What Is On This Blog?

What exactly is in the EastSouthWestNorth blog?  For example, how would the contents be classified?  On the page header, the EastSouthWestNorth blog has a sub-title: Global Culture & Politics.  Actually, I am not interested in every possible thing on the planet as there are plenty of people, places and things that I know nothing about.

My physical locations are Hong Kong and New York City, my professional work is on Latin America and my current interest is in the war in Iraq.  So I took these as the main subjects, and I went back to classify all the blog posts during the year 2004.  I also made sure that I distinguished between Hong Kong versus the rest of China (i.e. mainland, Taiwan and diaspora).

The frequency distribution of the 1,423 blog posts during the year 2004 is shown in this table.


Iraq China Hong Kong Latin America Other TOTAL
January 21 28 20 52 55 176
February 15 41 11 49 52 168
March 16 39 14 54 40 163
April 24 27 18 38 18 125
May 46 16 23 38 16 139
June 14 16 17 28 14  89
July   7 25 26 37 16 111
August   5 24 10 29 23   91
September 15 14 22 21 21   93
October 15 28 11 20 23   97
November   7 22 10 30 10   79
December 12 31 20 18 11   92
TOTAL 197 311 202 414 299 1423

These blog posts are not equal.  It would be a major project for me to obtain a frequency distribution of page views.  Without numbers but based upon my knowledge of which the most popular posts were, I believe that the ranking by page views would go in descending order of Iraq, China, Latin America and Hong Kong.  For the year, according to the blog traffic, the EastSouthWestNorth blog was an Iraq war blog.

What exactly are those blog posts saying?  What were the cultural and political messages?  Well, what kind of question is that to insist that I must pigeon-hole myself and offer up a one-line summary?  Well, you are going to have to make that determination for yourself.

If you want a clue, I will cite someone else's classification.  At Jay's Leftist and 'Progressive' Blog Links, EastSouthWestNorth is alphabetically located somewhere behind DailyKos and right in front of Eschaton.  I did not ask for this, but somebody out there made the determination that this blog is 'leftist' and 'progressive.'

Meanwhile, in the Annuaire du Socialisme et du Mouvement Ourvrier, EastSouthWestNorth is classified under the category of Alternative Media and listed alphabetically right behind Common Dreams and CounterPunch.  Other members of this list include AlterNet, Independent Media Center, Nodo50, Rebelión, Tom Paine and Yellow Times.  Again, I did not ask for this, but somebody out there made the determination that this is an alternative media website.

Whether I agree with these qualitative classifications or not, I am pleased to see that someone thinks that I am entitled to occupy a space next to the listed websites, which are a lot bigger and better known than this little blog.  

But was it because I am anywhere as good as those others listed?  I am positive that I am not.  My blog traffic is just a tiny fraction of theirs and this is a one-person part-time operation.  I surmise that my inclusion is probably out of desperation because there would be no obvious representation otherwise from China (note: Nodo50 and Rebelión are huge Spanish-language sites that cover Latin America).  

Will there ever be an equivalent of DailyKos for China?  We must remember one big difference: DailyKos appeared as an English-language group blog for mass numbers of English-language readers.  If there is a DailyKos for China, it will be a Chinese-language group blog for mass numbers of Chinese-language readers, and that would be inaccessible to English-language-only readers (note: the Annuaire du Socialisme et du Mouvement Ourvrier lists English, French and Spanish websites, but many people including me can read all those languages).  A DailyKos for China written in English would have a much smaller audience, and must be limited because it cannot be a major social force that influences public opinion in China.