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Top 20 websites in Hong Kong: #8 - fearless, with slapdash grammar

image Imagine my reaction upon reading Post Magazine in yesterday's Sunday Morning Post when I discovered that OrdinaryGweilo.com is one of the top 20 websites in Hong Kong.

My delight was somewhat diminished by a couple of things.

Firstly, that this list appears to have thrown together without very much research.  One might almost say it was slapdash...

imageFor example, #11 is a site (Glutter) which hasn't been updated for about 4 months.  Also, I think I must point out that the author of Glutter (Yan Sham-Shackleton) is, of course, a woman, as a cursory glance through the website (or a Google search) would probably reveal.  And (as ulaca rightly points out), she is also no longer a resident of Hong Kong.

Secondly, I don't think anyone has taken any notice.  I dutifully checked my site statistics yesterday, and the impact of this mention appears to be somewhere between minimal and inconsequential.

However, I have to say that it cheered me up to be described as 'fearless'. 

Top 208 June 2008

1. Bullpoo www.bullpoo.com

Dubbed "World of Warcraft meets Wall Street", Bullpoo is an investment advisory site. It enables users to make risk-free simulated investments in an online role­playing game setup. The name sums up the clever concept: it suggests a bull market but it also keys into a Zen saying that warns when you speculate from afar, a prospect may look like gold but prove to be dung upon closer inspection.

2. Hemlock's Diary www.geocities.com/hkhemlock/papers.html

Proving you do not need fancy software to write a blog, Hemlock's Diary is produced on that dinosaur Web platform Geocities. It spreads an expat's remorselessly provocative views. Nobody is safe from Hemlock's brand of poison, not even former SCMP columnist and current undersecretary for the environment Kitty Poon Kit. Hemlock claims she sees the same hair stylist used by the punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees.

3. Cloudless cloudless.net/blog

Proving that websites need not deploy interactive Web 2.0 gimmickry, Cloudless - which was devised by a photographer named Sunny in 1999 - serves up pictures of Hong Kong in the form of a visual diary. Alluringly dream-like, some shots depict landscapes dramatised by stark natural light. Others show pets from peculiar perspectives that give the images impact. Still others highlight strange signs.

4. Hong Kong Outdoors www.hkoutdoors.com

Describing the city as a "many-splendoured place", this portal whisks the reader on a tour of heritage trails, waterfall pools and secluded ravines - without degenerating into a brochure. One feature describes Hong Kong Wetland Park as "weird but not wonderful".

5. anobii www.anobii.com

This Facebook for bookworms has as clean an interface as you will find on the Web. Navigating anobii is a case of type, click and whoosh! It is a platform for sharing reviews and recommendations and befriending like­-minded readers.

6. Big White Guy www.bigwhiteguy.com

This site is just as punchy as Glutter but on a street level. One typically controversial post opens with the assertion that most beggars are conmen. The writer, known as Randall, is a Canadian photographer who lives in the New Territories. In his "contact" section, he writes:

''I'll get back to you as soon as I can, provided you aren't weird." And he is true to his word.

7. The Underground www.undergroundhk.com Developed in 2004 in respanse to the lack of live music venues in Hong Kong, the Underground is devoted to. the diverse lacal music scene. It offers gig listings, infor­mation about home-grown bands and CD reviews.

8. Ordinary Gweilo ordinarygweilo.com

Due to the lack of an editor, Ordinary Gweilo's grammar can be slapdash. Nonetheless, the articles are fearless and make other media columnists look timid.

9. Batgung www.batgung.com

Batgung could use more visual oomph. The blue-and­-white generic typeface wears thin. Still, the photos are good and the writing keenly focused. Not to be missed is the "Uniquely Hong Kong" section.

10. Hongkie Town laowai.blogspot.com

This blog will appeal to voyeurs, as it documents the ravings of an expat American in the city. Hongkie Town addresses issues such as dinner with the ex-wife, "unusually bad bar experiences" and corporate drudgery.

11. Glutter glutter.rsfblog.org

This site's name is a fusion of the words "glitter" and "gutter". But gossip is just one side of the blog. The authar, Yan, was enlisted by Reporters Without Borders ­a Paris-based non-government organisation advocating press freedom - for his honesty in writing about politics. The content is hard-hitting but the presentation could be sharper.

12. Lamma www.Lamma.com.hk

This citizen's forum presents stories and photos from the island's "intriguing, interesting" inhabitants. The site reminds us there is more to Hong Kong than legions of careerist go-getters. It also explores the antics of pagans, topless sunbathers and all kinds of "ferals".

13. Xanga www.xanga.com

A rival of Zorpia, Xanga offers a community in which you can start a free blog, share photos and videos, make friends and debate. Look for engaging user blogs addressing issues ranging from the Sichuan earthquake to whether men and women can be "just friends".

14. Zorpia www.zorpia.com

Zorpia is an alternative to social-networking sites such as Friendster and MySpace, and offers free photo sharing and blogging. Although those services are nothing new, the local slant means you can actually meet the people you ‘ping’ in the real world and befriend them. Let's face it, who needs digital "friends" in Alaska anyway?

15. Web Wednesday www.webwednesday.hk

More than just a hub for tech talk, Web Wednesday serves as a forum for anyone involved in the online social-networking industry. The site is run by the indefatigable Napoleon Biggs, an internet entrepreneur and sinologist. It blends the geeky with the polemic and includes a video clip on nationalism and how the Chinese and outsiders see the Middle Kingdom.

16. Discover Hong Kong www.discoverhongkong.com

Official tourism guides often amount to marketing exercises that may prompt the reader to shun featured destinations. In contrast, the Hong Kong Tourism Baard's effort is bright, inviting and innovative. Take the food section, which dishes up information on "tea culture" and the city's reputation as a "gourmet paradise".

17. Hong Kong Crawler www.hongkongcrawler.com

This search engine and business directory portal yields sharper results than simply tapping the search string "Hong Kong" into a generic engine. To focus on a particular island or zip code, enlist the local-search function. If you want to continue mining the local seam, download the Hong Kong Crawler toolbar or widget for free.

18. Hong Kong Airport Shuttle www.hongkongairportshuttle.com

This no-frills portal may seem an odd choice but some of the best websites are not especially fancy. They just do a vital job well. The shuttle site offers an online reservation service to and from the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok.

19. Mister Bijou misterbijou.blogspot.com

Bijou means "jewel" in French. It's also the name of a gin-based cocktail. The reason for the site's quaint name must be its quirky content. Mister Bijou is light bedtime reading, or rather, viewing of "a little island in the South China Sea". This pictorial blog dishes up Hong Kong street-life vignettes, with subjects such as raindrops pinging into puddles.

20. Hong Kong Disneyland www.hongkongdisneyland.com  

Some detractors call Disneyland "Mauschwitz", in a nod to the amusement park's intense aura of order. This site pitches the world's fifth Disneyland park, which opened in Hong Kong in 2005, as the place where dreams come true in a climate of "infinite fun and non-stop action”. Believers can book their tickets directly through this portal. But beware, the site positively showers the visitor in fairy dust.

Comments

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Spike

Hey, you got slapdash grammar, I got voyeuristic ravings. Which of us is the lucky one?

fumier

"Due to the lack of an editor ... [the] grammar can be slapdash."

Replace "due" with "despite", and "slapdash" with "ckufing awful" and one could be talking about the SCuMpost.

Congrats, by the way, old chap.

Chris

Spike,

Well, yes, I can see why you are not happy. However, the article is behind a paywall and (based on my stats) it hasn't had much impact.

fumier

That should read:

replace "Due to the lack of and editor" with "Despite the presence of an editor"....[the] "grammar [of the SCuMPost] can be slapdash."

Spike

Obviously nonsensical to put Glutter and BWBore in such a list.

And no NTSCMP. For obvious reasons, the Post would never even admit they read it. Sad.

Hope Taylor

Hi! Thanks for blogging about Zorpia! We recently released Zorpia 2.0, hope you can check it out!

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