Monthly Archives: August 2005

Baidu Post

Check out Baidu Post (something like BBS). It has generated great traffic.

For example, under the winner of the Super Girl Li Yu Chun, up to now, 5.1 million message were posted under this single name.

Check out the page. Every time I press F5 to refresh the page, new entries were added – at interval of less than 1 second. Just keep refreshing and we have some idea about how active people are posting on this board.

I didn’t a simple test: at 23:50:00 of Aug 30, 2005, there are 5109585 message. 15 seconds later, which is 23:50:15, the number increased by 50 to 5109635. It means on average, there are 3.3 NEW post on this thread every single second. This has lasted for at least several weeks.

Meanwhile, the SMS Li Yun Chun got is 3.5 million in just one week – this may give people some hint that mobile phone usage is still much higher than Internet.

The super girl is a very interesting case study that reveal some solid facts that many people in IT industy ignore….

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Dinner with Friends from Six Apart

Tonight, I met two nice guests from Six Apart in Shanghai – Ginger Tulley, Six Apart’s director of worldwide strategy and analysis, and Nob Seki, Executive Vice President and CEO of Six Apart in Japan. Thanks Ginger and Seki to send me a Movable Type T-shirt. Ginger asked: “We have T-Shirts with either Six Apart and MovableType. What would you like to have?” Although the actual answer will be both, I chosed the MovableType version, since I will be using MovableType for 3 years in 2 weeks, and my first blog entry ever is MovableType Successfully Installed on Windows XP (on Sept 11, 2002).

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MovableType T-Shirt

During the dinner, we talked a lot about the history of Six Apart and the Internet trends in China. Ginger already told me that Six Apart was named after the birthday of the two founders Mena and Ben. Their birthdays are just six days apart, so they named their company “Six Apart”. I just found out we three were born in the same year. If I’d set up a company with Ben, maybe we should call it “Twenty Six Apart”, since I am 26 days younger than Ben.. :-)

Seki seems to have uploaded some pictures he took at the Bund already.

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Jian Shuo, Ginger and Seki

Here are some other pictures I took during the night. I haven’t been to Bund for quite some time. It is very beautiful after so many times of visiting.

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eBay China Job Opening

I am posting this on behalf of my friend in eBay. They have several opening in the Product Management team. If you are interested in any of the positions, please send your resume to sha-hire at ebay.com.

Sr. Manager, UED

UED Manager, China

eBay is seeking a manager to lead eBay’s User Experience & Design Team for China. This position requires a strategic thinker, an innovator, a visionary, and an effective advisor across various levels for the UED organization in China. He/she will lead the UED team to champion the user experience on the eBay platform; enable the team to become more effective in advocating ease of use through the sharing of UED goals and strategies.

Responsibilities:

The UED manager is responsible for building and maintaining excellent relationships at the team, cross-division and executive levels. He/she understands the importance of user-driven metrics; works closely with the Global User Experience Research team to ensure successful adoption of the field studies program in China to deliver measurable results and translate data into better design solutions. This position will also work closely with Global Content Management to maintain a consistent editorial voice across eBay. They must understand the target segments and personas of users as well as the net profit value of the projects. They will be responsible for overseeing many simultaneous projects and strategies from inception to launch. The position will require reviewing designs and plans to ensure high quality and ensuring that the team applies user-centered design principles and site design guidelines.

Along with cross-functional and executive teams, the UED manager will partner with internal clients to satisfy the needs of eBay Community in ways that add measurable value to the business. The UED manager will participate in key stakeholders’ quarterly team meetings to insert UED expertise at the beginning of the planning phase: identify strategies, conduct concept brainstorming and discuss industry UED trends. Ensure that UED is delivering interface designs and creative, marketing deliverables that meet or set industry standards for excellence as well as broader global corporate objectives. They drive improvements that make eBay’s processes more efficient and effective. The successful UED Manager is an effective negotiator, interfacing with all levels of management to build consensus and reach appropriate resolutions in many varied situations without damaging internal or external relationships.

The UED Manager is responsible for building the strength of the UED organization in China. They lead a local team as well as multiple outside agencies. He/She will manage team members’ capabilities and career development. They will coach the team to work effectively toward a common goal and empower strategic contribution to reflect growing business needs.

The UED Manager is also responsible for overall team operations. This includes: Managing the day-to-day operations of your group and their workload; setting priorities for projects, strategies and other initiatives; assigning and balancing resources across projects; tracking and ensuring goals are achieved; mentorship through critiques and weekly 1-on-1 meetings; writing quarterly evaluations for direct reports and giving peer input; recruiting design, content and research talent including: interviewing and evaluating prospective hires along with utilization reports, capacity modeling and reporting responsibilities. The UED manager will work closely with the China based Product and US-based UED leaderships to develop strategic operations plans and manage quarterly budgets for their team. They collaborate with UED leads to ensure strategies and plans are in synch and the user experience is cohesive. They will work closely with the UED team in the U.S. to define and champion the User Experience guidelines and frameworks that will apply not only to China but also globally. In addition, the role requires coordinating product execution with US-based UED Directors (UI, UER, Creative, Content), Product Management, Product Development, and Global Product Planning (GPP).

Job Requirements

(Knowledge, skills, abilities, experience required to perform job):

Must read, write and speak fluent Chinese Mandarin and English to communicate effectively.

8+ years web design experience with 3+ years leading and/or managing a User Experience group (researchers, usability testers, content writers, interaction designers, creative designers). Proven ability to lead completely-thorough knowledge of steps required to give timely and helpful coaching to improve group excellence. Strong project management and time management capabilities are critical. Must have a full understanding of industry practices as well as how to resolve complex issues in effective ways. Exercises judgment in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.

The successful candidate for this position has an established multi-disciplinary, user-centered design background with deep experience leading cross-functional, web design teams. They will have strong understanding of presentation layer technology, software and user research, and understand how each impacts the Web design process. They will be an expert in applications for User Interface Design. This includes, but is not limited to: HTML, Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Image Ready and Macromedia Fireworks.

Candidate must work well in a fast-paced team environment; have excellent communication skills and exhibit professionalism in all aspects of their daily tasks.

The candidate must have an excellent understanding of user experience design for the Web, demonstrable design skills, and the ability to show relevant work. They must have experience launching products for consumer web sites, preferably within the domain of eCommerce. They should have a proven ability to help designers create better designs and become better designers. Also required is a proven ability to negotiate, come to resolution, and be a strong advocate for user and business goals.

Must have experience conducting or at least managing and using user experience research in the design process, as well as a good understanding of market research. Should know different research methodologies such as ethnographic field studies, usability studies, surveys, data mining analysis, and usability inspection methods, and most importantly when they are used. Should be comfortable presenting research insights and data-driven designs, and builds consensus and resolves conflicts through the appropriate use of research in the product development process.

Excellent knowledge of eBay.com and intimate knowledge of the eBay user experience in Asia is a plus. Understanding of China (and preferably the Asia region) market industry, eCommerce competitive situation, and overall landscape for internet based business.

Work Style:

Ability to set a vision for the future along with strong concept, planning and delivery skills. The successful candidate will thrive in a fast-paced, interdisciplinary team environment where rapid iteration is part of the team process. The candidate must exhibit strong communication skills (both oral and written) to enable him/her to lead the UED team and present concepts. Must have knowledge of the eBay user experience and the role UED can play in driving eBay’s overall success.

Also must actively seek and understand the eBay business model, along with its competitors, plus how UED solutions enable eBay and the eBay community to reach business goals and objectives. The UED Manager will take a strategic, data-driven approach to user research, content creation, and design through seeking, interpreting and utilizing data to create a stronger and more beneficial solution for eBay users.

Work with the user community and business to understand needs and opportunities. Ensure that UED business proposals are approved and have a significant, short and long-term positive impact on the community and the business.

Work effectively across eBay, as well as with other leaders in the broader user experience and design community; building the prestige of eBay and UED within the larger user experience and business community (e.g. represents eBay in conferences, universities, etc.)

Lead Creative Designer

eBay is seeking a Lead Creative Designer to supervise creative designers in the delivery of quality onsite designs that both support a successful user experience and exceed eBay’s business goals. The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a highly collaborative, fast-paced environment. The successful candidate will be also be responsible for contributing to creative strategies that deliver process and infrastructure improvements. Applicants must have substantial experience leading creative project teams in the designing of complex web sites and delivering online marketing campaigns. Strong eCommerce experience with a background in print and typography preferred. This position is based in San Jose and reports to the Creative Manager responsible for creative merchandising and marketing for both Buying and Selling areas of the site.

Responsibilities:

This supervisory position provides design direction for designers working on product development and onsite marketing campaigns including (but not limited to) home page graphics, promotion pages, internet marketing, email marketing, landing pages, mock-ups for static page designs, category pages, pop-ups, banners and delivery of segmentation-driven graphic designs.

The successful candidate will be responsible for executing assigned projects with deliverables developed on a compressed schedule that might exhibit rapid changes in direction. They must be able to diagnose customer needs, complete creative briefs; and communicate schedules and project plans to internal clients. They produce professional concepts; apply company design policies and procedures to resolve a wide variety of design challenges. A Lead Creative Designer is a skilled presenter and manages relationships with internal clients on a variety of creative design issues that support both the business and a strong user experience. A Lead Designer manages the success of Creative Design in cross-functional teams that include UI designers, Product Managers, Business Unit representatives along with web development teams. They ensure best practices for realization of designs and proper delivery of assets.

A Lead Creative Designer acts as both a leader of design quality and efficiency. They constantly evaluate both the quality of the work and the efficiency of how the work is being delivered. They lead teams in the strategizing and delivering innovative new creative design policies and practices including participating in creation and implementation of worldwide style standards, color strategies, visual expressions of the eBay brand, creative design research, metrics for tracking and reporting the success of creative design on eBay. They must have a deep knowledge of design trends related to eCommerce and retail on the web.

Job Requirements

(Knowledge, skills, abilities, experience required to perform job)

Must read, write and speak fluent Chinese Mandarin and English to communicate effectively.

Minimum 8+ years designing for eCommerce in an ad agency, marketing communications firm.

2+ years design directing at an in-house web design department, agency or design studio. Online portfolio is required.

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from a 4-year University or art school (or equivalent experience).

Candidate must have a thorough knowledge of computers and the Internet-including both PC and Macintosh platforms. Must be well versed in all applications for the creation of graphic design for internet sites and the requirements technology places upon design is critical. This includes, but is not limited to: Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, Quark Express, ImageReady, Flash and Macromedia Fireworks.

Candidate must work well in a fast-paced team environment, and have strong communication skills. Candidates must have experience working successfully leading Creative Design within interdisciplinary project teams and collaborating with business units, user experience designers and researchers. Must be organized, have excellent time management skills and be detail oriented. Must be able to manage their own time in an efficient manner without supervision to meet deadlines, incorporate meetings and follow-ups and maintain design excellence. Candidates with experience working in an advertising agency or corporate creative design team are preferred.

Candidate should exhibit a strong understanding of the eBay’s business model and how creative solutions contribute to eBay’s success.

Senior User Experience Researcher

Primary Job Responsibilities

(List and describe the essential responsibilities of the position for which the individual is held accountable)

eBay seeks a Senior User Experience Researcher to join eBay’s User Experience & Design team.

o Responsible for planning and conducting user research, including methods such as: ethnographic field studies, usability studies, benchmark studies, competitive evaluations, participatory design sessions, user surveys, heuristic evaluations, and similar approaches.

o Provide insight and vision to the team based on researching user needs. Convert research findings into actionable results.

o Work closely with interaction designers, visual designers, product managers, marketing, engineers, and other user experience researchers to define and improve the user experience for the eBay website.

o Synthesize research findings from other data sources (including market research and data mining) into meaningful recommendations and actionable items.

o Understand the business needs, while researching the needs of the user, in order to create solutions and opportunities for the business unit.

o Effectively interface with executives (including VPs, Directors, and Design Managers).

Job Requirements

(Knowledge, skills, abilities, experience required to perform job)

o Must read, write and speak fluent Chinese Mandarin and English to communicate effectively.

o 3 – 5 years of professional experience in the industry.

o Masters or higher degree in Human-Computer Interaction or related field.

o Strong leadership skills.

o Excellent understanding of user experience research and usability for the Web. Prefer experience with products for consumer web sites.

o Excellent interpersonal skills and presentation skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in small and large groups, to all levels of the organization, as well as outside of the organization.

o Proven ability to work and coordinate with multiple groups, including business owners, product managers, creative designers, usability engineers, software developers, and senior executives.

Senior UI Designer

Primary Job Responsibilities

(List and describe the essential responsibilities of the position for which the individual is held accountable)

eBay seeks a Senior UI Designer with a successful track record of design leadership experience. This is a great opportunity for an experienced Senior UI Designer to join eBay’s User Experience & Design team.

You will:

o Create world-class designs that benefit eBay’s 135 million users.

o Enable eBay sellers to run their business successfully and

effectively. (In the US alone, over 400,000 people make their

living selling on eBay.)

Specific responsibilities include:

o Defining long-term user experience strategies.

o Presenting new product ideas and strategies to the exec staff.

o Leading the design team to explore design options.

o Setting the design direction for major parts of the eBay user experience.

o Writing product specifications (IA, work flow, page functionality and layout, etc.).

o Working with Product Management to evaluate product success and next steps.

o Mentoring and guiding more junior designers.

o Identifying and leading process improvements that make the design group more efficient and effective.

o Contributing to a culture of innovation and teamwork.

o Representing eBay in the broader design community through conferences talks, papers, networking, etc.

Job Requirements

(Knowledge, skills, abilities, experience required to perform job)

o Must read, write and speak fluent Chinese Mandarin and English to communicate effectively.

o At least 5 years of professional design experience.

o Bachelor’s or higher degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Cognitive Science, or related field.

o Strong leadership skills.

o Excellent understanding of user experience design for the Web, demonstrable design skills, and ability to show relevant work. Experience launching products for consumer web sites.

o Excellent interpersonal skills and presentation skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in small and large groups, to all levels of the organization, as well as outside of the organization.

o Proven ability to work and coordinate with multiple groups, including business owners, product managers, creative designers, usability engineers, software developers, and senior executives.

Lead UI Designer

You will:

o Create world-class designs that benefit eBay’s 135 million users.

o Leading other designers who will be doing the same

o Enable eBay sellers to run their business successfully and

effectively. (In the US alone, over 400,000 people make their

living selling on eBay.)

Specific responsibilities include:

o Defining long-term user experience strategies.

o Presenting new product ideas and strategies to the exec staff.

o Leading the design team to explore design options.

o Setting the design direction for major parts of the eBay user experience.

o Writing product specifications (IA, work flow, page functionality and layout, etc.).

o Working with Product Management to evaluate product success and next steps.

o Mentoring, leading and coaching more junior designers.

o Identifying and leading process improvements that make the design group more efficient and effective.

o Contributing to a culture of innovation and teamwork.

o Representing eBay in the broader design community through conferences talks, papers, networking, etc.

Job Requirements

(Knowledge, skills, abilities, experience required to perform job)

o Must read, write and speak fluent Chinese Mandarin and English to communicate effectively.

o At least 5 years of professional design experience.

o Bachelor’s or higher degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Cognitive Science, or related field.

o Strong leadership skills.

o Excellent understanding of user experience design for the Web, demonstrable design skills, and ability to show relevant work. Experience launching products for consumer web sites.

o Excellent interpersonal skills and presentation skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in small and large groups, to all levels of the organization, as well as outside of the organization.

o Proven ability to work and coordinate with multiple groups, including business owners, product managers, creative designers, usability engineers, software developers, and senior executives.

Product Metrics Analyst

The Product Metrics Analyst position will contribute to the design and development of metrics and reports that measure the effectiveness of new and current features implemented on eBay’s website. Will work as part of a team to assist in report design and implementation. Must be able to work independently in tasks such as maintaining existing reports, working jointly with other team members to understand report requirements, propose possible data warehouse enhancements and help in overall reporting process improvement.

Responsibilities include:

Understand the eBay site and its functionality.

Test and validate the accuracy of reports.

Develop appropriate distribution and viewing mechanisms for reports.

Execute planned reporting tasks.

Maintain and improve existing reports.

Keep management informed of progress.

Proactively solve problems.

Research and propose tools and process changes to improve methods of doing business.

Position will report to the China Director of Product Management and to the Sr. Manager of Product Metrics in San Jose.

Job Requirements

(Knowledge, skills, abilities, experience required to perform job)

Education and/or Relevant Experience:

o BS/BA Computer Scienece or Science with a strong background in computers.

o 2-4 years experience in report development.

o Experience with web site reporting concepts – page views, click through, etc.

o Experience with report development using an eCommerce data warehouse.

o Programming experience using Visual Basic, VBA, Perl, Cold Fusion or Java.

o Working experience with ANSI standard PL/SQL

o Experience with linking MS Excel with various data sources. ODBC experience is a plus.

o Working experience with relational databases and data warehouse concepts.

o Knowledge of basic statistical concepts such as correlation, regression, and confidence intervals.

o Experience with analyzing and presenting data in Excel – charting, Pivot Tables, advanced formulas.

o Experience with any of the following is preferred: Business Objects, ColdFusion, Microstrategy and Teradata.

Lead Quality Assurance Engineer

Full time position

Location : Shanghai

Mission :

Within Product Management team, your mission is that of guaranteeing high quality performance of our website.

In this mission you’ll report into a China based Product Manager and into a QA supervisor located in the US. You will work closely with other Product Managers, the content and linguist Managers as well as with the product development team in our corporate offices in San José, California, US.

Core Responsibilities: key regular activities of the job

o New release responsibilities: General testing of new product releases following standard QA process and procedures, reproducing issues and user configurations

o Create standard methods and procedures for in country quality assurance across eBay Eachnet

o Carry out country specific feature testing where necessary

o Communicate country’s concerns and approval for releases to relevant stakeholders

o Work closely with other in-country QA persons to ensure high quality level of releasing features

o Work closely with Content Manager to ensure best in class localization of global features

o Ensure strong relationship with Customer Support team to effectively manage the resolution of issues identified in production

o Be recognized as a site expert

o Actively participate to internal site improvements processes

Required skills

o Passionate by the Internet and new technologies

o Methodical, detail oriented approach.

o Strong problem-solving attitude

o Excellent oral and written communication skills.

o Fluency in written and oral English.

o Autonomy and results oriented approach.

o Ability to rapidly integrate local and International team required.

o Flexibility and dynamism

Being currently a user of eBay will be considered as a plus.

Education :

– University education, computer related majors are preferred

Experience

– Functional QA engineer or evidence of similar role with online experience

Technical Skills required

o Environment : Windows in general

o Strong knowledge of network protocols and Internet in general (TCP/IP ; HTTP ; email)

o Basic knowledge of MySQL, Oracle

o Knowledge of Windows Word, Excel and Powerpoint

Technical skills not required but a plus:

o Knowledge of Architecture Client/Server and Databases

o Knowledge of site test tools : Test Director, Clearquest

o Knowledge of HTML, XML, Java

Senior Project Manager

Primary Job Responsibilities:

Reporting into the Sr. Director of Product Management, this position is responsible for organizing and managing initiatives involving cross-functional teams challenged with supporting a highly visible internet site experiencing a high rate of growth.

The Sr. Project Manager will work closely with the Business Unit, Marketing, Product Management, User Experience & Design, and Resource Management groups to organize prioritization of roadmap initiatives, facilitate discussions to ensure project priorities are meeting business strategies, track progress and issues of multiple initiatives, interact with management, peers and team members to resolve open, critical issues, and drive process improvements initiatives cross organizationally.

Job responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: organizing and facilitating meetings with cross functional teams; managing and driving resolution of issues; communicating status, issues and risks to management team; and tracking overall status of product roadmap initiatives. This position will work closely with all levels of management within the organization.

Job Requirements:

o Minimum 8 years experience in project management; knowledge of project management software tools and management techniques

o Strong communications skills and the ability to work well with other departments and varying levels of management.

o Ability to function effectively in a fast paced environment and manage multiple projects simultaneously.

o Superb analytical skills: both technical and process improvement oriented

o Able to plan and prioritize multiple tasks effectively

o Able to work both independently and as a team member

o Proven track record in process definition and improvement initiatives

o Able to independently drive projects through to completion

o Bachelors Degree or Equivalent

Product Manager

Primary Job Responsibilities:

As a member of eBay’s product management team for China, you will:

o Define the features that need to be developed to keep eBay’s China site competitive and write product requirements documents

o Bring these features live to site, working especially closely with engineering and project management, and also with design, customer service, marketing and country management

o Understand and evangelize the needs of eBay China’s buyers and sellers

o Act as a key point of contact for both the China in-country team and for various US organizations on China-related projects, bridging the geographic and time zone gaps between organizations

o Analyze the external marketplace, customers, partners and competitors to ensure that the right products get built

o Partner with product managers working on other global eBay sites, particularly eBay.com, to leverage their work into the China site. Also make sure that China-specific development is leveraged to other countries.

o Analyze and measure the effectiveness and competitiveness of eBay’s products in China

Job Requirements:

This position requires the following skills:

o 3-7 years of Product Management experience at a consumer Internet or software company

o Strong technical understanding of Internet technologies and the operations of a commercial Web site and web-based communities.

o Strong analysis and financial planning skills. Prior P&L management a plus.

o Must be a fluent native Mandarin speaker and have an excellent command of spoken and written English

o International product management or business experience, particularly with a foreign company, is a plus

o Entrepreneurial mind-set

o Excellent written and verbal communication skills

o Strong cross-functional team building and communication skills

o Proven track record of shipping successful products

o Bachelor’s degree or equivalent; MBA preferred

Note: For most efficient routing of your resume, please do NOT send it to me. Use the email address listed at the begining of this page please.

Super Girl is Super Hot

When I passed by the square of the Raffle’s city, one of the most crowded area in Shanghai, I was surrounded by a group of girls. They are fans of Li Yu Chun, the leading singer of the Super Girl contest. They tried to persuade me to vote for Li Yu Chun with my mobile. It will cost me 1 RMB but will help Yu Chun to have more possibility to win the contest.

They old 5 big picture of their super star in hand, and hold them high, so everyone can see. The group of girls are made up of about 10 persons. I didn’t take my camera with me, otherwise I would record it – very impressive.

About 50 meters away are the fans of Zhou Bi Chang, the second runner after Li. Their fans are doing the same. The hot competion has urged many fans go to the street and ask people passing by to send SMS for their supported girl.

Last week, Li Yu Chun got 1.8 million SMS support from every corner of the country. I get this week, this number may double since it is the final and 2 more left the game and there is only 3 persons in the show. Last week, Li Yu Chun helped China Mobile, SP and Hunan TV to win almost 2 million RMB from SMS only. That is amazing.

It’s just like a president election. Super Girl is a vivid marketing, planning case study for business persons around the country.

P.S. I Watched Super Girl, Finally and this Friday is the FINAL. The watching rate raised to 10%, and for the first time, a non-CCTV program run ahead of the Xin Wen Lian Bo at 7:00 PM, which enjoys watching rate of around 7%.

P.S 2 Any one can send SMS with content “AX” to number “8088 ” and send either 101, 107, or 108 to vote for one person.

eGuo One Hour?

This morning, to my surprise, I got an email from the CEO of eguo.com. It was a pleasant surprise to me, since the letter quickly bring me back to the old days of 2000…

2000 is a crazy year in China. Just like U.S., ecommerce is the buzz word. Everyone is talking about it, investing in it and setting up companys around it. 8848.com is the leader in eCommerce in China (now the company has gone) and I, a small potato, just switched from technical team to eCommerce team and running between one meeting and the other, one project to another, to see how to use Microsoft technology to help build eCommerce.

With this background, eGuo.com stands up with its ambitious plan: 1 hour deliver at anytime in Beijing (within the 4th outter ring road). That is amazing – it happens 5 years ago. They setup 10+ center and hired 300+ workers to deliver the goods with bicycles.

Personally, I am a faithful user of eGuo.com. When I arrive in Cui Gong Hotel near the Microsoft office, I connect to the net and order some thing to eat. Within one hour, a deliver person will know the door of my hotel and bring everything I need. I can pay him cash and get the goods. I remember once, they even bring me a lot of coke as gift – one coke per 10 RMB of purchase.

I worried a lot and think they may not making any money so I will lose this good service soon. I asked the deliver man – how can you make money because the goods are not more expensive than market price, the nice deliver man just told me he didn’t know either. :-)

eGuo.com inspired me a lot of how we can leverage the advantages of China to do realistic ecommerce in China.

Yu Garden

Visit Shanghai? Want to see the most “Chinese” side of Shanghai? I suggest our dearest visitors to go to the Yu Garden.

I have been a frequently host for many foreigners to Shanghai. Every time, I arrange a tour to Yu Garden to them, and up to now, everyone is so excited about this market with no exception. It is very “Chinese” style market with everything you think can be treated “Chinese”. From nice jade to chopstick, from “duilian” to red latterns. Here is the location:

Enjoy Shanghai!

This is the Top 356 Blog?

Kenlee‘s blog reported that Feedster announced the TOP 500 Blogs. It is updated every month.

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I couldn’t not check it because the domain http://top500.feedster.com/ was blocked by the Great Firewall. I believe one or more URL in the list must triggered the filter, so when I try to access it, my Internet connection is completely closed. So I can only have the chance to try twice in the last 10 minutes (5 minute OUT OF Internet punishment for every try). Well. I may find ways tomorrow to see it.

What is interesting to me is, Kenlee said Wangjianshuo’s blog is the only blog from mainland on the list, and is ranked 356 this month. Hnmmm. Interesting. So when a company is pround of being a member of Fortune 500, I may be proud of the first round of Top 500 Blogs in the world. :-) Just take it as fun …

More Lugu Lake Pictures

What a pleasant surprise for me that I received email from Dr. Glenwood Irons again. you may also remember Dr. Glenwood, the author of Flight to Shanghai: A Journey in the Plague Year (II, III, IV). It was the only time that I co-author this blog for the entire 3 years of blogging, because the topic is so interesting and Dr. Glenwood’s entry was so well written. This time, he sent me some pictures he took near the Lugu Lake. He obviously took the most moving moments – dancing and group photo with the women in that village – the villages where women enjoy much more rights than men.

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Photo taken by Dr. Glenwood Irons

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Photo taken by Dr. Glenwood Irons

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Photo taken by Dr. Glenwood Irons

It reminds of the my trip to Lugu Lake in the May holiday.

BTW, I am thinking of travelling again. There is a package to Egypt costing only 8200 RMB from Beijing. Well…. The pyramids — my mind start to fly…

I Watched Super Girl, Finally

I start to feel silly that I still didn’t watch Super Girl from Hunan TV. Everyone is talking about it in China now – 20 million people are waiting for the TV show every Friday. Wendy just fly back from Boao in Hainan, and she told me that many people on the flight were so worry during the flight that they may miss some part of the show that night.

Super Girl is a miracle in the history of TV program in China. It broke a new record for watching rate. One of the girl got 820K SMS voting in one week. One SMS cost 1 RMB to 0.5 RMB. That is a large business already. I am very happy that the entertainment industry is booming up with the these programs in China.

Different Views on Typhoon

Just get back from a business trip. Sorry that I was not able to catch up the blog and didn’t find a chance to post an OOB – it is among the longest break in blogging recently.

When I am on the bus back from Hangzhou to Shanghai, I finally find several minutes to use my Dopod 515 to check out the comments on my site and noticed annick and Angela were pretty upset about my comment to Typhoon: “But it’s first time that I learnt that somebody quote Typhoon as pleasant experience.” and “It is really disappointed to know you enjoy the Typhoon so much”. I also noticed a lot of my frequent reader made comments after it.

I can understand Annick and Angela’s upset. Typhoon is typically very bad thing. But meanwhile, several books, including the Art of Travel, taught me how importantly to see the world in different views – switching between point of views makes people happier. Sometimes, lack of local information blocks understanding and cause misunderstanding.

Many People in Shanghai Loves Typhoon

Many things have many different aspects. When we read about Typhoon, we only read about the area hit by typhoon. So the general image for typhoon is bad, very bad – killing people and destroy houses. But Shanghai is in a lucky position that every time typhoon hits, it will only pass Shanghai on the sea instead of landing on Shanghai. Since there will be several typhoon every summer, we will see typhoon as part of the summer season, just like the two continuous raining months.

When I first arrived in Shanghai in 1995, people told me typhoon is coming. I was so frightened, and soon got very confused that many people are so happy about it. I asked why and people explained the story 10 years ago to me, a new comer: Typhoon mainly brings cold air without causing too much trouble every year. When people feel too hot, and when Typhoon alarm comes, they know it will cooler soon.

Typhoon Does Cause Too Much Trouble For ME

Life is fill of happiness and sadness. Our attitude toward it does not prevent Typhoon from coming but greatly affects how happy we are. When Typhoon hit Zhejiang province, it caused a lot of trouble, but people their just take it as the routine – every year, just like people use Air conditioning to fight against summer and heater for winter, they have their own way to protect their home. Typhoon also went the long way to Beijing, which is 1400 km north, and it only turned out to be small rain. The same typhoon is not the same for lives in different cities. It means different even in people in the same city.

Just like someone pointed my nose and say: Hey, why not distroy your car? I ask why? They say: It killed millions of people world wide already. I said: But it is not THIS car. The typhoon in this city that I described is not the typhoon which killed people.

My Life, My City

As part of the mission of this blog, I just want to describe honestly about my life, and small things around me. The smallest part matters most for future visitors and people who are thinking about relocation to Shanghai. Most of the things I am even not aware of. Just like I completely forget the surprise I experienced 10 years ago when I first hear someone say they love typhoon, I didn’t expect this sentence will cause argument. But this is the most interesting thing.

When people talk about something, they tend to image it in the way they are used to, and from an angle from where they stand. However, the real situation may be different people who live with it. For example, people in America get upset about a lot of things they heard about China, for example, the one child policy, thinking “OMG. How can it be possible?” Actually, the real fact is different. Only by living on this land for some time and also taking history into account can we make a better judgement. That is a strong reason that keeps me writing for this blog – smallest thing like attitude toward typhoon can help a lot for cross-country understanding. Understanding is the most critical to world peace, as I always believe in.

P.S. Carroll, so nice to hear from you again. I want to add additional thank you for hosting me in SFO when I visited. I always think I should put it again somewhere on my blog again since it was so nice experience for me.

Typhoon Hit Shanghai

From Friday night till tonight, Shanghai is experiencing Typhoon. For me, it is a pleasant experience – the wind goes up and it rains heavily these two days. I was not able to go out yesterday and today, when I checked out Goudaner, it is completely a new car – the rain washed the car completely – I have never seen a car washer that clean it so completely. Shanghai is lucky. Every time Typhoon comes, it majorly brings fresh air, cools down the hot weather. There are some smaller accidents caused by the Typhoon in the city, but it is still much better than cities in Zhejiang.

All flights were delayed by differenet degrees. Wendy is back from Lijiang today. I drove to Hongqiao airport to pick her up. Her flight was delayed only by 40 minutes, while most other flights were delayed without a determined time. However, the last minute, it was announced Wendy’s flight arrived in Pudong Airport – the other airport. So I get back home with an empty car.

Taxi Driver Got Compensation?

Dan from Shanghaiist.com asked me the news says Shanghai taxi drivers get compensation for the increase of gas price. I know a little bit about this.

Formula of Shanghai Taxi

Almost for every Shanghai taxi, there will be two drivers for it. One runs for 24 hours and passes the taxi to the other one, and so on. Some taxis are run by couples, which means they can get a lot from the car but they don’t’ have time to meet besides the time to handle over the car. That extreme case is terrible – I cannot imagine a family like this.

Then, every one get passengers’ money and put it into their own pocket. A typical Volkswagen 3000 taxi driver needs to hand in 6150 RMB per month to the taxi company (this is the price for Qiang Sheng Taxi with telephone number 62580000). This does not include gas and maintenance for the car.

Gas is typically 150 – 170 RMB per day, but with the recent increase, it is about 20% more than before everyday. Now in extreme hot summer, they have to turn on air condition all the time, it costs more.

Then, they need to pay a lot of other different fees. For example, they pay around 60 RMB to have the taxi company clear their seat covers everyday. Some install GPS + CDMA. This is mandatory and you cannot choose to install or not. Then the driver needs to pay 65 RMB per month additionally for the service.

With the recent increase in gas price, the government gives 200 RMB per car compensation, which means 100 RMB per person and 7 RMB per day (if he runs 15 days a month). The 7 RMB is nothing compared to the increased cost, but it is better than nothing.

Ability to Make Impact is the Cause of Pressue

Talked with a nice taxi driver again today. Recently, it seems the only window I have interaction with this city is taxi driver. :-) Wendy drive me to Metro and I take ride of the Metro to People’s Square – I saw a lot of people – really a LOT in rush hours, but there is no interaction. Everyone is busy with their own goal, and there is only a destination in their mind, all the advertisement, people around them are just moving object (maybe gray boxes) for them, and does not mean anything to them. It is the same for people around them. The Metro runs at 3 minutes interval. Within the 3 minutes, the platform will be full of people quickly.

Daily life in Shanghai gives people pressure – you can feel it in the eyes of the people in Metro and the fast pace of people. When I was in Lijiang, I remember when the bus we took entered a gas station, the bus driver went away from the bus and chatted with the other bus driver for quite some time – since the bus was filled anyway, and no one complained about their absence from the bus – they just cannot make any impact when the bus was parked there, with workers filled in the gas. I thought the scene is very interesting because if the driver stopped in the middle way on our road, we can not imagine our driver get off the bus and chat – because when he is driving, the time we need to get to the destination all depends on how fast the driver drivers. Whether he seats in the bus or not makes big difference. So the driver has the pressure.

This example shows that when the bus was filled with gas, the driver cannot make much impact, he does not feel the pressure. When what he does makes big impact, especially impacting the full bus of people, he feels the pressure and don’t have time for free chat.

In Shanghai as a city, it also works.

When I visited a place (during my trip of the 30N 119E confluence project), I found a small town. People there lead very peaceful life. The are connected to the outside world only by two buses – one leaves around 11:00 AM and one around 1:00 PM. When they wait for bus, they can easily wait there for about one hour, having nothing to do. When they realize no matter how fast their paces are, there are still only two schedule of the bus, so their change does not make impact, and they don’t feel the pressure.

In Shanghai, it is different. If you walk a little bit faster, may be just save 3 seconds, you may be able to catch a previous Metro train. If you save one second, you may be able to reach out to the button of the elevator before the door fully closes. Most largely, if I sleep half an hour later, maybe I can impact a lot of users national wide, then I may choose to sleep another half an hour later. The feeling that if I do something, and I can make impact, people tend to do that. By continuously doing that, we creat pressure for ourselves.

Sometimes to read book in a hotel room, especially when there is no laptop is the best time for me – at this time, there is not too much to do, and the pressure, just disappears. It works like a charm.

P.S http://bbs.wangjianshuo.com seems to be experiencing problems – well, to be more exactly, was hacked. I wasn’t be able to take care of the site for quite some time, and sorry for the inconvinience. I may try to roll back to a previous version (by paying ipowerweb.com), but I don’t know when I can find time to do it – may be after one week. For the Wiki, there are also a lot of spams. //Sign. To start something is easy, to maintain it is not. How about just let it be for sometime and I promise to find some time to fix it.

From Shanghai to Hangzhou

Echoing people’s question about how to get to Hangzhou from Shanghai, here are some suggestions I gave before:

Besides that, here is more general guidelines. Take it as strategy while others as tactics.

  • You should plan 2 days in Hangzhou – at least one night is Hangzhou if it is not a business trip.
  • Don’t worry about rain. When it rains, the West Lake looks better. It looks like great even in a storm (like last Saturday night).
  • Staying in a hotel near the West Lake is important. Shangri-la is a good choice, but it is just too expensive – around 1000 RMB, which is about double the price of many other hotels. On average, hotel expense in Hangzhou is higher than other cities – even comparable with Shanghai.
  • Drive there is a good option. Rent a car in Hangzhou may be better – it is just great to drive in the city than walk.
  • Train is great, but do book round trip tickets so to save some time – the West Lake is near the train station, so it is better to wait at the lake side instead of the crowded railway station