Rant In Peace TTC

RIP-TTC.jpgWell, it's happened. TalkTalkChina's reign as the #1 stop for China Expats to go and bitch has come to an end. It's been a good ride, but all good things, as they say.

For a year and a half TTC has provided the English language China blogsphere with loads of poignant posts that led to even more poignant comments. With their posts often receiving upwards of a hundred comments, it's no doubt that the site will be missed greatly. In fact, as of this writing, the "closing" post has received 50 comments since being published last night – that's a lot of people with something to say (like "first!").

Seemingly at the top of their game, with more visitors than ever, the closing of the site is likely to be a bit of a shock. The 3Ds explain:

So why are we shutting it down now, at this time of seemingly great “success”? Well…because we are lazy. We’ve said what we wanted to say. Things are [sic] so bad anymore – China is doing better as a country. It’s no Japan, mind you, but spitting is dwindling, traffic is getting better, pollution can be filtered with cigarettes and more people are choosing more appropriate English names, like “John”, instead of “Strong”.

As a semi-frequent commenter on the site, I know I'll miss their posts and the heated debates that always followed. I'm curious what site will now rise as the void-filler for the community of expats to bitch about the "troubles" we face here in the Middle Kingdom. There are a few out there, and my bet is on the appropriately named China Rant; though their posts don't seem to have the same sharpness and apposite quality that TTCs posts contained, with a URL like that, it's well-positioned.

Actually, it's a bit hard not to feel like this was the high watermark in the China blogsphere. Not in that there aren't plenty of blogs that came before and still offer great content, and not that there won't be loads more new blogs with more rants and insight. However, in my near two years in China, I've watched the number of blogs balloon, and I'm sure old hands like Sinosplice, Peking Duck and a number of others saw it coming long before I got here. TTC seemed to be the culmination of that. It's like that point at the end of an all night rave when you see the sun start to break … and you look around to see a bunch of people wandering with a "where do we go now?" look on their face.

Well, what can I say, party at my place

10 Responses

  1. I always wondered when the party would be over. There’s only so much you can rant about China before you start running out of ideas. Even Seinfeld had to end sometime..better to go out at the peak rather than in the dumps.

    The website will be missed.

  2. I went to TalkTalkChina several times and it was the same bitching and complaining every single time. It got old fast. Like a friend of mine once said when I mentioned TalkTalkChina to him, “if they don’t like china, then why don’t they go back home”
    Like at most funerals, we have a tendency to look back teary eyed with bias glasses, seemingly choosing all the positive attributes about the poor bastard. In this case, i say we are better off with out TTC and in fact I believe now people will have to find more creative blogs to express their ideas instead of the Neanderthalish rant about how much it sucks to not have a Taco Bell near by.


  3. Hek, if you had visited more than once you would know that “if they don’t like China, then why don’t they go back home” is probably the #1 most commented thing there. And something ALL the regulars regularly poke fun at.

    I think what you’re confusing is Web identity with real identity. From the outset, the TTC boys explained that the site was an outlet. A place where they (and others) could come to bitch after having a bad China day. It wasn’t their life, I’m sure they don’t walk around and bitch to all that they meet about how much they hate China – that’s what the site’s for. Similar to the way you might take day-to-day frustrations out on a punching bag in the gym rather than punch the crap out of your boss, your co-workers, the guy that cut you off, the mailman, your wife, the baby, etc…

    The concept of bitching about China may have gotten old quick on the site, but the humour in the posts was always quite fresh. I admit that recently I hadn’t been reading it as loyally because the posts seemed sort of haphazard and far between … but when you take the site as a whole, it was a great site.

  4. Black humor and a place to vent is essential for anyone living abroad.

    I remember when TTC was soliciting readers via google adwords and then grew, incredibly fast, to have probably the largest readership of any expat blog.

    I often flinched at some of the comments, but always thought they were performing an entertainingly important function…


  5. TalkTalkChina has definitely set the standard for the “humorous rant” blog about China. Hell, it set just he “humorous” standard, even without the “rant” qualification. I wouldn’t say that makes it that apogee of the entire China blogosphere, however.

    And yes, I think there have been similar highs in the past. Way back in the day there was a site called “Living in China” which brought about a then unseen level of community to the China blogosphere. It was really nice for a while, until it all came crashing down in greed and egos.

    So there’s more than one kind of way to shine in the China blogosphere… we will undoubtedly see others emerge. We really do need more good sources of China humor, though. It’s what keeps some of us sane.

  6. I’ve heard rumours of this “Living in China” site… and also rumous of its decent into madness. Anyone know where I could get a Readers’ Digest version of what the site was and what happened to it?

  7. Pingback: China Law Blog

  8. Pingback: Linktastic III | Life In Suzhou China Blog | Adventures of the Humanaught

  9. Thank you so much, Ryan!!
    I’d say, these words are sweet, but kinda…hmmm, not so like TTC’s… well, sweet anyway. Wishes to them… 🙂

  10. Only a noob would say ” if you dont like China go home” about a bunch of old timers ranting about lovelt old wreck of a country. This is home! so I bitch. Part of the charm of this place is that the insanity of daily life drives you to a point of madness then the beauty takes hold and you are lost agin in the weirdness and energy of this place.. Talk talk was fun and a great release. They killed it at the right time before it went downhill and just became a noob forum filled with questions; such as “I’m a vegatarian ,can I get vegetarian food in China? this is the sort of silly crap that drives old timers from a site and causes permanent brain damage. So BItch bitch bitch, it wont change anything. I’m a little tipsy on baijo so not making any since. Lomg LIve TALk TAlk China!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *