I’m in the middle of a major project at work — no that’s not right. I am struggling with a major project at work at the moment. and that is seeping up all of my time and desire to blog so posting will be a bit light here for another week. I hope to get on top of things this week so that I can write something soon — as this space is a real outlet for me. But I don’t want to turn this blog into a spot to rant about the failures of PowerPoint (or my failure to master the program), so I’ll just stay semi-silent until I finish the project.
On a more positive note though, Winnie and I did watch the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies on Friday with some friends at a Greek restaurant in Gubei. It was simply awesome especially the fireworks. I do hope that this put a lot doubts to rest about whether China was ready to host the Olympics or not. I’ve also been watching the Olympics on and off all weekend. As of right now, China has six gold and two silver medals.
It was sad to hear about the murder of an American at the Drum Tower yesterday. My thoughts are with the family, but I am wishing deep in my heart of hearts that there is no backlash against China for it. It sounds like it was just a deranged man and the family was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Look for posts again soon.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the earthquake that hit Sichuan today. It was so big that we even felt it in Shanghai.
When it happened I was sitting at my desk working on my computer. I felt a little dizzy and I thought it was just from some eating some bad food at lunch. Only when my colleagues rushed by saying in Shanghainese that something had happened did I know it wasn’t just me. Within a minute my Twitter Feed jumped to life with people asking if anyone else felt the earthquake in Beijing. It was then that I knew something was up. A few minutes later we evacuated the building.
But we were given the all clear 15 minutes later. When I got back to my desk I was able to follow everything on Twitter and answer questions from different colleagues as the people on my feed fed information on the earthquake from all over the country. And we were able to help each other and filter out rumours. People who had access to televisions were able to keep people like me, who were in offices and working, up-to-date with the latest developments.
I can really tell that Twitter is coming into it’s own in China. Today really proves it, especially since the Chinese media did not release news right away and there is very limited access to foreign news sources such as CNN — I’m lucky in in that I have a satellite dish that gives me foreign programs but it’s on the fritz at the moment. Twitter filled the gap for me today and thanks to crowd sourcing I think that it’s pretty accurate. Two articles on the situation can be found on Danwei and China Herald.
As much as I feel happy for the role that Twitter played in the event, I fill sorry for all those dead and injured in the quake. My heart and prayers go out to them.
Update (May 17th 2008): I sent a note to Jesse Brown, the host of CBC Radio’s Search Engine about Twittering the earthquake. They featured me on their blog here and here.