Rebuilding techblog86


To some of you, techblog86 remains that site that is on one day, off the next; there one year, gone the other. It’s no secret your publisher has been busy since 2008: he has been actively involved first in the tech world, then in the startup world, then in the media world (PhD, teaching, radio shows; “just about everything”).

On and off times included, this blog has, though, been around for six years — which on the Internet can be a pretty long time. This newest effort to rebuild techblog86, though, is real, genuine, and “has teeth”.

Here’s how this site will develop.

1. This will now become a personal blog site.

For a long time, there was this identity crisis: should techblog86 be fully staffed by a crew of writers, or should it be a personal blog of David Feng? The former will be the focus of a new project to be realised within the next five years or so, but this doesn’t mean you’ll not have a “go-to” blog for the immediate future about China’s tech stories. This is why I’m making this my own personal blog site — of course, I’ll also welcome guest posts on matters related.

Making it personal means also I’ll post on my own schedule, which means content will probably make more sense (better quality), and it really is a case of the readership winning: quality over quantity will be how the blog will be run. I could do the other way: when I did the Mac group blog in and around 2006, the most I did was 11 posts a day. These posts were coming out too fast, they were too brief (back then Twitter just “came to”), and the quality wasn’t something that could make a Swiss timepiece master feel all too happy about.

This means you’ll see about 4-6 posts a week, but that what you’ll read into will be much more thought out.

2. This site will remain free of invasive advertising.

Paywalls or chock-full-of-ads sites are the new trend these days. This is simply not going to work my end. I don’t want you to stare at even a few seconds of some crazy ad before content is loaded, so there’ll be no place for intrusive ads in the future.

However, this doesn’t mean David will soon ply the streets of the city begging for cash! Quite the opposite: there exist plenty of ways to keep David’s lights running up at night without spamming you with ads or bringing the site down. When it comes to the money, of course, there’s not a whole lot that can be disclosed; but expect “plus” / “extra” content that make sense, both in terms of the material and the money.

There’s an option for donations insofar as content neutrality is not compromised. Of course David’s personal policy in this regard is never to start a website to “diss” other people or companies (if anything, only critical / constructive criticism will be provided), but still it feels more reassuring if you can read high quality content without having some super-rich secretive guy control what’s written.

3. All previous content will go up once again.

David has with him a whole load of old — content (rather than rubbish, although some of those excessive screenshots (none of which are NSFW, BTW) could go, honestly speaking). There will come a time when many of these will get restored for your browsing. There’s not a timeframe for this, though, but it is a promise that will be realised in full sooner than later.

4. Features and Personal Reflections will be new features.

There’ll be a new part of the website where there’ll now be Features. A first is in progress already: Apple in China, 2001–2008. More will come later on.

Also, I’ll chime in every so often with personal reflections. The timing of that will be as frequent as a regularly-scheduled Subway Line 13 train from Xizhimen to only Huoying, or a Virgin Trains service stopping at Watford Junction (as in: not all the time, but you never know!)… It will be there but it won’t be a daily addition!

5. More and more of the content on this site will remain original.

This site is no content thief. Where content is referenced from another site, there’s at least a link (good for when the techblog86 post first went up; I’m honest. There’ll also be much more in the way of original content here on techblog86.

I hope you enjoy these new site developments. Granted, there’s not much inspiration that sips of mango juice in the morning might provide you, but at least this site is headed somewhere

David Feng
16 October 2014

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