Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Fons from China Herald blogspeculates that internet censors in china introduced an automatic system to filter the "sensitive words" in order to reduce their workloads. but, unfortunately due to the imperfection of the system, the "robot" caused the shut down of innocent sites like yahoo.

tonight i find two posts about HK july 1 march pop up in the front page of Douban's blog aggregator, one of the blogs, hosted by Zola, was blocked here in china.

Zola reports the HK july 1 march

so, what happens here? how could "politically inharmonious" photos appear on the front page of the most popular web 2.0 site in china?

well, douban uses a technology to fetch the blog posts even the host is blocked, adn the popularity of the post is determined by the reviews and recommendations it receives. all done by a software "robot", so to speak. therefore, you see a lot of "inharmonious" posts pop up on the site. in surface, there is a war between "robots".

robot tai-chi war

posted @ 9:27 PM

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Time magazine suggested a list of web sites that most people can't live without
The Internet Movie Database

there must be an equivalent list here which i can't find immediately (anybody can help?). my personal favorites overlap some of the sites above, such as flickr, delicious and digg, but also include a few chinese sites i consider "indispensable" in my daily life.

Ctrip used to be my most favorite one. the site provides information of travel destinations, hotels and airline tickets. i often use it to collect information and find pals to travel together, sometimes a team would attract as many as hundreds of people. here are two photos taken by a group of backpackers who assembled themselves in Ctrip (source post, in chinese):

Douban is a very popular web 2.0 application among young people, it focuses on reviews of books, music and movies and, recently it launches a blog aggregator service called "9 oclock" which i immediately get hooked. i use the site mainly to update my list of  books and movies i want to buy, when the books in the list adds up to about 15, i will use Joyo-amazon (now a subsidiary of amazon) or Dangdang to purchase them online.

Dianping is a restaurant review sites that offers local versions in over 30 chinese cities. it is most successful in shanghai and as i know, very popular among all age groups. i use the site quite often, mainly to find restaurants to socialize business contacts or dine out with families.

there are a number of other sites i can't live without. a yahoo group that helps me keep contact with my schoolmates, news and weather forecast sites, and certainly, google.

i try to keep the list as short as possible, so if you have something to add, pls leave a comment here.

posted @ 4:35 PM

Thursday, June 28, 2007

officials all dressed up in shirts yesterday in order to save energy. the image is from yesterday's cctv news.

actually there are better ways to save energy and reduce global warming, for example, "beijing bangye" ( refers to those beijing men who strip themselves to the waist in public during summer time), you won't see a lot of them during summer olympics next year because our government is cracking down those "beijing bangye":

image from web

image from the web

posted @ 5:07 PM

list of sites blocked in china expanded to include yahoo, somebody is really pissed, and somebody is praying that google remains intact in the future.

if google and the likes remain intact, people will never cross the threshold level to take some actions and, even it does happen, i guess most people will be just clueless as how to react and what to do (certainly except petition or online protest).

BTW, a PR blog i read - micro persuasion - is inaccessible here in shanghai. is it blocked?

update: a lot of people shout for joy tath "yahoo and flickr are now working again". what a pity that they are now satisfied with the fact flickr is actually only accessible with a proxy.

update: fons from china herald blog believes that the increasing censorships was caused by the imperfection of automated filtering machines. if that's true, then it could become a perfect subject for a disaster movie - the GFW becomes increasing in*de*pendent and insane, someday in 2019, it takes control of the internet and filters anything that doesn't tally with its taste. since everything online containing the words "taiwan inde*pe*ndence" is blocked and, TV and radio become extinct at that time, china government doesn't know taiwan declares independence until 17 days later a PLA horse soldier send the news from Fujian to Beijing ....

posted @ 4:24 PM

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

yao ming married

the new cctv building under construction

bj olympics poster

recruitment ad for taiwan's air forces

posted @ 3:31 PM

via: imagethief - We're Hu Jintao's Lonely Hearts Club Band

posted @ 3:09 PM

Monday, June 25, 2007

via: business week

beijingers must have a lot of time to hang around ...


posted @ 11:41 PM

although jack bauer was kidnappped and tortured by chinese secret agents, i sometimes can't help asking this question: IS JACK BAUER A CHINESE?

look, no matter in what criteria, bauer is an evil man, he murdered his superior, tortured numerous suspects, help to pardon a lot of terrorists, lied to his daughter and girl friend, broke his promise many times, etc etc

he is evil, isn't it?

most people won't agree. he sacrifices partial interests of a small number of people for the benefits of the whole. this is a typical chinese (or east asian perhaps?) mode of thinking, for example, birth control.

i believe many western laolaowais will feel very uncomfortable with the way jack bauer handle many things, but eventually they will agree that he is right. then why in reality, they can't tolerate another "jack bauer"?

Jack and a Chinese fan, image from the web (source)

posted @ 11:09 PM

Friday, June 22, 2007

Kaiser, who maintains the Ogivy Digital Watch blog, points out the interesting discrepancies between the internet users and online ad markets in China and US:
China will outstrip the U.S. in number of Internet users by 2009

...industry estimates put China’s total online ad spend this year at only about $700 million. Meanwhile, PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook, sees the online ad market in the U.S. growing to $34.5 billion by the year 2011

...then we end up with a U.S.-to-China total Internet ad spend ratio for 2006 (when China’s Internet ad market was about $600mm) of about 35.5 to 1

i am a litttle disappointed that Kaiser didn't go a step further to discuss what create such big discrepancies. the dynamics behind the online ad market is more interesting and, for those who have stakes in china market, understanding the factors that drive the online ad market growth is more important, they are just different from those of which drive the online ad market growth in the US.

one reason why firms are hesitate to advertise online in china is obvious - chinese netizens comprise mostly young people without much dispensable income. the same is true for advertisers, many of them are not used to use the internet and therefore play down internet as a powerful media channel.

i speculate the other important factor concerns with the brand development level of many chinese firms. product ads dominate in china, and people seldom show interest to spend big money to launch product ad online.

with a few web sites catch most of the consumer attention, and many industries lack leading web sites, many firms who want to advertise online actually find it difficult to find the right onlien platforms.

the growth rates and market size estimations are good starting point but they are superficial.

posted @ 2:50 PM

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

i have heard funny stories about the security guards of the residential communities in shanghai. one of my former colleagues were detained a few times by teh security guards of his residential community, one happened when he was standing outside of his apartment and overlooking the windows, another happened when he "dressed like a migrant worker".

i don't know from when but last night the security guards made salutes to me when i drove my car through the gate. it makes me feel good because few make salutes like this to me (see below):

image from the web

then you guess what, as soon as i leave the car and walk through the entrance, the security guards don't make a salute any more and don't even say hello to me.

hey, i am hte same guy who just drive the car in front of you! they replied, "sorry, the new policy only asks us to make a salute to a car".

this new "policy" is a shit

image from the web

posted @ 5:08 PM

the initial reaction of china's netizens was one of shock, so it didn't surprise me that online communities were flooded with various emotional comments in the first few days.

then i find something are different this time:

1) the impact of the censorship is minimal. despite the fact that major news portals like sina (perhaps other sites as well) received orders from the government to calm down related online discussions, you still read a lot of heated discussions on various sites, especially on those sites that heavily rely on user-generated contents

2) self-censorship is widespread. a lot of the discussions touched the topics which used to be taboos before, and commentators tried to mitigate the general tone in order to avoid unnecessary scrutiny and trouble

3) information flow across the boundaries of traditional media and new media, various online communities, real and virtual world. many online discussions borrowed raw materials from reports in traditional media (mostly newspaper articles), there are much more cross-posts and there is an investigation team organized by netizens who organize themselves, communite with each other and will share their findings online

4) with more intellectuals and professionals (such as lawyers) online (which was not so a few years ago), their voices can be heard more easily adn the online discussions are injected with valuable perspectives and depth

5) it seems that the government is listening to the online communities and responds quickly (well, i have to say that for the time being, public opinions only exist online in china ). what used to take a few months now only takes a few days

related topics that various online communities discussed include:

1) beijing's governance in provincial levels
2) which government bodies should be responsible for the scandal and petition to ask them to resign
3) the worship of material life in today's china
4) besides economic freedom,chinese people need political and cultural freedom
5) how americans find missing kids
6) the definition of slavery and should those "forced labor" be called "slave"
7) the sins of capitalism
8) the value chains of the business
9) roles of non-government human rights organizations
10) how to improve existing relevant government depts
11) is it a conspiracy to tarnish hu-wen government
12) deficiencies of current law systems and law enforcement practices
13) how to protect my own kid
14) where are the other missing kids and how to rescue them

posted @ 3:46 PM

Saturday, June 16, 2007

shanghai usually has a lot of rains during June and July, and it's called "MeiYu Jijie". here "Yu" means "rain" and "Jijie" means "seanson", what does "Mei" mean?

"Mei" indicates "Yang Mei", i.e. red bayberry. June and July is also the season to enjoy red bayberry.

a friend called me to fetch a basket of red bayberry this afternoon, quite juicy and delicous. in china, one way to keep the fruit is to put them into Baijiu, in this way, the stong taste of the chinese spirit could be softened.

here is the pic of my red bayberries:

posted @ 5:56 PM