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December 20th, 2002

 

State of the Web Address
or "What am I doing?" Part 2

     Entering the tenth month of LoveHKFilm.com's existence, I've come to the conclusion that I'm off my rocker. Like many other webmasters (Hey, Sanney!), I spend my time working on a web site for no other reason than my own personal enjoyment and the minor acclaim of a very select few. In that time, I've also incurred three figures in traffic charges, gone to war with bandwidth thieves, and witnessed the fine month of November, where the affiliate link to AznFilms.com earned a staggering $2.20. Capitalism is great!
     I've also made some great online friends, received compliments from people I've respected for years, watched a ton more movies, and possibly improved upon whatever writing skills I had at the start. And I got to speak to Shu Qi. So, it's been a mixed bag, but the positives have kept me going. I do like to write, and I do enjoy having this web site. And talking to Shu Qi gives me bragging rights among salivating heterosexual males. And again, I've met some great people.
     One of those people, Mr. Lee Wong, has even left us, which leaves me with the oddest feeling. I can hardly describe that feeling, and even hesitate to do so. Lee was the first reviewer on the site after myself, and he was my friend. And really, having those two thoughts in the same sentence seems wrong. Lee had a life and family and friends that had nothing to do with LoveHKFilm.com, so speaking about him in those terms borders on shameful.
     But it's not like I can see it any differently. I knew him through this site, and that's how I'll always know him. In a way, that's how I'll think of everyone I've met through the site, including reviewers, readers and the occasional complainer (Yeah, that's right! I'm talking about you!). To me, they'll all be part of this wacky web site. And for some of them, that's likely all they'll ever be to me. It's existentialism worthy of Wong Kar-Wai.
     Pulling back, though, this site isn't really about me; it's about Hong Kong Cinema, and its acknowledged PanAsian brethren. Seeing as how the cinema is in its latest crisis (box office numbers are now smaller than Michael Jackson's self-admitted fans), I find myself contemplating that eternal question: what now?
     Well...there'll be more reviews. We're currently hovering below 850, and we'll hit 1000 before I'm done. Heck, we may hit 2000 before I'm done though I could be irretrievably bitter at that point. Assuming that HK Cinema survives, we'll try to keep them coming. Reviews—and unsolicited jokes—are what this site is about. Get used to it.
     But things are changing. For one, we've had commercial affiliation for the past three months, which has amounted to some financial support (a little over $100), and some much-appreciated review discs. We've also seen a massive increase in traffic, which I both like and dislike. I like it because it means we've reached an audience. I dislike it because it costs me more money. And I still have no job.
     However, that will change come February. At that time, I will go to work full-time for a company which cannot be named here, only because I really don't want to name it. It'll be nice to be gainfully employed, because then I can afford that Jaton PAL/NTSC all-region DVD player. And I can afford the limited edition Region 2 DVD of Azumanga Daioh, which is the silly-looking Japanese anime at the top. And, I can now take a date to someplace other than Chili's.
     At the same time, having a full-time job means less time devoted to the pursuit of a wacky Hong Kong Cinema web site. It means less time to watch movies, less time to review them, less time to edit other reviewers' work, and less time to spend writing screwy columns like this one. Everyone will suffer.
     The response here could be, "Then stop writing screwy columns! Just write reviews! And what about the latest Twins movie?" Or, the response could be, "Stop writing reviews! Just give me popstar pictures, and lots of them!" Or, I could hear the common refrain, "I don't care about reviews. Tell me how can I contact Shu Qi. What is her e-mail address?" All very important comments which will be noted and filed away—perhaps in a circular file. And some of them may or may not come true.
     But two things will come true:
     A forum will happen. Though it will cost me money, I'll probably go with ezboard. The reason for this is administration. It'd be hard for only one or two guys to run a forum, and the customer support ezboard gives will probably help a great deal. And hey, it's easy to use. Just don't steal bandwidth for your sigs.
     Aznfilms' commercial presence on the site will increase. One reason for this is the site cost. I would absolutely love it if the site hosting, bandwidth and forum costs are covered by commercial support from the purchase of DVDs. It's easy: click on the link, buy a DVD or two, and the site gets 10%. And I do mean the site gets 10%.
     And I really want to throw business their way. I must be very clear on this: I really, really like AznFilms and what they have to offer. They're not the most overwhelming of online retailers, but they're good, decent people who care about the movies AND their customers. I cannot stress this last part enough. As someone who used to work in a retail environment, I know what it's like when a retailer both cares and doesn't care about its customers. And believe me, when a retailer doesn't care about its customers then they simply do not deserve your business.
     So, the above two things will happen. And, despite the time constraints, I will continue to watch and review films, maintain this site, and hopefully annoy people further with unnecessary jokes, polls and awards celebrating the sometimes-dubious joys of Hong Kong Cinema.
     And, I hopefully will meet more great people. - Kozo 12/20/2002

 
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  Disclaimer*
The opinions expressed within are merely the musings of the Webmaster, and as such should be taken with the requisite grain of salt. If you disagree with an expressed opinion please feel free to contact him here. If you feel he has insulted your favorite popstar, you can still contact him. However, your chances of receiving a reply will be reduced by half.
 
 
 
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