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Chinese Blogosphere:Year in Review

The development of blog in 2005 is fast and influential. Compared with early years when blog was first introduced, 2005 is the booming year of Chinese Blogosphere in terms of the number of blogs, quality of posting and recognition of blogging.

From perspective of blog hosting service, all the BSPs experienced firece competition following a acquisition of Blogdriver by Bokee. The three major BSPs, Bokee, Blogcn and Blogbus have received funding from venture capital firms, which showed the confidence from investment. They have been making progress on cultivating their blogosphere culture and improving the quality of their service. On the other hand, the traditional website and online portal, like MSN, QQ, Sina and Sohu, all have entered the new fast growing market, who are steadily gaining large portion of market share.

As for the number of blogs, the exact number of blogs and bloggers are very difficult to calculate exactly. Though the statistics from Baidu has been questioned by some bloggers, the fact is undeniable that in 2005, the number of Chinese blogs is skyrocketing. Also some blog searching engines can prove the rise of blogs in Chinese as a test by Keso demonstrated(in ZH).

Besides, a group of opinion leaders in blogosphere have emerged. They are usually well-educated, focusing on the development and news in certain field. More significantly, much of their prestige is gained from blogging, like Keso, Mumu, Anti and Milk Massage (Who is the DW Best Blogger winner). As more and more people became acquainted and familiar with blog, blog has been transformed from new stuff into a normal means of communication and expression, and the writing style of blogging is now more mature and diversified.

From media coverage on blogging phenomenon from newspapers and magazines, we can perceive the recognition of blog by the mass media. Economic Observer and Life Weekly have run stories or specials on their cover. This kind of attention reached its highest point in November, when the first Chinese Blogger Conference was held in Shanghai. Under the limelight, blog has become a major application of internet.

For some reasons like censorship, Chinese blogs are very slow to adopt the grassroots news concept, or citizen journalism. The people who treated blog as a media are still very few; instead they are inclined to express feeling of life rather than political opinion.

The biggest question for Chinese blogs is still the censorship issue. As the blogosphere evolved, so did the great firewall. Blogsome, Typepad and Blog-City were blocked in succession, and Blogspot, after a short interval, were still blocked by the government. The policy that require every website to resigster administrator's real name, and the Regulation on Internet Information and News Services, have put rigid control and restriction blogger. Whatever the consequence of such measures are, the censorship will influence the development of blog to a very large proportion.

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