Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Refresher Post

Even though I've been blogging for less than a year, I've already noticed that one relative weakness of the blog format is that older but still relevant posts get buried quickly and newer readers who may be interested in them may never become aware of their existence.  To try to deal with this issue, I have several areas on the side of the blog web site that highlight or index posts.  However, they each have their own weaknesses, none of which I can easily address.  I also see that Blogger is now offering some new blog formats that look like attempts to deal with the burying issue.  While some of them seem to be a step on the right direction I'm not yet sold on them for a variety of reasons ranging from usability concerns to them not yet fully implementing some standard features.  Regardless, any changes to the web site won't likely impact those who read posts through readers and such.

So, I'm going to try something new with this post and reference some "old" posts that I think may be of interest to newer readers.  For those who have been reading this blog from the beginning, consider it a trip down memory lane and fear not, new material is on the way.  In addition to simply providing links, I'll include brief summaries and sometimes some additional thoughts.  In no particular order, here are 5 posts:
  • China Scenes: Villages Around Kaili, Guizhou – One of my favorite photo posts and it shows a side of China that is very different from what is seen in Beijing or Shanghai.  It's also where as I was leaving a village one of several traditionally dressed villagers came up to me unannounced and insisted I drink something out of a ram's horn.  I think they were there to welcome some visitors but decided I shouldn't miss out on the fun.  The most surprising part was that the horn contained a very strong alcohol and she poured the entire contents down my throat.  Sadly, I have no photo of that event so maybe I'll just have to go back someday.
  • Facebook in China: A Chance to Connect and Understand – The post uses Facebook as an example, but really it's about how Facebook or similar services with international reach such as Google+, Twitter, or even (though that may not be as obvious from the piece), could meet a key need for some in China (whether or not they'll be allowed to so is another matter).  It's one of my longest posts (and also one of my most visited), but there's actually much more I could say on the topics it raises.  I will likely be writing more on some of them in the near future.
  • The Different Colors of China – An experience I had with a friend from Hong Kong in Guangxi provides an example of how China's diversity makes it challenging to understand, even for Chinese.
That's all for now.  If this seems to work, I'll do it periodically in the future.  Feedback is definitely most welcome.


  1. what a great idea! I should try this too -a refresher. I love your kali posts! I plan to visit the end of this year. and your fb post is instapapered now for when I am in a quiet place!

  2. Thanks Tricia. I really enjoyed Kaili and hope to go back. When you visit maybe you can follow up on a small but nagging food question I have. I'd be curious to know the origins of what I'll call "spicy tofu pizza pockets". You can get them from at least 2 street food vendors in Kaili and they're great (though one vendor made them particularly well). Haven't noticed them elsewhere.

    I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on the Facebook post when you get to it.