Archive | March, 2008

Tianjin Business Trip.

Jiajia and I have been in Tianjin on a business trip. Tianjin is about one hour away from Beijing and has not that much too see. Well, it’s a business city like Shanghai.

When we drove back to Shanghai in a sleeping train, we met a foreigner from Canada in the cabinet next to us – I guess him and me were the only foreigners on that train. We talked a bit about god and then world. And then, today, we met him by coincidence in Shanghai! Crazy. I mean, Shanghai is quite big, but you still run into people. That’s funny.

I’m busy working on a new website for my media company, so I’ll leave you with these two Tianjin pictures for now. More next week. Have a nice weekend!

Funny Apartments.

Tianjin Construction Site., originally uploaded by Montrasio International.


SEO Tip: There’s not only english (and America)!

While looking through some older posts of mine, I realized that even some chinese people wrote comments. Why? Because I live in Shanghai and sometimes I write something in chinese characters, just for fun of it mostly. So I just realized, in order to gain a broader audience, why not add more chinese in future posts? Thanks to UTF-8 the encoding of different language characters is no problem at all. And with sites like Wikipedia or the Google Language Tools, it’s easier than ever to have keywords or names translated to a foreign language (please write a WordPress blog on-site plugin, anyone?)…

But there’s more to it than just translating key words or phrases. In other countries, other cultures, other things are considered as important and discussed. This is where Googles Zeitgeist comes into play. I mean, it’s actually so easy to write posts that get many visitors… You just need to check out what people find interesting!

Let’s use the Google Zeitgeist of February 2008 as an example from now on. This post is not going to be a SEO Tip entry only, no, I will keep an eye especially on the visitors of this entry and report later on what kind of audience it found. I hope to attract readers from all over the world!

To attract readers from Afghanistan, you should have written about ako, which sounds like some music band? Or about Afghanistan itself, which is of course written فغانستان in arabic characters. They write from right to left, did you know that? They also like poetry a lot, which is why فال حافظ is another search term that seems important. And love, of course! عشق is the word for that. Poetry and love, that’s already a lot to write about.

Australia on the other hand seems like a bored country. They search for terms like grace kelly, optimus prime, pikachu or james dean. So bored, only watching movies all the time? I guess I am an Australian after all. Timekiller is a word many Australians searched for. Funny! They also care about israel, oakley and nrl sharks. So many topics to get their attention!

In Brazil, the people seem to love celebrities. This is why they search a lot for danni carlos, marco feliciano, caetano veloso and… gwen stefani?! Okay. So open yet another celebrity site and get their attention. Or you write about topics such as lua cheia (full moon), favela (slums), resumo das novelas (soap opera summaries) or ciclismo (cycling). Cycling? Isn’t it too hot for that there? Anyway, many unwritten stories to gain a brazilian audience…

Cold Canada dances itself warm, searching a lot for disco. They’re also interested in craigslist calgary and Bleach, which is a famous Anime if I recall correctly. Canadians also care a lot about the toronto stock exchange, infinity, adecco, viking and footlocker. Well, okay, maybe not the most interesting stuff. Then again, Canada is not that big. Which leads us to…

China! That’s my thing. Looking at the Zeitgeist China list, I have to admit though that me myself is not doing everything right. There are so many topics that seem to interest the chinese people, yet the only thing I wrote about was the Edison Chen sex-scandal. Shame on me! I should have focused more on this stuff: 郭德刚 (a famous crosstalker), 成都小游戏 (small games of Chengdu), 楚留香传奇 (a TV program), 音乐在线 (music website), 旗袍 (Chinese traditional female dress, qipao), 安以轩 (actress), 英超 (premiership), 花样少男少女 (a TV program), CCTV5节目表 (program list of CCTV5), 同济大学 (Tongji University), 化妆品批发 (cosmetics wholesale), 花与蛇 (a movie) or 爱转角 (TV program). Another thing that seems to interest many chinese people is the stock market, as many people searched for the stock codes 600839 and 000532. China is one of the biggest, if not the biggest country in the world, and you should care about getting people from there to visit your website.

Not that interesting or important is Chile, but here’s what you should’ve written about to attract readers from that country: barra los cruzados (Soccer fan club), shangay (huh??!), melipilla (Chilean town), huevos cartoon (cartoons), celulitis (cellulite), radio romance (local radio station), iori yagami (video game character??!), DIARIO LA CUARTA (local newspaper), el exorcista (the exorcist), el tabo (Chilean town), ENAMORADOS (in love) or mu magdalena (online game). Okay. Wow.

No, Cocaine is NOT in the Zeitgeist list from Colombia. Instead, Columbians googled up the following stuff in February: distrital, GRAFFITIS, carolina, espectador (Colombian newspaper), camion (truck), balon (ball), musica clasica (classic music), angeles (angels), modernismo (modernism) and presupuesto (budget). What is also interesting is that Brad Pitt seems to be written with one t only in Colombia, brad pit. So, run a culture blog and the Columbians are yours…

As for Costa Rica and the Czech Republic, they search a lot for music, actors and video games. No need to feature them here big time. Nothing spectacular…

People from Denmark must be real stylish, as the top search term was evisu (Japanese designer brand). Other important things for the Danes: rd (Danish mortgage company), papillon, dolphin olympic (wtf?), ingeniøren (The Engineer, Danish weekly engineering paper), wozniacki (Danish tennisplayer), krone (the Danish currency, DKK), fredericia kommune (Danish municipality), morten andersen (multiple record-breaking Danish NFL kicker) and det moderne gennembrud (Nordic literature in the late 19th century, Georg Brandes). Jesus, these searches seem pretty focused on their own country! It’s gotta be pretty difficult and tough to gain a big danish audience on your blog if you are not danish yourself or live there.

Finland… Well, they like big asses, which is why ‘kim kardashian’ is their number 1 search phrase in February 2008, right? But that’s about it with celebrities. Maybe Kim’s sex tape arrived there late. The other 14 search phrases seem rather random: rockabilly, gilmore girls, kansallismuseo (national museum), hernekeitto (pea soup), bob dylan, julisteet (posters), talent, rap, dementia, puola (Poland), sähkön hintavertailu (comparison of the price of electricity), disco ensemble (Finnish rock band), madrid and Mona Lisa. Gee, that must be the most random and unfocused country… yet. Let’s see if any other country is even weirder than Finland.

Baguette, Crossaint, France. The french seem to be into money and brands, as the Zeitgeist tells us: suivi colissimo (French equivalent of UPS), eastpak (backpack brand), VIDEOPOSTE (banking online service), resultat du loto (national lottery results), deblocage participation (company bonus information), jsl (local newspaper), cnas (national committee of social action), astro, joker, supinfo (engineer school), yu-gi-oh (manga (and anime, dear Google)), fifa, gerardmer (international movie festival) and shopping. The french seem a bit self centered, as the only person who made it to the list is Heath Ledger. Looks a lot like Denmark, France’s search phrases are pretty national. Difficult market…

Now to my roots, ze Germanz. Germany has some pretty weird searches, too: nail art? brandenburger tor? biene maja (German cartoon bee)? borussia mönchengladbach (German soccer club)? bbl (German basketball league)? vw käfer (vw beetle)? Man, am I happy to be an expatriate… On the other side, they also searched a lot for playstation, pink floyd, liv tyler and dwayne johnson aka The Rock. Now that’s something anyone can write about.

The roads in Greece must still be shitty, this is why the top search query there was ‘smart roadster’. They also like bentley. The other stuff is in greek characters: χαρταετός (kite), Αθήνα (Athens), εστιατορια (restaurants), φιλία (kisses), Μιχαλης Χατζηγιαννης (Greek Singer), δασος (forest) and κυπρος (Cyprus). Well, Greece is more an cultural country, so interpret these searches in whatever way you think is right.

Okay, writing this takes a lot more time then I thought in the beginning. I’ll skip the following countries but write their top search term behind them, as they are small and more or less unimportant: Guatemala (sagastume (SMS site from MoviStar)); Hungary (játékok (games)); Indonesia (akatsuki (manga character), sasuke (manga character), samurai x (Japanese anime), naruto shippuden (Japanese anime), one piece (Japanese manga)); Iraq (صو (pictures), العاب (toys), كاظم الساهر (singer Kathim al Saher), حسام الرسام (Hussam al Rasam), ابراج (horoscopes)); Peru (moderato (Mexican rock band), hermione (Harry Potter character), quimica suiza (local company)); Poland (walentynki (Valentines), plemiona (online game), jozin z bazin (viral video), pity 2008 (tax forms 2008)); Puerto Rico (clasificados el nuevo dia (classified ads site), vertebrados (vertebrates), amor de Dios (God’s love)); Serbia (mts mondo (portal), mojenagrade (Coca-Cola’s sweepstakes), leto 2008 (summer 2008)); Turkey (fulldizi (online tv series site), burç uyumu (horoscope harmony), sarışın kızlar (blond girls), panik atak (panic attack)); Ukraine (грузовик (lorry), подростки (teenagers), загранпаспорт (international passport), тернопільський чат (Ternopil chat), Гаррі Поттер (Harry Potter), художественная ковка (art iron work)). Now let’s go back to bigger countries.

Hong Kong, officially belonging to China but with their own Google, searched for: 陸詩韻 (celebrity name), 中信嘉華銀行 (Bank), 民族服裝 (fashion), 全盒 (festival item) and 世界上最大建築物 (the biggest building in the world) as well as 天空之城 (Sky City). They are into skyscrapers, hmm? How about an architecture blog in cantonese?

India is pretty important, as they have over a billion people! So make sure to blog about something that they find interesting, such as: filmfare awards 2008, budget highlights, aishwarya (actress), concept cars, dhoom2 (Hindi movie), causes of global warming, peta (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals), gladiator, punjab university, italy, travel guru, dehradun (a hill town in northern India), reliance industries, cricketnext, nauheed cyrusi (actress)… Ah, just start a Bollywood blog and you’ll be rich in no time.

The war in Israel doesn’t stop them from googling: פורים קטן (Small Purim), ברכות לבת מצווה (Bat-Mitzvah greetings), אזרחות (citizenship), איגוד הטניס (tennis association), מכבי חיפה (Macabi Haifa – soccer team), משפטים מצחיקים (funny sentences), משחקים לגיל הרך (games for young children), וינוגרד (Vinograd – National Investigation Committee), עשרת הדיברות (Ten Commandments), רפואה משלימה (alternative medicine). Boy these characters look cool. You’ll get them to your blog if you write about religion, it seems to me.

O Google mio… Italy is in search of amore, on the 2nd place. Number one is san valentino (Valentine’s day), because that’s always hard to remember. Other things the italian people care about: scusa ma ti chiamo amore (italian movie), caravaggio, i cesaroni (Italian sitcom), marco carta (Italian singer), partito democratico (italian democratic party), carnevale (carnival), sanremo 2008 (TV music festival)… Culture and politics, that’s how to find a way to the italian audience.

Kso sounds funny and means shit in Japan. That’s one of the 10 words I remember from my trip there. The japanese people searched almost only for people – so the next time you blog a star, make sure to include his japanese name somewhere in the post! Here are the people they googled up: 新垣結衣 (Yui Aragaki, actress, model, and singer), 倖田來未 (Kumi Koda, singer), 芋洗坂係長 (Imoaraizaka-kakaricho, comedian), 藤井彩子 (Ayako Fujii, broadcaster), 長谷川静香 (Shizuka Hasegawa, voice actress), 一色紗英 (Sae Issiki, actress), 岡村靖幸 (Yasuyuki Okamura, singer), 真木よう子 (Yoko Maki, actress), ロバート・メイプルソープ (Robert Mapplethorpe, photographer), 柳美里 (Yu Miri, writer). Besides people they google up tourist attractions, I think: 南大門 (national treasure in Korea) and 平壌の凱旋門 (gate in North Korea). I recommend a celebrity blog for japanese readers.

Korea makes quite good movies in the last time and their search queries show that they care a lot about entertainment: 조인성 (Korean actor), 퍼펙트케이오 (computer game), 미스코리아 김주연 (miss korea), 이화선 (Korean actress), 장백지 (Hong Kong actress), 프리즌브레이크 (drama, Prison Break), 박진희 (Korean actress)… Okay, let’s just say that a multi-language celibrity blog for the asian market would be a bomb, really.

Let’s finish the list and this experimental entry with Taiwan – once again I seem to be right with my celeb idea: 陳冠希 (Hong Kong celebrity), 張柏芝 (Hong Kong celebrity), 楊永晴 (Hong Kong celebrity), 阿嬌 (Hong Kong celebrity), 陳文媛 (Hong Kong celebrity), 顏穎思 (celebrity) and 長江七號 (CJ7, a new Chinese movie).

Okay. I think there is no other blog featuring so many different languages in a single entry. Anyway, I’ll update this post in some days or weeks and report how the visits were. Be sure to subscribe to my feed, then you wont miss the update.

And here’s something else: Zeitgeist 2007. It’s also very interesting, as it shows last years most used search phrases – and also the ones that are not interesting anymore. So blogging about one of these topics in 2007 should’ve brought you a lot of visitors: Apple iPhone, badoo, facebook, dailymotion, webkinz, youtube, ebuddy, secondlife, hi5, club penguin, tmz, transformers, myspace and Anna Nicole Smith.

Not that interesting are now: The world cup, of course, it only lasts one year always… Mozart, fifa, rebelde, kazaa, xanga, webdetente, sudoku, shakira and – mp3? Wow, mp3? Really? Good to know. Hope you had fun with this article and found some inspiration.


Come Back The Sun.

Song of the moment: Zucchero – Come Back The Sun.

‘Small town Romeo, kicking cans down the street
Coca Cola van broke down in the heat
The girls in colored dresses
They seem to laugh as they run – yeah
But they dream of only sweet caresses

Come Back The Sun
We will be like children
Come Back The Sun
Make us into children

The black and white of summer, and the golden light
The way we touched each other in the stolen night
The voices whisper in darkness
Dusty shoes on our feet, tender
And on my way to tomorrow, I remember

Come Back The Sun
We will be like children
Come Back The Sun
Make us into children

So you say that I’m dreaming
Beauty is mine
If I’m only dreaming, then its fine
Riede Paichi (Laugh you sad clown)

Bring back the sun in my life
I need your love to be there
Bring back the sun in my life

Bring back the sun in my life
I need your love to be there
Bring back the sun in my life
Well, you don’t care…

Come Back The Sun
We will be like children
Come Back The Sun
Make us into children

Come Back The Sun
We will be like children
When I was a kid
I could bring back the sun’

And that’s the image I created while listening repeatedly to Zucchero’s song:

Come Back The Sun., originally uploaded by Montrasio International.


Lights. Taken with my new Tamron lens.

So, a 300mm lens is finally mine. Actually, it’s a 70mm – 300mm lens from Tamron. Now my Nikon D50 can take pictures of things faaar away!

The lens was quite cheap, just a bit more than 1000 kuai is what I had to pay. I also bought an Kenko circular polar filter which gives me the ability to remove or enhance reflections and also influence the color of the sky. It’s awesome too and I can’t wait to try it out.

The weather in Shanghai is getting better, meaning warmer, but these days it’s too cloudy or smoggy for serious photography – got to wait for now.

More to come soon!

Lights., originally uploaded by Montrasio International.


Roewe 750.

Every morning when traveling from Pudong to Puxi I see this car at the People Square, while changing from line 1 to 2. Clever to put it on display on a way to overcrowded subway!

By the way, this is the first time I blogged to my blog here via flickr. Hope it works, alright!

Roewe 750., originally uploaded by Montrasio International.


Crazy Contest.

The website winning the web is holding a contest for webmasters who are really in need for some free advertising: Over 6.000 dollars worth of various internet and advertising related stuff can be won. The biggest prices are $650 Cash from Azoogle Ads, $500 Cash from PepperJam Network and $250 Cash from NeverblueAds. If you win one of these prices, some visitors are for sure yours!

All you need to do is subscribe to a E-Mail newsletter and add a feed to your newsreader. There are also some other ways to gain more chances to win – that is basically why I am writing about this contest! I could really need some advertising, you know… Mac Pro’s don’t come for free.

Anyway, if you want to be one of the at least 39 winners that will be drawn on March 31, then better get started now!


Review: CJ7.

Stephen Chow gained international fans with his last two movies, namely Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle – especially teenage fans and people in their twenties. CJ7 is his attempt to gain access to a even younger audience, as it really is a children movie – what a pity!

CJ7 PosterTo be brutally honest, CJ7 is Chow’s more crazy interpretation of Disney’s Blubber or Flubber or whatever the name of that Robin Williams comedy was. Of course CJ7 features a more asian humor, but it’s way more family-friendly than his previous works. Chow plays a poor construction site worker named Ti, alone with his son. To provide a better future for his child, he spends every cent earned for an expensive private school for him. No money is left for toys, but lucky Ti finds a big gum ball on a trash site while searching for goods in the middle of the night. This ‘toy’ eventually finds his way into the hands of his boy, who is even able to ‘activate’ it into an cute alien being – chaos and fun start.

CJ7 AlienThe biggest problem this movie has is it’s running time: Just when the movie is about to find it’s right pace and speed, it’s already over. It takes too long for CJ7 to finally appear alive and kicking on the screen, and Chow makes too little use of the lovely thing in various scenes. There are maybe three jokes that make you laugh out loud, but mostly you will just giggle here and there a bit. It’s a little bit funny to see Chow quote his own older movies every once in a while, but isn’t it also a bit too early for that? In 2010, Kung Fu Hustle 2 is supposed to be released – by then, most of us will have already forgotten about CJ7…

Conclusion: Too short, too childish fun. ** out of *****.


8GB iPhone in China much cheaper!

Quite a surprise, the price of the 8 gigabyte model of Apple’s iPhone dropped a whopping 125 dollars since the last time we asked! Back in December we were running around in that big electronics store at the Hong Kong plaza and back then the price was almost 650 dollars. Now the 16 GB version is available for 690 dollar and thus the 8 GB version dropped down to 530 dollars.

That’s quite a jump for just three months. The iPhones I’m talking about are unlocked and running the newest version, 1.1.4 if I’m not mistaken. One of the sellers said though, that ‘within 6 months you will be able to buy legal iPhones from China Mobile’. I wonder if he is just kidding around or if he really has inside information. As far is I know, Apple is in negotiations with China Mobile but wants too much?

Well, let’s see how things are in September 2008, when the 32 GB iPhone or even 64 GB iPhone is available…


Falling, Falling Down.

No Country For Old Men was this year’s winner at the academy awards, telling the story of an aged cop in a Texas that is getting more and more violent and out of control. Of course, it showed again the mistakes of normal people and how these mistakes can cost them their lives, as featured before in Fargo. The Coens really like to show us how stupid we are sometimes.

If I had to make a movie similar to No Country For Old Men in Shanghai, I would change the title to No Country For Weak Men. What happened yesterday explains this:

After shopping around a bit on Huahai road with beautiful sunshine and a nice dinner at a low-budget italian restaurant keychain, my wife and I headed home to Pudong by subway in the evening. We had just changed to line 2 at people square and were in a pretty empty wagon, when a guy all of a sudden lost his consciousness and fell down on the ground, hitting his head on my wife’s back during that fall. What happened then really made me sad and angry.

Nobody, nobody at all moved or did anything. Everyone sat or stand around, of course looking staring at that poor guy, but doing nothing. We went on our knees and tried to wake that guy, shaking him a bit and talking to him. He didn’t react at all. Finally, finally one person got down to the ground with us and helped us to put that dude back on his feet, trying to bring him back.

Then things got stranger – the guy, obviously overtired or sick or whatever, was unable to stand. He wouldn’t have fallen down on the ground if he was okay, right? So you would expect that somebody would get up and give his damn seat to him so that he could get better. Nobody, nobody stood up.

At least not for half a minute, which is is quite a long time, considered you are trying to keep a 60 kilograms heavy person on his feet. Finally, finally a young woman stood up and told us to put him in his seat. Everyone in the wagon was watching that guy and us lifting him, and nobody gave their seat to us, except a woman. There were like 5 guys in their 20’s sitting around on their seats staring at the event. So, so sad.

I’ve experienced a fair amount of bullshit in and around Shanghai in the last years, but never ever had I experienced something this bitter before.