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I will meet you for Coffee at the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk….

china starbucks

Adam writes on the Lehman Law Blawg [sic] that the new ordnance in Shanghai requiring foreign businesses to add Chinese characters to their name is “misguided.” He goes on to make his case: “The claim that a foreign-language-only name is a major impediment to Chinese-only speakers is dubious. Even if potential customers cannot say the name, they can refer to it in other ways, for example, ‘that pizza place on the corner of Taicang Lu and Huangpi Nan Lu.’ As for access by taxi, unless you are going to the Shanghai Museum or some other such well-known landmark, names are useless. Whether you say City Diner or a Chinese name, you’re going to have to tell the driver ‘intersection of Nanjing Xi Lu and Tongren Lu’ to get where you want to go.”

Adam, I kind of expect to be reading Chinese (authentic Traditional Chinese) in Guangzhou, and even Portuguese in Macau. Just a guess on my part, but there seems to be some ethnocentrically driven historical precedence for the annoying habit of the local governments insisting on being able to navigate streets and order in eateries using their native tongue….

In China, that country bordering the country with the man with strange hair that is building a nuke, people brought up during the cultural revolution who don’t read English or Pinyin, probably don’t know the Hard Rock Cafe from a day-old bread store, but they have heard of Xingbake (the Chinese name for Starbucks) the American coffee joint or Kendeji (pronounced cun-dutch-ee) the chicken emporium. And even the Cantonese taxi divers can take you to either one if asked…

Adam gives his jury summation thusly: “Finally, foreign-language-named businesses add to the cosmopolitan air of a city. As one strolls through the streets of New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, one will see many Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese or other foreign-language-named businesses without English translations. Because Shanghai is unique in Mainland China as an international and cosmopolitan city, this diversity should be celebrated, not hindered.” Adam might have had me here if he he hadn’t introduced reasonable doubt in his argument by saying “Shanghai” and “free market” in the same sentence…But then, I lived in Chicago and did see a few businesses in ethnic neighborhoods with signs exclusively in the area’s dominant language, but most ethnic businesses in most cities have romanized names as well….The businesses intentionally wanting to appeal to immigrants left out “ease of menu translation” in their business plan to-do lists. The places looking to be cosmopolitan were smart enough to add English characters.

And if 谷哥 (Google) and 肯德基 (KFC) haven’t filed any ethnic diversity lawsuits because people here now know them better by their Chinese monikers, I doubt 星巴克 (Starbucks) is headed to court either.

By the way: “Guido”and “Boris” (their English names) from Guangzhou’s Tourism Board want to pay you a visit to discuss ways to improve on internationalizing their hick towns Hong Kong and Guangzhou… And “Makudonorudo” (the Golden Arches) in Japan wants you to represent them as they are tired of their name sounding like a morning rooster in the ads that air in the backwater town of Tokyo….

Adam is held in contempt of culture unil further notice…

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SEO SECRET….

SEO SECRET

I started an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) series a few months back and then abandoned the effort: Feedback from regular readers, most of them blogless and not looking to adopt, read, “I’m bored senseless!” It seems that only members of the China shoe-money society really read things and then they pissed and moaned: “It’s too simple,” or “Explain how to put an image in my post that doesn’t blow out my sidebar” were some of the two emailed questions….And then there was the uproar created by comments on a blog that used my posts to generate traffic by calling Fili and I “Greedy Superficial Bloggers” for discussing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) methods on our sites. It even got people taking sides and nearly cyber-rioting before he kind-of admitted it was just a scam meant to coax more readers to his site. But, I digress…

One of the deservedly best-loved sites on the planet is Post Secret. The trouble with being public and popular is that you are open to spoof. (Dear Sinocidal, I am still waiting for next April 1st….

The picture above was blatantly ripped off a very funny parody of Post Secret. Now, a lot of it is out loud funny, but a bit of it will only be understood by Fili, Ryan and others like the ass-hat. You can take a peek at it by clicking on the picture above. The photo references Matt Cutts, a paid stooge for Google whom I parodied hereon the site,  a few weeks ago. Anyway head over to the comedy and have fun. REMEBER to click on the links below the pictures for more fun….

PS: Speaking of Fili: Head over to his blog as that greedy, superficial blogger living in China’s latest province is actually offering free SEO help (There must be a catch :-)…) to anyone who wants to bring in traffic via sound and in-offensive methods.

Another SEO stunt in the works can be found by the hit-grubbers at Hao Hao and Chinalyst :-). They are sponsoring the 3rd-failed annual China Blog Awards. If you have already have a fave site you can vote for them and, more importantly, you can visit some of other blogs that you may not have cruised through yet. There is a terabyte of great stuff out there!

China Blog Awards

PPS:
pkblogs.com

Above is a way to view Blogspot (Thanks J) if you live in places like I do….One site you need to get to:

Free Oiwan Lam

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6 responses so far

Secret Asian Man….

I love blogroll diving! Tak Toyoshima’s site is blocked in Guangzhou, so until United Media’s comics.com syndicated him last week I had not known of his work….

Reportedly the first Asian-American cartoon protagonist “Sam” grapples with an ethnic identity crises via membership in AA (“I’m Sam I’m an Asian American”) to excitement over the Americapalooza concert that will feature an Asian American band to a self-assured second generation defender of bi-cutural image:

secret asian man

The syndicated strip is great fun, but not nearly as edgy as the offerings on his website which are wonderfully politically incorrect:

secret asian man

Tak, an American born Japanese-American, grew up in New York City, attended Boston University and now lives outside of Boston where we hope the Japanese Prime Minister won’t find him.

Bonzai, Sam!!!

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Study in America: Study in US Guides

From The China Dreamblogue

Head over to BOD for recommendarions on where to study in the US, UK and Australia….

Study in America: University study in US

For anyone dreaming of university study in America: The China Dreamblogue has posted pdf guides on how to study in America, in both English and in Chinese…

Study in the US part 1

This is a guide to undergraduate study and educational opportunities in the US. You can find Arabic, French, Spanish, and Russian versions of the text: Study in America: American undergraduate Study.

Study in the US part 2

This guide explains the process of applying for and preparing for graduate study in the US. It includes information about admission, types of institutions, degrees, course loads, and grading systems. It will also discuss the different academic culture in the US and the US academic environment. It also covers specialized programs of study in the US: US nursing school, American law schools, US veterinary medicine, and American dentistry. You can find versions of the text in Arabic, French, Spanish, and Russian here: Study in the US: US Graduate Degree.

Study in the US Part 3

This guide provides thorough descriptions of short-term study options in the US, such as: high school exchange programs, work and professional exchange programs, vocational and technical programs, short-term university study, and professional study. You can find versions of the text in Arabic, French, Spanish, and Russian here: Study in America: Short-term US study.

Study in the US part 4

This guide provides important details on preparing for study in the US, such as obtaining a visa, predeparture information, housing in the us, and travel to the us. You can find versions of the text in Arabic, Chinese, English, and Russian here: Study in the US: US Visas, arriving in US, and travel to the US.

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What would Buddha do?

Buddha in the sky with diamonds

Several years ago, attending a Jimmy Buffet concert with a Catholic priest (Indian trail, NC, not Margaritaville) , we were discussing ways to raise money for his new parish. In neighboring Georgia a woman was drawing huge crowds claiming to see incarnations of the Virgin Mary. So, we laughingly concocted a never-to-be scheme that involved catching and releasing a trout on the church property that we would say bore some saint’s likeness on its its tail. We would then put donation baskets all up and down the creek. It was sacrilegious, but damned funny anyway.

A few years later I visited Shingo, Japan where they claim to have Christ and his brother buried on a hill above town. Jesus, according to local mythology, let his brother take his place on the cross and then went to rural Japan and retired to a happily married life in the sticks. Surprisingly, there was no marketing involved anywhere near the grave site.

Please bear with me as this all comes together for you in the usual intuitive flash at the end…

I just read a delightful book first printed in 1999 entitled What would Buddha Do? by Franz Metcalf. The pocket-sized tome is rife with well thought out answers to a host of everyday questions, some that made me laugh out loud:

1. What would Buddha do if his credit cards are maxed out?

2. What would Buddha do when making a salad?

3. What would Buddha do to avoid burnout?

4. What would Buddha do about trusting the media?

The answer to last question can be found in the Buddhist writing Undanavarga 22.17: “One’s ears hear a lot; one’s eyes sees a lot. The wise should not believe everything seen or heard.” Buddha must read the China Daily too, where I found the picture above. It seems Buddha hung around for about an hour on Heibei’s Zushan Mountain, but unlike the manifestations in Georgia, he didn’t impart any wisdom to the local tourists.

In another book I reviewed recently, One Couple, Two Cultures, there was a story about a British man and his Chinese wife discussing behavior common in each other’s country. The wife seemed to have no trouble commenting on behalf of the entire 1.3 billion residents of China, while the Brit’ demured on speaking for the whole of England. I can with absolute certainty say that had the Buddha appeared in Stone Mountain Park, Georgia, that every redneck (remember before you shoot that my father hailed from Harlan County, Kentucky), instead of burning him as a heretic would have tried to sell him on Ebay. I still remember the eerie glow-in-the-dark St. Joseph that watched over me as a child sleeping in the dark.

Now I’m not sure what made them think it was Buddha and not Mother Theresa, Confucius, or Steve Irwin. But I continue to digress…

What surprised me the most is that nobody is now selling watches of Buddha waving from the peak or claiming to have private chats with Gautama himself. Another missed marketing opportunity for China. David and I are thinking about sorting through seaweed potato chips until we come up with  some that look like Sun Yat Sen or Lao Zi. We promise to donate all proceeds (and extra chips) to charity.

So what would Buddha do if Buddha were alive today? I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be standing around in the Heibei fog, though he might possible blog a few meditations–using a wordpress platform, of course. So I’m off to see if WWBD-in-canton.com is taken. This way, we can answer the pressing questions like:

1. What would Buddha do if someone stole a taxi out from under his nose?

2. What would Buddha do if someone took the food from his plate at a Cantonese buffet?

3. What would Buddha do if he found out he were watching a bootleg copy of Seven Years in Tibet?

4. What would Buddha say if his disciples kept commenting on his weight and skin color?

Now I’m getting ready to read Metcalf’s answer to “What would Buddha Do about that Coffee Habit?” If this post isn’t a call for my spiritual rehab or caffeine detox, I don’t know what is.

American Poet in China,American Professor in China,Asia,Asian Humor,Asian Women,Blogroll Diving,Book Reviews,China Book Reviews,China Business,China Editorials,China Expat,China Expats,China Humor,China Photos,Chinese Festivals,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Confucius Slept Here,Entertainment,Expats,Greater Asia Blogs,Guangzhou,Guangzhou China,Hong Kong,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Internet marketing China,Japan,Just Plain Strange,past posts,Personal Notes,Photos,Teaching in China,Weird China,中国,中文

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The trouble with Oiwan….

censored in china

When the Oiwan Lam controversy began I predicted four things:

  1. Support for her cause would be hard to muster because people might feel as though Oiwan invited trouble by publishing a picture that she knew might provoke the ire of Hong Kong Censors. Civil disobedience is not as cherished as it was in the past;
  2. Support would quickly wane as the matter did not seem as urgent or foreboding as the Hao Wu case. Oiwan is facing 12 months in jail, a costly defense and a hefty fine, but she is not incarcerated at the moment;
  3. Bloggers might not pass the torch, or the hat, because the issues are complicated and Hong Kong specific;
  4. People would find it hard to empathize with Oiwan: Hong Kong is part of China and censorship is expected here.

EastSouthWestNorth, Rebecca McKinnon Boing Boing, Lost Laowai, Image Thief and a handful of others have done their best to explain the issues while rightfully advocating for one of their own. An advocacy group on Facebook has collected 69 members, but few calls for action have subsequently originated from western computers.

Oiwan did not invite this kind of response. She put her journalistic foot in the water and was dragged below the surface by the well-mapped but unpredictable undertow that is the Hong Kong Television and Entertainment Authority (TELA) and the Obscene Articles Tribunal (OAT). These are the same forces that roiled against a Hong Kong University student newspaper for a ridiculously benign sex survey, Michelangelo’s David in a 1995 magazine ad and Cupid and Psyche on a book cover at the most recent Hong Kong Book Fair.

The charges against Oiwan created a tremor in the blogsphere , but the aftershocks are so imperceptible that we have gone about life as usual. Some Hong Kong bloggers are taking up the cause by posting other classic art works as an act of protest and solidarity. The rest of us should also act on her behalf.

I met with John Kennedy of Global Voices Online today and he spoke again to the issues involved in Oiwan’s case that affect all of us:

  • He thinks, and public opinion in Hong Kong backs him up, that the Tribunal and the TELA are antiques in need of dry storage and replacement (my sorry metaphor, not his). He thinks the Tribunal, which operates independently without reliable standards and accountability, should be elected officials that have to answer to the public.
  • He feels, and again is far from alone in his opinion, that a legal and reliably quantifiable definition of “obscene” or “indecent” should be adopted.

The latter is important to all of us as it would prevent dissidents from being punished at the whim of judges with personal or political agendas.

IF blogger’s rights can be upheld in Hong Kong it can instruct and inform governments and lawmakers everywhere about the need for free speech legislation and reform. Oiwan, who has no desire to be a martyr, is every man and woman who wants to speak their mind or read another’s in cyberspace. And, as Rebecca McKinnon has said so well in her blog, Oiwan is a writer who has devoted herself to the non-profit sector most of her adult life, so she has few financial resources to assist with what will be a costly and important court battle.

Help Oiwan and help yourself with a little link love to her cause blog (Banned in Mainland China), a posting of the banner below (feel free to use my bandwidth) and by, please, donating a few dollars to her legal campaign by clicking here:

Free Oiwan Lam

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Compassion Fatigue

One of the lines I repeatedly quote from Waiting for Godot is “Habit is a great deadener.” The more we see poverty, death, disability, illness, and systemic dysfunction, the more we become desensitized to it. The more we add charitable acts to the bottom of our to-do list, the more we deaden our reflexes to react to immediate human crises.

I’m a sap. I’m the guy who gets tears in his eyes in a pawn shop, and I wonder what set of circumstances could bring someone to surrender the symbol of their emotional commitment to each other for few dollars. And I ask myself “What egregious sin must a man have committed to compel his family to hawk an heirloom like a masonic ring for ten to twenty percent of its worth?” Part of it is that the shops bring back memories of my childhood, when my father and mother would pawn their savings bonds in the middle of every month so that they were able to pay a car payment or a grocery bill. I’m not sure we ever redeemed. perhaps an emotional element of the the dreamblogue is my attempt to metaphorically recover those bonds for someone else.

The Blog of Dreams, for me, is also about fighting ennui. It is also about standing up to the pain that I experienced when one of my 22-year-old students lost a leg to bone cancer and another 23-year-old student died last week of leukemia. I’m not trying to be maudlin, nor am I trying to paint myself as some kind of extraordinarily kind person. I am doing what I have to do in order maintain some kind of balance in an environment that constantly erodes and degrades my capacity to react to human suffering. I have no interest in being like the Pulitzer-prize-winning photojournalist who watched a vulture wait for an African child to die. He snapped his shot, won the prize, and was later denounced by colleagues with vicious criticism for not taking the child to an aid station . He later committed suicide. Watching people die around me this year has hushed my sef-preservational black, as I’ve watched friends and colleagues try to navigate hopeless situations. The Dreamblogue is a personally proposed imperative and my long trek to the aid station.

Onemandbandwidth has been short on content for the past three weeks: let me tell you why. David and I have written around 50,000 words during that time in support of the Dreamblogue in the form of: a grant proposal to Global Voices Online; sponsorship support proposals for colleges in the UK and the US; a PR Web release about our journey; hundreds of e-mails to potential supporters (not donors); project profiles on social networking sites; correspondence with intended recipients of our charity; the editing and revision of 22 articles about the mainland provinces we will visit; and more. David and I transformed my apartment into a two-man hermitage because we have literally spent 19 to 20 hours a day for the past six days, carpals to the keyboard, in preparation for this trip. The only breaks we took were to watch reruns of House, M.D. (while we kept editing) and to play an occasional round of Scrabble online.

Years ago, there was talk of a self-perpetuating machine…now if only we could figure out a way to not take our once a day eat break we could make engineering history. Lately our work is generating more work, which generates more work…we need to MoBlog!

The universe has us on hold right now, and the muzak, though promising, has a dreadfully slow rhythm. Proposals are making their way through the digestive tracks of various commercial and organizational enterprises–we DO understand, but it ain’t any easier….

I’ve read several stories on the Internet this week bemoaning the lack of medical care in China, the widening gap between rich and poor, and descriptions of the disasters in north and the south that have devastated China. Some are touching, some are appalling, but for me, each of them lacked the one element that seems outstanding in my emotional and mental gestalt of late. All but one member of The League of Extraordinary Chinese Women is dead, and I hold myself accountable at some level for possibly missing something. In these reams of paperwork and multitude of posts, what word or phrase, what measure of credibility is missing that can make people to resonate with what I feeel?

Onemanbandwidth will be doing a 301 redirect soon, and lend all of the power and cyber-momentum built by the site to the Dreamblogue project. I’ll write some articles-ambitious, critical, and ridiculous as always–from time to time on the Dreamblogue; however, the project has a life of its own and it is much more important than a personal online diary.

David and I only want one thing from you, and it’s not money nor pats on the back (we haven’t done anything yet). The only thing we want is for you to social network our requests for people’s dreams. Tell your friends to send us their dreams. Link to us, favorite us on Technorati, and tell others to do the same. Give us a few minutes of your time and a little space on your blog (which we know are valuable), and we’ll do our best to reflect credit on your generosity. Yhank you to those of you who have already acted.

And before we sound a little too altruistic for our own good, you need to know what is in this for us: David and I hope to write a book or two about their adventures, and I long to see historical China. The people that will be helped most immediately are those people we have personal contact with. I selfishly want them alive and in my life for as long as possible. By doing so, maybe I can assuage some of the guilt I feel for not being able to do more this year for the people I love. These are our dreams, and we want to achieve them. In exchange, we want to help a few realize their dreams, too–especially the fantastic work of the Library Project and the Reading Tub.

There is no good way to end this post except to begin our work. The Blog of Dreams is our newest answer to compassion fatigue: by sharing our dreams with each other and funnelling the power of those desires into helping others, we may be able to restore our capacity to witness and ease some human suffering.

poverty in China

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Disaster is not on summer holiday…

A must read article at Global Voices Online about the lack of reporting and blogger reponse to the horrific disasters in China of late that have left over a million people homeless:

Yunnan

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A city slicker in Guangzhou: That ONE thing!

Teacher in China

The Lost Laowai blog has a great project in the works. Ryan is asking that expats blog about “If I knew then what I know now…” concerning life in China.

This week was an especially emotional one for me. I visited the first University for which I taught. I even visited one of the classes I taught that is about to graduate. I received a visual hug and a room full of warm smiles. Ah, it is good to be a teacher. It had been a rare gift to be able share in the pleasures of education in concert with these students most of whom were the first in their families to ever attend college.

I went there to advocate for a job for a new teacher wanting to move from Macau to “real” China and a more heart-filling experience. He will get it there in classrooms that reach 104 degrees after climbing stairs to the classrooms on the 9th floor. He’ll get the experience he wants teaching rural students hungry for an education and a better life.

They had a few concerns about his age (he is 23) as they had suffered through a culture-shocked man about the same age a few years ago and did not want to have to nurse a newcomer through homesickness, depression and language difficulties again.

My second and most important reason for visiting was to mend a few fences. You see, I came to China thinking that my 17 years in other Asian countries gave me a leg-up on China, that my twenty-plus years of teaching gave me an edge in the classroom and that acculturation would be easy. In reality: I was hit as hard, if not harder, than the expat above that they had endured a year earlier, but I hid it better–kind of.

I was always questioning the system and constantly hounding the administration for its lack of care and feeding of the foreign staff. I rebuked a few teachers and office personnel for what I saw were violations of common rules of educational etiquette. I treated my station as one of privilege when in reality I was an ungrateful guest in a home that was still trying to understand how to balance duty and rules with a need to please….

I took the opportunity last week to sincerely apologize for my cultural insensitivity. I assured them that I had grown as a person, a teacher and visitor in their country because of them; in retrospect I now know they were doing the best they could under difficult financial and political constraints. I let them know that the teacher I was recommending was already more mature than I might ever be….

They then informed me that hey had always viewed me as a friend of the school and of China. They went on to say that the cultural divide that I so often spoke of was a gap we viewed from the very same rim. It was NOT the normal minimizing of conflict that is common here. It was a sincere affirmation of a connection that I had felt shame over dishonoring with my repeated petulance. It has made my eyes well with happiness many times this week.

If I had it all to do again– I would study Chinese from day one, shut up and listen more, and most of all, look very closely for the small acts of kindness that I as a westerner had come to expect as routine and I would express my thanks for them often.

Thanks Ryan….

American Poet in China,American Professor in China,Asia,China Expat,China Expats,Chinese Education,Confucius Slept Here,Greater Asia Blogs,Guangzhou,Guangzhou China,Heartsongs,Intercultural Issues,Teaching in China,中国,中文

One response so far

China Photo Contest

fotolia_1684848.jpg

Have picture of the Middle Kingdom you like and want to share with the world?

OMBW will sponsor a contest that will run all year and culminate in a coffee table book that will raise funds for China charities and the Literacy Group The Reading Tub.

It is simple:

Send your best shot of people, places or events in China to: dreamblogue@gmail.com with the information required below. We will post several shots, once a week, on OMBW and on http://blogof dreams.com where you and your friends can vote for your favorites. The top 250 will make it into the book. There is NO entry fee.

There will be prizes, yet to be decided, for the winners, links back to blogs or sites if requested, contributor copies of the coffee table book. All rights are returned to the creator upon publication and you are free to multiple submit your work to other sites, magazines or contests. First prize in each division will be an expense paid week on the road with Yanzhi and Dawei and the Dreanblogue Team during their charity and friendship tour of China

Ideally there will be three divisions:

Hobby Photographer: You take pictures for personal enjoyment and you have a shot that you would like to share with the world

yangshuo

Amateur: You aspire to be professional and have a bit more experience or training than do most of us in the amateur ranks

heart on

Professional: You get paid for your work, but are willing to share it with us at OMBW and the Dreablogue so we can raise a few dollars for charity

great-wall-1.jpg

We will try to post new pictures once a week on Friday. The rules:

Make the photos as Web-friendly as possible: No more than 450 Pixels wide please. If you win we will ask for the high resolution file.

Include the following information with your email:

  • Real name
  • Division
  • Province where picture was taken
  • Name of Photo as you want it in the ALT tag
  • Your location and email (not to be published)
  • Your desired screen name for voting and picture tags
  • A short statement giving us permission to place the picture on OMBW and The China Dreamblogue during 2006-7
  • Your blog or website URL, if there is one, to which we should link the photos

There is no limit to the number of photos you can submit….
Look for the first photos next week!

Charity in China,China Expats,China Photos,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Expats,Greater Asia Blogs,Heartsongs,Hong Kong Blogs,Intercultural Issues,New Blogs,Photo Contest,Photos,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,Teaching in China,The Great Wall,The Internet,The League of Extraordinary Chinese Women,Tibet,Top Blogs,Top China Blogs List,Travel in China,Yangshuo China,中国,中文

3 responses so far

# 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

The trouble with Oiwan

censored in china

When the Oiwan Lam controversy began I predicted four things:

  1. Support for her cause would be hard to muster because people might feel as though Oiwan invited trouble by publishing a picture that she knew might provoke the ire of Hong Kong Censors. Civil disobedience is not as cherished as it was in the past;
  2. Support would quickly wane as the matter did not seem as urgent or foreboding as the Hao Wu case. Oiwan is facing 12 months in jail, a costly defense and a hefty fine, but she is not incarcerated at the moment;
  3. Bloggers might not pass the torch, or the hat, because the issues are complicated and Hong Kong specific;
  4. People would find it hard to empathize with Oiwan: Hong Kong is part of China and censorship is expected here.

EastSouthWestNorth, Rebecca McKinnon Boing Boing, Lost Laowai, Image Thief and a handful of others have done their best to explain the issues while rightfully advocating for one of their own. An advocacy group on Facebook has collected 69 members, but few calls for action have subsequently originated from western computers.

Oiwan did not invite this kind of response. She put her journalistic foot in the water and was dragged below the surface by the well-mapped but unpredictable undertow that is the Hong Kong Television and Entertainment Authority (TELA) and the Obscene Articles Tribunal (OAT). These are the same forces that roiled against a Hong Kong University student newspaper for a ridiculously benign sex survey, Michelangelo’s David in a 1995 magazine ad and Cupid and Psyche on a book cover at the most recent Hong Kong Book Fair.

The charges against Oiwan created a tremor in the blogsphere , but the aftershocks are so imperceptible that we have gone about life as usual. Some Hong Kong bloggers are taking up the cause by posting other classic art works as an act of protest and solidarity. The rest of us should also act on her behalf.

I met with John Kennedy of Global Voices Online today and he spoke again to the issues involved in Oiwan’s case that affect all of us:

  • He thinks, and public opinion in Hong Kong backs him up, that the Tribunal and the TELA are antiques in need of dry storage and replacement (my sorry metaphor, not his). He thinks the Tribunal, which operates independently without reliable standards and accountability, should be elected officials that have to answer to the public.
  • He feels, and again is far from alone in his opinion, that a legal and reliably quantifiable definition of “obscene” or “indecent” should be adopted.

The latter is important to all of us as it would prevent dissidents from being punished at the whim of judges with personal or political agendas.

IF blogger’s rights can be upheld in Hong Kong it can instruct and inform governments and lawmakers everywhere about the need for free speech legislation and reform. Oiwan, who has no desire to be a martyr, is every man and woman who wants to speak their mind or read another’s in cyberspace. And, as Rebecca McKinnon has said so well in her blog, Oiwan is a writer who has devoted herself to the non-profit sector most of her adult life, so she has few financial resources to assist with what will be a costly and important court battle.

Help Oiwan and help yourself with a little link love to her cause blog (Banned in Mainland China), a posting of the banner below (feel free to use my bandwidth) and by, please, donating a few dollars to her legal campaign by clicking here:

Free Oiwan Lam

Asia,Blogroll Diving,Censorship,China Business,China Editorials,China Law,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Confucius Slept Here,Greater Asia Blogs,Heartsongs,Hong Kong,Hong Kong Blogs,Human Rights,Human Rights China,In the news,Intercultural Issues,The Great Firewall,The Internet,Top Blogs,中国,中文

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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

The best short-bus blogs

DUMB BLOGS

The other day I was not tagged as one of five thinking blogs by the Silicon Hutong or the China Law Blog. Imagine that! So, I am tagging other five blogs which don’t themselves purport to be smart, but are regular reads for lots of folks anyway.

I have tagged China and non-China blogs and call them short-bus blogs because it seems we cannot yet ride with the big kids..

1: The Platypus Society Cap’n Platy is a panic most of the time. He takes nothing seriously and is a breath of fresh bandwidth. He has successfully set a record for losses in the Weblog Awards for best humor blog to the most subscribed to in the business. Cap’n is the lovable pyromaniac little brother you can’t disown. Check out his Random Acts of Stupidity section.

2. The Humanaught: Few have done more for the China Blogsphere than this guy. He needs a job that gets him off the computer a few more hours a day. He seems to have more irons in the fire than a sword sharpener for the 300. That he can read Chinese impresses this dullard as much as it make me jealous. His recent conversation with the new ethnocentric cyber-buddy Xiao I made me blow cloves through my nose. Here is a sampling:

Xiao I

Ryan says:
你认为日本人好吗? (Are Japanese people good?)
小i机器人 says:
世界上最坏的 (They are the worst in the world)

洲人好吗? (How about Africans?)
小i机器人 says:
非洲人都黑漆漆的。(Africans are all dark – exact translation’s a bit weird)
Ryan says:
非洲好吗? (Is Africa any good?)
小i机器人 says:
没有呀。我怕遇到食人族。(No way. I fear encountering cannibals.)

Alright, so it doesn’t like Africans, what about my countrymen?

Ryan says:
你认为加拿大人好吗? (What do you think about Canadians?)
小i机器人 says:
酷,当然比谢停峰还酷。(Cool, of course. Cooler than [HK singer] Xiè Tíngfēng.)

3. FiLi’s World: This guy is fluent in at least three languages: Chinese, Geek and English. He has forgotten more about technology and the China Websphere than I will ever know. I will be using his most recent post on Baidu SEO Basics as a point of reference next Saturday as I dumb down (for me, not you) his well researched China Search Engine Marketing Basics.

4. Mask of China: Dezza just keeps getting better. He could take spectacular pictures with just a box camera. Based in Hong Kong he chases after its crazy political contradictions and injects wry humor into posts about life in the mainland as well his new home ( and new baby) in the former colony down south. Dezza has been on my blogroll since Mao was a corporal.

5.The Peer-See Blog: This movable feast of words is a 12-gauge shotgun approach to blogging in China. There may be a recipe, a film review or a Bronx Cheer over the coverage on the Starbucks threat to Chinese culture at the Forbidden City there. A blog with an occasional bite there are always wonderfully inventive posts like this one:

Single Asian Female Seeks Spanking:

Single, Asian Female seeks American couple for LTR – and maybe some light spanking 😉

I am a cute, young Chinese girl.

You are educated, married, and between the ages of 30 and 50. You must also be well-endowed and generous with your assets 😉

Please no singles or psychos. And definitely NO FATTIES.

If interested, contact China Center for Adoption Affairs

If a Tree falls

This is by no means a full list of all the Bozos I could have loaded onto the short bus. My apologies….

All aboard!

Asian Humor,Blogroll Diving,China Expats,China Humor,Chinese Internet,Expats,Greater Asia Blogs,Hong Kong Blogs,Humor,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Internet,Top Blogs,Top China Blogs List,中国

11 responses so far

SEO China 101

David DeGeest

Generally for an SEO Tutorial I would begin with a post on tags and titles. But, after reviewing some of the sites that expressed an interest in this SEO series I opted to start with image tweaking for more traffic. Since I have given myself a year to tell you all I think know about SEO, I will get it all in and the whole picture will come to you in a big intutive flash at the end. Note: Never expect a poet to be a linear thinker. The lights haven’t been on over the left side of my brain for years now. But, I digress….

This series will begin with extremely basic material and move to more sophisticated information. The date will become more and more China-centric as we go…I hope even the seasoned pro can get a little something out of this….And I am very up for learning from the likes of Fili who keeps very current on all aspects of SEO in China….

Over the last six months with the use of proper tagging of my photos my traffic has increased by 34% due to image searches.

SEO CHINA

Generating traffic solely from keywords has become more and more difficult. The term “China Blog” on Google yields 243,000,000 returns! In contrast there are only 152,000 image results returned for the same keyword. Most blogger/webmasters just do not take the time to properly optimize their pictures, so you should!

Much of the traffic you will get probably will not sign up for your feed or take time to comment, but they will score as a hit for the search engines and improve your ranking. And some of the visual travellers might just take a liking to what they see in addition to the image and hang around for a bit. I receive hundreds of visitors a week because of image searches done on Google and Yahoo!.

Image optimization is easy to do properly and is standard practice for serious SEO professionals. Search engine (MSN, Yahoo!, Google, AOL…) targeted image references should contain these 5 items:

A src The URL of the image
A width The width of the image in pixels
A height The height of the image in pixels
An alt attribute that describes image content
alt titles that display information for browsers when the user places a mouse cursor over the image

I had some fun optimizing an image this last week to demonstrate the power of tags. I attempted to get an an unrelated image to display in any of the engines for my colleague David DeGeest. Here is the picture again:
David DeGeest

Aside: At this point you all are aware that it is not a good idea to anger your SEO guy, right? Instead, buy him Coffee Cola to keep him working for you into the wee hours….

Here is the way the text appears in XHTML: <img src=”http://onemanbandwidth.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/daviddegeest1.jpg” alt=”David DeGeest” title=”Esl Teacher David De Geest” /

You can see how we did (using a pretty low ranked site) here: David DeGeest

The “title” tag is probably the least important of the additions above while the “alt” tag is essential to Search Engine rankings. Sites low in content on the main page can use the alt tags to carry keywords to the engines.

Be sure to make the tags descriptive. I keep my tags true to the nature of the picture, but you do not have to. To use a creative term that is related to the picture, and may bring in more traffic, is certainly your option. “Cute Chinese Chicks” for a picture of Easter hatchlings might be a stretch, funny, but….

Anyone primarily looking to monetize their site (and I am NOT one of them so there are few examples on site to show you ) should make sure that Google adwords and other algorithm driven ads are placed close to where the images will appear. The people coming to see the picture might not hang around, but they may see a product they want to buy that is related.

China Business,China web 2.0,Greater Asia Blogs,Internet marketing China,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Internet,Top Blogs,中国

7 responses so far

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

20 responses so far

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

11 responses so far

China Blogroll Diving…

Occasionally I go blogroll diving. It is akin to dumpster diving, but instead of selling my treasures on Ebay I get paid through a good laugh, some new insight or a a fresh post to share. And I come out of the whole blog experience smelling a lot better….

This will be part of an ongoing series featuring little known websites and blogs based in, or writing about, China that deserve a look. There is some wonderfully creative stuff going on out there/in here….

A Black Man in China

Black Man in China

It’s a podcast from a Cleaveland Ohio expat. Be sure to watch “No size fits all” where he spends the day hunting for clothes here in OZ….

broke.gif

Second on the list is a humor site that often posts Chinglish sightings and occasionally other China nonsense. From hairlarious.wordpress.com:

1. In a Beijing hotel lobby:
The lift is being fixed for next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.”

2. In a Shanghai hotel elevator:
“Please leave your values at the front desk.”

3. In a Hangzhou hotel:
The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid;

4. In a Jilin hotel:
“You are very invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

5. In a Wuxi dry cleaner:
Please drop your trousers here for best results.”

6. Outside a Tianjin clothing shop:
Order your summer suits quick. Because of big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.”

7. In a Xian tailor shop:
“Ladies may have a fit upstairs.”

8. In a Guilin hotel:
“Because of impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.”

9. An ad by Kunming dentist:
“Teeth extracted by the latest methodists.”

10. In a Hangzhou zoo:
“Please do not feed animals. If you have suitable food give it to the guard on duty.”

11. In a Taiyuan bar:
“Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.”

12. In a Huashan temple:
“It is forbidden to enter a woman. Even a foreigner if dressed as a man.”

Also seen on hilarious:

Enjoy!

For a great non-China related site head over to the very funny Internet Class clown Cap’n Platy, the sharpest guy on the planet, at Platypus Society

Asia,Asian Humor,China Expats,China Humor,China Photos,Chinglish,Confucius Slept Here,Greater Asia Blogs,Humor,Intercultural Issues,The Sharpest Guy on the Planet,Videos,Weird China,中国

2 responses so far