Earlier in the week I had the chance to meet with Mr 6, one of Taiwan's top bloggers. The meeting seemed timely as Michael Turton and Scott Sommers have both recently blogged on the lack of connection between Chinese-language and English-language bloggers in Taiwan.
I had an interesting conversation with Mr 6 and one of the topics we talked about was how to create more links between the Chinese-language and English-language blogospheres in Taiwan. We also discussed English teaching and Web 2.0.
Mr 6 has published an article based on our meeting on his blog today. For those who can read Chinese I suggest you go directly to Mr 6's blog. For those who prefer English I'll write a summary and translation of part of the article.
The first part of the article discusses "kiss and ride". I have already covered this topic extensively on this blog, so I probably don't need to say anything more about it.
The second part of the article gives an introduction to English language blogs in Taiwan. This might be nothing new to people that regularly read this blog, but there are a huge number of Taiwanese people blogging in Chinese who are probably not aware of these blogs.
The Chinese text below is from Mr 6's blog and is followed by my translation in English.
像大衛老師這樣住在台灣的老外，擁有自己的英語部落格的，究竟有多少位？想一探這個世界，有一個叫做TaiwanFeed.com的網站，整合所有的在台灣的英語部落格RSS聯播，另外還有一個叫Bloggers in Taiwan的部落格則提供「每周一格」，每周一格，有這麼多可以報嗎？看看它的邊欄，數一數，竟有高達515個部落格連結，全部都是住在台灣的老外或關於台灣的英語部落格！而且，隨便點進去瞧瞧，每位英語部落客的產量皆相當驚人，文章的素質也很不錯。其中被公認最老牌的英語部落客應該是1989年就來到台灣、結婚生子、現職台中朝陽大學的Michael Turton先生，他另外還開了一個Teaching in Taiwan網站，提供給其他心向台灣的新手英語老師一個詳細的指南。另外較出名的部落客還包括「Douting to Shuo」（此為「道聽塗說」的有趣諧音，是不是真有Shuo這個人不得而知），還有一個叫做Poagao（潑猴）的部落格也頗有特色。這些有心經營的英語部落客有的還特地申請一個帶有Taiwan字眼的域名如TheRealTaiwan.com、TaiwanPundit.com，在這些部落格中看久了，會開始產生懷疑，這些人真的就住在我家隔壁嗎？為何不常在網路上看到他們？
There are a number of foreigners like David in Taiwan who have their own English blogs, but how many are there? To begin investigating this question look at TaiwanFeed.com, a website which aggregates RSS feeds from English-language blogs about Taiwan. There is also Bloggers in Taiwan which puts up a blog of the week. Are there enough blogs for this? Look at the sidebar and you will find links to 515 blogs. All of these are English blogs by people living in Taiwan or writing about Taiwan. If you take a look at these blogs you will find that they yield some surprises and the quality is quite good. Of all the blogs the most widely acknowledged Michael Turton who has been in Taiwan since 1989. He also has a Teaching in Taiwan website which gives people new to Taiwan a detailed guide. Another well known blog is Doubting to Shuo [the name is based on the Chinese idiom 道聽塗說]. There is also Poagao's blog which is quite special. There are also some blogs which include Taiwan in their domain name like TheRealTaiwan.com and TaiwanPundit.com. Looking at these blogs for a while makes one think do these people really live in Taiwan? Why don't we see them on the web more often?
這就是問題了，或許，也是創業家可以思考的機會。 在台灣、在香港、在中國大陸，都會有一大群像大衛老師的英語部落客。政府資料顯示，在台灣就約有一萬名老外，正確數字大約在二～三萬，這些人過著自己的生 活，有自己的圈子；他們為數眾多，他們努力體驗、他們努力寫作，他們是最好的對外的窗口，但目前，他們還是活在自己的小圈圈裡。
This is a problem, or perhaps it is also an opportunity, for creative entrepreneurs to consider. In Taiwan, Hong Kong and China there is a large group of English-language bloggers like David. Government figures say there are about 10,000 English speaking foreigners living in Taiwan, although the number is perhaps more like 20-30,000. These people all have their own lives; they are large in number. They diligently write about their experiences and create a window to the outside world. But, at present they are still limited to their own small group.
The next paragraph notes that the amount of visitors to English-language blogs in Taiwan is relatively low. Then the following paragraph reads,
How can this resource be better used by locals to bring its international value into full play? If people can join together on the net then information can rapidly be sent overseas, but what is lacking the group of people to package this information. [not sure about the accuracy of translation here. Please feel free to correct.]
The last paragraph talks about my meeting with Mr 6. I thought there were three key points that foreigners were interested in about Taiwan. The first is Taiwan's culture and history, the second is learning Chinese the third is teaching English. It notes Forumosa.com is currently Taiwan's largest online community with over 10,000 members. Now, fiLi and myself are collaborating on a new Taiwan website to be launched next month. Although it will only begin with the efforts of two people it is hoped others will contribute.
The final point is Mr 6 hopes that this meeting can lead to more opportunities for cooperation between Chinese language and English-language bloggers in Taiwan. I also share this hope and was glad to have the opportunity to meet Mr 6.
* Please feel free to suggest corrections to my translation in the comments.