Last October I posted on the ongoing scroll of commentary on ChinaTechNews and pointed out the need for a blog to help non-Chinese speaking users figure out their Chinese-made phones. Today, almost a year later, Jeff posted a link to a site called chinamanuals.com, where you can buy English manuals in pdfs and pay via PayPal. Chinamanuals’ contact person is Dirk Schneider, Australia. I don’t know about the logo (!) but it seems like a great service if it does what it says it will.
Author Archive for Lyn Jeffery
A city wall tower and very clearly, the moat, Beijing, 1840-1860: just one of the many photos from around the Pacific, circa 1840-1940, now to be found online at the National Gallery of Australia’s Picture Paradise exhibition. Well worth browsing through this eclectic collection of shots of everything from Australian aborigines to Javanese dancers, a white European man in Chinese dress in a Hong Kong studio, bathers on the Ganges, and views of Fuzhou, in “daguerreotype portraits, mass-produced views and portraits on paper made possible by the revolutionary wet-plate and dry-plate glass negative-positive process, and prints from the modern era of small format film cameras and photojournalism.”
Start at the themes page and click through to the different collections, and be prepared for the dizzying format of photos sliding into view from left to right. I wish they wouldn’t do that.
(via The Asian Studies WWW Monitor: Aug 2008, Vol. 15, No. 9 (283))
Global Lives wants to film 24 hours in the life of a rural person somewhere in China. Want to join them?
全球生活计划 英文名字Global LivesProject (http://www.globallives.org计划于2008年9月于中国拍摄. 我们是一个非盈利教育艺术组织,与超过100个合作者于8个国家进行拍摄,我们寻找志愿于中国拍摄的志愿者。我们具体地需要以下几种类型的志愿者与组织机关.
在中国的团体与伙伴-对与大学的通信部门,博物馆,绿影生产演播室,或是其他文化团体合作感兴趣的志愿者. 中国副导演/制片-从事拍摄准备的相关工作,大约6-8个工作天. 平面摄影师-拍摄当天+运输时间,两人作业的状况,作业时间为8小时
摄影师-拍摄当天+运输时间,8-12小时的作业时间. 生产助理-于拍摄过程中协助导演/制片. 翻译-于拍摄当天配合翻译的相关工作.
我们已经募集到四名志愿者加入拍摄工作Nobuhiro Awata, Ya-Hsuan Huang, Ron Carr 和David Harris。Nobuhiro 和Ron筹画并且拍摄过GL于东京, David Harris于巴西和美国筹划并且拍摄过GL,Ron从日本带来照相摄影设备,但附加设备仍需要当地相关人员提供以及协助
想要更了解全球生活计划吗?请观览我们的网站http://globallives.org或是传送电子邮件到china [at] globallives [dot] org
全球生活 The Global Lives Project.
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Release date: July 15, 2008
The Global Lives Project is planning a shoot in China in September 2008. We will be recording the life story and 24 hours in the life of a as-yet-to-be-selected Chinese person.
We are a nonprofit educational arts organization with more than 100 collaborators in 8 countries and we are looking for volunteers in China to participate in the project. While participation will not be remunerated, the project offers broad, worldwide exposure for collaborators’ work and the opportunity to be a part of a growing and dynamic collective of creative and socially-minded filmmakers.
We specifically need the following types of people and organizations:
Partner Institutions in China - We are looking to partner with a university’s communications department, a museum, a video production studio, or any other cultural institution interested in being involved in the shoot from start to finish, and with organizing an exhibition in the future.
China Co-director/producer - Involved in subject selection process from the beginning, making preparations for shoot on the ground. Approximately 6-8 days total of time commitment including preparations and shoot. Also involved in post-production.
Camera operator - Commitment for the day of the shoot only + transportation time. Works usually in 2-person teams for 8-hour shifts.
Photographer - Day of shoot only + transport, 8 or 12-hour shifts.
Production assistant (good position for a film student) - Providing support throughout selection process to the director/producers with preparations for shoot. Commitment to assist with post-production also helpful.
Interpreter/translator - Needed for the day of the shoot as well as for post-production.
We already have four volunteers ready to join with local collaborators to produce the shoot: Nobuhiro Awata, Ya-Hsuan Huang, Ron Carr and David Harris. Nobuhiro and Ron co-directed and did camerawork on the Tokyo GL shoot, Ya-Hsuan co-directed the Malawi shoot. David Harris co-directed and produced the GL shoots in Brazil and the US. Ron will be bringing camera equipment from Japan, though some additional equipment will be needed on-site. The shoot will take place in a to-be-determined rural area in China between September 12 and 24.
To find out more, check out our website at http://globallives.org and send an email to china [at] globallives [dot] org. Emails will be understood easily if sent in Chinese, Cantonese, English, Japanese, Portuguese or Spanish. If you can translate this email to any other language, please do and send it along freely!
Finally, for an article on GLP in Chinese, please see this post on Global Voices.
Thanks for your help!
- The Global Lives Project
Confirmed Volunteer Crew Bios:
Ron Carr is Professor and Chair of the Communications Department at Temple University Japan. Born in the US with an MFA in Film & Theater from UCLA, Ron has lived in Japan for 15 years. Before going to Japan, Ron was a writer and producer for 10 years at ABC. Ron co-directed and produced the GLP Japan shoot.
Ya-Hsuan Huang is a documentary producer, video editor, and graphic designer based in Brooklyn, New York. Ms. Huang is a graduate of Yale University and is currently a graduate student in Media Studies at the New School in New York City. Ya-Hsuan was born in Taiwan and speaks Chinese, but has lived in the US for most of her life.
Nobuhiro Awata is an experienced video producer and director, photographer and audio technician. Born and raised in Japan, Nobuhiro lived in New York City for five years and now is living in Taipei where he is studying for a degree in Computer Science.
David Evan Harris is the Executive Director of the Global Lives Project and a Research Affiliate at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California. David lived in Brazil from 2004-2007 and has experience in print and video journalism work. He holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MA in Sociology from the University of São Paulo.
If you join new social networking/web 2.0 things as research for work, you tend to find the same friends and acquaintances there. For me that group includes Howard Rheingold, my IFTF colleague Sean Ness, Jerry Michalski, and a group of Chinese/China-focused digerati who are a bridge across the Chinese- and English-language internet. Some of these people I know personally: Isaac Mao, Keso, Frank Yu, Kaiser Kuo, Sam Flemming, and Rebecca MacKinnon; and some I just know by their screen names or online correspondence, like Flypig and Micah Sittig.
One thing it’s fun to do is to see who other people are following. Having recently joined FriendFeed, I found the usual suspects and decided to browse through China IT maverick Keso’s “subscriptions”. Keso has subscribed to over 600 people’s FriendFeeds. In this one place you could, if you wanted, trace out the intersections of Chinese and non-Chinese digerati.
There I was struck by the new iconography that lets people “read” one another even if they can’t speak the same language, and helps you gauge the extent to which people participate in various communities. My FriendFeed, for instance, displays just 3 icons, one for this blog, one for my Twitter feed, one for gmail/gtalk (I couldn’t get my LinkedIn to work, and both my del.icio.us and flickr streams are group accounts). FriendFeed has 43 different “services” each with its own icon, ranging from Digg, YouTube and “blog” to more obscure things like Disqus, Mister Wong, and identi.ca. You don’t have to speak Chinese or French or English to be able to pick out the web 2.0 icon superheroes I found on Keso’s subscription feed, such as linsen and Schee Tzuhan:
but Jacky Zhao wins:
I’m interested in virtuality, experience, and culture; Zafka Zhang is a metaverse researcher, blogger, and evangelist, directs research at China’s virtual world HiPiHi, and according to his Twitterstream, recently started his own youth insights and marketing company, China Youthology青年志; Li Feng is an Instructional Technology Specialist at University of Massachusetts Lowell and Second Lifer. Along with about 20 others, we’re all members (thanks Zafka) of the Association of Virtual Worlds’ Virtual Worlds in China group. It’s new, we’ll see. Join?
I’m doing some interviews with people who are playing with different reality media, and Justin.TV is a great example. The site recently got its one millionth user. Most are like me, I’m guessing, and just sign up so they can navigate the site better. But some are doing what Justin.TV is set up to do: broadcasting some or all of their lives, in real time, via a fixed or mobile webcam. Many of these “lifecasters” also maintain a running chat with viewers, or have interactive games and contests. Then there are what appear to be streaming TV channels, such as canal rcn colombia.
As of a few days ago, the site can be read in traditional and simplified Chinese characters. A search for “China” reveals 22 hits, and a 中国 search, 0. However, either I am missing the boat on how to get these things to play, or almost all the China channels are inactive, such as this from user “hello china” which as far as I can tell was done 9 months ago and has not been added to since then.
Let’s keep an eye on this and see 1) who the first Chinese lifecasters on Justin.TV will be; and 2) how lifecasting will show up on PRC websites, not on Justin.TV. Probably some people are already doing it and I’m just not aware of it.
You can browse through the Gallery to find the works of professional and nonprofessional CPA members alike. Just click on any photo and it will lead you to 4-8 examples of the photographer’s work, and below that there will be thumbnails of other people who can you link through to. You can also click here for the past and current selected photos of the month on the site’s BBS forum, which are submitted by CPA members. They’re a bit rawer than many of the works found in the gallery, to my eye anyway. That’s where I found this by Hao Xu.
Check out Fujian photographer He Xingshui’s gorgeous painterly landscapes of fisherfolk, too.
You can contact the CPA via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lost Ring is an early and important multi-language, multi-cultural collaboration in China, and a gorgeous lab for experimenting with culture and virtual expression. My colleague at the Institute for the Future, Jane McGonigal, is the puppetmaster for an alternate reality game (ARG) called The Lost Ring which is centered around the 2008 Olympics and sponsored by the IOC and McDonalds. ARGs are immersive multimedia experiences that engage tens of thousands of players who must work together to figure out clues that are spread all around the real world and the Internet. Jane tells me that they have had 15,000 players in China who have engaged in some way with the game since it began in February of this year. One of the main characters in the game is Chinese, named Meihui; you can find her blog here. The other characters are from the US, the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Brazil, and Japan and are operating each in their own language.
The story is wonderfully imaginative and complicated (check out the opening video piece) and starts with the mysterious banning of the Olympic Games in ancient times for dark, unknown reasons that are now to be revealed through the experiences of a global group of 8 6 young characters with superhero powers and pasts they can’t quite remember. In the real world it involves all kinds of local activities, competitions, and even new “lost sports” such as creating labyrinths of humming people.
The Lost Ring now has players all over the world. It is fascinating to watch how this kind of highly emergent, non-rules-based, collaborative game is diffusing into China. There are well established groups of ARG players in places like San Francisco, New York, and London, who have years of experience doing this sort of thing and pretty quickly set up their own amazing Lost Ring wiki and started running with the information. And the game is designed to be impossible to make serious progress in unless you can figure out how to be part of a collective. But in China, where this kind of gaming doesn’t exist, it’s hasn’t been so easy to engage a distributed community and link it up to a global community of players who mostly don’t speak Chinese. There are a number of issues for Chinese players: 1) The concept of this kind of game is hard to translate into the Chinese context. Chinese players simply haven’t had this kind of experience before. It’s about wide-open exploration and discovery. 2) The game relies on the Internet to find clues and to coordinate information between global teams; the Great Firewall blocks Chinese players from reaching some of the key sites necessary for game play; and 3) When players do get to the online sites, they find most of the important, emergent, player-generated information is not available in Chinese.
For instance, the main player wiki tracks information and discoveries for the game as whole, but according to Meihui’s website forum, PRC players have had difficult accessing it. Even if they’re able to get there, there are only a few pieces that are translated into Chinese.
What seems to be happening, however, is that the translation problem is becoming a feature of the game, not a bug, which is perfect. The community is self-organizing to deal with the communication problems, which appear to be most acute with the Chinese language materials. There has been a group effort to translate more of Meihui’s posts into English, and to translate other primary game materials into Chinese, as you can see at this unfiction forum post.
MeiHui posted Chapter six and wrote: “Help!!!! I want to read it too!!!” (that was the only thing I could read).
As far as I understood has MeiHui no idea what is going on. She needs a translation of all chapters and she needs a contact person.
So my suggestions:
1) read all her blogs (best done on wiki)
2) email her and ask how you can help (lets.help.meihuiSPLATgmail.com)
3) translate all chapters of the codex and send it to her
and if you still have time translate the blog for us
In 5-10 years this won’t be an issue, but for now the ARG global gamers have had a hard time connecting with, mobilizing, and empowering the PRC gamers.
It doesn’t help that Meihui, the Chinese character in the game, is from Taiwan and so presumably less familiar with PRC online forums, etc., than someone from the PRC itself. She might be in the PRC now: Meihui has been posting tweets on her Twitter account, helpmeihui, from Yinchuan and Suzhou (as you can see from this global map of tweets and videos from the game’s characters), but I’m not sure if that means she is actually there or not.