I had been planning on spacing out the remaining entries from our trip back to China until January 1st, but now that Talk Talk China has announced its retirement, I’m inspired to move this blog’s terminal date up as well.

There’s little left to do–the photos are uploaded, the brief post descriptions done, maybe just two more videos to process and two slightly longer narratives to complete–no reason to draw this out, in other words. Especially since I’d already decided to exit stage left on China Blogging after the trip’s posts are exhausted.

And to be frank–I’m only slightly tongue in cheek here–I hope Talk Talk China’s closing launches a wave of other China Blogs shutting down. That isn’t a judgement about any particular blog, but about the glut of them we seem to be swimming in. One example: ChinaBlogList.org boasts nearly 500 “China Blogs” in its database now. No one can read all those. No one can even review and rate them all. There are plenty more out there besides those nearly 500, too, and certainly not all the “Good Stuff” gets picked up and linked to in the sidebars of the China Blog Mafia Top Ten List or whatever that is.

But ChinaBlogList.org is still good. I like the motivations behind The Hao Hao Report and Chinalyst as well, in that they attempt to sort and arrange China Blog posts in hopes of getting this glut under control. But even they seem likely to end up with unmanageable reams of digital content. And if John Pasden were ever to launch what I figure would be a similar diggolicourati concept at his | sinolicio.us, then I think we’d nearly need an uber-aggregator for all these China Blog aggregators.

Even more seriously, however, what might be an even better idea is a China-related online publication (or even an “offline” one) that takes the Gothamist/Shanghaiist concept a couple steps further: Aggregate a cross-section of quality China bloggers across various categories by bringing them on as contributors into a central publication. Divide them up into categories: Life in China, Teaching in China, Laowai Rants, China Investment, China Manufacturing, Chinese Law, Chinese Cinema, China Travel, China Current Events, and so on and so on, with a central style guide and central editorial control. But most importantly, to avoid becoming another “Living in China” that fizzles out after choking on its own ambition, run it like a for-profit business, not a “community.”

Anyway, that’s what I would like to read as far as “China Blogging” goes. If it were done right, I would even consider paying a subscription fee for its “premium content.”

But as far as this Postcards from China blog goes, the daily posts will run through until sometime Thanksgiving weekend. After that, I’ll leave what’s here in place for I don’t know how long–there is a decent little window opened into southern Fujian/Jinjiang culture among the 2006 Trip to China posts, and I’ve heard from more than a few people who find that valuable.

And as for me: My life is again becoming too busy to keep at online activities I classify as hobbies. And since 90% of my worklife is online, I’m more eager for offline hobbies these days, as in Goodbye blog, Hello climbing gear, mountain bike and fishing pole.

In sum: after Thanksgiving Weekend, except as an “archive,” this blog, and by extension The Chinese Outpost Newsletter, is no more, so in anticipation of that: Hasta la vista, Baby, Happy Trails, Peace Out, So long and thanks for all the fish, ad infinitum….