Improving User Portal on

I have a sub-domain called I used that domain to present user contributed content, which is the comment section of my blog. I didn’t put too much effort into it yet, so it is pretty simple and may not be attractive as it should be. This is the current situation of User Portal.

Home Page

This is the current homepage – pretty embarrassing, isn’t it? I believe my readers deserves much more introduction, and space than this. This is a point that needs improvement.


Behind the Scene

Currently, there is actually no really working files at this domain. It is just one .htaccess file reads below:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^.*$  /analytics/mt-comment.php [L]

The reason I used /public_html/user/analytics folder was, it was actually a replica of /scripts/analytic folder. I am considering moving the folders back to one central location, to avoid complicated problems in the future.

Update: I have confused myself already. /analytics IS a symbolic link from /user/ folder to the /scripts/analytics folder. So it IS in the central location. Now I only need to worry about one file: mt-comment.php

Thoughts about Being a Leader

Here are some random thoughts of recent inspirations, for my own tips about being a leader.

  • Never confusing people by acting as both consultant and manager. People get confused when they use a manager as a consultant, since they can hardly tell which instruction comes from the person with consultant hat (suggestions), or from the person with manager hat (an order). When combined with the two, people will ignore your “must” list, or take your suggestions too seriously. The best way to do is, do not try to be a consultant, although you can.
  • Use your knowledge as a way to set goal, instead of help people doing it. This is similiar to my first point. Being able to do it myself is good, but don’t try to do it, or even try too hard to tell people how to do it. Use knowledge as a powerful tool to set reasonable, clear, complete, actionable, specifcm, messurable, time-bound goals, instead of going into details to tell people what to do. If you do check all the details, you get frustrated, and your team is frustrated, and they tend to rely on your decisions, which is bad for an organization.
  • Don’t be a working place and a training center at the same time. Training center is about changing a person, or improving a person, or empower a person. Company is all about making things happen with the right human resources. So the company’s goal is to select the right person, instead of creating the right person. If the chemistry between a person and a company does not match, the best thing to do is to find a better match, for both the company and the person, instead of changing a person, or even harder, to change a company.

Analysis of Links and Ways to Improve

Date-Based Archive Pages

Let me start with the 60 Date-Based Archive Pages, with URL like

As you can see from the next chart, there are about 50 or so links. That is a clear sign of the change I made at the 40th month of my blogging.


Among the 50 links, around 40 links are given by other Date-Based Archive Pages (a design I used long time ago, and now it is removed). The other 10 are translated page, with some other pages.

The next steps are

  • To add links to all the other Date-Based Archive Pages, so make sure the number is on average of 70 (60+10) for all the pages by the end of 2008Q2. (Done)
  • Meanwhile, since I have added all the links to the bottom of all individual pages, and even translated page, the number will rise sharply from less than 100 to more than 2000 for every single Date-Based Page. (Done)
  • There should be link to the translated page of these Date-Based Archive also – to provide more help to users (Done)
  • The same thing should happen for Translated Pages, so at the end of each page, there should be link to the Monthly Archive Pages of the corresponding Monthly Archive Page. (Done)

Update Intermediate Result May 6, 2008


Most of the links are found on April 13, 2008. Wait and see this number increase to more than 2000 in near future. Since all the user comment page, and translated user page also added the link, this number may raise to 20000 – hmm… This is scary since a page with that many links can be problematic. But I thought twice, and think a clear directory of content helps the user, so it should be OK with Google as well.

End of Update

All Translated Pages

Translation is a function to provide readers some hint about what I am writing about if they don’t understand Chinese or English. I feel much better that I can point my reader to a language that they can read. Although the machine translation does not work so well, and the translated text is by no means perfect, at least it offers a way.

I am now providing 10 languages other than the language it is written in. So, in Google Webmaster Tools, or the Page Link Report in particular, there should be at least 9 links to any translated page. I have added the "Other Languages" link in April, 2008, so it should increase to 10 the next quarter when Google do the full index. I am not sure why for some page it is only 5, 4 internal links. Will find out. The other interesting thing is, the number for translated page is pretty consistent – most of them have 9 internal links.

GOAL: The goal is to double this internal  link number, from 9 to average 18 at the end of 2008Q2.


There are several ways to do it.

  1. Provide Previous, and Next link on all pages (including Date-Based Archive Pages, Category-Based Archive Pages, Individual Archive Pages, and all the translate), thus all pages should have two more internal link (one from the previous post labeled Next, and the other is from Next post labeled Previous)  (DONE)
  2. Provide related links. If I provide a related link to the articles that include the related link (related means in the same category), we can easily have many pages in the same language linking to this page. If there are 10 articles in a category, any of the translated page in this category should have 9 other internal links pointing to this page. This is a good thing. (Done)

With above links, we should be able to archive the GOAL of 18 links each.

Update Intermediate Result May 6, 2008


End of Update

Individual Entry Pages

Individual Entry Pages have far more links, and it is not so consistent. Typically, they will have 26 or more links, while some, like the page in this chart, has 4502 external links.


What are the 26+ links? Let me do a breakdown analysis.

  • (1) There is for sure there will be one link from Archive Page, and the last found date is always very late – March 27, 2008 for this case.
  • (1) The second is the Archive directory listing page. Actually, this page brought many trouble to me. Since it reveals the hidden files, like *.htm.static file, it caused some serious problem that .static files are competing with the real HTM file, and cause big problems.
  • (1) Category Archive Page
  • (1) Date-Based Archive Page
  • (9) 9-10 translated page pointing to this file.
  • (3) There are 8 comments for a sample page, and I saw 3 of them. The 3 comments shows something in common: 1) there is a link to that page (since there is no pagination for the commenter’s page, too popular people, like myself, don’t have a link to all the comments in the page. 2) They are pretty early – 4 digits comment ID.
  • (3) There are three pages from CN link page:, and its category archive page: This page is found out to be very useful, and almost every individual page has the link. This perhaps means any link is good link, no matter how may links in the page. The rumor that only 150 links on a page is analyzed is not true in this case.
  • (5) There is a huge disadvantage of the current "TOP 9 in Related Page Strategy", since for older pages, like this, there is no incoming links from other pages in the same category. In this case, only few static pages (the historical pages) link to this page. There are 5 of them

Altogether, they are 22+ links. So, what is the approach to improve internal links for these pages?

GOAL The goal is to increase the average internal link for the individual archive page from current 22+ to 44+ by the end of 2008Q2. Here is what I am going to do.

  • Obviously, the most significant improvement will comes from the User’s Comment domain ( I will make changes to help search engine effectively locate the different pages of user’s comment, and thus index all the user comments. This will create something that the internal link number should equal to the number of comment, which is 10 to 20 at least. It has been proved that all tho

    se article with very random commenter have a very higher number of internal links.

  • Add full list of related articles to every page, so every page deserve enough links.
  • Provide more translation for the comment pages.

Update Intermediate Result May 6, 2008


End of Update

GOAL: Final goal is to have 50K internal links, instead of current 29K by the end of 2008Q2. (Update: On May 6, 2008, there are 382986 internal links).

Other things to Do

  1. Verify all my sites in Google Webmaster Tools (DONE)

Useful Links

Rebuild Category Pages

Rebuild Monthly Pages

Rebuild All Individual Pages

Date inurl:tag inurl:fr
April 14, 2008 73,800 3,080 1,650
April 23, 2008 69,500 3,090 1,910
May 6, 2008 148,000 3,120 6,340

Things to Do

  • Remove the tag page to avoid duplicate content problem (DONE)
  • Error in this link  (DONE_

Errors found in Google Webmasters

The following errors are found in the webmaster tools. I will check the result later. In the following format.

Error | April 14 number |

Duplicate meta descriptions 19 <- Make it unique

Short meta descriptions 23 <- Make it longer

Missing title tags 26 <- This is by design. Do not do anything for it.

Long title tags 1 <- Make it correct (why some tag page is not displayed)

Short title tags 1 <- Also make it right

Some Interesting Random News

  • AMD’s newest chip is codenamed “Shanghai” – a 8-core processor. Why they choose Shanghai as its code name?<
  • I am going to install IPTV in my home at last – it is free anyway, with requirement to open the equipment at least 8 days every month
  • Zendai MOMA (Museum of Morden Art) at Thumb Square in Pudong is a great place. They are now showing the exhibition of “Europe Attribute”
  • Shanghai is going to install Wireless Service for the whole city before 2010. Hope then I can do a broadcast. :-) since wireless is everywhere in my big 16million people city.

Middle Ring of Shanghai – Part II

This is the second part of the Middle Ring of Shanghai. (Refer to the first part for illustration of the road lanes)

This is the middle ring on the map. The red line is the Middle Ring. It is not a ring yet, pending the the second half of the circle (mainly in Pudong) to complete this year.


Note: Thanks for Dash to point out the error in the first draft of the image.

Visual Tour of the Middle Ring

Here is my trip of the road, taken when the road was just completed. Now, it is much more crowded.

Below: the entrance of the ring at Hong Mei Road Intersection.

shanghai-middle.ring-1   shanghai-middle.ring-4  shanghai-middle.ring-6 shanghai-middle.ring-7   shanghai-middle.ring-10 shanghai-middle.ring-11  shanghai-middle.ring-13     shanghai-middle.ring-18       shanghai-middle.ring-25 shanghai-middle.ring-26 shanghai-middle.ring-27 shanghai-middle.ring-28  shanghai-middle.ring-30 shanghai-middle.ring-31

PVG: Second Terminal to Open

Credit: Xinhua News Agency

Credit: Xinhua News Agency

By the end of this month, the second terminal of Pudong Airport will be opened. I will make sure I am the first one to cover this news, and take inside out pictures of this new terminal.

Thanks to the architects that the second terminal has different shape of the first one. As illustrated below: the first terminal (the current one) looks like a seagull and the second terminal looks like a wave.


This terminal will boost the capacity of the airport from 20 million per year to 60 million.

Disclaimer: I have not personally visited this new terminal so far. The photos are found on the Internet.

My Photo Archive of the Area

Below are the location of the second runway, and the second terminal – as you can see in the photo, there are large space between the current runway, and terminal and the sea (the water on the top of the photo). That is exactly the location of the second terminal.

Picture 102

Picture 017

Above is the shape of the current terminal.

China Price – Alexandra Harney’s New Book

In the next few weeks, Penguin will publish Alexandra’s new book The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage. I know Alexandra from my last trip to Nanjing during the Young Leader’s Forum – a very sweet, wise, and professional girl. I know she has been working on this book for two years, and it must be very worth reading.

This book is about the hot topic of "made in China", and what the real price of China’s manufacture is, including pollution, and impact to migrant workers.

Harney shared some of the comments her initial readers sent to her. I didn’t have a chance to read it yet, but I am really looking forward to it.

"Harney has given us an almost forensic field guide to the strikingly low cost of labor-intensive goods manufacturing in China. By systematically sifting through the factors that cheapen the production process, she has denied us the luxury of uncertainty." – Daniel Rosen, principal of China Strategic Advisory and fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics

"This gripping, beautifully reported book lays bare the tumult of hope, fear and skullduggery that exists behind the ubiquitous ‘Made in China’ label. It should spur manufacturers, investors and consumers to worry a lot more about where everyday products come from." – James Kynge, author of China Shakes the World

"Essential reading for anyone concerned about how dangerous pet food and children’s clothing manufactured in China make it into American stores." – Kirkus Reviews

The China Price is now available for purchase on, Barnes& and other online retailers. An audio version will also be released simultaneously from Tantor Audio Books. Later, Chinese and Korean language versions will be available as well.

Tantor Audio

Barnes & Noble

Amazon UK

Please support my friend and talented writer Alexandra!

Jeff Immelt on Business

Found out some note on my notebook when I listened to Jeff Immelt’s speech during a meeting. Just some random notes.

Big vs Small

  • Credibility
  • Big + Fast always beat small + fast
  • Love and inspire people, but GE is not for everyone
  • Mistakes we still make
    • Allow bureaucracy to win – too process based
    • Too intenal/too American – lose love of customers
    • Confuse current success with future position
    • Metrics that reward the wrong behavior
    • Play small


  • I have stayed at GE for 25 years so that I could be in the front seat of history
  • Zoom in, zoom out…
  • "I don’t believe in professional management".
  • 4-5 things deep dive
  • Good managers show interest…
  • These is no substance of experience
  • Build something that last is beautiful


  • 10 years ago, everyone was trained by processes, like six-sigma. Now we are all about innovation
  • People has to be the core DNA of the company
  • You cannot just come to work and chop wood
  • You have to drive change and develop other leaders

Making deicisions and Communication

  • Make decision fast, faster and faster, for small companies, and large companies!
  • Decision cycle time
  • How the organization can be quicker
  • Clarity of community
  • Drive the speed
  • Decisive = clearly Yes or No
  • Clarify is key
  • When we go, we go
  • Make a very clear call

On Exit

  • Someone can run the business better than us, it is time to exit
  • A company that makes money from chaos.
  • In a good company, you always has to prioritize very hard
  • GE is all about system, that is tough to match

Security Messures in Radio and TV Station

Besides the censorship in blogging media, it is not surprising that the security meessures in traditional medias are very stick in China. In this blog entry, I want to share some first hand information about radio stations, and TV stations.

Radio Stations

I recorded my experience of the last visit to Shanghai East Radio Station in this blog entry:

The Security Check

Shanghai Radio and East Radio are two major (if not the only two) radio stations in Shanghai. It was not easy to enter the building. Radio station is always a sensitive location in China. The security check was intensive. I waited in the line for quite some time before I arrived at the window of the gate outside the building. It was cold outside and three security guards were looking at me to fill a form with my name, gender, telephone number, home address, company name, the person I visit, the room number, and deposited my national ID card.

After phone confirmation, I got the electronic ID card at the expense of my National ID card. :-) I can only claim my national ID after I come out of the building, with the ID card, and the signed form by the host.

It is not so high tech as I expected, …., until I entered the recording room.

TV Stations

The Shanghai TV Station’s security check seems not as intensive as the Shanghai East Radio Station during my last visit.

I also need to deposit my National ID card at the service center to get a RFID card, and use the card to enter the building. Also, at the entrance of each floor, there are locked doors, that my guest card don’t have access – that means you have to get someone to host you in the building.

For the real studio, there are also gates with security sensors. You need to swap your card. Of cause, not my guest card.

Most of the video programs are recorded, so it will be “safe”. In case something happens, they still get a chance. (Something means some thing unexpected)

Live Broadcast

There ARE live broadcast from both TV and Radio. That is a big challenge. In the current media environment in China, any small mistake, as long as it is politics related, in wording on public media may easily cost the job the head of the station. So they are very sensitive to the live broadcast.

According to my friend who is a host of live broadcast program, every word we hear from the radio is about 7 seconds delayed from the actual sound. The 7 seconds are critical in case someone intentionally say something “bad” on the live program, the producer can easily “cut” the voice, so it is not broadcasted at all.

However, I do need to confirm this during my later visit to the station for live broadcast.

Yifan has his Second Haircut

Yesterday, Yifan has his second haircut. I am not a professional hairdresser, but I do enjoy cut the hair of Yifan – the whole process only took 2 minute this time, v.s. 15 minutes the last time.

Before the Haircut


This picture was taken early Feb this year.

After Haircut

After the second haircut, he does not look that good as with the longer hair – not completely my fault. :-) Hope after his hair grow longer in the next 2 weeks, he should be fine.



P.S. Today is 9th month Birthday for Yifan. We also hosted Xiaogong, Fangmin, Shenjie, Zhiming, and Dingding – my high-school classmates in my home.

Suggestions for Family Vacation Trip to Shanghai

Today, I am trying to help another reader. I will provide answers inline. (Although I think the knowledge base type of article is more helpful than the random Q&A, I hope this type of Q&A also helps)

Hi,am planning a trip to Shanghai this March with my husband and 3 teenage kids. We will arrive in Shanghai Pudong Airport at 12:05am of March 20, 2008 (early morning) and will depart on March 23, 2008 at 12:55am (early morning too). Was trying to trying to check the web for bus and train schedule from Pudong Airport to downtown but it seems that their services do not run up to early morning. Can you help me and/or suggest/provide information on:

(1) how to get reliable transportation from airport (early morning -around 12:30am of March 20, 2008) to downtown Shanghai for 5 persons with some small luggage and also for our transfer to Pudong Airport on the evening of March 22 for our 12:55am flight on March 23

My suggestion is to get a van. Normal taxi only takes 4 passengers and obviously, it is too small for you. After you get to Shanghai, exit at the International Arrival Hall, and on the right most stand is for vans. You can check with the airport to find a van. There are two types: 7 seats, and 11 seats. The price is almost the same as taxi (a little bit more expensive)

(2) what good, clean and reasonably priced hotel to stay in downtown Shanghai – somewhere in Nanjing road or near Nanjing road. I show a Bailemen Hotel (is is a good location? Is it reputable and clean? Coz I will be there with my 3 kids)

I hope this page (cheap hotels) provides some background information, and I guess you may already read some of the pages if you search hard enough on this site. To give specific answers to your question, I would suggest that you don’t really need to stay near the Nanjing Road if you want to save money, and the road is easily accessible via Metro. Bailemen is near that region, but I don’t have any idea about whether it is clean or not.) However, most of the 3 – 5 star hotels in that area is generally good.

(3) as we will be staying only a few days in Shanghai (March 20-22), do you suggest we rent a car or a taxi? If so, can you suggest one for us? I read from your blog a few weeks back about a taxi driver you met (with his cell phone number, but I did not copy it it then) who drives a big taxi good for 5 and who speaks English.  May I have his name and number again please?

Definitely NO CAR! To rent a car in Shanghai for sightseeing is the craziest thing I can imagine. Don’t every think about it. To rent a taxi is maybe a better idea. Depends on how much budget you have, having a taxi going everywhere with you is a good idea, if you want to be convenient – and especially when you have many people, the price is even not too much higher than taking metro. The other way, you can also call taxi when you need – there are many taxis on the street that you can easily find one – unless it is rush hours in the morning or night, or it is raining. Sorry but I don’t know which taxi driver you are talking about. Call 6258000 to book a taxi – I do it every time I need a taxi.

(4) can you please suggest which places for us to go or visit during this short stay of ours? We have been to Shanghai some 7 years ago but am sure the kids barely remember the places we have been too. I have checked on the Frommer’s (destination guide book) web site and found some interesting places:

    a) Jin Mao Tower?
    b) Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
    c) People’s Park/People’s Square
    d) Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
    e) Peace Hotel
    f)  Xin Tian Di
    g) Bund Sightseeing tunnel

Can you suggest which of these places to go to and their sequence so that we will not be back tracking from one place to another? And also how to get to these places – by bus? taxi? rented car? walking? or I also read about the Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center? Do you suggest taking this sightseeing bus route?

Jin Mao Tower, Pearl Tower and Ocean Aquarium are together, and you can arrange a morning.

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, People’s Park/People’s Square are together (within 100 meters), and Peace Hotel and Bund (the must see) are 15 minutes walk away from People’s Square.  Xin Tian Di is also within (long) walking distance, or one metro station away. I don’t suggest you to visit the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel – I call it stupid tunnel. You don’t need to use the sightseeing bus – taxi and metro are the way to visit Shanghai.

Am sorry to be imposing so much on you and your time. I have visited and read your blog 2-3 times and am very impressed with your first hand knowledge of Shanghai and your helpfulness to prospective visitors to Shanghai.  I hope you can help me plan an enjoyable trip for my family too. Thanks.

Welcome to my city and hope you have a good time in Shanghai.