Ten years of blogging at David on Formosa

A decade is quite a long time in the relatively short history of the internet. So I thought it was worth noting that this blog’s first post, The Ugly Isle, was written on this day ten years ago. At that time Facebook was only a few weeks old and Twitter hadn’t even been thought of. The internet has certainly changed and in some respects blogging has been overtaken by shorter, faster and more networked forms of online publishing.

I have put a lot of time and effort into creating content for this blog over the years. It has been a valuable experience and it has given me many opportunities. It has helped me to connect with a great group of bloggers in Taiwan and also to engage with an even larger group of people that read this blog.

At the time I started the blog I was inspired and encouraged by Michael Turton who continues to set the standard as a prolific Taiwan blogger. There are a few others in the Taiwan blogging community that I would like to mention. Kudos to TC Lin who continues to write at what is probably Taiwan’s longest running blog. Fili did a lot to promote blogging in Taiwan through Taiwanderful and the Taiwan blog awards. MJ Klein did a great job promoting social activities for bloggers such as the legendary Blogtoberfest. Tim Maddog started off with a personal blog, managed the group blog Taiwan Matters and then built a large following on Twitter. It has also been great to see my friend and classmate Ben Goren channel his passion for and knowledge about Taiwan into an award winning blog.

I have moved on from Taiwan and this blog is only sporadically updated. I still have fond memories of being part a vibrant community of bloggers who recorded many of the exciting, weird and wonderful happenings on the island of Formosa. I also still appreciate the work of those who continue blogging and help me to keep up to date with what’s happening in Taiwan.

The battle for Taichung on social media

screenshot of Lin Chia-lun's Facebook page

Taichung is a key battleground in Taiwan’s local elections. Overall victory or defeat in the elections is likely to be judged on who wins the mayoral race in Taichung. Both major parties have a realistic chance of winning what is likely to be a close contest. Hence, they will be investing a great deal in their campaigns.

The closeness of the contest in Taichung makes it an ideal site for analysing and comparing the campaign strategies of the two major parties. In this post I have done some basic analysis of how the two mayoral candidates are using social media to get their message out to voters.

The battle for Taichung sees incumbent mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) competing against Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). These two candidates also contested the election for Taichung Mayor in 2005 with Hu the victor on that occasion.

Jason Hu has been Mayor of Taichung for thirteen years now, nine as Mayor of Taichung City and the past four as the Mayor of Taichung Municipality. Hu is also a Vice-Chairman of the KMT and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Lin Chia-lung was the Legislator for Taichung No. 6 District until he resigned shortly before the election. He has previously served as  Director of the Government Information Office and Secretary-General of the DPP. Continue reading “The battle for Taichung on social media”

Taiwan's best blogs in 2011

Taiwanderful recently announced the 2011 Taiwan Best Blog Awards. To enter your blog you need to make sure you are registered at Taiwanderful before 10 December. Voting will take place from 10-30 December. I am no longer directly involved in running the awards but this blog will not be entered in the awards even though it is registered at Taiwanderful.

In previous years I have used the blog awards as a time to post links to some of my favourite Taiwan blogs. Even though I’m no longer in Taiwan I still read a number of Taiwan blogs and find them a great way of keeping in touch with what’s happening in Formosa. A list of some blogs I like in several categories follows. Continue reading “Taiwan's best blogs in 2011”

Building a Taiwanease community

TaiwaneaseThe website Taiwanease, with the slogan “Making Taiwan easy!”,  is the brainchild Anthony van Dyck. Some readers may know Anthony as a long term resident of Taiwan and for his ten year involvement with the well-known online discussion forum Forumosa.com. Taiwanease is a new and expanded website where Anthony is continuing to build an online community. I asked Anthony some questions about Taiwanease via e-mail. Continue reading “Building a Taiwanease community”

Writers and bloggers to speak at Book Fest

The Taiwan Book Fest will take place at Alleycat’s Pizza Restaurant at the Huashan Creative Park in Taipei City this weekend. The event is “a celebration of English-language fiction and non-fiction, with a focus on books about Taiwan.” It includes talks and discussions with Taiwan-based writers and a book exchange. There will also be new and second-hand books for sale.

Some well known Taiwan bloggers including Scott Sommers, Steven Crook, Jerome Keating, Craig Ferguson and Carrie Kellenberger will be speaking at the event. I am running a discussion on “Blogging and Citizen Journalism” at 4pm on Saturday 23 April. I welcome anyone who is interested to join the discussion and share their ideas.

When: 1:00-6:00pm Saturday & Sunday 23-24 April 2011
Where: Alleycat’s Pizza Restaurant, Huashan Creative Park (華山創意文化園區), No.1 Bade Road, Section 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段一號)
Website: http://taiwanbookfest.com
Entry: free!!

Taiwan blog links — 24 January 2011

It’s been another busy week on the Taiwan blogs. Michael Turton will be back with the links next week.

News: Legislators consider making use of seatbelts in the back seat mandatory. Lin Feng-jeng labels the draft judges’ law a ‘dinosaur’. Activists question government’s failure to act against dog meat seller. Taiwan is experiencing a larger range of temperatures.

Continuing controversy over the Sean Lien (連勝文) shooting incident: while prosecutors call for death penalty even Sean Lien is not happy with investigation. Chen Hung Yuan’s family also question the prosecutors’ findings and the DPP still wants an election recall.

President Ma unhappy with missile test failures. Ministry of National Defense explains the reasons for the failures. Wired.com asks if the missile failure will score pity points with the US. Taiwanese American youth speak out for Taiwan’s right to self determination during Hu’s Washington visit. Analysts offer differing opinions on US-China joint statement. Richard Zalski suggests a new Taiwan policy for the US. Joseph Wu says rapprochement within Taiwan more important than Taiwan-China detente. J. Michael Cole says the ECFA is political.

Video: Gordon Ramsay goes on the trail of shark fin in Taiwan.

Announcement: The Formosa Foundation is seeking applicants for its 2011 Ambassador Program.

Taiwan blog links — 17 January 2011

Michael Turton is taking a break from blogging for a few weeks so I am going to post a weekly collection of links in the interim. Before he went on holidays Michael wrote a wonderful article about cycling in Taiwan on the Huffington Post. Let’s check out the latest on the Taiwan blogs.

News: Adil Hussain talks about working with Ang Lee on the set of Life of Pi in Taiwan. Taiwanese musicians heading to France. The opening of the fourth nuclear power plant delayed yet again. NCKU opens a new green building. Taipei Times editorial on the lax enforcement of traffic laws. The official number of indigenous people in Taiwan is over 510,000. Taiwan experiences very cold temperatures over the weekend. Taiwan Today interviews former Vice President Annette Lu.

Hillary Clinton urges China to reduce tensions as Hu Jintao prepares to visit Washington. Senate Taiwan Caucus resurfaces in time for Hu visit. However, today’s headline is US downplays Taiwan before Hu visit.

Video: Check out Tobie Openshaw’s talk about betel nut girls at TEDxMonga.

Toxic practice spreads to Taiwan blogosphere

China has the 50 Cent Party (五毛黨) to regulate and control content on the internet. Now it seems Taiwan has its own version labelled the $5,000 Party (五千黨). The latter term was coined by convenor of the Taiwan Green Party Pan Han-shen (潘翰聲) on his blog in response to an incident where a group of 20 bloggers where paid NT$5,000 to participate in a tour of a petrochemical plant and write about it on their blog. The Taipei Times reports in more detail:

Pan told the Taipei Times by telephone that the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) had invited 20 bloggers on a trip to visit a petrochemical plant in Kaohsiung and an electronic appliance plant nearby.

“The trip was totally free for participants. They received free meals and a NT$5,000 cash award,” Pan said. Continue reading “Toxic practice spreads to Taiwan blogosphere”