I start my day with a cup of pu’er tea with some gouchi or wolfberries as some people have been known to call them. The daily dose supposedly keeps the eyes in fit condition. Then after a shower, a brush, and a shave, I go for a glass of fresh fruit juice which I usually share with my daughter. She gets a cute little mustache of orange after a couple of sips. Then it’s off to the office where I first turn on my XM Internet Radio and start my daily, web-surfing routine, which includes: gmail, Google news, facebook.com, fark.com, danwei.org, the MORE magazine websites, chinasmack.com, and finally, chinalyst.net for a look at some other varied blogs. For many people, the first three I mentioned are mandatory. Alright, facebook might not be everyone’s cup of zhou, but it really keeps me connected to all of those people who have come and gone over the years. As for the others, let me explain why they take up such a large part of my day. FARK, for me, is the quintessential news site. It offers links to a wide range of sites I would normally not find on my own, and for each news piece they offer snarky headlines. Danwei.org offers varying views on the national news, and they have some wonderful interviews that can be viewed through YouTube. Then, I much as enjoy putting it off, I have to go to our magazine sites to expunge all the spam. I delay this because I get frustrated with how often I have to do it, literally 10 times a day. We’ve all asked ourselves this question before, but who are these people who put spam everywhere? Where do they hide? I haven’t met tons of people, but I’ve come across more than a few, and nobody I’ve ever met has admitted to sending out spam.
The sour feelings I have when I’m deleting all of these World of Warcraft and 3 Kingdoms (三国) ads only goes away after a visit to chinasmack.com. This is the site to go to when trying to understand the young folk in China and what they’re thinking. Run by a woman named Fauna out of Shanghai, chinaSMACK translates tons of the hottest discussion board topics into English, and it does so with scary efficiency. Finally, if I have time, I go to chinalyst.net where they have aggregated many blog posts about China. Going there lets me not have to RSS feed everything from everywhere. They recently hosted the 2008 China Blog Awards in which, to my surprise, mylaowai.com won best overall blog. Now we don’t try to be negative in our reviews of places in this magazine, but this isn’t a review, so I guess I can drop the hammer someone on the guy or guys whom run mylaowai.com. What a load of crap that site is! Not so much the whole of the site, but certain key posts that sully an otherwise serviceable blog. But who am I to write that? I suppose I should put my money where my mouth is and post this column online.
By Tim Hoerle