Posts tagged ‘Wordpress’

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chinese Traffic on WordPress (or on this blog anyway)

You get a statistical summary from WordPress every year, as a blogger on this platform, but as this blog is focusing on China, it’s time to take an individual look at a growing source of traffic, at times of general traffic crisis:

map showing traffic intensity on this blog

The world in 2015 …

map showing traffic intensity on this blog

… and in 2012

WordPress apparently began recording country statistics in 2012, for this blog anyway. And while the statistics in general have been going down for this blog during the past several years, traffic from China is one of a few exceptions.

  Year Views   Position
  2012       23           51
  2013       25           33
  2014       75           14
  2015       52*)           10

Apparently, domestic propanda has been so successful that the lilywhite inland souls may now be exposed to stuff like this. (So it’s less proxy server traffic now, I guess.)

And it seems that Latin America and Africa have also become better informed since 2012. So has Kazakhstan. Good for them.


*) stats by April 28/29, 2015

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, ten years of WordPress

Established media companies have made concessions to blogging in terms of language, writing more casually and personally then even ten years ago. At the same time, the best tech blogs have matured in terms of language, found sources of their own, and have become visibly more secure in making inquiries. WordPress provided them with the opportunity of turning the media landscape inside out forever. Ordinary people, all of a sudden, were in a position to make media, and they did that by the thousands.

Die etablierten Medienhäuser sind Blogs sprachlich entgegen gekommen, schreiben heute lockerer und persönlicher als noch vor zehn Jahren. Zeitgleich sind die besten Techblogs sprachlich gereift, haben eigene Quellen aufgetan und sind bei der Recherche deutlich sicherer geworden. WordPress hat ihnen die Möglichkeit gegeben, die Medienlandschaft für immer umzukrempeln. Einfache Leute konnten plötzlich Medien machen, und sie taten es, zu Tausenden.

Jürgen Vielmeier, a blogger from Bonn, reminding his readers of the first WordPress release, ten years ago.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Five Years of Blogging with WordPress

I won’t get into a regular ritual of marking anniversaries or statistical records (high or low), but this this is the day in history when I started blogging, five years ago.

Something like 1,960 posts since – some of them very short, though.

My personal favorite is probably this one, a few words about history.

And the one forever in the top posts (usually no. 1, but almost certainly among the top five whenever you look, is the one about authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

Many thanks for the comments, discussions, and advice.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Update to my Blogging Rules…

According to people who should know, I’m a comparatively slow (and thorough) reader, and a comparatively fast writer, at least on the keyboard. I’m not that fast when it comes to pushing the publishing button, and usually, there’s at least one draft waiting to be finished. But some mysterious key combination may lead to “publishing” here. It has happened before.

Now, there’s the “stop” button on the browser. Just in time, I thought, as the post didn’t appear on my blog after all. However, its trackbacks arrived on my side menu – and it arrived on Echo Taiwan‘s feed reader.

Echo Taiwan feedreader

Echo Taiwan feedreader

So, if the post arrived in any subscriber’s feed reader, too, and if this is what you got when clicking the link,

don’t be angry. In future, I’ll use an editor to write my drafts, and only use WordPress once I’ve finished the post.

Unless you can give me a clue which key combination leads to the unwanted publishing function, that is. I’m typing too fast to realize.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just a Side Note…

Thank you for your Consideration

Thank you for your Consideration

… according to WordPress statistics, this is Justrecently‘s 1,550th post in about three years and a half. This blog is an irrefutable reality.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The BoZhu Interviews: “Social Media Provide a Common Virtual Space” –

an interview with Catherine Yeung

Catherine Yeung runs the blog Under the Jacaranda Tree,

a public forum with a personal aspiration: to fulfil a longstanding wish, shared by several friends, to provide a cyberspace venue for some overdue open and honest discussions about the internal conditions of the People’s Republic of China and their effects upon the international community and the Earth.

Under the same virtual tree,  Catherine’s co-blogger Ned Kelly (or his re-incarnation, for that matter) runs his virtual pub, not necessarily, or not exclusively, with China-related topics.

The Interview:

Q: I’m feeling tempted to call this interview “blogs, and what became of them” – there has been one post Under the Jaracanda this month so far, and the previous post is from April. During the first two years after you and Ned Kelly started the blog, your average number of posts per month was exactly thirteen. Why the slowdown?
A: I didn’t slow down at all. I’m actually blogging much more often than before. It’s just that I’ve been doing it at other places, rather than at the Under the Jacaranda Tree Blog. I started my Twitter account in 2009, and so far I have posted 13,450 tweets. My Sina Weibo venture commenced about a year ago. And I am also in the process of migrating from Facebook to Google+.  My co-blogger Ned is doing more or less the same thing. The only difference is that Ned has moved on to writing about Australian and American politics, while my focus is still on China.
Q: Could you share some links?
A: My Twitter name: WLYeung;  my Google+ Profile:
Q: How would you usually introduce yourself, when meeting people, and asked for a few words about yourself?
A: This is Catherine Yeung from Under the Jacaranda Tree Blog. I write about China.
Q: You are Australian, and of Chinese ancestry. You read both Australian and Chinese media. Which are the three worst Australian news article about China you can remember – and vice versa? Which are your favorite information sources, be it on the internet, or elsewhere?
A: In my opinion, Australian journalists have, by and large, done a decent job reporting about China. The best among them are: John Garnaut, who writes for the Fairfax News Group; Stephen McDonell, ABC’s China Correspondent; and the very talented Jane Hutcheon.
For me, the worst media reports on China ever written by an Australian are in fact not published in Australian newspapers.  And they are not even written by a journalist. I’m referring to two articles by the ever illusive “former Australian diplomat to Russia” Gregory Clark: “The Tiananmen Square massacre myth” published on 15 September 2004 in Japan Times, and “Black info and media gullibility: creation of the Tiananmen myth” published on 1 July 2011 by the same news service. To cut the long story short, back in 2004, Mr Clark claimed that the Tiananmen Massacre was a western media fabrication. He has recently upgraded his allegations and is now adamant that the entire incident was some kind of gray propaganda concocted by British intelligence.
My co-blogger Ned wants to add a note here about worst Australian news report on China. Ned says, “Any media publication that bears the title “China’s Rise” is bad, period.” His remark reminds me of an Australian politician, the self-proclaimed father of Australia’s republican movement Malcolm Turnball MP. Mr Turnball is now running a regular column for the Fairfax news group promoting China trade. I have a distinct impression that Mr Turnball is the Kissinger Sino-US PR team’s latest recruit. But I may be wrong. Only time can tell …
My blog roll represents a significant part of my information sources. I also receive first-hand information from media contacts I have established via Twitter.
Q: If Australian papers or correspondents are more informed about China, could it be for the relative proximity between the two countries? And does professional reporting, in your view, amount to a more informed public in Australia, than in Europe or North America, for example? Or is there no great difference in quality between coverage from the three continents, anyway?
A: I didn’t say Australian journalists are “more informed” about China. I am just suggesting that most of them are “as informed” or “as professional” as many first class journalists from other developed countries. Those three Aussie journalists in particular are not just professionally qualified, they also have good language skills. John Garnaut speaks Mandarin and is a human rights lawyer by training. Stephen McDonell speaks fluent Mandarin and Spanish. Jane Hutcheon speaks fluent French and Mandarin, and has acquired near-native proficiency in Cantonese.
Q: Under the Jacaranda Tree is meant to be a place for people to meet online and to discuss China-related issues. What motivated you to start it?
A: Under the Jacaranda Tree Blog was started as a celebration of my co-blogger Ned Kelly’s completion of his sojourn in China. It’s meant to be a continuation of a dialogue we had been conducting on and off for many years via letters and emails. It is also a tool for us to reach out to the world. As you know, Western Australia is, by all accounts, a rather remote part of the world (and here we are not just referring to its physical location).
Q: How closely do you follow Chinese and non-Chinese blogs respectively? Do you (as a reader) or they (as bloggers) focus on certain, recurring kinds of news and topics?
A: I subscribe to more than 70 online publications, some in Chinese, some in English. They include blogs, newspapers and journals. I am following more than 400 Twitter users and 80 odd Weibo users. Among them there are Chinese dissidents, academics, media workers as well as China-based foreign correspondents. I’m also a part of the HK InMedia network. It is my intention to read as widely as possible. But it seems the topics that constantly catch my eyes are: media censorship, mass incidents, corruption, rule of law (or the lack of it) and religious freedom.
Q: Have you seen big changes in your own blog or blogs, and in the Chinese, or foreign “China blogosphere” since you started blogging yourself?
A: Yes indeed. However, I see those changes as a reflection of similar changes in the entire China blogosphere. They are mostly propelled by the discovering of new social media. Nowadays, I’ll use Twitter for a quick exchange of information, Google + for sharing video clips or posting detailed analysis of current affairs, and conventional blogging for longer pieces of translation or for advocating a certain course of action. I hope I can integrate all these into a single platform. But unfortunately the WordPress template I’m using for my blog does not have the best tools for such endeavour. I am still searching, and will be grateful if technologically savvy readers can give me some suggestions.
Q: In your view, has China changed since you started blogging? Has the overseas Chinese community changed? Or has the world changed? How so?
A: I’ve seen many changes, but they are not all good news. The space for freedom of speech in China has dramatically contracted in the last 2 years, particularly among the dissident community. The Chinese censors’ effort is closely matched by the CCP propaganda department’s much improved strategy at selling China’s soft power. Meanwhile, the so-called pro-democracy faction among overseas Chinese community worldwide has been more or less discredited. The world is now more eager to see a stable China than before the 2008 financial meltdown, to the extent that many world leaders are willing to overlook some rather obvious human rights violations that are happening in China.
Q: Being a bilingual blogger, you seem to follow both Chinese- and English-language blogs, and blog posts from Chinese and from foreigners alike. Do you see anything they would have in common? And what makes them different from each other?
A: They are very different. The difference is not just confined to the topics they picked. Let us take the Wenzhou train crash as an example. Most English-language bloggers wrote about how the news was censored. There were some discussions on possible implications for the Chinese government, but they are not in great details. Many Chinese bloggers who wrote about this incident, however, seemed to be more interested in the way the rescue was handled. They were also eager to ascertain whether there were signs of a cover-up.
Ultimately it comes down to a different reason for blogging. English-language bloggers who write about China are doing so mostly as observers. Most of them want to use their blogs as a forum to provoke discussions. For many Chinese bloggers, particularly those who are living in China, the blogosphere is a virtual space for them to gather, to exchange information, to gossip, to monitor the authorities and to plot the kind of actions that they cannot otherwise have contemplated in the real world.
The good news is: the difference between the two groups of bloggers can be bridged. From what I can see, social media, such as Twitter and Google +, or even the Weibo, have provided a common virtual space for the two bloggers’ groups to converge. The exchange of minds is made possible by bilingual bloggers (or “bridges”, as my friend Isaac Mao calls them). With the number of bilingual bloggers and online projects growing, I am confident that the gap will be gradually narrowed.
Q: Weibo is often portrayed as a social or political game-changer in China. Would you agree with that? How do you feel about Weibo?
A: I’m still feeling my way through Weibo. So I may be able to shed more lights at a later stage. But my first impression is that it’s a bit of an exaggeration to call it a game-changer. However, as mentioned above, I believe social media such as Weibo can provide a common space for some meaningful cultural exchanges. So I strongly urge those of you in the English-language China blogosphere to go over there and have a look. A friend of mine, who is doing a Japanese major in university and doesn’t speak any Chinese, has recently set himself up at Sina Weibo with the help of Google Translate. He says he is having fun and is thoroughly enjoying the experience. So why don’t you have a go too.
Q: Have you ever stopped reading blogs because you felt they were becoming boring, or because they angered you?
A: So far only one blog has this kind of effect on me. And of course you won’t be surprised if I mention the name “the Fool’s Mountain” ….
Q: You are an active campaigner for human rights. Do you feel that global reactions to human rights violations are usually disappointing? Why should people with a vested economic interest in China care about human rights, and speak up for people who are persecuted, even as they may harm their business by doing so?
A: No, I don’t find global reaction disappointing. I just find world leaders’ presumptuous attitude unsettling. As a matter of fact, pressure from the international community and human rights organisations has proven to be very effective in putting a check on human rights abuses in China. Ai Weiwei’s release from illegal detention, among a few other cases, is a good example.
For Australian businesses who say they don’t care about human rights in China, as long as business keeps going, I have a word of warning for them: those who allow evil to conquer the world will suffer from its consequences. If human rights abuses are acceptable in China, there is no categorical reason why they are not acceptable in other parts of the world, including Australia.
A note from Ned: “JR, I am referring you to Kant’s categorical imperative.”
Q: You said before that the pro-democracy faction had discredited itself. Was it for leaders being presumptuous? In which ways? Or is it for misinterpreting the status quo, or for  the American and European economic setbacks of the past three years?
A: As far as I know, the overseas dissident community has always been fragmented and there are rather serious internal power struggles among key members. It’s possible that there are personality clashes. But I’m more inclined to believe that agents from CCP’s United Front Work Department have infiltrated the community. Many of these overseas dissidents have been away from China for too long and their views on current issues are out of date. Consequently, activists in the PRC find it difficult to take them seriously. For many PRC-based Chinese netizens, the title “民主斗士“, or democracy fighters, is considered a derogatory term.
Q: Is there an unasked question to which you would like to reply to all the same?
A: Just one: Which flavour chocolate you like best? White, milk or dark?
Answer: All of them.
Q: Catherine, thank you very much for this interview.


The interview was conducted by an exchange of e-mails.

Concerning Catherine’s suggestion that I should give Sina Weibo a go, I’ve actually done that a few months ago. I’m only occasionally reading there, so far.



» All BoZhu Interviews
» Jacaranda, Wikipedia


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blogging: Pondering on Podcasts

A Stack of Logs, August 2011

A Stack of Logs, August 2011

Once in a while, I’m using radio  – mostly shortwave radio – as a source or as an appetizer for thought when writing a post.  Sometimes, there is a post about shortwave radio itself – when it comes to Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany), the Voice of America‘s (VoA) Mandarin service, China Radio International (CRI, foreign radio) or China National Radio (CNR, domestic radio) for example. It could be nice to post short recorded clips in addition to what I write. The most obvious way would be YouTube. I do have a cheap digital camera, so making badly-arranged videos would be feasible, even if the picture doesn’t matter at all, as the message is on the soundtrack. However, being the ecologically-aware blogger I am, I’m not so fond about the useless data flow and corresponding carbon dioxide emissions such videos would generate.

Audio podcasts could provide the answer. However, WordPress would require an upgrade before I could post podcasts,  either video or audio files, and while I’m aware of YouTube as a free video platform, I don’t know a free platform for publishing audio files.

Then why wouldn’t I start a domain of my own, and rent some server space from somewhere else?

WordPress is very convenient in that they allow me to blog anonymously. That’s one of several reasons why I like WordPress, and why I avoid platforms like Facebook.  After all, Germany is by no means as free an environment for bloggers as is America, for example. Legal harassment is always a possibility in my country. By paying for an upgrade, my anonymity would be less perfect than now.

In short: I’d like to keep things as they are, plus posting some audio files. If you can tell me a platform where I can post audio files for free, just as I could post videos for free on YouTube, let me know.

Don’t ask what JR can do for you – ask what you can do for JR.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rain at Last / Blogging

Weather Report

Rainpipe - Home while it Lasted

Rainpipe - Home while it Lasted

I prefer warm and dry days to rainy and cold ones. But after a spring like this one, it’s a relief to see that it’s raining, and that the rain has become continuous.

It feels good, too. When I was caught by a squally shower a few days ago, on my way home by bike, even that felt good. Some farmers may look at it as a bad joke, but it’s surprising how much of the crops still seems to recover, even if the first silage of the year was very poor.


All in all, the English-language, China-related blogosphere seems to have become much calmer than what it used to be – here, too. Probably for a number of reasons, but not least for these commenting rules, readers may think carefully before commenting on these blogposts, and that’s a good thing. But across the board, or where I’m reading, anyway, comment activites have slowed down. One might attribute that to a decrease of interest in China, at least among newsreaders, even if not in terms of business or investment. But the opportunities to read about China, including translations from Chinese-language sources, have broadened a lot.

Danwei has drawn its own conclusions:

So we have decided to change our focus. We’re relaunching on We will publish periodic issues based around a theme, rather than daily news updates.

That said, Justrecently’s Beautiful Blog has never been about daily news updates. I merely focus on topics that interest me, and see this blog as, well, part of the internet. I may miss out on important trends or even big single events, and I take this opportunity to recommend every blog or website I’ve linked to at my blogroll to the right, underneath the comment section and the Three Represents (Net Nanny / Hermit / Good Ganbu). Besides, when looking at this blog’s statistics on a month-to-month basis, from 2011 back to 2008, “visits” have risen every year so far. So there seem to be some interested readers, and ClustrMaps (according to who the numbers would be much smaller than what the WordPress stats suggest) shows hits from all over the globe, including China.

So I’ll happily muddle on. No Facebook account, no YouTube channel (although I’ve given that some thought more recently – still pondering the idea), and no Twitter. A blog appears to be the ideal platform to write (publicly) what I want to write.

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