Met with Dan Washburn and Kenneth Tan of the Shanghaiist this morning for brunch.
Dan, a former newspaper writer in America’s Bible belt, came to China in 2002 and started an urban blog called Shanghai Diaries. Seeing the popularity of the site – and lack of such a site for Shanghai – Washburn approached the Gothamist team in New York.
Taking advantage of the City-ist network’s name, Dan started launched the Shanghaiist, which has turned into one of China’s most popular English-language blog/portals. There is no sharing of advertising across the city-ist network, but a number of the English-language portals in China have considered teaming up to make themselves a single sale for an ad rep. (Not a bad approach, in my view.)
As Dan concentrated in 2007 more on his book about golf in China, Par for China, Kenneth Tan joined the team to make sure the site is updated half a dozen times per day. Kenneth runs the site while selling men’s underwear from a disused bomb shelter in Shanghai’s French Concession.