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China: How do you say RSS feed in Chinese again?

One day soon, when content flow between Chinese and English websites reaches a reciprocal balance, when newspapers, textbooks and bloggers everywhere go bilingual, how well-positioned will you be? It's not an easy question to answer, and keeping a foot firmly planted on the ground on both sides of the fence won't ever be an easy stance to maintain.

The Chinese aren't waiting for the rest of the world to figure this riddle out, however, and keep things progressing—particularly the internet—at pace with if not quicker than the English side. Sinosphere behemoth Sina.com has just announced its Blog 3.0 [zh] service, the blogging love bubble seems to have burst [#048], and, as journalist-blogger Priest Liu writes, the word blog itself seems so last quarter [zh].

Blog是个过渡期?

Are blogs just a transition?

在百度的新空间上开了个镜像(http://hi.baidu.com/priestliu),不是我多喜欢百度,而是比较喜欢这种简洁的web2.0风格。

I've set up a mirror site (http://hi.baidu.com/priestliu) on [Chinese search engine] Baidu‘s new Spaces. It's not that I like Baidu more, it's just that I prefer this kind of compact web2.0 style.

现在据说流行blog不叫blog,改叫spaces。因为blog的分众广告模式已经走到了尽头,远比不上web2.0社区所能囊括的spaces功能来的整合性更强,商业价值更高。我计划中的IT产业调查久拖未开,只好看看别人的调查报道,隔靴搔痒一下。从目前的产业形势看,如果blog服务商不能及时转型为web2.0社区服务器,那么后续投资就很难搞到,VC们大多已经不再相信blog能够带来稳定的现金流——换句话说,纯粹blog商业模式已经宣告失败。从业内哥们那里了解到的信息,blog的失败案例典型如和讯,在其blog分众广告规模固定且增长潜力有限的情况下,其blog社区化带来的管理和经营成本却是以几何数的规模上涨。虽然我一直觉得和讯的blog做的很有特色,内容不错,但不赚钱的模式一定不可能生存下去。这是资本主义的硬道理。

They say the cooler blogs aren't even called blogs now, but spaces. Because blogs’ mass-distribution advertising model has already seen its day, and doesn't come close to comparing with the strengthened compatibility or higher commercial potential seen in the functions contained in web2.0 community spaces. I've been kicking around a plan for a survey of the IT industry for a long time, but I usually just read other people's surveys and reports and then try for a solution on my own. Judging from the state of the industry at present, if blog service providers don't change to web2.0 community servers ASAP, they won't have much luck seeking further investment. Most venture capitalists no longer believe that blogs can provide a stable cash flow. To put it another way, the pure blog business model has already been declared a failure. From what I understand listening to my buddies in the industry, a classic case of blog failure would be [blog provider] Hexun. Given the fixed scale of their mass-distribution advertising model and limits to its growth potential, the management and operation costs involved with Hexun's development of a blogging community have risen exponentially. Although I've always felt that Hexun blogs are quite special and their content not bad, with a non-profitable model there's no way they'll survive very long. This is capitalism's hard truth.

Another hard truth of capitalism is all the gaping holes it has left in China's social infrastructure. Where the government lacks in welfare programs, in some cases Chinese media step in, telling the afflicted's stories and offering viewers ways to do their part. China Central Television (CCTV) human interest news program Focus told one family's story yesterday, but as seen on Peking University law professor He Weifang‘s blog—and on many others at many different times—bloggers can also play a similar role:

远远先生的呼吁

Mr. Yuanyuan's [He Weifang's alias] call out

为了那位坚强的母亲能永远微笑
为了那位小妹能继续学业
今日央视的共同关注,让我泪在眼眶里转,某种力量强烈的冲击着我坚强的心。面对镜头,丧夫的女人,两个孩子的母亲,年老病残的共、婆的媳妇,肩扛沉重债务的农家主人,始终微笑着。这位母亲的微笑,有如一把尖刀,把我的心绞得鲜血淋漓。这位母亲的长子即将跨入大学的校门。在共同关注的关注下,这孩子的大学梦肯定能圆。我关注的是,为了哥哥上学而辍学的这位母亲的女儿段兴秀。她的哥哥说,妹妹在劳作之余,坚持看哥哥的书,且在辍学之前是优等生。

So that strong mother can smile forever
So that little sister can stay in school
Today's CCTV Focus made me cry my eyes out; some intense force struck my strong heart. Facing the camera was a widow, the mother of two children, old, sick and crippled, and her daughter-in-law. The heavy debt-shouldering head of the peasant family, the old woman kept smiling the whole time. This mother's smile, like a dagger, twisted until blood dripped from my heart. Having received Focus‘ attention, this child's university dreams are now sure to be fulfilled. What concerns me, though, is that in order for her older brother to go to school, this mother's daughter, Duan Xingxiu, dropped out. Her brother says that when her work on the farm is finished, his little sister insists on reading his books, and that before she dropped out she was an excellent student.

我是个地道的烟民,每天消耗两包半到三包中等香烟。我是个必须承担很多责任的人。我无力独自资助那孩子上学,但我应该做点力所能及的事。我尚有八盒香烟在,现在也是吸着烟敲这些文字。我承诺这八盒烟吸完后不再吸烟了。我想我的烟的消费能为这个孩子解决些问题。我正在联系这个孩子,如联系上了,我会把联系方式贴在我的博客里。我祈求有能力的网友,为了那位母亲能永远微笑,为了那位女儿能继续学业,做点力所能及的事。那孩子家在云南,我老家在安徽,现在北京谋食。我与这个孩子没有半点瓜葛,除了一点良知。网友们如有资助那孩子的意愿,请关注7月17日的央视共同关注的重播,方便时,请在文下评论栏或留言栏说话。我想,那伟大的母女俩会感激!我不能在敲字了,手在颤抖,泪要流——-(这是我今天贴在自己博客的文字,我的点击率低,只好借先生的宝地转贴。祈望先生和网友们谅解。)

I'm a heavy smoker. Every day I go through two to three packs of cigarettes. I'm also a person who has to take on many responsibilities. I'm incapable of subsidizing that girl's education alone, but I should do what I can. I still have eight packages of cigarettes left; in fact I'm smoking as I write these words. I promise that after I finish these eight packs I will not smoke again. I think the money I spend on smoking can help this girl solve some problems. I'm now trying to get in touch with her and when I do, I'll put her contact information up on my blog. In order to see that mother keep smiling forever, to see that girl continue with her studies, I urge all readers to do what you can. That girl's home is in Yunnan province. My hometown is in Anhui, but I work now in Beijing. I don't have the least bit connection with this girl, except for a little conscience. If readers have interest in subsidizing this girl's education, please take a look at the July 17 edition of CCTV Focus and, if convenient, please leave some comments in the box below this article. I think that these two great women will appreciate it! I can't write anymore. My hands are shaking and I'm about to cry.

Updating his blog today, He writes:

敬告网友:
大瑶县教育局刚刚告诉我段兴秀邻居的电话:0878-6385388。我用这个电话和她的哥哥段兴杨通话:他妹妹因其上大学,已外出打工。他会尽快与妹妹联系,妹妹若想继续学业,他会很快和网友联系。段兴秀的通联方式:用上列电话请户主喊段兴杨接听。地址:云南省大瑶县新街乡新街村段家组。邮编:67407

我虽是呼吁者,但如段兴秀不能上学,我就不会资助。如其继续学业,我肯定尽力而为。
段兴杨委托我向关心他妹妹的贺老师及所有的网友表示感谢并敬意!

Dear readers:
Dayao County Education Bureau has just told me Duan Xingxiu's neighbor's telephone number: 0878-6385388. I phoned this number and talked to Duan Xingxiu's older brother. Because he's already begun university, his sister has since left town to look for work. He will get in touch with his sister as soon as possible and if she does wish to go back to school, he will get back to us right away. To get in touch with Duan Xingxiu, ask the person who answers the above number to call for Duan Xingyang to answer. The address is: Duan Family, Xinjie Village, Xinjie Township, Dayao County, Yunnan Province. Postal code: 67407

From the impoverished Southwest of the country to the more affluent East coast, Sohu.com blogger Wa Qing expresses educational concerns of his own:

你的大学是地狱,还是天堂?

Is your university hell, or heaven?

看题目,或许觉得有些怪,稍加解释就不难理解了。某些大学,特别是山东的某些高校,实行的还是山东高中的那一套管理制度。刚从三年地狱高中爬出来的考生们,本想上了大学能呼吸一下自由的空气了。没想到,又过了四年的地狱生活。我拿某事重点高中的作息时间表来举例。

When you see this title, you might feel it's a bit strange. But with a bit of explanation, it's not hard to understand. Some universities, especially those in Shandong province, still run under the same kind of management system one sees in high school. Just as we climbed out of the hell that is the last three years of high school, thinking that with university would come a breath of fresh air, little did we know that it would be another four years of life in hell. As an example, here is a rough schedule of work and rest in senior high school.

早自习,5:00开始,上午,六节课。
午休,全校强制睡觉一个小时。
下午,四节课。
晚上,五~六节晚自习。晚上11:00下晚自习,11:30熄灯。
PS:每节课45分钟。
每周日下午,休息半天,打扫个人卫生。必须填写每人的人生目标,即XXX大学。
五一、国庆休息三天,元旦一天,春节五天。
三年高中生活,我认为可以用地狱来形容。

Morning self-study: starts at five a.m. Morning, six classes.
Lunch break, the entire school is forced to sleep for an hour.
Afternoon, four classes.
Evening, five to six evening self-study classes. Eleven p.m. self-study ends. Eleven-thirty lights out.
PS. Every class is forty-five minutes long.
Every Sunday afternoon we get half a day off to clean ourselves up. Everyone must fill out their life goals. i.e. going to x university.
May Day and National Day we get three days off. New Year's Eve one day, Spring Festival five days.
Three years of senior high school life, I believe can hell can be used to describe them.

再以山东某些高校的作息来举例,早晨7:00,早自习,晚上11:00熄灯。晚自习期间,凡有事出教室者,必须在黑板上写明姓名,事由,出去的时间,预计何时回来。全班目标一致,考研。
在这样的大学里上了四年,也就相当于又过了四年地狱般的高中生活。某些高校甚至禁止学生谈恋爱,我就知道一个,我高中同学就是青岛大学师范学院毕业的,2000年我去她学校,她就明白的告诉我,为了不被系里的老师、主任等怀疑,我俩各走路的一边,出了校门,才能并排走。我听了,当时以为自己到了古代。说明一下,青岛大学没有这种规定,也没有这种做法。青大跟青师虽然合并,但校区之间隔着一条路。可以说路的一边是‘天堂’,一边就是‘地狱’。
现在青师是否有此种‘人性化’的做法,本人不清楚,也懒的去打听。但是至今很庆幸当初是去省外读的大学。但是,相信诸位清楚自己学校的作息时间表,对比一下,你是生活在地狱,还是天堂?

And here is an example of work and rest schedule in a Shandong university:
Seven a.m., morning self-study, lights out at eleven p.m. During the evening self-study period, if anyone has to leave the classroom they must first write clearly on the blackboard their name, the reason, the time at which they left and when they expect to be back. The whole class has the same goal: graduate school.
Four years in this kind of university means four more years of the hell that was senior high school life. Some schools even forbid students from dating. I know this much: one of my high school classmates graduated from Qingdao University Teachers College. In 2000 I went to visit her at her school and she told me straight out that in order not to be suspected by the department teachers and directors, the two of us would have to walk out of the school gates on our own, and meet on the outside. Hearing this, it was like I was back in the Dark Ages. I have to point out, though, that Qingdao University doesn't have these sorts of rules, and things are not done this way. Although Qingdao University and Qingdao Teachers College are joined, between them runs a road. You could say that one side of the road is ‘heaven’, and the other side is ‘hell’. Whether or not Qingdao Teachers College has now undergone any sort of ‘humanization’, I'm not clear, and too lazy to phone and ask. Either way, until today I'm very happy that I went out of province to start my studies. If you're clear on your school's study and rest schedule, I'd like to compare: is your life hell, or heaven?

Youth and blogs. Blogs and youth. Fresh high school graduate and socially-aware All About Ahom blogger Ahom Kwok has taken on the task of translating updates on the case of blind female reproductive rights activist Chen Guangcheng. Chen, who was abducted by police earlier this year, will have his day in court Thursday, July 20.

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  • […] Global Voices Online » China: How do you say RSS feed in Chinese again? John Kennedy takes us on a great tour of the Chinese blogosphere this week. (tags: china chineseinternetresearch internet blogs blog blogging globalvoices) […]

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