Adopt a Blog Update

Seeing as how the press has called attention to Adopt a Blog once again, I think it’s time to give an update. The program has been going for about a year now. So what is its status?

A lot of people liked the idea of Adopt a Blog. I got a huge response from people offering server space. This is great, because success of the project depends entirely on the generosity of such people. But the success of the project also depends on something else. *People need to come forward and ask for hosting.* That, for the most part, didn’t happen. As a result, the project did not succeed in getting many blogs hosted at all.

But even if there were a large number of “adopters” as well as “adoptees,” there are still a few other problems:

– Currently, e-mail is the medium of communication for matching “adopters” and “adoptees.” That makes a lot of work for one person, and it’s not the most efficient.
– If the program were to be very successful, I might get blocked. Noooooo, I don’t like that.
– If the program were to be very successful, I’d get a lot more traffic, which would give me bandwidth issues.

Therefore, it is my hope that some benevolent company overseas could champion this cause and host Adopt a Blog on their own servers. They would make themselves look good by supporting free speech online, all for a comparatively small investment. It would also be easy for the company to set up a discussion board, which would be a better way to make matches than e-mail. The company could also have the site translated (I’m sure it would be easy to find people to do it for free) without fear of any backlash.

Sooo… any takers out there?


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. john, i find you collect a lot of blogs written by english teachers in china, just wonder if there are blogs written by chinese teachers in the states, that could be very interesting.

  2. Bingfeng,

    I don’t intentionally collect a certain kind of weblog for the China Blog List. It just seems that the “English teacher” variety is most common, or at least easiest to find. In most cases, they seek me out.

    Just to clarify, the China Blog List is not directly related to Adopt a Blog at all.

  3. Bingfeng: there used to be a site called Ôڱ𴦠that filled a purpose similar to that of the now defunct Living in China, but on a smaller scale. It was basically a few Chinese students in the USA writing a collaborative weblog about life in the States, in Chinese. It was very interesting, I wonder if you can do some Googling to get the page caches… oh wait, you’re in China too. Doh.

  4. maybe bill gates would like to volunteer. 😉

  5. thanks Micah, i tried but both sites didn’t work.

  6. Yes, it’s safer to have the project or the idea adopted by people / organizations outside of China.

    Anyway, I can only wish that big mama’s eyes are not on you and your blog.

  7. Dear John you are on Italian news!!!

    This is the main italian newspaper (like New York Times for America)

    chech home page

    and article about you here

    Ciao GenoaJp… an italian in Japan

  8. Yeah, you are on the most important italian on-line daily and I guess you will have a lot of italian visitors, check your web-stat 😉

    I did not know this program. It is very inteesting and I will participate.

    Greetings from Italy.

  9. GenoaJp and the DRaKKaR,

    Thanks for letting me know, and I appreciate the support!

  10. If I were a company, I would sponsor this project immediately; but I’m not. However I have a few suggestion to possibly achieve things without needing big guys to help.

    First of all, I really don’t think you need a company to find somebody willing to translate for free. You should simply say “please consider to contribute” and as the thing grows odds of finding a good soul will grow too. I cannot provide a Chinese translation, but just give me permission and a little time if you want an Italian one.

    Then, to get around the mail and bandwidth problem, I think I got an idea that can possibly work: what if contributors (meaning who “donates” web space) mirrored the project site, providing their own contact information? that would “decentralize” and share out the load of work to do. Obviously it’s not that easy, a few sites will probably still get a lot more requests than the others. But they could put online something like “sorry, time to hassle the other guys too, here are the links”. I think this kind of structure will also help if the Adopt a Blog page itself gets blocked by the PRC proxies.
    Again, if you think my idea isn’t that stupid after all just let me know and I’ll be the first to mirror you.

    Last word is: this project is a great idea. Let’s keep it alive 🙂

  11. alice monni Says: April 5, 2005 at 12:23 am

    Hi John!
    I’m an Italian journalist. I read the article on the corriere della sera, and I’m quite interested on your project. I’d like to write an article on my online newspaper about that:will you be so gentle to explain me how many people has answered to your project, and in particular how many italian people has decided to “adopt a blog”?
    My email address is Give me some details or curiosity or news on this initiative, as soon as possible please.
    thank you
    Alice Monni

  12. bingfeng,

    apparently there is a whole network of Chinese students in NZ who have a website with chat functions and links — not sure about the blogs. Can’t remember the address, it’s a Chinese website too (ie in Mandarin). Interestingly, they are able to abuse the New Zealand government and New Zealanders in general without any fear of reprisal…

  13. […] Adopt a Blog was originally conceived by John Pasden of Sinosplice and hosted there. Later, John expressed interest in finding a sponsor in order to give himself and his website a little bit of distance from a project with the potential for unpopularity with the authorities. […]

  14. Kaili, there is a similar BBS for Chinese students in the United States. I don’t know about abusing the government (shouldn’t they be able to do that?) but it seems to be very popular, it’s called the MITBBS:

    Oh, and it’s blocked in China so they must not be doing enough bashing of the US government.

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