I spoke to Isaac Mao  in Shanghai via Skype  to get some clarification and detail about how the latest regulations  requiring bloggers to register  in China are actually being implemented – and interpreted.
The conversation was exremely interesting. As usual, the situation on the ground is complicated and full of ambiguity.
You can listen to the 32-minute (15MB) interview with Isaac Mao here .
The major takeaways:
- The regulation requiring websites (including blogs) to register does not seem to apply to sub-domains. Which means that people with blogs on Chinese blog-hosting services like Blogbus  and Blogchina  (which are the Chinese equivalents of Blogger  & Typepad ) , are completely fine as long as the hosting companies themselves have registered, which they all have done or are doing.
- So the only Chinese bloggers who are affected by this regulation are ones who have set up blogs independently on their own server space.
- What does this mean? It means that actually, blogging will be alowed to flourish and proliferate but in a more controlled way. Because the blog-hosting companies are required to police and filter the blogs they host for questionable content – including politically sensitive content. So if you really want to speak freely on your blog you need to have one on your own server not controlled by a centralized host. It is those harder-to-control blogs (which also require more technical know-how to set up and run.) that are now required to register.
- Isaac says some bloggers are trying to register or plan to do so  – with varying degrees of success depending on how they approach the registration office, whether they call their blog a "blog" or a "website," etc. Many others are doing nothing and waiting to see what will happen.
- He knows about the case cited by Reporters Without Borders  in which a blogger's site was rendered inaccessible (that blogger has remained anonymous).
- Some blogs have successfully registered, however, and are now displaying a registration number. One example is here . The registration number is on the right-hand top corner: # 京ICP备05002004号. When you click on the number you get this Ministry of Information Industry page , with information about registering websites. (However you can't access any further information to confirm whether or not the blog linking through to this page is genuinely registered… )
How can people outside of China help Chinese bloggers who want to retain their ability to speak more freely? Adopt a Chinese blog  on your server. In order to do this, you need to have a blog on your own server space, not one hosted on Typepad, Blogger, or similar. Interestingly, rather than having a centralized website that will broker and match up interested volunteers with Chinese bloggers in need of help, they're doing the matching through Technorati tagging. So Isaac says: if you're interested in helping Chinese bloggers, write a post on your blog expressing your willingness to help and tag it as “adoptablog ” with this code:
<a href="http://technorati.com/tag/adoptablog" rel="tag">adoptablog</a>
That will automatically enable Chinese bloggers to find you through this page .
Technical note: I called Isaac using Skypeout, which enables me to call a regular phone number via Skype. (We tried doing it Skype-to-skype but there was serious breakup and delay, probably due to a busy network at mid-day in China.) The whole half-hour conversation set me back about one whopping Euro in my Skypeout account.
The conversation was recorded directly onto the hard drive of my IBM Thinkpad using Hotrecorder . A $15 premium version enabled me to convert the audio file to “.wav” format. Did little trimming and normalizing in the free program, Audacity , then exported it to MP3, then uploaded it onto the blog.
The quality was not perfect – Skype emits a high-pitched buzz that I couldn't eliminate and Isaac's voice on the phone had a bit of an echo, but it's perfectly audible, especially if you listen through headphones.
TECHNICAL APOLOGIES: Sorry to those of you who had to click over from the original link. We're still sorting things out technically. I failed to format the enclosures properly in my original post, then the software wouldn't let me fix the situation once the post was published.