Gwulo in 2012 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Gwulo in 2012

Here's how we did in 2011, plans for 2012, and some ideas if you'd like to help.


How was progress on last year's plans?

  • People. The feature is available, but not widely used. Only 28 'Person' records have been created so far.
  • Connections. No progress. Technically it'll need a major upgrade to the software that runs the website, but ...  unfortunately that would break some features we currently rely on. Catch-22.
  • Dates. No progress.
  • Maps. I've added more overlay maps. No progress on describing the area a map covers though.
  • Change hosting company. Not needed in the end, as the current hosting company launched a more affordable service.
  • More sales. I've added a 'shop' page. It gets more visitors, but generates very few sales.

Progress was patchy. But away from the technical side of the website, things were a lot better with many interesting new contributions. I've listed some statistics at the bottom of the page, but as an example the number of comments on the website grew from 11,300 to 14,900 over the year.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the website. Your questions, comments, facts and photos help us all learn more about old Hong Kong.


For this year, first keep doing what's working:

  • Keep adding. Welcome more questions, photos & information from contributors.
  • Weekly photo. Post a regular photo with "who / what / where / when" text
  • Talks. Last year I gave a public talk about old Hong Kong for the first time. I'd like to do more of that.
  • Resources. Keep building up the "Where to find..." section, to make it easier for new visitors to learn how to research Hong Kong's history.
  • Face-to-face. Meet up with contributors for a meal and a chat from time to time. (Fingers crossed there will be a get-together in London later this month. I'll post up details once date & location are confirmed.)
  • Jurors lists. The Jurors List project is still making progress, but very slowly. Look for ways to speed it up.

And add some new projects:

  • '70 years ago today'. Most of the setup work is finished (you can take a peek here). It needs a proper announcement, and then I hope we'll attract extra diaries and related information.
  • Import data. I've had two generous offers of information, about people from Patricia Lim, and about places from Rob Weir. I'll work out how to import that all into the website.
  • Dates. Out of last year's list of projects, this one really needs to get done: "Add the dates into a Place's title, so that when we are adding a Place to a photo, and there are several generations of a building, we can see the dates and so choose the right one."
  • E-book. A personal goal this year is to take last year's talk and turn it into an illustrated e-book (think Kindle, iPad, etc).

Based on last year's results, that's more than enough to keep me busy!

How you can help

Here are a few ideas. If you think of anything else, please let me know:

  • Spread the word. If you know anyone who is interested in old Hong Kong, please could you ask them to take a look at Or if you've subscribed by email, please forward them a copy of a Gwulo email you think they'd like, and let them know they can subscribe at
  • Join in. We're interested to learn from you. Please share it with a post in the forum or a comment on the website.
  • Type up a page of a Juror's List. It's easy to do, and only takes around 30 minutes. Details here.

This has turned into quite a spiel - if you've read this far, thank you, and Happy New Year!

Regards, David statistics, 2010 vs 2011:

Content on website20102011
Forum topics350525
People 28
Jurors Lists (years)1119
Email subscriptions180353
RSS subscriptions 53
Facebook 273
Twitter 33
Website traffic (thousands)  
Unique visitors88113