-gotten gain, even through some imaginative alchemy, becomes anything than ill-gotten by giving it away–even to the most worthy of causes.

Google has gone public thus making its well-known mantra “Do no Evil” a laughably outdated jingle. Said better by OhGenki: “This is what happens when good companies go public: the principles that made them good, even necessary, to the point of inspiring a romantic loyalty among their customers, are whittled away at until only those principles which are profitable remain.” Google told investors at their IPO filing: ”

Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served as shareholders and in all other ways by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.

That sound to me like a High School Debate question: Do the ends justify the means? Google took a Machiavellian affirmative on that one.

Google recently acquired the well-known and despicable browser hijacking, malware giant Doubleclick for $3.1 billion dollars. The deal incidentally was challenged by The Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, and U.S. Public Interest Research Groups who petitioning the FTC to block the merger until concerns over Google’s data collection and storage were addressed. Google was accused of unfair and deceptive trade practices, and failing to follow the standards set by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the watchdog of consumer privacy standards . And all of this was on the heels of the YouTube purchase that had them employing an army of lawyers to fend off Intellectual Property suits.

Google is an active participant in the censorship that is so often associated with China’s repression of the Internet so often vilified by bloggers, and other media and at the core of much sinophobic rhetoric:

censorship

Note: Going to Google.cn from a U.S. computer will NOT yield you the same results that a mainland Chinese user will get. I live here, I know. So, any great finds you think you see from your side of the ocean are probably illusory.

In addition to homophobic threats, Google has now said they will penalize sites that sell ad links on their site. It seems nobody is supposed to make a buck except Google. Google’s Matt Cutts even has a guide on how to rat out offenders. And while Google no longer recognizes links coming from powerful Wikipedia they let Matt’s high-flying blog dominate the top of the search engines rankings in thousands of keywords, pushing out long-suffering and deserving experts, in many a field.

Now, Feedburner.com, who is sleeping with Typepad and just acquired Blogbeat, is looking at a merger with Google. That would give them huge advantages in advertising and RSS. It would enable them to dump adwords/adsense into RSS feeds on hundreds of thousand of blog posts. Thread Watch.Org says it perfectly: Being a near Monopoly is expensive and since Google doesn’t do ads all that well control of the competition is the best short-term answer to their problems. In future post I will try to facilitate exchange and help on new “Open Source” ad networks that save advertisers money and help support citizen journalists, webmasters and bloggers.

If you can read the Google blog’s explanation for their yield to censorship without laughing, gagging or punching your screen I need the name of your pharamacist. “Filtering our search results clearly compromises our mission. Failing to offer Google search at all to a fifth of the world’s population, however, does so far more severely. Whether our critics agree with our decision or not, due to the severe quality problems faced by users trying to access Google.com from within China, this is precisely the choice we believe we faced”

What good is a search that doesn’t really search? China has Baidu and others for that and it seems that the Chinese prefer their own search engine anyway because Google keeps losing market share here.

So, like being a little bit pregnant, Google is trying to convince us that being a little bit evil is OK.

No.

The Apprentice is off the air now in the U.S. or so I hear. But, they reworked two words that will remain permanently inscribed in the American lexicon. And it pleases me to use them here for Google: “You’re Fired”

Check out Asia Sentinel and Rebecca McKinnon on this issue as well….

cartoons,Censorship,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China SEO,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Human Rights,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Internet marketing China,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国,中文

11 responses so far

Clueless in China….

DUMB BLOGS

Many years ago, as a scoutmaster in Germany, I was privileged to direct a troop of precocious preteens. They were sons of the physicians and administrators at the hospital, where I worked as a behavioral science specialist in inpatient and outpatient psychiatry, and they had an mean IQ higher than most of my current colleagues–present compsny included.

One new “Tenderfoot” once balked at introducing himself to the entire group (he was 11) and asked me, “What should I say?” I told him that anything was fine–mind you, this was in 1978–and he quickly said: “My name is Tom and I don’t believe the Alpha Centauri system can support life.” I went home to bone up on astronomy and Tom went on to law school at Georgetown, but only after joining the chorus of collective wisdom that, in perfect pitch, generally corrected me on topics ranging from conservation to zooology with unfailing accuracy.

It was, truly without a doubt, one of the best times of my life. There is nothing a real teacher enjoys more than intellectual challenge–unless it is summer vacation, but I digress…. When a student, or group of students, puts a willing teacher to the test, well, everyone benefits.

I have a long list of moments in my life where I made Mr. Bean look like Lawrence Olivier. From declaring to a class that Sherlock Holmes was a cocaine addict only to find out later that he was fictional, accidentally shooting the hero in a professional melodrama production, and once asking America’s Cup winner Dennis Conner at the Tokyo airport “Where have we met before?, I have had my share of slapstick moments. And I would not take back one of them. I stand with Churchill who said: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

This week was no exception. I met a much revered academic and a psychology dean at a small, ambitious college that rightly aspires to great scholarship. I was applying for a job, or so I thought, as a generalist psychology professor with ancillary duties in Neuropschology . In fact, they were looking for someone well primary and well versed in neuropsychology. They had hoped during the interview to extract information from me that I assume did not make the jump from short-term to long-term memory and likely fell between the synapses somewhere during graduate school–back in the days of Peter, Paul and Pterodactyls. For the first time in an academic interview I was asked to define a series of terms. I simply had to say, “I don’t know.” to a host of questions one would likely find on a Psych’ 101 final.

As in my other days of Holmes and humility, I likely will re-read the yellowing pages of my graduate textbooks and Google myself silly as penance. In the end I am still be a teacher and pretty good at articulating what I do know. Having been a lecturer at some of the world’s top conferences and schools I don’t doubt my abilities in other areas. But, I have some work to do. And I promise I won’t nearly be like Goethe, who was taken from a library in a frothing stupor after trying to absorb all the information then transcribed in books. I”ll just add to my knowledge base and will never-the-less enthusiastically fail some other time in pursuit of other successes.

Maybe they have an opening for a lecturer in Nineteeth Century British Fiction.

Asia,cartoons,China Cartoons,China Humor,Chinese Education,Macau University of Science and Technology,Teaching in China,中国

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China Blinders….

Yahoo! China

In today’s news:
Club.cn.yahoo.co is a new blogging network for Chinese netizens. According to Reuters and Wired magazine the new service designed to give bloggers a place to exchange ideas and photos. Wired posited that this seemed pretty dangerous in light of Yahoo’s admitted role as a snitch for folks who might advocate such atrocities as democracy and human rights. While I like that they took a shot at Yahoo! for its ongoing hypocrisy, it seems typically naive and Sinophobic. QQ is the world’s third most popular IM service and easily the largest in China. It is an incredible pipeline for information among everyday Chinese citizens. There are now so many blogs, bulletin boards, cell phones and messaging services that the Chinese government is soon going to be busier than a one-armed paper hanger with the hives and hopefully unable to police even a fraction of the traffic out there. I am looking forward to more of the Chinese information/communication explosion. Wired and media worldwide ought to be applauding any vehicle that further taxes the censors and they should be providing links to groups that will help further that cause. But, it is easier to demonize a country we really know little about in the west and play to people’s perceptions of China.

While Yahoo is trying to get folks on the net the Chinese government is trying to get some of them off: The long anticipated restrictions on gaming will take effect on July 15th. Emboldened by a report that claims some 2,000,000 Chinese kids are addicted, the government will penalize minors who spend more then three hours a day playing video games like WoW online. The consequences: After three hours players will only earn half the credits they would normally accrue and if they play for five hours online they will stop earning any credits at all. It isn’t exactly a firing squad, but some folks are calling this a fascist policy. Should I be sent to Guantanamo for believing it is not really a very bad policy and the punishment seems pretty benign?

And speaking of fascists: Google, Yahoo! and MSN are taking heat from some bloggers for refusing to to sell ads for China is Evil. CIE is a pretty poorly done site with kind of rambling rant which includes: “ In recent years maoist rebels have tried to take over Nepal. I have no evidence that China is supporting them, but it is highly probable that they are.” It ain’t the International Herald Tribune and I am even not sure there enough content on his one page site to get him banned in Beijing. I say sell him the ads. As advocates of free speech we should be defending his right to sound dim, especially if he is paying for it.

But he seems typical of most Americans and bloggers to whom I speak with about China: It is a given, in my experience, that Westerners will buy information in any news release that helps paint China as a bastion of oppression and don’t do a lot of research on their own. My stories about China’s ills are syndicated 10 times more frequently than my calls for positive action.

I was guiding a class through keyword research in an SEO class today and looking up words relating to China/Asia. The results were telling:

China Politics receives 1,600 queries

Chinese Girls gets 61,000 searches a month by Americans in the three major engines

Human Rights China scores 2,345 hits

China News gets 17,000 visits

Chinese Zodiac slams in at 280,000

and Tiannanmen Square receives 15,000 searches a month…..

I get a bit weary of the negativity without good information or corresponding positive solutions. I heard candidate Obama on Letterman play to people’s fears that their jobs might be outsourced to China, but I heard little about how he’d further humanitarian ideals for an oppressed populace. China is new country we love to hate. But boycotting or ignoring issues and not participating in solutions isn’t going to do us, or the 1.3 billion folks in the Middle Kingdom, much good.

Scholarly and well articulated related articles: Mutant Frog (fantastic writing!), Simon World,

Blogroll Diving,cartoons,Censorship,China Editorials,China web 2.0,In the news,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

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A chicken in every pot and a computer in every Chinese home…

China already has more than 60 million bloggers within the ranks of the 150 million or so Internet users. That number may look small soon thanks to Lenovo (the  company that bought IBM) and American based Dell.

IBM China

Michael Dell has announced development and sales of a new computer with a starting price of about $335. He plans to market it in China first and then move on to lesser populated India and finally Brazil. The machine, designed in Shanghai will be customizable and can cost up to $517 USD.

Dell’s “EC280” model is looking to cash in on volume demand in the world’s second largest market and beyond. Smart thinking. It is good to see the West adapting to the China market instead of floundering like Google, Yahoo and others have done here using strategies unattractive to the Chinese. The Internet in China may well be the last real entrepreneurial frontier for a while and economic trend setters like Dell know it….Many companies have stayed out of the market because profit margins are low. Well, zero percent of nothing equals….

To compete with Dell, Lenovo, one of two companies with a firm grip on the PC market here, is partnering with Microsoft Corp. to offer a computer model that a consumer can buy via time payments. The up front cost for the PC is about $150. The rest of the buy will be financed by a bank loan. The loan gets paid back as the consumer buys usage cards that buy time on the machines, eventually paying it off–use it or lose it.

The market is about to heat up. Apple where the hell are you?

Now if we could just make food and medicine affordable….

China Internet

But I digress…

Asia,cartoons,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,In the news,Internet marketing China,The Internet,中国

4 responses so far

SEO China in the News…

I will be posting on Saturday about SEO Techniques, but in the interim I thought you’d find this amusing: Yahoo! has an ad posted for an SEO specialist (Chinese).

Yahoo in China

The job requires the employee to get high search engine rankings in GOOGLE….

With a hat tip to: Webmaster World

Asia,Asian Humor,cartoons,China Business,China Cartoons,China Humor,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Humor,In the news,Internet marketing China,Seo China,中国

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Maybe it was the Chinese tea….

Chinese medicine

China Hands, the expats who have spent several years here, all have one or more stories about questionable medical care in China. One visit to a traditional hospital and a diagnosis of “Palpitation of Hyperactivity of Fire due to Yin Deficiency,” or “Deafness Caused by Exogenous Wind-Evil,”or any other kind of malady for which you might be prescribed snake bile as a cure, is enough to spook any newcomer.

I have long been an advocate of Mind-Body and Non-Traditional Medicine. The iatrogenic (In short: and illness caused by the treatment of an illness) issues caused by many Western drugs had me looking for other solutions. After reading, in Surgeon-Writer Richard Selzer’s book Mortal Lessons, about the uncanny diagnostic abilities the Dalai Lama’s personal physician, Yeshi Donden I was, and am, convinced that there are a great many Eastern healers with skills we sorely need to learn.

But, for all the stereotypical Hollywood hype like Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and its sixty-second healings of fractures, poisonings and such China has a long way to go to return to its traditional roots. Medicine, like everything, has industrialized and mediocrity and greed are more easily diagnosed than illness.

The unsinkable Ms Yue was told that her X-ray showed no abnormalities and they prescribed some herb to help her with some lymphatic pain they attributed to one of the four elements or Feng Gunk or something…. But, a month later she visited the formidable Zhongshan University Hospital in Guangzhou and was told that her X-ray revealed major calcifications indicative of late stage breast cancer.

Another friend nearly died last year when told that his double pneumonia was a simple cold while I was diagnosed with “fatty liver” (they think most westerners only have bad liver scans due to excessive drinking) when I actually had contracted Hepatitis A. In every instance we paid for useless medicines in addition to the questionable diagnostics. With the new industrialism has come cut-backs in medical funding and socialized health care benefits, so the doctors and clinics are looking for ways to make the rent. And they are doing creative diagnostics and treatment for big bucks while many average Chinese are considering suicide in lieu of expensive treatments.

Reuters, via China Digital Times has a great story about the decline of routine Chinese medical care. “A group of Chinese reporters came up with a novel idea to test how greedy local hospitals were — pass off tea as urine samples and submit the drink for tests.

The results: six out of 10 hospitals in Hangzhou, the capital of the rich coastal province of Zhejiang, visited by the reporters over a two-day period this month concluded that the patients’ urinal tracts were infected.

Five of the hospitals prescribed medication costing up to 400 yuan ($50), the online edition of the semi-official China News Service (www.chinanews.com) said in a report seen on Wednesday. Of the hospitals, four were state-owned.”

Me? I see a western MD in Guangzhou then go to Hong Kong to stock up on tried-and-true medications (many of the ones you buy in stores in Guangzhou are fakes) and make sure my medical evacuation insurance premiums are paid up….

For those of you interested in a medical text that does a good job of integrating Eastern and Western approaches take a look at Traditional Chinese Medicine by Professor Chen Keji, MD.

Asia,Cancer Journal,cartoons,China Business,China Cartoons,China Expats,Chinese Medicine,Expats,In the news,Personal Notes,The League of Extraordinary Chinese Women,The Unsinkable Ms Yue,中国

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SEO CHINA

SEO CHINA

As many of you know I have been doing search Engine Optimization and Search engine Marketing for about six years. It started as a harmless hobby and now has a life of its own: running and screaming naked down information highways in search of higher ranks for all manner of search terms like: Professor Lucky Pants, The Handsomest Poet in China, Blog Prostitute in Guangzhou American Professor…..

I began blogging when Andy Naughton, the genius behind Cyberglass, told me that I had to quit clogging his box with long-winded emails. He convinced me that I was in desperate need of a blogging forum. That was the start of OMBW and my experiments with weblog SEO. OMBW, early on, was a platform for web trials, but now that it is back to being my writing refuge, I would like to pass on some of what I have acquired along the way to to those of you in search of an audience or a product customer base.

Unlike some SEO information give-aways there is no hook here: I won’t be asking you to sign up for a newsletter, buy my book on the Internet According to Khan or anything designed to MAKE MILLIONS WITH A HOME COMPUTER!!!! It is just a chance for me to download to the blog page a bit of what I have learned via a virtual school of hard knocks. I won’t scoff at offers of business, but I do get a fair number of calls as I am (more seriously) listed–as should be YOUR SEO consultant–in several engines for SEO work in China: China Blog SEO, SEO Consultant China , Seo China, SEO Specialist China, and so on…. I have done work for small and large concerns ranging from Shell Vacations (#1 in Family Vacation Club and 200+ other keywords), and Altec Corporate Training (#3 after three weeks for Corporate Training China), to smaller concerns like Blogger News Network (#1 out of 100,000,000 for Blogger News) , and Yangshuo Mountain Retreat (Now #1 in dozens of keywords such as Outdoor Team Building China)….

This will be the start of an Internet Marketing Tutorial for those doing general cyber-business or blogging in China. I will do a post a week for the next year about how to build traffic and high search engine visibility. I will start with U.S. engines like Yahoo! and Google and then move on to China. Feel free to ask me any questions along the way.

SEO services in the U.S. and China are vastly different. Chinese companies usually charge by the keyword. A top ten listing for a “cool word” (one with low result returns in Google) might cost you 8,000 RMB a word per year; a “hot” word/term like English School China with 85,000,000 returns could cost you 20-30,000 RMB per year. If that were the case for me I would have someone ghost-writing this blog and I would be having my feet massaged in first-class on Singapore Air.

I hope I save you a ton of money and aspirin…

MAKE MONEY ON THE INTERNET

Next week I will introduce my first lesson.

Asia,Asian Humor,cartoons,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Humor,China web 2.0,Confucius Slept Here,Greater Asia Blogs,Guangzhou China,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Internet marketing China,New Blogs,Seo China,The Internet,中国

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Egao (恶搞): The evil work of humor…..

The times they might be a changin’ on the Chinese Internet.

The Chinese, long lovers of Three Stooges and Mr Bean-like visual laugh making, are taking plunges into the deep end of the humor pool and everyone seems to be loving it, save the censors.

Picked up via the China Digital Times: “China’s Southern Metropolis Weekly magazine recently reported this shocking news: The central government created universal health care for the country’s 1.3 billion people, wiped out bribery and reduced the country’s wide income gap. And Migrant workers in the southern city of Guangzhou, notorious for its sweatshops, were “happy” and “respected,” the magazine reported in its print and Web editions.

Of course, it was political parody and all untrue.”

It is the start of a new Internet fashion. Not everyone enjoys the freedom to thumb their pens at the central governmeng like brilliant Hong Kong cartoonist Harry Harrison at the South China Morning Post:

Yahoo censorship

Harry, who hammers Beijing and Washington with equal force, is in for some grass roots competition.

Sardonic wit is the new censorship survival, escape and evasion tool of the masses. Its new name, pretty sarcastic on its own, is “egao” or “evil work” in literal translation.

The mainland’s traditional artists ( I love this site!) have gotten a bit bolder of late:

Chinese Cartoon

But their political humor, fantastic as it is, remains chiefly aimed at America and Western targets or generally accepted social problems. That would, of course, be a self-preservation move. You won’t last long on a newspaper staff drawing the hand that feeds you:

Chinese Cartoon
The word egao describes “a subculture that is characterized by humor, revelry, subversion, grass-root spontaneity, defiance of authority, mass participation and multi-media high tech…” was a definition that appeared in China Daily recently.

With aggregators, bulliten boards and instant messaging the ordinary citizen is braving consequences by not adhering to the government censorship of all media. Movies, cartoons and viral e-mails are slicing and dicing up everything that the Chinese find troublesome in the Middle Kingdom.

I cannot wait to see a copy of “Crazy Stone,” that friends and media reports have said is a pie in the face to about everything sacred in China. At one point “The movie targets Chinese officials in a scene where the main character realizes the ornament has been stolen but decides against calling the police.’The police?’ he asks as he drags on a cigarette. ‘If we call the cops, we’ll lose everything. They’ll just mess things up.'”

I am certain this will not slow down bootleg sales of Mr. Bean or other slapstick, but it is a move in a promising direction…The shortest distance between two people is definitely a smile–even a wicked one!

FYI: Onemanbandwidth seems to be back in the websphere in China. It was on and off blocked over the last few days in various parts of the country. Here’s to my release from Cyber-hold!

Long Live Egao!

Asia,Asian Humor,cartoons,Censorship,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Humor,Chinese Internet,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,中国

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Asians all sound alike to me….

Speech practice

One of my hobbies ( I have a couple that I haven’t turned into obsessions) is the identification and mimicry of accents. It comes from growing up in a household with an Irish Mother raised in Pennsylvania and a Native American father raised in a Kentucky town so back-country that the Dairy Queen ( I am not kidding here) had outdoor plumbing. More than once I was asked to translate whatever my folks said for schoolmates.

I was blogroll diving again and came across The Cognitive Daily. It is rife with information for the budding and practicing shrink in your household.The authors there are smitten with tests: both are from Davidson College and there isn’t much else to do in that part of “Norf” Carolina. One of their recent polls asked people to ID accents originating from a couple of states in America and from people living in the wee little space outside U.S. borders (Earth) where inhabitants are generally known by most Colonists as “aliens.” But, I digress….

Here are the results:

Accents

“The test required participants to listen to ten people from different parts of the world reading the same English text sample (via the fantastic Speech Accent Archive). Then they had to choose which accent was which from a list of 15 countries (actually 15 countries and 2 U.S. states). Which accent was easiest to recognize? Alabama! Eighty-eight percent of respondents correctly identified this accent (though this result was statistically indistinguishable from Wisconsin, with 86.5 percent correct).” Not hard to believe, aye? But, I was surprised so few people nailed China….

To brush up on your abilities go to the Archives mentioned above where you can listen to all the voices catalogued OR help them out by recording your speech patterns for posterity….

Oh, and I almost forgot:

Irish China Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!: Happy St. Patrick’s Day–in Gaelic!

Asia,Blogroll Diving,cartoons,Chinglish,Confucius Slept Here,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Japan,Personal Notes,中国

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Who’s afraid of the big bad blog?

Censorship

LiveJournal is functionally dead in China right now. The Chinese government tossed another 1.8 million blogs into the cyber- shadows by cutting off access to the service.

According to Wired LiveJournal announced on Monday that they had joined the ranks of Technorati, WordPress.com and a host of other banned services.

The GreatFirewallofChina.org, surprisingly unblocked and loaded with condemning comments, first spotted the block Friday. It is not the first time LiveJournal has gotten the cyber-axe and some folks think there may be a partial pardon coming: Xiao Qiang, a Chinese dissident and founder of China Digital Times (CDT is also flying in China’s no-see zone), the best comprehensive aggregator of China News on the planet, speculates that the timing of this shutdown suspiciously corresponds to the start of the National People’s Congress meeting in Beijing. The government wants to ensure the silence of blogger guns by not allowing them to even load.

While Livejournal could be freed from virtual detention after the march meeting, Xiao states, “You never know when they are going to block it again.”

I often see no rhyme or reason regarding blocks. even with today’s announcement that new Internet Cafes would not be licensed in 2007, due to concern for porn and game addictions, I have seen “body art” sites flourish while some pro-China expat blogs have gone dark after a single rebuttal of policy.

To date here are a few of the services that have been blocked:

http://blogger.com
http://wordpress.com/
http://www.blogspot.com
http://egoweblog.com
http://www.blogspirit.com/
http://www.blogeasy.com/
http://www.blogzor.com/
http://www.mazeme.com/
http://www.yesblogger.com/
http://www.tblog.com/
http://joeuser.com/
http://typepad.com/

I cannot view many of the sites that link to me or have important information I feel I need to read. Some banned spaces can be accessed through services like Feedburner, Bloglines, Delicious , and through great humanitarian sites like Global Voices Online or via proxy servers, but others are impossibly hard to get to…

The Great Firewall appears determined to outlast its historical namesake.

*******

Members of any of the blog services mentioned above can show that they care about these issues by linking back to any of the banned blogs or any of the stories referenced.

+++++

http://www.7cblogs.com/2007/03/internet-is-closed.html and http://bargainprofessor.wordpress.com/ I received a trackbacks from you, but cannot view you as you too are blocked here…I will look for you…

Asia,cartoons,Censorship,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,Greater Asia Blogs,In the news,Personal Notes,The Great Firewall,中国

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Children to Draw Cheney a Picture of Chinese Military

A few days ago Dick Cheney asked for full disclosure of Chinese military outlays and was slammed, in a rare display of foreign servce humor, by Ministry spokesman Qin Gang who said:

“If someone always tears through your clothes and even wants to lift open your underwear, saying ‘Let me see what’s inside’, how would you feel? Would you want to call the police?” Qin told reporters when asked about Cheney’s remarks.

But as reported by Wonkette :

To Mr. Qin, we offer our apologies, condolences and the possibly comforting information that yes, we all want to call the police on Cheney — but he runs the police, too.

Reportedly children here have been drafted into sweat shopa and crayola farms where they are being forced to draw pictures using a series of new highly classified coloring books entitled “Learn to Draw”:

Chinese Military

Chinese Mortar

Asia,Asian Humor,cartoons,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Humor,Homeland Security,Humor,In the news,Just Plain Strange,中国

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OMBW Blocked in China!

censored in china

Well, it finally happened: My site is blocked in China.

I am guessing it was the Tibet piece the banned blogs post and the last one below….I should have stuck to funny stories about coffee coke

It reminds me of the “Aw *hit” certificates we used to hand out in the military . It read something like: “1,000 Atta Boys are negated by one Aw *hit”…

Aw *hit!

Asia,cartoons,Censorship,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China web 2.0,In the news,Personal Notes,The Great Firewall,The Internet,Tibet,中国

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Expats Syndrome

Expats Syndrome

As a former military brat, soldier, student, itinerant teacher, and lecturer I have spent more time outside the borders of my country than within them. I can speak with authenticity and authority on the perils and promise of an expat’s experience. Thirty-plus schools, and 640,000 non-transferable credits, in my lifetime should get me some kind of special certification.

I stumbled onto Robin Pascoe’s site today and was happy to see that someone had created well-written order out of the chaos that is life spent in temporary quarters. Her books: Raising Global Nomads, A Moveable Marriage, and Homeward Bound offer advice from a veteran of culture shock.

Her work, geared more toward married females, is full of wit and wisdom worthy of a read. She has a collection of articles on her site written for the Korea Times that you’ll find entertaining and subtly instructive. She has a gift for the written and spoken word and has parlayed it into a business that includes lectures to corporations and groups on Parenting, Marriage, Relocation, Going Home, and Learning to Write.

She is not for everyone: Her stories are gleaned from a privileged life as the wife of a Foreign Service Officer and she often addresses the corporate and consular functions. So, it is not likely you will relate very well if you have endures soul-numbing depression as a young volunteer in rural China, self-destructive antics after losing your emotional compass in an intercultural marriage or agoraphobia brought on by the sudden affective vacuum created by a loss of most things familiar.

I recently asked a business owner, a Canadian expat in China for 20 years, what he missed. He replied, “Nothing!” with great conviction. HE should be giving seminars! I have days where I ache for anything wholly American. Some days I would settle for a Ronco Pocket Fisherman or the 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator ads in lieu of the whole of CCTV. I become so wistful that I would wish upon a star were there actually stars above Guangzhou. And other days I am so depressed that a dark corner of a basement would suit me just fine if only there were basements in Guangzhou.

Thank heavens for other Asian Bloggers, expat sites, writers like Pascoe, Bootleg DVDs (Ya, ya…I will find a State-sponsored church and whisper a confession) and, of course, Skype.

Hmmm, I like the idea of a writing workshop. I know this blog, my personal jounal and the manuscript (Confucius Slept Here) keep me, uh, san-er. So, I might try to make something like that happen in China if there is an interest. And one thing deperately lacking in the Middle Kingdomn is an inexpensive counseling/mentoring refuge for individual expats and especially those in cross-cultural marriages…I am going to have to look into that as well….

American Poet in China,Asian Humor,cartoons,China Expats,China Humor,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Guangzhou China,Hong Kong Stars,Intercultural Issues,Personal Notes,中国

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You’ve Got Mail! And so does the CIA, DEA, DIA, FBI…

Freedom

While Yu Ling, wife of a Chinese dissident jailed for publishing articles on the Internet, is preparing her suit against Yahoo for allegedly helping to put her husband in jail in China there is a storm brewing in the U.S. over privacy that may make make suits like hers moot in America.

While Yahoo’s Hong Kong branch freely gave Chinese authorities information about the dissident’s e-mail accounts–and landed him in the slammer for 10 years–they may soon be required to provide open portals for law enforcement agencies in America to collect data they want in your mail, your chats and your Internet phone calls.

In recent years, human rights groups have accused Yahoo of providing authorities with information that has led to the imprisonment of several dissidents. Yahoo may soon have the protection of US authorities within American borders if the federal government gets the power to monitor cyber-transmissions. According to a report by Declan McCullagh as reported in South by Southwest: “The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping.” As noted in by CNet, the proposed legislation would require any manufacturer of “routing” and “addressing” hardware to offer upgrades or other modifications that are needed to support Internet wiretapping — it would also authorize the expansion of wiretapping requirements to commercial Internet services including instant messaging if the FCC deems it to be in the public interest. The FCC?!

Reporters Without Borders says China has imprisoned at least 50 individuals, including Wang Xiaoning, for their activities on the Internet.

Asia,cartoons,Censorship,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China web 2.0,Homeland Security,In the news,Personal Notes,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

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Shtikl me!

Regardless of where you live, Shtikl is a must read. It is written by cyber-friend, philospher, teacher, artist, author, new dad and blogmaster Dushan. It has been a couple of years since I became hooked on his playfully circuitous logic. Enjoy!:

20070130.jpg

20070131-en_1.jpg

cartoons,Humor,Personal Notes,Top Blogs

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Looking for Love in All the Wong Places: Internet Dating in China

A dear friend of mine recently came to China to meet a beautiful woman that he had corresponded with for several months. The meet-up was a bit of a bust*: they needed an interpreter 24/7 and most of the expats and Chinese who met her came to the same conclusion that was confirmed a couple of weeks after my buddy returned stateside.

LOVE

 

His intended was picked up in a raid of, um, entertainment businesses in Shenzhen and couldn’t write for a couple of weeks as they don’t have DSL in the provincial jail there. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. OK, so it was funny and I have tortured him since it happened.

To go back in time a bit: I was startled last year when one of the staff directors here asked why foreigners seem to be attracted by the Chinese women that the natives find unappealing.

I wryly replied that he should consider it a blessing.

Lots of men look Eastward to find relationships. They frequent inter-cultural dating sites for a number of reasons: some good, some bad.

The women who use the Chinese dating services and chat services are, by and large, good women in search of an honest and lasting relationship. Most of them are divorced or highly educated and that puts them on the outs in many Chinese social circles. It is like American thinking not so many years ago.

Unlike some countries, the women here are not looking to sleep their way to an American visa. They come from proud families and are deeply rooted in their regional cultures. That does not mean that they will not relocate for the right relationship or the promise of a caring life together with a special someone. I have known several women who have followed their hearts to America, Canada and elsewhere.

Following are some general musings, concerns and comments on online love searches for Chinese women. A later post will list services and their ratings by friends and associates that have found their soul mates via the Internet.

Most Chinese make about $80–$200 U.S. dollars a month, so life is short of frills for many of the women on the net. BUT: don’t send any money unless you have been here to visit or unless you have enough knowledge to discern the truth of a request. There are scammers on the net, albeit a lot less in China than in other developing countries. Come here and meet the lady for which you are falling into cyberspace. The worst you will get is a great vacation.

My friend was asked by his cyber-paramour to pay for English lessons and a small operation. The fee requested seemed small to my American buddy but would have bought the girl a full-time tutor for a year and gotten her more plastic modifications than Cher and Phyllis Diller combined.

NEVER send money for a plane ticket unless you have verified that your beloved has a visa in hand. I know of two men who spent several long hours together in a Denver airport unknowingly waiting for the same girl. It is a long and winding road to a visa, even a fiance stamp, now that Homeland Insecurity is involved. Be in this quest for the long haul. And don’t be frivilous: a fiance visa is a once in a lifetime deal for a Chinese woman. If you decide not to marry after the trial period your Asian siren does not get a second chance to find Mr. Right.
Continue Reading »

Asian Women,cartoons,China Editorials,China Expats,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Internet Dating,Japan,Personal Notes

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