Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Wendy Cheng, Full-Time Blogging

Wendy Cheng, aka Xiaxue – home at – has the exotic job title “blogger.” She’s made it full-time thanks to her blog sponsors, and with a readership in the ten thousands has become a small celebrity in Singapore. I’ve asked her about life, blogs and beyond.

Hi Wendy. You say you started your blog as a replacement for having a diary. In the beginning, did you ever think that it might interest other people, too?

Not really! I’ve always known my writing is pretty good (*blush*) but I never expected readers to go up to hundreds, thousands, and now, tens of thousands daily!!!

When did you realize – “uh oh, this thing is taking off"?

When people started recognising me on the streets!

Your blog template looks quite professional, like the Flash on top. Did you design it yourself?

Nope! I had professional help from, though I did do the contents and most of the design on the rest of the blog myself. :)

You’re using Google’s Blogger service to blog. What do you like about Blogger, and what do you dislike?

I love Blogger! The reason why I’ve never changed is because Blogger is so easy to use, and though it may not be the best, it is constantly trying to improve, and customers can see that.

It used to be just a simple blog. Then there was commenting, permanent links, free picture hosting, etc etc. The newest thing is that we can now moderate comments, something which I have been pestering to do for the longest time!

What it possibly lacks now will be timed postings, or catergorizing blog entries – but overall, I must say I love Blogger because for a heavy user like myself, not having to pay for bandwidth nor storage is a godsend.

In a nut-shell, what’s Singapore like to live in?

Fast-paced, compact, and as dynamic as you make it!

What other countries do you like? Where have you been so far, and did you always find an internet connection?

Not that many countries: Australia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, and of course, our neighbour Malaysia. There wasn’t always internet connection in these countries, so I will just stop blogging for a few days and accumulate those photos! :D

Would you mind writing a paragraph in Singaporean English, to illustrate for those who don’t know it lah?

Also can lah, but what you want me to say leh? Tolong lar, you angmohs everytime laugh laugh laugh at Singlish, you think very funny meh?

What languages do you speak?

English, Mandarin, and Chinese dialect, Cantonese.

Did winning the Bloggie for Best Asian Weblog in 2005 give your traffic a major boost?

Not really, surprisingly! I don’t think people cared much about the Best Asian Weblog...

Once in your blog you said you like to check links pointing to your blog. Which tools do you use? And how do you cope with negative criticism you find?

I used to use Google, but now I check my tracker’s referrals, and use Negative criticism? I just shrug it off nowadays, because I know when you have people who love you, there will always be people who hate you. I’d rather have haters than live a mediocre life where everyone is indifferent to me!

Do you keep some parts of your life private? And did you ever feel “I shouldn’t have said that, now it can be used against me"?

Sure, yes! Sometimes, I pour out my weaknesses, and amazingly, there are people who are underhand enough to actually make use of such information, and attack you when you are the weakest!

The one thing I felt that feeling the strongest was when I finished writing about my parents’ divorce and someone wrote something like, “Please look at what kind of daughter you are! No wonder both your parents don’t want you anymore.”

My god did that make me cry.

Did you ever delete one of your posts... after posting?

Yup, but that mostly only happened when I divulged some things about my friends that my friends do not want the whole blogosphere to know.

What kind of readership do you have?

Around 18,000 to 20,000?

Would you say your blog has a “theme” other than you and your specific writing style?


Do you know if you’re the youngest full-time blogger around?

I don’t know any other full-time blogger besides Kottke and myself!

Do you know if your blog can be accessed from China? To my knowledge, everything on Blogspot is “invisible” in China.

It can’t be accessed, that I am sure. Bah humbug, that adds one more thing to dislike about Blogger!

When readers are rude in your comments, do you delete frequently?

Yes I do! Of course I will. It is stupid... if I came up to your face and slapped you, do you just stand around and smile at me?


Same! Why should allow defaming comments about me, on my own website, when I have the absolute power to delete them?

Who do you think makes up your readership of almost 20,000 people? Do you think you have more male or female readers, or is it balanced?

A poll I did shown that it is around 60% female and 40% male. I am the kinda girl that men dislike. :)

It’s hypothetical question time... how do you react when you’re locked up in an elevator?

Is it dark, or not? Regardless, I take out my cellphone and call someone, while pressing the bell.

... and which three things do you take on a lonely island (let’s say that island has a working internet connection)?

WORKING INTERNET CONNECTION! Trust only bloggers to give that situation! LOL... laptop (in-built modem I hope), camera, and maybe a vibrator. Ok you know what? Scrap the vibrator, I’ll bring a random male model.

... and which celebrity, male or female, would you like to meet most these days?

I’d really really love to meet Maddox. I’ll bring a goth with me to see how he reacts!

What does “Xia’xue” mean? Is it your Chinese name, or is it “Yan"?

Xia xue means snowing, and it is just a random IRC nick I chose for my blog! People ask me stupid questions like how much I chose that name to get famous by, but they don’t realise that that I never knew I’d get famous with that blog!

For all I know I could have chosen “” at that point of time for fun, thinking nobody will ever read it, and would be known as “Labia” now instead of Xiaxue.

My Chinese name is Yan yan, and my mom told me it means intelligent and beautiful. :)

Are you addicted to blogging, or can you take a 2-week vacation without touching a computer screen?

I am quite addicted to it, but only when I get angry and I have no friends to complain to! I guess a 2 week vacation is fine, but I will blog like siao (crazy) when I get back. :)

Got a favorite... director?


... food?

Creamy pasta!

... author?

I know, boring. J K... you know who.

.... comic artist?

Scott Adams!

How has blogging changed you? Did ever anybody ask for an autograph?

Of course it changed me! I am now famous in little Singapore! And yes, people do ask for autographs.

Have you ever been to a blogger meeting/ conference? Or would you go?

Yup, I was part of the organising committee of the Singapore Bloggercon 2005.

Yes, many, some secret. Amongst these,,, and etc.

What are your favorite Singaporean dishes?

I’m not quite sure the dishes are “Singaporean” per se. The only Singaporean dish I can be sure of is Rojak, which literally means “mixed” and it consists of pineapples, dough fritter and nuts in some kind of sweet sauce.

I don’t like it. :(

You started podcasting last month. Will you continue? What were your experiences with that?

It wasn’t so much so of a podcast but a audio recording because I wanted to test my new mp3 player. I didn’t really like it a lot, but I might do it again, if I get enough storage space, which currently I don’t have.

Was “Localbrand” the first advertiser approaching you? Do they pay enough for you to make a living from it? How is the PayPal donation button working out for you?

Yes Localbrand was first! I cannot answer the monetary question though!

Paypal’s not going so well, but even if it is going well I can’t get the money out coz I don’t know how the hell to and I am lazy to learn! Paypal’s so complicated. -_-

My friend told me there was a word typical for Singapore... “kiasu”. First of all, do you agree it’s typical, and can you explain what it means?

Yes, if you ever come to our country you will realise how typical it is. Kiasu literally means “scared to lose (out)”, and that is the mentality of the average Singaporean.

When we board our subway, we rush to go in, elbowing each other. Plenty of seats, and the doors do not close on you, so why rush? Because they are all KIASU.

What other blogs do you read? Which blogs inspire you?

I am ashamed to say I am as deep as your average facial pore. I only like those tabloid blogs, like


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!