Well, so far I’ve put together about 600 articles on China with around 5,000 total pages and about the same for Japan. In the last year I have added another section called "World Topics" with around 4,000 or so pages that has articles on the world's religion, ancient history, the developing world, food, minerals, energy, the sea, geology the rain forest—topics that apply to a lot of different countries. I am currently adding pictures to these articles. In the next few months I hope to start adding more countries, starting with countries in Southeast Asia . On top of this keeping China and Japan up to date requires about 200 or 300 pages a month. Ultimately I hope to cover the entire world. It’s a lot of work. I am now beginning to seek some Wikipedia-style help to make faster progress.
Among the nice things about the site I think are that it doesn’t have a lot of crap, and it is reasonably easy to navigate. I try to provide good, interesting information and not manipulate you in any way or push a point of view or agenda. But this also means I don’t really make any money from it, certainly not enough to cover even a small percentage of the time I spend working on it. I’m not complaining too much because I like working on this project— all I really do is look for interesting information and put it in the site, and doing that makes me feel productive—but it would be nice to get some money out if it to cover my costs (which aren’t all that much), justify the time I spend working on it and avoid teaching English to pay my bills. I sort of see myself as a punk academic: based on the punk rock idea that anyone can form a band and play songs (or here start a website and write articles) with the amateurish but spirited results sometimes being quite good. I also see what I’m doing now—asking for donations—as Internet busking: an online version of singing in a subway station with an open guitar case. So if you like this site, and would like to support it and keep it free and easy to access, a small donation of $10 or $15 or even a generous larger one to the following Paypal account would be much appreciated.
I am also considering other means of support. If you are with a company, publisher, newspaper, media outlet or organization that would like to support this site, invest in it somehow or hire me in some capacity to work on it I would be interested in talking to you. The only thing is that I would like access to the site and using it to remain free and easy and for its integrity to remain intact, which means no pop ups, difficult-to-navigate sections, big ads blazing across the tops of the pages, or smaller ads for stupid things. Even when you do Google ads you end up with a lot of listings for things like “Meet Beautiful Japanese Ladies” and I don’t want that.
If you are with a university or other academic organization that would like to support this site I would also be interested in talking to you. Some of the pages are not quite up to academic standards in terms of being footnoted but they are almost there and are as well attributed as most newspaper articles. At any rate I think my project is a worthwhile one and a lot of the people who use it are students and academics doing research or looking up something. It would be nice to have the backing of an academic institution. And, who knows maybe a site like mine can provide a means of getting international exposure. I would also consider working on the site or some aspect of it in the pursuit of a graduate degree.
Suggestions and Writing and Editing Support
So far I have done all the writing myself. But as I move towards the future I am willing to consider Wikipedia-style contributions. If you can write reasonably well and use the style I use is in this site (which isn’t too hard) and want to write about a particular country or topic that fits into my system of categories and subcategories maybe we can work something out. Also if you know of any good websites, blogs or sources or images that I can use let me know about that too. Lastly, as you can see from the editing mistakes that pop up here and there I am in need of some editing help. If you would like to help in that capacity I would be interested in hearing from you.