Are English language blogs on the Taiwan politics monitored?

Does anyone in Taiwan’s political system care what lao wai writes about re the political scene here? Michael Turton has posts from Linda Arrigo about Shih Ming Deh and lots of analysis/biting criticism, etc. Blogs in the US can make a difference in getting out info, mobilizing people, getting donations. They can make a real difference and have a real power to influence the political scene. Are the English language/political commentary blogs based out of Taiwan irrelevant in this regard? Do they have zero impact beyond intellectual stimulation, friendship, etc?

No. Yes. Yes.

No, si, si.

:wanker: is stimulating and promotes bonding. The only drawback is that it causes blindness.

ac, i like your analogy. it’s mental mas----- why not try something useful at least for your own country

Are you referring to the country the offered me political asylum from “Green Terror?”

where’s that, lalaland? green terror, lol

Green Terror… I get that.

I always have to go back and check that the door is locked and I turned the floor fans off. It’s the worst.

Don’t forget to sprinkle in Minnan into your daily conversation. Or people will suspect you don’t love Taiwan enough.

I was saying, why not write about politics with a view towards (should I dare say it?) accomplishing something in the real world. Like having a real f-k, as opposed to the mental mast… /fantasy one. A vote in its own tiny, sweet way accomplishes something. Why not write (with that passion for stimulating) on a topic that your readers may someday have to be informed about so they can cast a good vote? Except for Poagao, the only lao wai with Taiwan citizenship (that I’m aware of), none of us (especially me since I’m in ku NJ) is going to have to go to the ballot box to decide between blue/ green etc. I’m not surprised by the casual commentary about Taiwan politics- it can be as fun as gossiping about family members or co-workers. It’s just that when so much time and mental energy goes into certain Taiwan political commentary blogs ( like The View from Taiwan) for no concrete purpose…I want results I tell you!!! I want all that brain power to be harnassed for a greater good than gossip and tabulating batting averages!!! We must not be Pokemon players! We must not be Yu-Gi-Oh warriors! No more writing reviews on! Actionactionaction PS Do expats generally send in absentee ballots so they can vote in their passport countries?

[quote]Do expats generally send in absentee ballots so they can vote in their passport countries?[/quote]I do. Don’t know the % of others.

The English blogs do not reach a wide audience, but if you write perceptively enough, people pick up your stuff. “Monitored” is hard to say. I doubt that any blogger has influence on anything important. I have personally effected changes in the way at least two reporters view Taiwan, but I did that by dint of personal correspondence, not by blogging.

I think that a coordinated effort could bear fruit. But it’s uphill sledding. For example, AFAIK I am the most widely read pro-democracy English blog that has lots of political content, but my readership is relatively small, less than 500 a day at the moment, and I would bet that many people who read my blog aren’t interested in politics, they want to see pictures and read odd bits of news. Political blogging is tough – I can hardly keep up with even the minimum of political blogging (I also like to blog on other topics) and sometimes I just get tired of politics – I think everyone does. It’s just one long panoply of hypocrisy (a group blog might solve the burn-out and scale problems). Another problem is that Taiwan bloggers often blog for a year or two and then return to their lives in the world, leaving Taiwan behind and killing whatever momentum they’ve developed. Yet another problem is that people who do know don’t blog (why should they?).And ultimately, Taiwan is not really on anyone’s radar back at home, so getting it on the radar is hard. Suggestions?


Maybe they are? I mean, I just got this message as a PM:

[quote]From: Alien Computer Monitoring
To: Huang Guang Chen
Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:10 am
Subject: Re: Language

Dear Mister Huang, we having sometimes trouble language, you understand. Prease more like China Post.

Thank you.

Best Regards
Wodger Wong
Director of Alien Computer Monitoring.


Tainan Cowboy, you’re better than me. I didn’t send in any absentee ballots- but I should have. Michael, it seems from your reply that you wish your blog could do more. My suggestion is to change your focus. You are not a Taiwanese citizen, you can’t vote here. Your readers are probably not able to vote here either. But you live here with your family and you want to make things better, not just engage in commentary for entertainment, right? I would attack any Taiwan issues from the American side. What Congress people have a clue about Taiwan? What Congress people have voted in a way to hurt Taiwan? Network with campaign people to get policy makers elected who will help this island. I know there are lobbyists working for Taiwan in the US Congress, but you emanate a different kind of credibility since you are a Caucasian living in Taiwan- a regular Joe with no hidden agenda and obvious sympathies for both the US and Taiwan. There is also a lot to be done networking with global environmental groups. I’ve been out this kind of thing for years, but I remember when the US was forcing (pushing?) nuclear power on Taiwan since its industry was losing favor in the US. That’s something that needs to be publicized more. Perhaps US based political commentary blogs need an international section, like newspapers have, where they could get reports from American citizens living around the world about the effect of US policies on foreign countries. Foreign correspondents exist, but like you say, they often get things wrong because they’re listening to the wrong people. My job at the Taiwan EPA years back was to edit English publications explaining the’Taiwan Miracle’. Later I learned it was just propaganda and misinformation. So, I would contact popular blogs like Daily Kos and see if they are interested in linking with you or featuring grassroots commentary from around the world, including you. So your hard core brain power would just be switched over into a more activist audience, while you could continue the pics and other cool stuff about Taiwan for the softer core friendship/bonding/just trying to enjoy life audience. Anyway, if I had your brain power and drive, which I don’t, that’s what I would do. Could you also post or summarize on your website the letters to the reporters you mentioned in your above post? Thanks.


You understand what you are proposing will eventually become political hackery. Because it doesn’t sound like you are interested in journalism or amatuer journalism (blogging).

Creating material to augumenting lobbyist, who influence members in DC, is the realm of marketing (spinning).

I can’t even figure out who’s interest would be best served. ROC government, USA government, USA industrial-military-congressional complex?

Yep…we can see the [color=green]Greens[/color] are really giving it to the [color=blue]Blues.[/color]

Monitoring? I don’t think anyone in govt service in Taiwan gives a rat’s ass about anything written online in English unless it has pretty pictures. Outside of Taiwan is a different story. Watch this.

The Chinese Communist Party is doomed!
Down with the pan reds (blues)!

^^^ :bravo: :laughing: :bravo:

I bet Miss Piggy is really upset now.

ac drop out, I’m trying to understand your point of view, but I don’t get it. I never said I wanted to blog- I was talking to michael who loves to blog. also, the term ‘lobbyist’ as i understand it just means a person who advocates for their cause, it doesn’t say anything about the cause being positive or negative or how one chooses to advocate for it. political hackery? how is what i am suggesting political hackery? no offense, but is English your first language?

A lobbyist is a professional salesman in DC. He is using money from his clients to influence elected officials to be more sympathetic to his client’s interest. Lobbyists are the antithesis of a democracy because he is part of a “pressure group” that represents the “special interest” of the smallest population in the system.

It is political hackery, because ROC citizens don’t make up much of a constituent base in the USA. Even USA expats in ROC don’t make up much of a constituency base for any particular elected official.

You might want to model Taiwan’s efforts after Israel DC lobbyist. However, on any given day Israel have about 40+ full time professional lobbyist all over both Houses. How much disposable income does the entire USA expat community have to hire a top DC lobbyist?

Some people like to blog, nothing more. If you believe something more can come of it, I won’t stop you.

However, if you want to know one of the main factors why DC is not all over Taiwan, it is because the word on the street is that PRC is not oppressing ROC, in fact just the opposite is true.