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Addicted to Mediocrity: Education in China II

Several years ago, there was an American dentist who was well known in alcohol recovery circles. He was frequently invited to speak about his circuitous and hard won arrival at sobriety because he was easily one of the most entertaining speakers ever heard on any subject. One story in particular remains with me: Having been told of the death of a colleague, and to preclude public contact while “paying his respects”, he visited the grave site where his friend would be laid to rest. As he leaned over the six-foot deep hole to bid a heartfelt, albeit inebriated goodbye, he fell into the hole. Unable to extricate himself he simply laid down for a brief nap.

When mourners arrived and gathered for the lowering of the casket there was a collective gasp of horror when a figure attempted to rise up from the grave. The dentist mused, “A normal man would have been embarrassed.” But, habit had been a great deadener and he was beyond shame. It would be many years later that he actually reached a “bottom,” deeper than the aforementioned six foot resting place, that acted as a catalyst for recovery. More on this in a bit….

Two weeks ago, amidst finals, I had to quickly return to my office to retrieve a forgotten document; en-route, I passed the classroom of one of the younger Chinese teachers. The brilliant and beautiful Ph.D graduate of one of the top schools in the world was asleep at her desk while her students chattered, used cell phones, applied make-up, read books, dozed, and smoked cigarettes. It looked more like a scene out of Chalkboard Jungle, Stand and Deliver or Freedom Writers, but without hope for a happy ending. In retropsect, the most astonishing part of the experiece was my lack of surprise and concomitant emotional indifference. I guess I have seen this too many times in too many Chinese and expat led classroom–while the teacher was awake.

Students in China, unlike students in Japan, are no longer adherents of Confucian principles. Since the days of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, where teachers were shamed, beaten, jailed and even killed (1966-1976), reverence for teachers is, at best, an arguable ideal. The average Chinese college student in many schools (there are exceptions), who thinks himself respectful, would still manage to incur the wrath of most American Professors because they have not had modeled for them the manners and etiquette expected of a western scholar.

Last week the Chinese media and the Internet were alive with rumors of this incident captured on film:

Stories abounded about the perpetrators, whose names and school were quickly made public on bulletin boards nationwide, and they had to be secreted away because a bounty had been placed on them. Allegedly 100,000 RMB (about 120,000 USD or 5 years of a school teacher’s gross salary) had been offered to the person or group that would literally beat them into respectfulness. The students, who finally apologized to the teacher, reportedly are back at school and neither the school or the teacher will further comment.

What is most disturbing to me, other than the physical attack and threat of harm to the teacher, is that the scene is all too typical of what many pedants are asked to endure in China. The industrialization of education has led the spoiled offspring of one-child families (Little Emperors), especially the newly prosperous, to believe that they have a right to lord their rich consumer status over low-paid, poorly prepared, and administratively unsupported educators. Teachers are expendable, and salvaging tuition is a higher calling.

Many of us who have been here for several years manage our classrooms with strict discipline and genuine concern for student well-being. Eventually, our sincerity is believed and that, in turn, generates a certain measure of respect. This allows for a reasonably manageable classroom where the handful of students serious about language acquisition and cultural gain can actually glean something useful.

In some rural schools, where teachers might be as paid as little as $50.00 USD per month, educators sometimes resort to brutality against students in a quest for control. There are laws against such behavior, but they are not often enforced. The students, I beieve, are rebelling against a system heavily reliant on memorization, humiliation and devaluation of self. I do not absolve abuse teachers of any negligence or liability by believing that their behavior is part-and-parcel of a dysunctional system. “Chinese education has a long history of corporal punishment,” says Thomas Gold, a University of California-Berkeley sociologist who studies China. Teachers’ “social status remains low, so they may be taking out their own frustrations on laggard kids.” I could not agree more.

My last school, the one where I just resigned, caters to wealthy, underachieving children from privileged families. The school virtually sells advanced (and unaccredited) degrees to business and government leaders from the mainland; accepts known plagiarized theses from students who may or may not have attended classes; admits almost any undergraduate (these programs are accredited) with a healthy bank balance; hires raw mainland talent, looking for a foothold in teaching, at a fraction of the wages paid by government established schools, and with only ten-month teaching contracts containing no provisions for retirement; they protect a registrar who holds American and Chinese Passports and the deanship over five departments who brags about hiding his income from the IRS via a Hong Kong bank; they pad their website faculty list with professors from famous universities who are not active teachers; have investors on their board with government ties who shower the school with land and facility donations; and have a turnover rate for staff that is higher than the local McDonalds. The teachers, though better paid, feel no more self worth than those in rural environs.

It is hard for students to command respect for an education entity, such as the one I left. It is blatantly greedy and inept. But, many, many other Chinese schools, especially privatized ones, have also abandoned functional educational models in the pursuit of profit. And with only 1/3 of graduating seniors assured of work this year many students cannot muster the motivation to respect a system that does little for their future, less for their net worth and still condemns their teachers to social contempt.

It is no wonder that 40% of my former school’s Freshman class applied for transfer. And 20% of the best, brightest and ethical at the school were accepted by other institutions and thankfully will leave. Others wish they would have followed suit because they will be left behind with an even further demoralized and unruly student and faculty population. Only 40% of those students educated abroad will return to China to share the skills they will acquire. My guess is they will avoid the teaching profession if possible.

Any normal system would be embarrassed. It is necessary to examine ways to curb profiteering, improve classroom conditions and teaching methodologies by educating educators and then rewarding them accordingly. It is time to foster respect for those entrusted with educating China’s new managers.

In a country now increasingly pressured to compete globally in business–via skills and quality and not price–while tariffs, environmental concerns and increasing production fees lower profits, one would think China would sober up and ask for a ladder to be lowered to rescue a system now forty years stranded nearly six-feet under.

China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Macau University of Science and Technology,Teaching in China,The Internet,Videos,中国,中文

14 responses so far

The Great Firewall Test: Is your site blocked in China?

censorship

I have been a it under the weather this week and busy permanently wrapping up work. So, I ask your pardon for the light postings of late. I will be back tomorrow (the first day of Golden Week) in full cyber-voice.

In the interim: I intermittently check my site status with The Great Firewall of China a site that will determine if your URL is banned in Beijing. I have found though that the site often shows me as on the outs with the censors when, in fact, my friends tell me (sometimes to their chagrin) I am still alive and well in China.

Another site that so far has been accurate in letting me know if I am being deflected by the Golden Shield is Website Pulse and their free tool.

Give it a try if you have a western based blog or website. And know that I may not be visiting you for stretches of time due to your unavailability and my desire to reside lawfully her behind the Great Firewall.

Back soon…..

cartoons,Censorship,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China SEO,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Human Rights,In the news,The Great Firewall,The Internet,中国

9 responses so far

Continuing Education Classes for Expats in China

One thing I do miss about America is the grand amount of community and continuing education available to virtually anyone and much of it for free. I was stumbling through Illustratrator’s newest release on MAC yesterday and bemoaning the fact that even a book on the subject would be hard to come by or too expensive to ship or pick up in Hong Kong.

Coincidentally, two colleges contacted me about the possibility of low-residency Masters and Doctoral programs and Continuing Education. One school is based in the UK and one is in the US. Both have good reputations and a comprehensive offering of courses. Both asked me if I thought they could be successful in China with the expat community. I answered honestly that I hadn’t a clue, but that I would ask you.

Let me know your thoughts and please feel free to add a response or two to the poll.

{democracy:2}

Asia,China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,China web 2.0,Chinese Education,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Expats,Intercultural Issues,Teaching in China,The Internet,Travel in China,中国,中文

6 responses so far

Goolag

google censors

Thnaks to DMP for this and to The Cult of the Dead Cow folks who have given permission to you to use this on any medium you choose.

Asia,cartoons,Censorship,China Business,China Cartoons,China Humor,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Human Rights,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Internet marketing China,Seo China,The Great Firewall,The Internet,Top Blogs,中国

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SEO CHINA Part XXXI: Matt Cutts on Chinese Food, Adwords and Mom

GoGu

Matt Cutts works for Google and has a blog about how to court their search engine; so, when Matt flaps his blog wings in America there is a tsunami on the far side of the Internet.

This is a spoof on his recent interview on SEO in China….

Matt recently finished an interview with Zac on China SEO and Google that was started in September of 2006. Actually it was done much sooner, but got caught in Zac’s gmail spam filter, but I digress….

I have, via the magic of the Internet, figured out Matt’s answer algorithm and inserted myself and Matt’s probable answers into the interview:
Zac: First of all thank you for doing this interview with me, I believe it will be very helpful for SEOers and web marketers in China.

There are currently lots of misunderstandings about SEO in China. The first thing that pops up in mind is “spam” when people hear the word SEO. Some say “SEO is shortsighted and is like suicide”. From search engine’s point of view, is that true? Is SEO hated, allowed or encouraged by Google? We’re talking about whitehat SEO here.

Matt: I hate pop-ups. Google consides it spam. It’s a common mistake to think that search engines don’t like SEO. The fact is that SEO within Google’s quality guidelines is okay. It is even better if you follow party policy. That includes things like making sure that your site is crawlable, thinking of words that users would use when searching and including them naturally within the content of the site, and doing things like making sure that page titles and urls are descriptive except for stupid things like democracy .

What Google (and other search engines) don’t like is when someone tries to cheat or take a short cut to show up higher than they should. When a site violates our quality guidelines, Google calls that spam. When I do it we call it marketing.

Zac: Google announced its official Chinese name “Gu Ge” (Harvest Song) in April 2006 however the majority of Chinese users do not seem like the new name. It sonically sounds like 哥哥 which means big brother and tian-anmen knows we have had enough of that!

According to China Internet Network Information Center, CNNIC, Google is losing market share from 33% last year to current 25.3%.

http://www.linuxworld.com.au/index.php/id;836499436;fp;2;fpid;1

What do you think of the market share drop?

Matt: Liar Liar pants on fire! What was the question? We spent 190 million on market research and Baiduble 1% of that. Maybe we should outsource to India.

Zac: I noticed there are Chinese employees in Google headquarter. Any idea how many Chinese in Googleplex now? How are they doing? Any advice for Google fans who want to join Google?

Matt: We do have many Chinese engineers at the Googleplex. The ones not under investigation by Homeland Security are doing great.

ZAC: Let’s talk about duplicate content, which is a hot topic recently.Let’s talk about duplicate content, which is a hot topic recently.I see much more content copying on Chinese web sites. Many Chinese webmasters like to “gather” (wink, wink) contents from other web sites, either using software or by hand, then publish on their own web sites. Does Google penalize these sites full of contents you can see everywhere? Is there a percentage or threshold, exceeding which penalty is applied? In other words: just how much can we scam you before we get busted?

What should the original author do so that the original is recognized as so?

Matt: We have noticed that some Chinese web sites have a lot of duplicate content. Users like to get different search results, so Google is looking at how best to provide diverse results. Our algorithms already have some ways of removing duplicate content, and we will continue to look for ways to improve. As of today we have no way to filter out Chinglish modifications of content, so….

The original author should consider imitation the greatest form of flattery–I made that up just now.

Zac: Some web sites use multiple domains with exactly same content , for example, domain.com and domain.com.cn. Is this risky? What’s the best way to do it?

Matt: Use Google adwords. Ad don’t forget that creativity can really help. You could hire some Americans for that. For example, there was a site that made industrial blenders, which sounds like a very boring subject. But now go watch this video at: YouTube and you’ll see something amazing. They threw all kinds of different objects into the blender to prove how powerful their machine was; however, I am easily amused and don’t watch Letterman so I did not catch the duplicate content.

Even things like newsletters, blogs, information about an industry, or other resources can serve as a reason for people to get interested in your site and link to you. Porn sells well.
Continue Reading »

Asian Humor,cartoons,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Humor,China SEO,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Internet marketing China,Personal Notes,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Internet,The Sharpest Guy on the Planet,中国

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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

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Blogroll Diving: OMBW now more commenter friendly….

The info flood

Am I ever glad there are people out there who help you tread water in this time of information flooding. I discovered two great plug-ins while blogroll diving today because I chanced upon a blog called Scribble on the Wall (Great name, huh?) that translates blog geek-speek into some engaging reading while providing info’ on some new and exciting tools.

I just activated two plug-ins she recommended for word-press blogs. She actually had a hand in getting one of them created.

The Comment E-mail Responder allows me to email a commenter not subscribing to comments (I just installed that plug-in at long last) to selectively email them the response you make to what he/she has written. It is a fantastic way to let folks know you value their input!

The second Do-Follow plug-in removes the “robots no-follow” command on comments. This allows your friends with sites/blogs, who take the time to respond, to get a little love with a link back via their response. If someone deliberately spams or scams you it is easy to remove the link-back before publishing the comment.

Thanks to, in her own words, the”‘old broad with a bunch of kids, a husband, a pit bull and an insatiable appetite for interesting stuff on the Internet” that has turned her into a real gourmet. I love that this pit bull bytes!

Ya, Ya. Sorry….

Blogroll Diving,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Internet marketing China,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Internet,Top Blogs,中国

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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

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

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

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Blogroll Diving: Great Gadget of the Week

As an unrepentant coffee addict and rabid MAC user I will find a way to get one of these:

MAC MUG MOUSE

From the absolutely amazing Interaction Designer Louise Klinker via Recommended

vt

Blogroll Diving,China Cool Gadgets,Just Plain Strange,Photos,The Internet

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U.S. Geek-in-Chief to Boot-Up Two Conferences in China….

The Real Bill Gates

It seems more like an upcoming visit from a head of state than a corporate CEO as China expects to host Microsoft Corp chairman Bill Gates from April 18 to 21. Even Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to “squeeze in” an audience with him during her 12-hour visit to China. She reportedly wants Gates to assist her government in setting up VOIP services. You can bet China Telecom (Mao Bell) whose shares keep skyrocketing, won’t be asking because they are still trying to find a way to ensure profits by blocking Skype,QQ, and MSN Messenger-type voice communications.

The influence of Gates was made powerfully evident last week when China President Hu Jintao opted to dine at the home of Bill Gates. I wonder if GWB was invited.

Even so, Timothy Chen, corporate vice president of Microsoft and CEO of the Greater China Region, said, according to a press release from the Shanghai office of Microsoft China, that he hoped Gates’ trip would help improve the relationship between Microsoft, the government and industrial communities in China. He said greater cooperation would help advance innovation and allow more people to benefit from information technology. Note: As long as they remember not to type the word democra*y on their blogs. (And no, ongoing corporate sponsored oppression is never old news)….

Gates is expected to deliver keynote speeches at a Microsoft forum for Asian leaders to be held in Beijing and at the Boao Forum of Asia in China’s Hawaii, Hainan Province. Note: Hainan Island is to Hawaii as Windows is to Linux.

Gates will also visit the Tsinghua University and Beijing (Peking) University during his tour. Pirated versions of Gates will speak at colleges that cannot afford him:

Gates FakeKnockoff Gates Bootleg Gates

Asia,Asian Humor,Censorship,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Humor,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Humor,In the news,Photos,The Great Firewall,The Internet,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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“Divine” Spam From China: If it quacks like a doc’…

A few years back I shared an office next to an alleged holistic practitioner. I tolerated a lot of his eccentricities because at the time it was not so mainstream and you had to be a bit of a rebel to tout alternative medicine techniques.

He used to place colorful mandalas under my computer to “keep out Russian energy waves,” and he put expensive crystals in the fluorescent light fixtures to “regulate carcinogenic electromagnetic fields.” Ya, it was fine with me: you can never be too safe with commies and electrical co-ops.

We had our official falling out when a young gay client told me he refused to come to my office as long as “the doc'” was nearby. He went on to explain that my neighboring karma bum had once diagnosed him with aids. That he made his differential assessment with a crystal in the shape of a wand he passed over the boy’s body to detect “aids waves” was just a little dubious as a method. The young man had gone home and outed himself to his parents via the news that he was going to die. Fortunately, mom and dad kept a cool head and took him to a lab where blood testing ( an antique and questionable practice) showed him to be disease free.

Not much later, in an unrelated case, our “healer” fled to Florida to avoid a malpractice suit, wrote a book on chelation treatment and made big bucks giving ice water enemas to blue-haired widows. Yes, really.

Now comes Sha Zhi Gang, a licensed medical doctor and acupuncturist from China. He doesn’t even need crystals: He can “download” spare parts and cures from the spirit realm:

He asserts that “the Divine” has given him the power to download “soul software.” This makes stem cell research look like Play-dough fun. I am just hoping he’s handing out anti-virus fixes before he re-boots you.

Wired has the whole story and is taking a lot of heat from loyal readers who are screaming that they gave Sha some form of legitimacy by writing about him. The rub is: They did not cite sources or statistics for his successes and did not mention his failures until the end of the article. One lawyer, who recieved a virtual lung to save his life must have had XP installed on his hard drive because he died shortly after programming. Me, I would have been a lot more impressed had Sha given any living attorney a heart. Sorry again, Dan/Chris….

This guy actually made the Times bestseller list with his self-help book. I can only assume he struck a cord with folks because he incorporated contemporary computer lingo into his pitch. Who woulda thunk, besides P.T. Barnum, that people would accept “free remote downloads to more than 1,000 physical human beings in one session” as authentic? Does it come with a Paypal “Donate Now” button or do you have to pay for an upgrade to get a fully functional soul?

Sha, who was actually the lead acupuncturist at the World Health Organization–they have more than one?–claims that downloads can also be used to attain financial success. Hey it has worked for him hasn’t it?

He is giving away the free secret number though: “The Divine gave my spiritual father, Master Guo, a sacred code to develop powers of the brain. 01777908 0177792244. This is the code. Repeat it yourself, it has tremendous power.”

Actually I called the number on Skype and got a Dealer in Dali who offered me virtual Viagra.

Divine Spam.

Thanks to David Michael Porter for the lead!

Cancer Journal,China Editorials,Chinese Medicine,In the news,Just Plain Strange,The Internet,中国

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SEO CHINA 101.3

World Wide Web China
Fili’s World did a great primer on Chinese Search Engine Basics and I with his permission I opted to use it as a springboard for this week’s post:

“The SEO rules for the Chinese Internet market are a bit different than that of any other country. The Internet market works differently due to various social, political and technological reasons. It’s quite remarkable that Google has so far failed to take over the Chinese search engine market which is still dominated by Baidu – maybe the only company in the world still beating Google in their niche.”

I consulted with a funds manager in New York about a year ago. He did not want to believe my prediction that Google would NEVER overtake Baidu and would keep losing ground. He expplained to me that Google had outspent Baidu 10-1 on R&D in the Chinese market and doubted Baidu could stand up to that. Gee, if it were only about money.

Baidu succeeds in spite of itself because it is Chinese!! Google shoils have spent a couple of hundred bucks taking to my students who make it really simple to understand: “Baidu has what we need” (mp3 downloads, Chinese language games…) in Chinese without forcing students to dig through the rubble of hard to grasp Google info in English. They don’t care that most of the top ten slots in Baidu are paid ads and are not highlighted as such. And they don’t care that the results may be censored or politically skewed. Google’s honesty policy (clear marking of ads) gets lost in translation. Everything is for sale in China and students and netizens here know it and accept it: you buy everything, cyberspace included, with money, guanxi (relational advantage), or political favors.

“Most of the website’s incoming traffic comes from search engine queries, so Google is extremely important for any site out there that’s interested in getting traffic, and the Internet is full of SEO experts and advice on how to help Google better understand your site, hopefully resulting in higher Google rankings and increased incoming traffic.”

About 95% of SEO companies that I queried in China use Google adwords to get you on the first page of a search engine listing. They know little else beyond that. Because Chinese businesses are not Internet savvy they buy into appearances. Looks are inordinately important here in everything: food, physical attractiveness, website bells and whistles (makes SEO harder that they adore flash heavy sites) and where their site appears. It does not matter to them that you can show them statistics proving only 20% or less of visitors come from the right (paid) side of a search bar.

“Baidu’s dominance in the enormous Chinese online market holds a whole new world of challenges and opportunities for websites. Asking online-colleagues and browsing through the Internet it’s quite surprising how little information is available on the topic in English. Most western SEO professionals I know assume that Baidu’s behavior is just the same as Google’s, but I always felt that’s just the easy response and probably far from the actual truth. I had a chance to rethink this subject when discussing “English Taiwan : The websphere, the blogosphere, traffic, SEO and the need for a profound change” and the lacking connection between the Chinese and English bloggers and blog readers in Taiwan and China. ”

What I am hoping is that this becomes a running discussion between Mark, Fili’s world Gemme, Alex , and OMBW. we all have different strengths and could stimulate a lot of learning and dialogue.

“Content : Baidu is extremely sensitive to some information, so totally avoid mentioning or writing adult content, pornography, or Chinese government forbidden keywords. Having any of those will not only affect the page the content is on but also the entire website.”

My site has been blocked 6/10 times I have checked it this month. I am extraordinarily pro-China, but I cannot seem to always fly under the censor’s radar.

Content description : Naturally, optimize your page title, your headings and keyword density in pages (5-8%), same as Google.

Check your tags with free, simple tools like Submit Express. They will let you know what you need to change and where. Type in my website address for your first analysis as we will use it as a learning tool. This service will also tell you keyword density and frequency (I will do a whole post on that later) and even highlight any negative issues with your outbound links.

Use Chinese words in your title and description tags, but check the length of encoded symbols so you do not exceed acceptable limits. Avoid using the name of your blog or website in the title and description tags unless there is a good reason. Once you are a branded name like Amazon, Boing Boing or (god forbid!) Perez Hilton, and people are actually coming to your site, you can always add it in.

Note that you can always add title and desription tags in your header that are different than what appears on say a wordpress blog. Check out the source code on my site and you will see that it does not match the description (tagline) generated by wordpress.

Google tends to see the title as most important for the engines and the desciption as part of your content while Yahoo and MSN give more weight to the description tag. As an example: I rank higher for the term American Professor (#1 out of 100,000,00 or so…) and lower for SEO CHINA in Google. I am only #25 in Yahoo! for Ameican Professor and #11 for China SEO. In MSN I am in the top 6 for both terms. If this was a blog meant to supplement my income I would need to alter my tags accordingly as American Professors are a dime a dozen (Sorry Chris) while good SEO specialists in China are harder to come by…

“Links : Anchor-texts for incoming links are, like in Google’s case, a very important SEO factor, but it seems Baidu attributes a little more importance to internal anchor-texts. Note that unlike Google, Baidu still doesn’t have a very advanced authority mechanism, so there’s less importance to where your anchor-text is coming from, and you can imagine the consequences of this.”

Ask your friends to place links to your sites, stories and pictures using relevant keywords. The bestest, smartest, and handsomest seo specialist in China is just fine for me, OK? Nothing elaborate.

Make sure for paid text ads that your key words are in the links if possible. And remember that Google, Yahoo! and MSN give extra points for ads on monster sites like theirs. Imagine that: you get more juice by paying the big boys for links…

Jump on the fact that Baidu doesn’t give extra credit to powerful sites because it will not hurt you in the other engines.

Watch your outgoing links carefully: If you looked at my site report in submit express you saw that I have too many outgoing links:

“This page contains too many URLs.
This tag contains 561 urls. Some Search Engines have problems with more than 100 urls on a page. ”

Blogs are always going to read out worse than conventional websites, but be a bit more careful than me. And try to minimize outgoing links to extremely weak sites, or sites that do not return links to you unless you have a good reason to do it. I generally repay sites that link to me in some way: I either add a blogroll link to sites I like or mention them in a post. If you do the same remember that some engines/sites with ranking systems give more power to front page links than buried links and more power to links in posts than to links on blogrolls.

As a rule I don’t give the time of day to sites that are overly stingy about links or credit sharing on their sites. I do have a few listings on my blogroll of sites that may never repay the nod, but they are important reads and should be tauted. But, don’t give away your power to the sites that don’t warrant it via content or elitist attitude just because you think you have to or operate under the illusion that they will one day abandon their ego.

My attitude is simple: we are in this together. Promote the valuable sites and help your friends, big or small, as much as you can without serious injury.

I am only 1/3 through Fili’s article. More soon…

Added Note on the Body Language post:

I showed this in class to non-English majors and they loved it…It provided great entertainment and a jumping-off place for discussion on “authentic” body language issues…

China Cartoons,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Internet marketing China,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Internet,中国

17 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

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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

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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

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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.

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