Today, four years and exactly one month since I published my first translation on chinaSMACK, I am proud to announce the launch of our new “brother” site: indoBOOM.
When I started chinaSMACK, my purpose was to practice my English through my hobby of reading news and discussions on the Chinese internet. After so much time and practice, I really hope my English has become better!
However, I very soon had another purpose: To share with foreign friends who cannot understand Chinese some stories, pictures, and videos that ordinary Chinese netizens see and talk about. I have previously said this is a kind of “cultural voyeurism”, because I want to let my readers see what Chinese people think and say on Chinese websites, discussion forums, and social networks. What are Chinese people really paying attention to? What are their reactions and opinions in front of each other instead of in front of outsiders? About this issue? About that incident? About others? About themselves?
Over these years, I and many contributors including both Chinese and non-Chinese inside China and overseas have translated over 1500 posts, articles, and videos and tens of thousands of Chinese netizen comments into English. We have posted a lot of silly things that have made many Chinese netizens laugh and then many foreigners laugh too, but we have posted many serious things too. We have tried to only translate and show, without adding our own opinion, or hiding the opinions we do not like. Some people say we have published many “negative” things that make Chinese look bad. Other people say we do not publish enough negative things to show the truth of Chinese people. Regardless, we believe everything we share will only show that Chinese people are normal, because that is better than looking good or bad.
We did not celebrate our 4 year anniversary on our website last month, exactly one month ago. It is not because we think the number “4” is unlucky. It is only because we have been too busy. All of us work on chinaSMACK and koreaBANG during our free time outside of our work or school. My personal hobby is now many people’s hobby, because we all believe this is an interesting way to share and learn about a country, a society, and a people. This includes our bloggers, our editors, and our poor developers and administrators.
One reason we were so busy is the new movie Shanghai Calling. In fact, on Tuesday evening, I watched it again at the Shanghai world premiere. Then I ate a lot of “foie gras puffs” at the after party, and met some of chinaSMACK’s readers and contest winners. Then, most importantly, I touched Daniel Henney! 帅哥！！！
Then I went home. 囧
If you are in China, I strongly recommend that you go watch Shanghai Calling when it opens in cinemas this Friday, August 10th. It is a very funny and adorable movie. I think most people will easily enjoy it.
Now you also know that we were busy preparing indoBOOM. Like chinaSMACK and our “sister” site koreaBANG, indoBOOM will report what is popular and trending on the internet for the world’s 4th most populous country. It is also the world’s largest Muslim country, and as many Chinese people know, sometimes they really do not like their Chinese minority! :(
The founding team for indoBOOM is Ted, Hal, and Steve, who have been reading chinaSMACK for a long time and decided several months ago that they want to share stories from their home country too, with the same style and quality that you have come to expect from chinaSMACK. They contacted us and we have worked hard together to make this a reality.
indoBOOM will be updated daily, and the first five posts currently on indoBOOM include a variety of notable stories from the past month:
- Foxconn may open a factory in Indonesia. Guess how Indonesians reacted.
- Did you know that three Indonesians were hurt in the Colorado theater shootings?
- Ferrari and Porsche taxis in Jakarta, until the government stopped the fun.
- China has territorial disputes with Japan, but Malaysia claims Indonesia’s Bali island?
- Will Indonesians welcome the return of a popular band now that their lead singer has been released from three years in jail for appearing in a sex tape?
Fortunately for Edison Chen, he does not live in Indonesia!
We also hope you will go visit them now and show them some chinaSMACK reader support!
Truly, the past four years have been a very interesting journey for me. I am very flattered and humbled that so many people read and enjoy our work. I have made new friends, and many of you have joined me, helped me, and also defended me. I am very thankful for this. Most importantly…
I touched Daniel Henney!
I am just kidding! Most importantly, we are all thankful for your continued support, and we hope you are already enjoying chinaSMACK’s fifth year. Thank you for your interest in China, in Chinese society, and our work.