Sep 24

Sustaining Fools Mountain

Written by dewang on Thursday, September 24th, 2009 at 7:08 am
Filed under:-mini-posts, General | Tags:, ,
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Dear Readers and Contributors,

Many of you know, Fools Mountain is a very unique blog and is one that is widely recognized in the China blogsphere. To date, all the costs associated with hosting and bandwidth have been paid privately by admin. We would like to make FM more self sustaining. Our first step is to make hosting and bandwidth costs community sponsored. Following that, we hope to use additional funds to license new contents or procure services to further enhance the blog for the benefit of the FM community.

You will notice a tab, “FM Store /Donate” at the top navigation bar. As of today, you have two ways to help FM through there:

Click on the Donate button. If you have a PayPal account, you simply specify the amount and enter your PayPal log-in information. If you do not have a PayPal account, you may click the “continue” link next to the credit card logos. This enables you to donate via a credit card (without having to log into PayPal). Please remember that Fools Mountain is not a registerred non-profit organization, so your donation is not tax deductible in the USA. You are welcome to donate any amount you wish.

Some of you have already donated. Thank you so much.

This is an embedded store on Fools Mountain hosted by Amazon.com – earth’s largest store. We will continually add products to the catalog we feel of interest to you. If you are looking for items to shop on Amazon.com, we ask that you browse this catalog first. You are welcome to leave a comment on that page if you have items you would like us to include in the store. There is no additional cost to you. We simply receive a referral from Amazon for items you add to your Amazon shopping cart via our embedded store. All of your interactions with the store are actually with Amazon.com’s servers.

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8 Responses to “Sustaining Fools Mountain”

  1. justkeeper Says:

    Mind to detail how much you actually need to sustain the blog?

  2. admin Says:


    Thanks for putting this up.


    I think that our ultimate goal is to go beyond just “sustain”, but to grow and develop. The web hosting part costs a few hundred a year,and we have no problem paying for it even without outside help. On the other hand, to produce high quality content requires significant time commitment. And I have heard more than once from our volunteers that time spent for FM affected their real job performance. Recently a reader suggested that we should improve our translation quality and consider hiring a professional translator or a copy editor. It would be a great way to relieve/distribute burden among our editors, but we can not do it without financial wherewithal. For me personally, I spend several hours a day to maintain/upgrade/test/backup/provide tech support, and I have a dream that one day the task can be delegated to a real web professional. 🙂

  3. Uln Says:


    Have you considered putting ads on the blog? With all the hits you get I guess that should be enough to cover the hosting fees. Not sure it would pay for a professional webmaster though.

    BTW, I have been a bit away these days because the VPN solution to bypass GFW was ultra slow. I have been reading you through Google reader, though, but it is not the same because I cant write comments there!

    Regarding financial support: unfortunately I have to pay my own hosting fee for my blog as well, + the fees for changing my IP everytime the GFW friends harmonize me… so I am a bit stuck there, but I will continue to support you with my little contributions in the comments. And any other thing you need just ask 🙂

  4. Uln Says:

    BTW, I suppose you know this already, but just in case: the alternative link to bypass GFW: http://blog4china.org does not work either

    It passes the URL block alright, but it goes down again some seconds later. I am pretty sure I know why this is happening, it happened to me as well in the beginning when I unblocked Chinayouren: your problem is that some of the components of the page blog4china when they load they are actually sending requests to the page http://blog.foolsmountain.com/ . That’s why after a few seconds these requests are detected at GFW level and the connection is reset.

    If wrote about this in previous posts, but I understand it is also a problem of available time for you. Last time I managed to unblock myself I had to spend a whole weekend 24/7 to do it!

    Good luck

  5. admin Says:


    Thanks for your kind help! Since blog4china is a mirrored domain, it is different from just a redirect. Do you know how GFW detect that? Could it be a content filter?

    We had an internal discussion on running ads on the site. The reason we don’t want to do it is that 1) it encroaches front page real estate and distracts readers. 2) As you said, the income from ads will cover hosting fees but not enough for anything else.

  6. Uln Says:

    @admin, I have run the test on Tamper Data and I confirm: when you open the site blog4china, it sends loads of requests to foolsmountain site. I will send you the printscreen of the results you can see it very cliearly.

    The bottom line is that, when you open the site blog4china, it is actually instructing your computer to send data requests (ie. acces website) from “http://blog.foolsmountain.com”, and this gets it blocked. The trick consists in carefully analysing all the requests sent and detect which parts of the site are sending them, usually it is the different Widgets and java tools that do that. I suggest as a first easy step that you deactivate ALL widgets in the mirrored site, see if it works.

    The objective is that, when I open “blog4china”, my computer does not go to get info from “foolsmountain.com”, but instead all the info it gets should be self contained in “blog4china.org”. I hope this is clearer now.

    PS. Please can you erase the last word of my previous post #4. I wrote something a bit silly and now the proxy doesn’t let me open the edit function of the comments! Thanks.

  7. hzzz Says:

    A lot of other websites and blogs have the donation target meter every month and/or have some sort of system which identifies those who have donated (Salon.com and WSJ for example have a star appearing next to users who have paid $$$.

    On the other hand, does it cost extra $$$ to put up more products to be purchased through Amazon? I almost do all my shopping online but the stuff I have bought from amazon have nothing to do with China 🙂

  8. admin Says:


    Thanks for the suggestion. I am not sure that if all donors want their names highlighted, but I will consult with people to see what they think.

    It doesn’t cost us anything to put up more products to be purchased through Amazon. We can set up a readers’ wish list and it doesn’t have to include products related to China.

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