Why hello thar, lovely humans.
You thought I fell of the off the edge of the earth, huh? You thought I turned my back on all things bloggy and skipped off into the ether, leaving a trail of hanzi in my wake. Nope. Still here. Still alive and kicking, still in Beijing. Perhaps you will excuse my absence if I let you in on the reason for my LOA: I’ve been holed up working on a whole new Chinese Reading Practice.
This site design, as you may have noticed, is a shambling, mummified fossil, and looks horrific on mobile devices. Opening it gives me the sadz. And as I do not like having the sadz, I decided it was time for a refresh.
Plus, I keep opening these emails from you guys demanding more, more, more posts. Truth is, I can’t afford to devote the time to writing those posts unless I’m charging a little bit for it. I’m a freelancer, every time I update CRP, it eats into my billable hours.
On the other hand, I kind of love that CRP is a free resource for casual learners. My favorite thing about the internet is that it represents so much collective good will. You ever heard that term, “cognitive surplus”? Neither had I, until I watched this rad talk by Professor Clay Shirky. In it, Shirky basically defines “cognitive surplus” as the way we use our mental downtime. Look at Wikipedia, right? Most of the contributors to Wikipedia are volunteers. They use their mental downtime – their cognitive surplus – to edit articles about like, the lifecycle of jellyfish and the population of Singapore. They get nothing tangible out of this, so why do they do it? What is the root of that compulsion? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I do know that that’s the spirit of the digital age. I have some pretty strong feelings about how important it is that we use some of our cognitive surplus to help educate each other. So I’m not really comfortable making CRP entirely pay-to-play.
That being the case, I’m gonna do a little experiment here. I’m gonna try to do both. The new CRP shall feature a new free post every darn week for you Sunday-morning-over-coffee readers. There shall also be reasonably-priced memberships for you Chinese reading diehards, with a member’s library and new Member’s Only posts daily. We’ll see how that pans out.
I’m looking at a Feb 27, 2017 launch date, or thereabouts. Until then, enjoy the archive here, and 加油, my friends.