I was chillin’ out at the bottom of my blog when I noticed a little feature I had installed ages ago that shows me a post from that day a year previous. Well, imagine my surprise when the post is none other than the Lost Laowai inception announcement.

Yep. My little baby is one year old today (ish).

I can’t believe it’s only been a year since I started putting together this site, it feels like a lifetime ago. Then again, for all the parts that aren’t finished, maybe I should be a little surprised so much time has passed.

Much has changed with LLW over the last 365 days, and with few exceptions, the changes have been for the better.

llwbirthday.pngThe first big change was in Sept-Oct, when I converted the site from a (S)HTML page-by-page design to using the current CMS (in hind-sight, I have no idea why I didn’t start with the CMS – it’s much easier to use, and expand).

Next up was the migration of the Hao Hao Report to its own domain at the end of December. I liked having the Hao Hao as a feature of Lost Laowai, but it really began to outgrow its home here, and it seems to have settled in nicely over there at www.HaoHaoReport.com. We’ve got nearly 300 members, over a thousand submitted links, 4000+ votes and it’s growing every day.

In the months since, Lost Laowai’s offerings have continued to expand and I’ve added a bunch of new features, including:

Looking forward, I honestly can’t say what the future of Lost Laowai is. When I started this site, it was simply meant to be an in-tandem sister-site to my blog, Adventures of the Humanaught. Now, with a growing community and a collection of excellent writers at this blog … there is certainly a lot of potential to continue to build on that.

Most of the limited amount of time I’ve had to spend on working on this site has been spent on back-end stuff, but in the coming months (as I shift from ESL biatch to Mandarin Student-cum-Web designer), I’ll be focusing more on adding solid content that will maintain the site’s credo of being a “no-nonsense guide to China”.

Incidentally, if you run a China site and would like link up with us, check out our Link Exchange program. I’m sorry this doesn’t apply to blogs, as there’s just far too many to include in such a thing. However, I am looking at adding blogrolls to this blog in the very near future – so watch for that. Anyone that likes this site is welcome to check out our linky love page for some graphics to use.

In closing, just want to give the obligatory (but from the heart) pat to those of you visitors that have made the work I’ve put into the site worth it. Particularly I’d like to thank the Lost Laowai blog contributors. Rick, Steven, Chris, Sean, John, Alex and our newest writer – Lauren; you guys are radtastic – thank you so much.



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