Updated: 6/5/05; 9:21:30 PM.
Shanghaied Weblog
Weblog from Marc van der Chijs, a Dutch entrepreneur living in Shanghai. A mix of serious and fun stories about China from the Chinese and international press, and some personal experiences from life in China.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

It does not happen to me often, but today I ended up in the wrong location because of the mispronounctiation of a word. I wanted to go to Shaanxi Lu, but the driver understood Shanxi Lu. The pronounciation is quite similar to me, although fluent Mandarin speakers will probably totally disagree. Anyway, I got in the taxi and started working on my laptop without looking where we were driving to. When we arrived I realized I was close to the Bund, although I should have been at CITIC Square... The taxi driver was laughing at me for mispronouncing such a simple street name, but he very was happy to earn an additional 15 kuai.

6:09:17 PM    comment []

Seth Godin realizes the potential power of numbers:

There are fifty five million Chinese kids that take piano lessons.

And if one of them is also good at programming he has a paid internship available as well.

2:17:07 PM    comment []

After writing the business idea post just now, I came accross this article in the NY Times. Audio books are becoming much more popular in the US. Why? You can listen to them whatever you are doing: during running, during the daily commute to work, while walking the dog, or late at night in bed. Whatever you do and wherever you are, take your iPod with you and you can listen to the latest books.

Excerpts from the NYTimes.com article:
<Quote> JIM HARRIS, a lifelong bookworm, cracked the covers of only four books last year. But he listened to 54, all unabridged. He listened to Harry Potter and "Moby-Dick," Don DeLillo and Stephen King. He listened in the car, eating lunch, doing the dishes, sitting in doctors' offices and climbing the stairs at work.


For a growing group of devoted listeners, the popularity of audio books is redefining the notion of reading, which for centuries has been centered on the written word. Traditionally, it is also an activity that has required one's full attention.

But audio books, once seen as a kind of oral CliffsNotes for reading lightweights, have seduced members of a literate but busy crowd by allowing them to read while doing something else. Digital audio that can be zapped onto an MP3 player is also luring converts. The smallest iPod, the Shuffle, holds roughly four books; the newest ones include a setting that speeds up the narration without raising the pitch. <end Quote>

Will China be next?

12:32:02 PM    comment []

Because of Toodou.com I am professionally very interested in podcasting and related businesses. One of the early ideas we had with Toodou.com is to add audio books to the line-up. However, because we decided to focus more on video this was dropped. You have to focus and cannot do everything, at least you cannot do everything well. I still think audio books have a great future in China. There are hardly any titles available, and services like audible.com do not exist yet. We did some preliminary research, and it seems the audio rights for books can still be picked up very cheaply.

So if you are looking for a good business idea for China, this may be it. And if you don't want to build the business from scratch, feel free to contact us at Toodou.com. We could for example add it to the existing site (audio.toodou.com?), which is beneficial for both parties.

12:22:02 PM    comment []

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