Amateur flies the Web flag for Asia
A Hong Kong amateur Web designer has won accolades from four United States Web-site watchers for his personal home page.
David Chan says his site (http: //www.goldensection.com) - which has won praise from People Chase, Cool Site of the Day, Alphabytes and Kick-Ass - is simply a place for chatting, making friends and sharing hobbies with other Internet users.
He also shares his expertise on the artistic and technical aspects of Web design such as colour, font and special-effect manipulation.
Mr Chan started developing his Web site a year ago, spending an average of two hours a day on the content, graphics and HTML (hypertext mark-up language) programming.
He said his motivation for spending so much time, effort and money to develop and run his site was not only for enjoyment, but also to show off his ability to Americans who tended to look down on Web sites from Asia.
Mr Chan said of the 120,000 hits recorded on his site, more than 90 per cent were from the US.
He has been disappointed at the low response rate in Hong Kong, which he felt was caused mainly by a language barrier.
His personal Web site, written in colloquial English, has been described by a Chinese computer magazine as a Western-style home page.
The lack of a Chinese-language search engine also has been a stumbling block.
Mr Chan said he would stop further development of his English personal home page but hoped to gather enough support from readers or voluntary translators to work on a Chinese-language version.
He said most people in Hong Kong were still ignorant of the Internet and no mature Web applications could be found in the personal or even business environment.
'I don't think the Web industry in Hong Kong is moving in the right direction as the gap between copywriters, graphic designers and programmers is always there,' he said.
'It really calls for all-round Web designers, and personal Web sites are a good starting point for training.
'Originally a technical man running a company specialised in WAN [wide-area network] development for corporates, I am not strong in writing and design, but I learned from building my own Web site.'