Everything in 2010 is going fabulously, so far.

Things are looking great for this months Disco Death and Yao (the headliner) is scheduled to arrive in just over a week from Hong Kong. We’ll see how the turn out is but I have high expectations. I don’t want to drop names but big things are cooking for this spring and summer. I’m looking forward to it! Here’s this months flyer, designed in part by the wonderful Miao Jing in Beijing:

And, after a five year hiatus, I’m pursuing design gigs once again. This evening I met with one client and tomorrow I meet another. It feels great to get back into it on my own terms. Many of my memories of doing design full time include being brain washed by repetition, mired in meaningless office toil, and ruining promising projects at the behest of clients who refuse to accept the benefit of my knowledge and experience when I offer it to them. That’s all I have to say about that. It feels good.

Chengdu Living is also moving along at a brisk pace, considering it’s been online for less than three weeks. Yesterday we achieved 100 Facebook fans, which is a modest goal, but at least now we have a custom URL. Join the fan page if you haven’t already! The content on the site is looking good, Sascha has contributed some great stuff (especially this post!), and we’re both excited about having a solid outlet for our thoughts, ideas, and lessons we’ve learned in our time here. We have ambitious plans for 2010.

I’ve also learned a lot about transitioning into online content production in China. I knew that it was a small community, but it hasn’t been exactly how I imagined it.

I’ve been introduced to some very smart people who are as generous as they are wise, while demonstrating superb business acumen. Like the folks who run Freedur, the finest VPN in the land. Of the several conversations I’ve had with them they have, through the way they handle their business and my inquiries, led me to the conclusion that doing everything in my ability to help their cause will serve us both, and the larger community, very well indeed. There are specific developments that I’m excited about but I’m not at liberty to divulge the details currently. All in good time.

The pleasant experience of interacting with these types, however, has been tempered with unfortunate realizations that I’ll also be dealing with short-sighted, self-serving people like the administrator of chinese-forums.com. I’ve been a member on this site for five years and since I start posting links to content on my own site (when it’s relevant to the discussion of course!), he gets threatened and demands I stop spamming his forum with links. I respond to another users post in a thread about bypassing the Great Firewall and in closing link to my post on using VPN’s, and next thing I know I’m banned for a week. According to his profile he’s an English guy in Beijing, but he convincingly plays the part of a capital city fascist administrator.

I’m grateful to have both of these experiences to draw upon in the future as I continue to learn more about the China blogging and forum landscape.