Sometimes, it’s unbelievable what can be hidden in plain view. I tend to be pretty open. My interests, my hobbies, my work, and even my stock purchases are online for all to see. In some ways, it’s a big benefit. I’ve bumped into old friends, and even gotten useful information about studying, working, and investing in emails from my readers. But, there’s another way that’s much cooler than mine is- quietly lurking behind the scenes.

Somewhat inspired by my old roommate Andrew’s success with language teacher exchange site, MYU, I decided to register a domain I thought would be useful for a similar, but non-competing, endeavour. Out of curiosity, I checked up on URLs similar to the one I had registered, but for Japan and China. I was shocked when I saw the name that came up on one them. I recognized it as the name of someone who by all appearances was a quiet academic. Quietly amassing power in a variety of areanas, that is! With further investigation, I found that the same individual ran a software business, a political effort, a dozen separate online ventures and has connections with some truly powerful people in China. I’ve discovered who the digital kingpin of Shanghai is!

How much do you really know about the people you interact with? You might be surprised.