|Wha? My other blog was actually featured somewhere! Crazy!|
Far be it from me to use this blog to talk shit about other blogs, or to belittle other foreigners in Taiwan. Lord knows I have plenty of faults myself, and this blog is far from perfect.
But I do often read other blogs, by other foreign people, presently or previously residing in Taiwan. I cannot help but read these other blogs with a critical eye, since I am always comparing my own blog to theirs. Sometimes I am depressed by how much more insightful other foreign residents are. Other times, I am surprised by their ignorance.
Whether insightful or ignorant, I am always thinking of what I can learn from other blogs, what I can use to make my own blog better, and what things I should avoid in my own blog-making. My ultimate goal has always been a blog that is informative, well-written, and not crushingly serious. Reading other blogs has brought me a lot closer to that goal, though I admit I still have some work to do.
With this in mind I will attempt to review five other blogs, about Taiwan, in this space. I entered the words "blog" and "Taiwan" into Google, and these were the first five results of my search. Having located these five blogs, I then asked myself what I liked, what I didn't like, and what was strange (bonus points!) about these blogs. If the authors of these blogs ever manage to read this entry, you are welcome to apply the same criteria to this blog. I'm sure that I would profit thereby.
|The View from the First Row|
1. The View from Taiwan
It might have been less pretentious to have called this blog "A View from Taiwan," but the author, Michael Turton, is not about appeasement. He lives in Taichung, and has been online for quite a while. He is decidedly American, and I have the feeling he has lived here since forever.
It's a great looking blog, and has a lot of interesting links to other sites. The author obviously spends a lot of time researching his subject(s) online, and this has led to a wealth of information. Those wanting a first glimpse of Taiwan would do well to visit this site, though it's not very enlightening when it comes to the everyday aspects of living here.
This blog is WAY too political for me. I have only a passing interest in what the newspapers say about President Ma or Taiwan/US relations, so a lot of this was well outside my zone of interest.
The author has written A Historical Commentary on the Gospel of Mark, and has also created another blog, The Sword to discuss religious issues. If The View from Taiwan isn't heavy enough for you, I suggest perusing these. Q: Does God exist, and would he enjoy betel nut girls if He did?
|Looks like a good guy to have a beer with!|
2. David on Formosa
This blog was written by an Australian with an impressive resume. He has since returned to his country, and this blog has not been updated since 2011. During his time in Taiwan, he was a faculty member at Taichung's Providence University, and worked towards creating a Taiwan-centric blog community.
The writing here is very clear and concise. The author is quite selfless in his promotion of other blogs and Taiwan-related sites, and he seems well-informed when it comes to the subject of Taiwan.
This blog is very political, and I have almost no interest in politics. Some of the entries seem a bit too reliant on local newspapers, and one begins to wonder why one is reading this blog in the first place, and not the local newspaper!
This blog continues to be popular, despite the fact that it ceased functioning a year ago. I find this a reason to take note of "David on Formosa."
3. Neil Wade's Photography Blog
The photographs here are BEAUTIFUL. This site is also simple and easy to navigate. The author often berates himself for being disorganized, but this is one of the clearest, most interesting blogs about Taiwan that I have ever seen.
The pictures are too small, and the margins of the page should be widened. Yeah, you can click on the pictures for larger images, but I think it would present a better appearance if some of the images were larger in the articles.
This guy hikes a lot, and he has visited some truly interesting places. He is also NOT using this site to promote a photography business, which is a plus for me!
|A blog about other blogs discussing another blog that is about this blog. Confusing?|
This is not really a blog, but rather a blog directory. From here I clicked on the link for Ah-Taiwan: Life in Formosa, which was the first blog listed. This blog is written by a Canadian man living in central Taiwan. The circumstances surrounding his arrival in Taiwan were surprisingly similar to my own.
The layout is not bad, but it's a bit empty. It is a solid, general-interest blog, and isn't trying too hard to be something it's not.
Too much advertising, and much of the content here seems commercially motivated. Some other entries seem to have been either cut-and-pasted from other sources or "borrowed" from other sites. Also, many of the entries could be researched more effectively on Wikipedia.
Nothing very strange here, and this lack of strangeness is a mark against it.
|All the good stuff!|
5. The Real Taiwan
This is a blog written by several people on the west coast. The guy who used to manage it is no longer living in Taiwan, and has handed the writing over to just about anyone who is interested. I am thinking this blog is probably defunct now, since the last entry was for January 19.
I like the layout. The slideshow at the top is cool. The range of topics would interest younger, single people, or even not-so-young, surprisingly single foreign residents on the west coast of the island. Articles such as "Confessions of a MILF Hunter" will never fail to draw an audience.
I don't think older, married folks, or most Taiwanese people would find much in this blog to like. Chinese is nonexistent here, and the viewpoint is almost exclusively one of people who've just gotten here off the plane.
The diversity of authors who wrote for this blog made for a diversity of material. Had the proprietor found people who were more interested in keeping this blog alive, they might have actually lived up to their name.
Social Studies in Taiwan
Fishing Ports of Taiwan
To and From