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Chinese Blogger's criticism over Bokee.com

Bokee.com, formerly known as Blogchina, is the largest Blog Service Provider in China, with 2 million blog accounts. However some Chinese bloggers have been very critical of what Bokee did and the word “Boke”, Chinese translation of “Blog”, which Bokee has been trying to promote, was a highly controversial term in Chinese Blogosphere. It's quite impossible to understand the culture of Chinese blogosphere without mentioning the argumentation concerned with Bokee.

So here I want to introduce some of the criticism over Bokee by Chinese bloggers. Those perspectives I've picked up are totally personal viewpoint but already had attracted significant attention. Also since many of the controversies happened before Bokee changed its original name, I would prefer the use of Blogchina instead of Bokee when refere to it.

1 The translation of “Blog”: As I've just mentioned Blogchina adopted the term “Boke” as Chinese version for “Blog”. In Chinese it was comprised of two characters “Bo”(博) and “Ke”(客). The former means “great, open-minded” while the latter means “person”. But some bloggers thought this translation isn't appropriate because they thought Blogchina misunderstood the core nature of blog. Issac Mao, co-founder of CNBlog, initiated a movement called “I am not boke“, calling Chinese bloggers to stop using the term. Instead they offered another translation, a literal one named “WangZhi”(“Wang” means “Web” and “Zhi” means “Log”). In the “I am not boke” page they claimed that “Blogchina has abused the term and spoiled the culture of blogging”.

This was the most wide-spread argumentation in Chinese blogosphere and even some major newspapers has reported it in the end of 2004.There are many perspectives from bloggers regarding the issue. More views and criticism can be found via Del.icio.us tag and archived entries on CNBlog between June and December 2004.

2 Sexy Blogger. In year 2003 Blogchina didn't have much influence and there are very few people who were bloggers. It was sexy bloggers, who post her almost naked photos and described the details of their sexual life, that made the name “blog” widely known to mass population of netizens. MuZiMei, a pioneer in this field, published her dairies about her sexual activities and gained her fame overnight , which instantly became hot discussion on both online and offline communities. Blogchina made use of the opportunity, copying those diaries on its own websites. It attracted ten of million visitors daily. And this year another similar phenomenon happened when FuRong JieJie(Sister Lotus) triggered off public interest. Just before authorities put a stop to it, Blogchina had been the major power promoting her.

So some Chinese bloggers were unsatisfied with the behaviors made by Blogchina thinking that it used those sexy bloggers for its own propaganda and attracted visits. Ironically Blogchina has initiated an anti-pornography movement before, aiming at the pornographic photo and information on Chinese internet.

3 Copyright infringement. At its early stage Blogchina was more like a research center that did not provide blog hosting service. It featured column as what their counterparts did. But most of the articles on the column were not original, i.e. Blogchina copied the articles from other websites. Sometimes they even created a column for an author and copied their post from other places even though the author himself or herself didn't know he had already became a columnist for Blogchina.

It should be noted that it is a common practice for Chinese Internet when at that time legislation regarding the sphere was rare and out of date. However many articles they put on their website were collected from blogs which adopted Creative Commons license. Blogchina did not pay attention to the point and used those material without properly giving the author's name and hype-links to original sources. (Here is an example). So some of bloggers were very angry about this as one entry in CNBlog wrote(translation):”Though some blogs are hosted on Blogchina, it didn't mean that Blogchina own all its copyright and could use their post without users’ permission.”

Above are the major criticism over Blogchina or Bokee.com. It should be realized that Chinese blogosphere was very complicated because different people held different understanding of what a blog is. Also as a fast-growing tool for netizens to express their thoughts and feelings, blog would be of great cultural and commercial value in the near future. Bokee has been the key figure in promoting blog and blogosphere in China. However it caused some controversies in its development. So it is important to know them before fully investigating the Chinese blogosphere.

Again, the links I've given did not stand for anyone except the cited resources themselves. If you considered that there is any bias existed, please feel free to comment and suggest.

2 comments

  • […] Apparently there’s a war over the Chinese word for blog. Comments » […]

  • […] Global Voice Online 2 Sexy Blogger. In year 2003 Blogchina didn’t have much influence and there are very few people who were bloggers. It was sexy bloggers, who post her almost naked photos and described the details of their sexual life, that made the name “blog” widely known to mass population of netizens. MuZiMei, a pioneer in this field, published her dairies about her sexual activities and gained her fame overnight , which instantly became hot discussion on both online and offline communities. Blogchina made use of the opportunity, copying those diaries on its own websites. It attracted ten of million visitors daily. And this year another similar phenomenon happened when FuRong JieJie(Sister Lotus) triggered off public interest. Just before authorities put a stop to it, Blogchina had been the major power promoting her. […]

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