May 23

Thank you and a plea for help

Written by admin on Friday, May 23rd, 2008 at 6:09 am
Filed under:General | Tags:, , ,
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When we started this blog less than a month ago, our intention was to convey an image of China recognized by ordinary Chinese people. We felt it was not the often rosy picture painted by the Chinese government, nor was it the habitually one dimensional portrait depicted in the western media.

We wanted to build a platform to represent Chinese perspective in English, to initiate in-depth discussions on China-related issues, and to form a community for those who care about China, regardless of nationality. In short, we wanted to build bridges between China and the West.

We understand it’s an enormous task and I wasn’t sure if this site could take off. So far, I am pleasantly surprised by its fast growth. For the past 24 hours, we had nearly 2,500 page views. If you type “China blog” into Google, we are ranked at 19 out of nearly 3 million relevant pages (or if you type in these two words without quotation marks, then we are ranked at 37 out of over 5million hits). Of course, we are still a very small potato compared to any traditional media outlet. Nonetheless, it’s quite a vindication for us to know that people are thirsty for a new, different narrative about China.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our writers, especially, Buxi, who is doing most of the heavy lifting. We are really grateful for the kind recognitions by established China bloggers such as Roland (ESWN), Dan (Chinalawblog), and John (Global voices China). We also appreciate the support, suggestions and information we received from readers’ emails. Finally, without you, our commentators, this blog would be a dull monologue. So here is a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the ongoing lively discussions.

Now I also want to ask for readers’ help. Some people suggested that the name speak4china is too big and overarching to turn some people, esp., westerners, off. Could readers please give me your feedback on how this name is perceived?

Since the purpose of this blog is to build bridges, not to set fires, We are willing to change the current domain name if it gives people a negative first impression. We already thought of some names, including FoolsMountain (Chinese idiom/story), 4Seas1Family, 5Lakes4Seas, Bricks4Jade (all Chinese idioms), 100surnames or 100 names ( traditional Chinese textbook) and 3cobblers (=Zhuge Liang, an allegorical saying). That’s all the bricks we have for now, and I believe readers are able to come up with more beautiful jades :).

On a more urgent issue, we have got multiple reports that our site is inaccessible inside mainland China. Naturally, it’s frustrating news to us. So if anybody has experience on how to fly below the GFW’s radar, please let us know. In addition, if anybody is familiar with web design/development and is willing to help. Please also email us at webmaster@speak4china.com.

Thanks again!

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23 Responses to “Thank you and a plea for help”

  1. Buxi Says:

    And I want to say thanks here to our webmaster/admin CLC. If he didn’t take steps to make this happen, none of us would be here!

    By the way CLC, Shanghaiist has also had some very nice comments aimed at us.

    And my personal vote is for FoolsMountain, the story of the old man who decided to move the mountain blocking his home, stone by stone. When told that he can never hope to move all of the stones before he dies, he replied… he has sons, and his sons will have sons. As long as we’re determined, we will eventually succeed. Chairman Mao also has an excellent quote regarding FoolsMountain. 😉

  2. Nobody Says:

    AnchorFree Hotspot Shield and Linkideo.
    Check this link:
    But, few people do this, even they know how to.
    You’d better get over GFW in some other way.

  3. DJ Says:

    Congrats! CLC and Buxi. I am surprised about the ranking of this site. 🙂

    As for the new name, I too prefer FoolsMountain as a fitting description of the purpose of this blog.

  4. Bing Ma Yong Says:

    well done, Guys. I’m very surprised by engineer backgrounded Buxi’s knowledge.

    I also think “speak4china” need be changed. few number of people are not really able to “speak for China”. There are over a billion people there. And no one really able to “represent Chinese perspective” and what is ” Chinese perspective”. one might just want to raise some voice not often been heard in the west, to let people know there are other side of stories.

    the first impression of the name of “speak4china” would easily be linked with “brain washed Chinese nationalists” or “CCP’s agents” which would easily turn many rational westerners off. 2,500 pages have been viewed in the past 24 hours but how many comments have been left.

    I think FoolsMountain is a good one from the Chinese meaning. but not sure westerners and chinese would know what dose it mean just with the words.

  5. sun bin Says:

    speak4china sounds ok. you can consider china-perspective but it is too many alpahbets (or something like that).

    i use TOR to tunnel through GFW. blogspot and wordpress are both blocked here.
    I think your site is blocked probably because you used wordpress server.

    consider other blog servers, eg live/msn, blogbus, etc., those are accessible from inside PRC.

  6. alankahnchina Says:

    Congrats on growth!! Clearly you guys earned it.

    I am writing from Beijing. Your site was definitely blocked from my ISP today. Even if Shanghaiist and others link to you, you are simply bound to be blocked with topics about F_lun G_ng and T_bet. The way around it is to consider what I just did above in terms of editing text, or asking posters to do the same.

    However, once blocked it could be weeks, months, or years until you are unblocked again.

    Therefore, please tell your readers (maybe through an email) that they can reach you as I am, through an anonymizer such as http://www.anonymouse.org which is fast and simple.

    Finally, I like “www.old100names.com” for a new domain name, but don’t have time to check whois right now to see if someone owns it already.

    All the best

  7. MutantJedi Says:

    I don’t mind speak4china
    FoolsMountain is okay too

    I got here due to a nod from Shanghaiist. Of course I wondered what sort of voice would come from a blog that spoke for China. But, being a rational westerner :), I read a bit before deciding.

    FoolsMountain has a good meaning. And it is perhaps more reflective of the blog. Westerners won’t get the allusion so it might be more “impression neutral”.

  8. Wu Kong Says:

    I don’t mind speak4China.com, and if someone takes offense at the perceived “pro-China” stance just because of the domain name, I am not sure they can be counted on to engage in a meaningful dialogue.

    I know of a western journalist’s China blog that’s called “China Rises”, I wonderful how many readers he has scared away with that blog title.

    On the GFW mess:

    I agree with Sun Bin. I don’t think GFW blocks your blog site specifically, it’s the collateral damage for being on a blocked wordpress server.

    Whatever you new domain name is, can you consider setting up a mirror “.cn” site that’s actually housed inside China? That will solve the GFW issue. An added bonus is even if certain topics get frowned upon by the netnanny, you then would have an “one blog two system” to fall back on.

  9. S.K. Cheung Says:

    My humble suggestion is “movemountains”; it incorporates the last 2 words of the Chinese phrase, and aptly (and perhaps more directly) describes what this site is trying to achieve. For your good work is definitely not for the foolhardy, but will be slow and arduous nonetheless. And “movemountains” might be catchier to “westerners”, if attracting eyeballs serves as a first step to building bridges.

  10. Wu Di Says:

    Just to point this out: FoolsMountain may actually be misunderstood or requires some explanation for Westerners to understand its meaning. Who would want to read a blog written by a mountain of fools 🙂

    Movemountains sounds fine but is very action-oriented.

    Actually I don’t think speak4china is so bad, and agree with Wu Kong, “if someone takes offense at the perceived “pro-China” stance just because of the domain name, I am not sure they can be counted on to engage in a meaningful dialogue.”

    Just my 2ct.

  11. MutantJedi Says:

    speak4china isn’t bad. Also, as mentioned earlier, it has a not bad page rank in searches. That ranking might be lost with a domain change.

  12. Jane Says:

    At this point, you are known as Blog4China so you might as well keep that name. Why don’t you change your web address to http://www.blog4china.com since Speak4China is a bit much. This way the blog’s title and the web address will be consistent.

  13. Mai Ze Says:

    I like FoolsMountain very much, it’s a better name than speak4china by far.

  14. Windswing Says:

    Well done and congrats!

    I agree with Jane. Speak4China is too much of a claim. Those names with Chinese idioms are not very good for a new start-up blog.

    Until I come up with a fancier name, Blog4China seems to be fine and fit for the job.

  15. Opersai Says:

    How does “speakingChina” sounds? just get ride of the “4”.

  16. Samantha Says:

    Since this blog intends to bridge between the west and Chinese understanding and perspectives, I think it would be better if the domain name stay neutral. A neutral name would invite more discussions on both sides.
    I suggest the name to be “blogonchina”, neither “for”, nor “against”.

  17. miborovsky Says:

    I stumbled upon this blog, and I really like it. Since this is a new blog, do you guys need contributors?

  18. Buxi Says:


    Sure, we’d love to hear from anyone who believes they can help us represent the Chinese voice!

    Please email webmaster@speak4china.com with any submissions… or if you would like to write regularly, introduce yourself.

  19. Opersai Says:

    Finally remembers! I had meant to post this here for a while.

    How to get around THE GREAT FIREWALL (in Chinese)

    (warning: I had not tried it personally, and do not know how effective or dangerous it is to use it.)

  20. Allen Says:

    I think speak4china.com is fine.

    But here is a suggestion if you want to change: 1billionvoices.com.


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