Monthly Archives: September 2008

Somewhere near “home”

Some of my friends may know that I officially start to live alone after coming back from Budapest in early July. I move into the third floor of a 7-story apartment with elevator. Third floor is good, so I don’t have to worry too much when earthquakes or typhoons come.

I am not good at decoration, so currently there’s nothing much but furniture. Some of my friends are too busy flying around the world. Even though they have bought or rented a house, they rarely get a chance to live in there. (Why do they buy it, then? 😛 ) Unlike them, I really live inside and I love it so far. It’s only a 15-minute bus ride to downtown Taipei. Next time if a GVer or other friends come to Taipei, you are welcomed to stay in my own place. Hurray!

Pictures: (they are on my Flickr with some discriptions)

tiny park   my TV

sofa   my small dining table

my kitchen   bed and guest room

GV Blogger of the Week: ME!

On Global Voices website, there is a series of posts named “Blogger of the Week,” which interviews GV authors (and hopefully translators in the future) about their connections to GV and their personal lives. It’s always interesting to see the other side of authors, as it creates a more humane perspective to readers and GV fellows.

Our GV Digest editor Deborah Ann Dilley approached to me last month and wondered if I am interested in being interviewed. (Notes: You should really subscribe GV Daily Digests if you want to know what the world is talking about, but don’t have enough time to read all of them.) We did an email interview, and the post is on today.

I wonder how people feel when they are interviewed, and how people think when they see themselves on a webpage. To reveal myself in an email or a post is like a reality check to me. It helps me review and ensure “Yes, that’s me.” It’s healthy to get interviewed once in a while, so I may think of myself a bit deeper every time. We have a life, but we don’t really think about life very often. Maybe interview is a chance.

Danger to Say it Out

Many people emphasize we have to fight for freedom of speech around the world. To many people who enjoy it already for a long time, it may not be easy to raise their awareness. It’s like air to them; you never feel it until it’s no longer there. Global Voices understand it is an important issue, so we create Advocacy and help people get around with blockage, filtering, etc.

We all know journalists are important windows for the public to access information. Tyrannies, authoritarians and despots know that too. They scilence discords by throwing dissidents into to jail, or suffocating journalists, often physically. Ironcially, countries with breathtaking natural sceneries often place breathtaking control to journalists, bloggers, general public and their freedom of speech as well, as in the case of Morocco and Maldives.

Even so, it’s still not easy to show how dangerous journalists are in some countries. Then I see this below, simple but true.

journalist_25
From Adpunch

It’s danger. It’s danger just to say it out.

Why Quits Global Voices?

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I am going to quit Global Voices. In fact, as a current enthusiast, I cannot find a reason for myself to quit GV, or even not reading it for more than two days in a row.

The other day I was looking at my translation history. When running through posts, I noticed several authors didn’t show up on GV for quite some time. “Why is that?” I wondered. Maybe they are busy in other parts of their lives, maybe they find a even more interesting project online, maybe they just start to hate GV one morning, or maybe…

It’s quite easy to find out why and when GV people join the organization, compared to get to know why they leave. There is no officially leaving process in GV. People can just stop doing it directly, without giving any notices to others. With more than 150 people working in the group like this, it is sometimes difficult to realize who is gone, except for the related editors. We are not sitting in cubicles next to each other, so you won’t see empty seats when people disappear forever.

I believe some of us in GV have thought about the same question much deeper before. Why people quit GV? What have we done to scare them away? With a simple mind, I decide to email them and ask directly. As a reader and translator, I really want to know some reasons because I used to rely on them so much to provide some precious information from somewhere I don’t know well.

Although sending out some emails, I didn’t expect to receive any responses. After all, why do they have to reply to a stranger who throws questions to them in the first email exchange? Why do they need to explain to a stranger like me? I used to email some members who seem to be gone forever in GV Lingua Chinese team, with no responses, so I am not surprised if nothing happens

Luckily, two days later, I get emails from a gentlemen and a lady, who both spend time telling me their reasons for not writing in GV. The lady details her busy schedule to me (very busy indeed). She says she is currently occupied by other volunteer projects, but really wants to resume posts in GV again some time in the near future. I am very excited to know that, as her country is geographically close to Taiwan, but I don’t have many chances to know it better.

While the lady is away from GV because of other parts of her life, the gentleman decides to leave GV more consciously. He writes, in his email, that he is “reluctant to write for GVO after there’s a new rule where reports cannot publish right away,” but have to be under editor review first. Even though I actually think it is better to have some reviews before posts published on GV, he maintains it is freer to write on his own blog comparatively. That’s why he stop writing for GV.

I only wish him good luck.