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Moving to China

Vox Populi

Category: Vox Populi

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Weve finally hit the big time! Last year the Lonely Planet came to Jilin Province to update their latest book. After a pleasant night of sharing stories, tips, and all of Changchuns hidden treasures, they were grateful enough to feature us in their latest edition. Heres their glowing assessment of us:


Ok, so maybe Im taking a few liberties with my adjectives. Sensationalism is the way of new media. While were still a long way from competing with buzzfeeds, Facebook and Reddit, its nice to see our mostly harmless” (thank you Douglas Adams) website has a minute, but useful global presence.

We started CCL in 2010, and its evolution to what it is today was unexpected. Being Design Lecturers, it was a great way to teach ourselves (and then our students) advanced web design, and Joomla. We were able to involve our students in a real world project. Coming from the old world (re: Hell) of print media, we were excited by the scope, and unlimited audience the internet has to offer (Hell, I was sold by spelling mistakes fixed in an instant). Having spent most of my pre-China working life in printing, Im happy to see its demise, and dance on its grave. Its a waste of time, money and resources, and can only cover a fraction of digital media’s readership while also being restricted to written and photographic media.

From just a simple reference site we envisaged for CCL, we quickly realised the possibilities a Joomla site could offer (Joomlareally gotta love it). We started doing video, interviewing some of the amazing characters that blessed Changchun with their presence over the years. From that our web presence grew onto Youtube, sadly banned, but still a very popular site for Changchun information. The explosion in social media meant we needed to include Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Each account proving more popular than our original Joomla site. The most unexpected success story has been our Google Map. Even blocked, its still our most popular feature, and still the best resource for anyone coming to Changchun.

There have been some great contributors over the years. Jeff Walsh, Chad Garland, Fin McDonald and Chris Knight gave some very interesting articles. Some of the articles we published were topical. We have always been aware of sensitive issues in China, and so weve always been cautious with our content. Were a community resource, not a political platform. But its impossible to whitewash Changchun, pretend its paradise, and make it look like a Potemkin Village. True, some people have written their negative feelings of Changchun and China. However, the overwhelming feedback and contributions to this site have been positive. Sure, its cold, dodgy plumbing and not as refined as Shanghai, but we still love you. We’ve tried to present an honest depiction of Changchun, as the expat community sees it. But don’t worry, If its propaganda your after, theres plenty of people out there bending over backwards to give it to you.

To us, this has always been important. We aim to give an honest, open forum for people to voice their feelings on Changchun (providing they dont cross the obvious boundaries). Were independent, and we love Changchun (have a look at our cups!), we want people to know this is a great place to come and do business, but there should be no illusion of a utopia here.

The ever changing nature of Changchun has meant Changchun LIVE, has changed as well. Work changes, countries change. Unless someone out there wants to pay us lots (and lots) of money to sit around and play with our website, the frequency of updates will reduce. Dont worry, well still be here, and the resources on our website will remain free to everyone who visitsunless we get blocked of coursebut thenmost of our readers are overseas or expats using VPNs, so while sad, it wont be too big a problem.

So thank you to everyone who has contributed on this site, and thank you to everyone who took the time to read this long winded self promotion. I hope you can still enjoy our website, and hope it enhanced your Changchun experience.

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