I started my first website with the now dead Yahoo! GeoCities in the summer of 2000. I still remember how joyful I was when I saw my first ever website went online. Later, I hosted my webpages with some of China’s leading portal websites where free personal web page service was offered. As the Internet bubble popped in the early 2000s, the portal websites, one by one, all shut down their free services with the free personal webpage service being one of the victims. I eventually got tired of having to move my website around. I went on to register a domain name, which is exactly how my Chinese name is officially spelled in English (ChangGuohua.com), and subscribed to a hosting package in December 2002. In 2006, I started using Google’s Blogger and in 2007 migrated to IXWEB HOSTING and set up a WordPress blog there. It’s been more than five years since I became a “blogger” and I can see no reason why I should stop being one.
A tagging game called My Seven Links started by Tripbase reached me via a German China blogger Just Recently, who is an extremely prolific blogger focusing on China. With my more than 10 years of online life, I hope that I can come up with seven of my posts and recommend five other blogs that are beneficial.
Now, according to a Tripbase rule, as one of the tagged, I should point to seven of my old posts. Let’s see what I’ve got:
My Most Beautiful Post: “儿子的心跳——记老婆怀孕” (Part 1 and Part 2) (My son’s heart beats: My wife’s pregnancy). In this post I wrote about my family’s life during my wife’s pregnancy. I still remember the extreme excitement and expectancy I felt when hearing for the first time the quick and forceful heart beats of my son still in the form of a fetus. They were magnified by a special device and filled the entire room. I was asking myself, “Is that my son’s heart beating?”
My Most Popular Post: My most popular post is also the post whose success surprised me (Read below). To not waste a chance to point to another post, I’ve come up with another category My Most Romantic Post: 失踪十四年的同桌找到了 (I found my deskmate lost for 14 years). Before I continue, I should explain what a deskmate is. In my elementary and secondary school days, a deskmate was a classmate who shared a desk with me in the classroom. Unlike most of today’s schools whose students each have a desk and a chair to their own, in the good old days students shared a desk with others. This post was written more than seven years ago. So, that was 2004. I got married with her in 2006. She was also my first girl friend, and we had our son last year (Read “My Most Beautiful Post” above).
My Most Controversial Post: “The China market for its foreign investors“. Basically, I said in the post that China is a good market for some investors, but not for others. You have lots of things to worry about when running a business here: how fast your clients pay you, what people you can get to work for you or supply you with goods or services, how careful you must be about complying with regulations and laws, how greedy the officials can get, etc, etc.
My Most Helpful Post: “What does it mean when the Chinese say to you that you hurt their feelings?“ Foreigners always fail to understand that “hurt feelings” the Chinese have about something or someone means that “they will no longer care about how you will feel about what they are going to do – it’s almost an unqualified grave threat or warning in some cases.” Ganqing (feeling) is extremely important among the Chinese. I assure you that you won’t want to lose it when dealing with them after you have developed close relations with them.
A Post Whose Success Surprised Me: “HP Compaq Presario V3500 V3625AU 重装机必备” (Must-read for re-installing the OS onto HP Compaq Presario V3500 V3625AU). I just wrote this post to record what I did to make my HP notebook fully functional again after re-installing the OS and how I solved an audio driver problem. Lots of readers are flocking to read it. This model reportedly sucks, but mine works fine.
A Post I Feel Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved: “邓小平：中国的改革已经失败” (Deng Xiaoping: China’s reform has failed). Deng is said to be the architect of China’s reform and opening-up movement. If he lived to today, he would sadly have to admit the movement has failed, miserably if judged by his standards. He said at a national science conference on March 7, 1985 that “… The goal of Socialism is common prosperity for all the Chinese people, not polarization. If our policies result in polarization, then we fail; and if China sees the bourgeoisie re-appearing, then we walk on an evil path…” The polarization and the bourgeoisie he feared are exactly what the Chinese people today are facing today. As I see it, China is not a Socialist state at all. Rather, it’s a Capitalist state with government power getting out of control.
The Post I’m Most Proud of: 讨论一下“粮食”的“安全” (On food/grain and safety/security). As I’ve observed, English has changed the pronunciation of a Chinese character. No big deal? It can even change the meaning of Chinese characters. My observation is that this utterly ridiculous thing has happened because of poor English to Chinese translation. It cannot be remedied now – they have been now deeply entrenched in government and academic discourse.
Next, let’s see which five blogs I want to “nominate” for the next round of “snowballing”:
1. 弗虑弗为. The guy, Hu Cheng, behind his blog is extremely learned. I, who has been proud of having worked in the language profession since 2000, feel humbled by his level of knowledge with the ancient Chinese language. Even after I checked several times his About Me page, I can’t understand what his blog title exactly means. He derived his blog title name from one of China’s earliest written history books. On surface, it seems to mean “No worries because of no desire-driven action.” But, all this is only remotely related to why I want to share his blog with you. He travels across China and takes photos wherever he goes. His blog is a journal of his trips and beautiful photos taken with both traditional cameras and digital cameras. I’ve never read about it in his blog, but I’m sure the man he most admires is Xu Xiake (1587 – 1641), a great traveler, geographer, and writer, who recorded in his journals his trips that brought him to almost every present-day northern, eastern and southern Chinese province. Unlike Xu Xiake, Hu Cheng mainly visits places of traditional, cultural and historical significance. For safety reasons, this is good for him.
2. Beyond the rhetoric. Michael Kwan is another prolific (almost daily) blogger I want to recommend. I translated his blog title as “华章之余”. He’s a full-time freelance writer and makes his work a business. His blog is mainly a place where he puts down his work-related musings that are thought-provoking and inspirational. He also regularly shares quotes and links. It’s very rewarding for me to read his posts. By courtesy of him, I translated his post “All Success Carries the Risk of Failure” into Chinese in October 2010.
So, Hu Cheng and Michael Kwan, if you’ve reached this post, you can choose to come up with your seven links and five recommended blogs, or not, according to another rule set out by Tripbase for this tagging “My seven links”. Though joining this tagging is purely voluntary, I’m sure you have very great stuff to share with your readers and keep the snowball gaining momentum!
[The following two are added on Oct. 16, 2011. They are two corporate blogs about encyclopedic (literally!) and linguistic topics. I’m adding them here not in the hope that they will take notice of my nomination and respond with their seven links and five blogs!]
3. Britannica Blog. When I have more money to spend and bigger bookshelf space, I will buy a print set of Encyclopaedia Britannica. But currently I only have a 2009 Student and Home version installed on my computer. I have found it a spring of knowledge and love it very much. As it happens, I’m a translator working between Chinese and English. I’ve found that everything I read that seems relevant or not to the work at hand will turn out to be a blessing in my later work. Its blog is regularly updated and covers encyclopedic (no surprise!) topics. For example, its latest post is about Kazimierz Pułaski, a Polish American who was referred by Benjamin Franklin to General George Washington and who then led a guerrilla force valiantly fighting British troops. From the post, I know that a) he was the most famous Polish man in the American Revolution, b) Illinois observes his birthday as a holiday, and c) Chicago has one of the largest Polish communities outside of Warsaw. Very encyclopedic indeed. Strongly recommended.
4. OxfordWords Blog. …
One more blogs on the way to here…
To be continued.