Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Meta-Blogging

This posting isn't actually about Shanghai - just a quick word about the blog itself, for those who may be interested. I recommend skipping ahead to the Suzhou River article!

So: This blog will be in the format of various topics being talked out and photographed. The idea is two fold: first, it's a motivation for writing and taking pictures on a number of subjects that might skip my mind otherwise. Second, I don't think the literature on Shanghai is very good, and I hope that eventually this blog becomes the best look at the city, or at least better than what I've seen so far.

There's several things I want to avoid. This is not a personal webpage where I talk at length about me and what I did over the weekend, I want to keep this interesting for people whether or not they know me. Some blogs are a replacement for sending out mail to everybody. That's not at all my intention and I hope to keep in touch with all of my homebodies. Some blogs have wacky links and smarmy commentary on news articles. I have no interest in writing this, although many of the articles on are very good and I recommend a look at that site, especially for Shanghai residents. Most commentators on foreign places play armchair sociologist. It's easy (even inevitable) to do this, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum - although TalkTalkChina does a good job of it.

The pictures are taken using a digital Canon A510. I like it because it fits in the pocket and the photographic settings and focus are all easily adjustable. However the camera is on the cheaper end and it frequently shows, especially with blowing up shots, or in dark places where I'd like to use higher ISOs. I hope to get a higher-end camera soon, to use in addition to the 510. When I photograph, I like candid shots and zooming in very tightly. My big pretention is I try to go for the natural-light feel, and will very rarely use the flash.

The writing is something I feel I need to work on. I want to avoid using slang words, but keep things from getting dry. I also intend the words to accompany the photos, rather than stand alone. Perhaps this will evolve over time.

I've mentioned the censorship: China blocks the domain as an after-effect of anti-Japan protests blamed on bloggers. However, actually posting the blogs is done on, which isn't blocked. Also it's not all that difficult to get around the domain block. Still, if the block isn't lifted soon, I'll consider moving this site to another domain.

I hope to write about features of the city I find distinct, as well as looks at neighborhoods and events. I'm happy to hear any suggestions on what to write about. Also, please mail if you have any questions or comments.

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