L: Hi Salina! Thanks for taking the time to chat. Tell us about this aggregator project.
S: Taiwan Mixed is a platform that aggregates English content on Taiwan. In particular, the aggregator seeks to support Taiwan-based independent media outlets that release English articles related to developments on the island and beyond. It also seeks to support organizations that share the same mission of sharing Taiwanese culture with an international audience and disseminating information about Taiwan on the web in a way that is accessible to all.
L: That’s great! So it sounds like you’re working with news outlets and content creators like us to bring legitimate information and compelling perspectives together, creating a holistic way to learn about and discuss Taiwan.
S: Exactly! So to that end, the aggregator has established partnerships with organizations like TaiwaneseAmerican.org, New Bloom, Ketagalan Media, ITASA, and others that wish to use our platform to showcase their content. This initiative was organized and carried out by a collective of deeply passionate undergraduate and graduate students with Taiwanese heritage, so naturally, we’re running as a non-profit and are sustained by outside donations. This website is open-sourced and available for all users to contribute. Contributions can be submitted through a form, and all submissions will be vetted before being published on this site.
L: Seems like the content is sourced from all over the spectrum. How is it organized?
S: As with many of the existing media publications, we have our aggregated articles organized under generic categories, examples being “Politics & News” or “Culture & Entertainment.” We’ve also included a “Humans of Taiwan” category to better showcase the many talents and notable contributors of the Taiwanese and Taiwanese-American community. We are particularly excited about our forthcoming “Learn” page. The design concept of this page draws on a Taiwanese retrospective theme, featuring nostalgic symbols and objects related to Taiwan. Fundamentally, the page is dedicated to providing both introductory and detailed information for learning about Taiwan’s history, culture, and entertainment landscape.
L: That’s so great – and you’re doing all this manually?
S: At the moment, featured articles on the Aggregator are updated manually, but we have a coder on the team who is currently working on a customized, automated mechanism to simplify and streamline the process to enable automatic, live updates on the Aggregator via an RSS feed.
L: So ultimately, you envision users being able to visit this aggregator as a “portal” to all meaningful content about Taiwan in English.
S: Yes absolutely, but in addition to the website, we intend to release a social media page/profile on Instagram to compliment the Aggregator. Posts on social media will provide weekly updates on the articles shared on the Aggregator; it will also routinely share social media posts released by our partners.
L: What’s been challenging about this project?
S: We seek to support independent media outlets that publish meaningful content related to Taiwan, but we are also aware that in these unprecedented times, the integrity of the media has come under attack. Given the nature of our project, we find ourselves responsible for keeping our readers consciously informed about the issues surrounding fake news and hope to provide tools and pathways for them to avoid misinformation. To that end, we will be creating a “Fake News” page under “Learn.”
L: That sounds great! How can we support Taiwan Mixed?
Finalizing the project will incur certain expenses, and given that this project was created from scratch and is organized independently by a small group of students, we are hoping to raise funds from willing contributors. If possible, we would be incredibly grateful if you can make a small contribution through either Emily’s (one of our member’s) Paypal or Venmo account:
- Venmo (American/US Accounts): @ehmilyc1
- Paypal (non-US friends/台灣): https://www.paypal.me/ehmilyc1
Recommended donation amount 🤔
- Friendly: $5 / 150元
- Contributor: $10 / 280元
- Financer: $15 / 430 元
Visit the aggregator here: taiwanmixed.org
Salina Kuo is a second-year undergraduate student in the dual degree program between Columbia University and Sciences Po, currently majoring in Government and Politics on the latter campus. She enjoys rediscovering her Taiwanese roots through history, politics, cinema and music. You can also find her actively involved in the work of the recently established non-profit Project Taiwan.