GoKunming was founded by Chris Horton in 2005. Chris was frustrated by the general lack of up-to-date, practical information available online regarding Kunming and Yunnan. He set out to create a platform that could provide English-language news and travel information for both foreign and domestic users.
GoKunming was a lo-fi HTML listings site for a year before Chris teamed up with Matthew Sills in the summer of 2006. Their collaboration resulted in a much-improved site featuring a blog and user-friendly features including classifieds, forums and an events calendar.
With newly-added functionality, the site began to grow and take on a life of its own. In 2007 GoKunming and CinaOggi organized the BigScreen International Film Festival in Kunming. The free event screened 94 films from more than 20 countries and was a major milestone in the site's development.
Also in 2007, GoKunming was added to Google News as a source for Yunnan news articles. Under Chris and Matthew's stewardship the site steadily built momentum and its readership rose. Five years ago GoKunming was averaging 49,000 page views each month. Today that number is 350,000.
An updated version of the site went online in July 2010, with expanded user profiles, personal messaging and an improved search function. Chris and Matthew have since moved on, handing the reins over to graphic designer and photographer Yereth Jansen and entrepreneur Adrian Golobic in 2012. Patrick Scally is editor, Aaron Bono manages user-generated content and Philippe Semanaz is entertainment liaison.
GoKunming underwent a massive coding overhaul in early 2014, which resulted in a new, more modern look and expanded user profiles for both individuals and businesses. Emphasis was placed specifically on increasing functionality across all platforms, whether personal computer or mobile device.
In addition to making GoKunming as user-friendly and informative as possible, Chris, Matthew, Yereth, Adrian, Patrick, Aaron and Philippe have spent countless hours exploring and learning about the amazing people and places that make Yunnan such a special province. This is a tradition GoKunming will continue to maintain. And, as always, we will strive to provide informative and thoughtful content that is both accessible and meaningful to our readers.
Adrian has lived in Yunnan since 2007, including two-and-a-half years in Xizhou, near Dali. He has been involved in hospitality projects in Xizhou, Lijiang and Kunming and enjoys exploring the province’s remote regions.
Yereth Jansen (杨森) specialises in photography, web development and graphic design. Having traveled throughout the country in the two years before, he made Kunming, China his home in 2009. You can find him on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Weibo.
Patrick first came to Yunnan in 1999 as a penniless and wide-eyed tourist. He has lived in China on and off since then, including stints in Dali and Shanghai. He has written about China for books, newspapers and magazines. Patrick moved to Kunming in 2009.
Philippe Semanaz is a musician who moved to Kunming in 2008. He has been the drummer in many local bands and hosts open-mic nights across the city. He also works in the travel industry and recently became entertainment liaison at GoKunming. You can find him on Facebook, Google+ and Weibo.