I first started a weblog back in 2003. I can’t remember exactly when, but I think it was about the time of SARS. I was using Tinderbox, which I still think is a great piece of software.
At some point I switched over to Movable Type, and slowly I stopped blogging. One day I went to my site and found that it was gone. Dot5Hosting had lost it and the backup. I was bummed, especially since I was also hosting a couple of friend’s blogs on the site as well.
I cobbled some of the entries together from Google’s cache, so they’re saved on some hard drive somewhere, but I lost a little bit of my fervor for blogging.
In 2004 I decided that I wanted to have a blog to communicate with my New Channel students, so I started a blog on Typepad. I soon realized, however, that many Chinese university students couldn’t regularly access international sites from on campus, so I decided to switch to Bokee, or Blogchina.com. After blogging there for a couple of months, the education channel at sina.com contacted New Channel and asked if I’d like to start a blog on their blog network. I thought it was a good chance to try out their new service, so I decided to give it a go. It just so happened that at the same time I’d been asked by the Beijing News to write a short piece for their paper, and I was surprised to find out that I could write in Chinese. Inspired by this new discovery, I decided to make my Sina.com blog all a Chinese. I was also intrigued by the idea that a Chinese blog would be able to be read by more Chinese people. This turned out to be true, as my Chinese blog was very popular on Sina for a while, I got invited to be on a TV show to talk about the blogging phenomenon, and the The First Newspaper even wrote an article about my blog.
Eventually, of course, life took over, and my postings became more sparse. I also grew frustrated with the second-rate interface for the Sina blogs, and the lack of control that users are given, which took away some of my motivation to post. I started to think about moving my blog to yet another site.
As I pondered this inconsequential move, usually in cabs or as I brushed my teeth, I began to realize that I should have an online home. Somewhere that I could share stuff, whatever that stuff might be, for years to come.
I’ve also slowly come to the realization that I want to write more, and that starting an English blog would be a good way to do so. My fifth college reunion is coming up next year, and I haven’t really had to write anything since graduating, which is scary. So, I’ve decided to start this blog here at yjohny.com. I’ll talk more about why yjohny.com later. Of course, I don’t have to write in this space either, but maybe it’ll provide some motivation.
For now I’m leaving my Chinese blog at Sina, mostly because I’m frightened by the task of moving all of the entries over, but also because there are a lot of links pointing there.
I’m using WordPress for this blog because it’s simple and customizable. I considered Blogger because it’s even easier to use, but in the end decided it was just too limited. I’m using the standard WordPress template right now, but I’ll probably eventually customize it by stripping away almost all of the formatting.
I’ll use this space to write about stuff I find interesting, or whatever comes to mind. I’d like to share some thoughts on living in China, and comment a bit on news that catches my eye. I imagine that I’ll also write about some of the boring minutia of my life.
I’d be delighted if some people outside of my immediate family and close friends find what I write here interesting, but if they don’t then that’s okay, too. I’m a firm believer in the idea that if a tree falls in the forrest and no one is listening it does make a sound.