The Peking Duck blog officially closed today. I am not the sentimental type, and to a great extent everyone knew this day would soon arrive. But yet today is still a sad day.
The Peking Duck was at one time one of the two or three best and most honest blogs on China. Through that blog, I got to know its author Richard Burger and I am proud to think of him as a friend. Richard and I most certainly did not agree on many things (though there were many things on which we did agree), but I ALWAYS appreciated his blog posts because they were always so “real.” They were also always so very well written and so insightful. Richard always was and still is a class act.
When we first started our blog way back in January, 2006, and for a long time after that, no day would go by without our reading Peking Duck, as it (along with a few other blogs that are also no more — many of which Peking Duck lists in its farewell post) was the zeitgeist of China.
If you wanted to know China, you read Peking Duck. It was that simple
To give you some idea of how important we viewed the Peking Duck, I note that this is the 40th time we have cited to it in a blog post and that from 2006 to 2008, we cited to it 23 times, which I am guessing was more than any other publication. If we were having a tough time coming up with a good topic for the day, we knew we could pretty much always find something worthy of discussion on Peking Duck.
Richard never pulled a punch and yet he, like so many of us back in “those days,” was infused with optimism. Sorry, but it was a better time.
Not surprisingly, Peking Duck’s last paragraph nails it:
It was a thrilling ride. I used to love waking up to hundreds of new comments. It was a real community. But all good things must end, and I probably should have shut down the site a few years ago instead of allowing it to slowly die on the vine. Thanks so much for joining me here. I’ll miss all of those who contributed to The Peking Duck — the site was more about the participants here than it was about me. What a great experience it was. Thanks again.
It is with considerable sadness that I join the long line of people mourning the final demise of Peking Duck and wishing Richard all the best in his offline life.
It was indeed a “great experience.”