Back from Internet hell

For an Internet addict like myself, the last couple weeks have been difficult. Access to foreign sites in mainland China is frustrating at best and infuriating at worst. Specifically, aside from the usual litany of blocked social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for example), even the New York Times is blocked, and virtually every other foreign site (including Google) takes five times as long to load as it does in the States. Baidu, meanwhile, appears instantly. Ergh.

I just got back to New York yesterday. But during my winter vacation, I’ve been doing some thinking about how to make The First Casualty a better and funner (yes, I have decided that is a word) blog and Internet destination in 2013. Within the next few weeks and months I’m planning to roll out some new — and, hopefully, interesting — ideas for the blog: new contributors, additional features, and so on. Of course, I’ll be continuing the current features and contributors (depending on their availability) as well.

Additionally, I hope to introduce more original content this year. Much of what I posted last year were links to, and excerpts of, other pieces I found illuminating or provocative. I’ll continue to do so this year, but with an added emphasis on producing more original writing — including longform essays and posts — to provide what is hopefully a useful and unique variant to the cacophony of voices on the Web.

Anyway, I’m open to suggestions. Please comment and question liberally. And thank you for continuing to read.

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