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China: How journalists blog

Have you ever blogged about why you blog? Why you started and what your goals are? We see now that many blogs are more than ‘internet chatter‘, yet somehow not quite The News. Do you blog for fun? For attention? To learn or to teach? To build community?

In China as in many places, bloggers often lament the different languages spoken by themselves and the media they consume. Below is a post from Beijing-based newbie blogger Zhu Min (朱敏)—seemingly a professional journalist—who in commemoration of his one-month bloggiversary looks back at what he's learned, what he's liked and disliked, why he plans to continue and a few comments from his readers. Feel free to leave a reason or two of your own.

过两天,博客就满月了。积我近30天革命之经验,将若干体会记录于下,以备今后行思之参照。

In two more days, my blog will have been around for a month. My revolutionary experience over the past thirty days in recording down my experiences will serve as a reference for the direction things will go from here.

1、 关于体验的价值。要想知道鸭蛋的滋味,就得亲口尝一尝。隔岸观火,隔靴搔痒,总有不明就里的地方。感受中国网民,从博客开始。这一句是属于我即兴胡说的,只针对我自己而言。

1. Regarding the value of experience. If you want to know what a duck egg tastes like, you have to try it for yourself. Watching from a distance or barking up the wrong tree will only ever tell half the story. I can get a sense for China's netizens, starting with blogging. That last sentence is just me spouting nonsense; it only refers to my own thoughts.

2、 关于点击率。似乎大家都认同互联网就是点击率的说法。以互联网的覆盖面和传播特性,制造个热点很容易,君不见范例比比皆是。但博客也有博客的特性,既然是个人主页么,就有求仁得仁的空间。话本小说里常看到“宝刀赠与壮士,红粉赠与佳人”。坊间妈妈嗑儿里也可听到“好饭送给饥人,好话说给知人”。点击率也有“有价值的”和“垃圾的”之分。大家开博的状态不同,对点击率的态度也会不同。有的人喜欢每日被群情关注的感觉,那就不断地说些能调动人点击积极性的话题就可以了。有的人本为求“人生得一知己足矣”,没想到博客给了这么大的空间,一大圈子知音都来了,就大可偷着乐了。有的人很满足圈子文化,或者这更接近博客本意。

Regarding ‘click count’. It seems everyone agrees that ‘click count’ is the internet's way of speaking. With the special nature of the internet's scope and spread, creating a ‘hot spot’ is quite easy given all the unsavory characters to be found. But blogs also have their own special nature in that they are personal web pages, spaces where what one wants can be found. In ancient Chinese illustrated novels, one can often see ‘swords are bestowed upon the brave hero, rouge is bestowed upon the beautiful lady. Even from mothers on the street one can hear ‘give good food to the starving, good talk to the learned’. There are both ‘valuable’ click counts and ‘rubbish’ click counts. Everybody's reasons for starting a blog are different, with different attitudes toward click count. Some people like everyday to be noticed by the masses, in which case one could keep on speaking on those topics which arouse people's clickthusiasm. Others just hope for and feel one lifelong friend would be enough, never thinking with the vast space that is the blogsphere that a whole community of like-minded best friends would come, feeling secretly happy inside when they do. Some people are very satisfied by community culture, possibly the point of blogging.

3、 关于评论。据说已经有不少开博的人因为扛不住板砖而把博客关了。其实“你家你最大”,“你家你做主”。(当然关张也是一种做主。)你大可根据你的意愿根据博客给你的权利决定评论的去留。像李银河持无所谓的态度,很好。但像我这样稍有洁癖的,看见脏乱差就心烦。如见某位提着裤子到此来放下些脏话、蠢话,待我看见时,不论他是否已整好衣冠,我会将其人和其遗留物一起请出去的。这是事先说好的开博前提。

3. Regarding comments. They say there are already many bloggers who after finding themselves unable to attract much attention just shut down their blog. Actually, as ‘the boss of your house,’ ‘master of your domain’ (of course closing shop is also a way to be boss), you can always act on your will, act on the right your blog gives you in deciding which comments go and which ones stay. Just like Li Yinhe‘s ‘whatever’ attitude, which is great. But for the squeamish like me, we get annoyed when we see dirt and disorder. If I see someone pull up their pants and come here laying down dirty language, foolish talk, when I see it, even if he's already put his clothes back on properly, I'll ask him to leave with his things. This was made clear before the blog began.

Comments

飘叶

Fluttering Leaf

首先,很反感有些人到别人的博里留言就为给自己做广告。
我以为,博客是挺私人的东西,想什么时候写就什么时候写,想写什么就写什么,有人看当然好,没人看也自得其乐,那些借社会热点肆机炒作自己博客的人才真叫无聊呢!
喜欢看楼主的东东,我会常来的。满月快乐!!:)

First off, it really ticks me off when people leave comments on other people's blogs just as advertisements for their own blogs. I think blogs are quite personal things; write what you want when you want. Of course it's good if people read it, but also good enough if they don't. People who rely on hot topics in society to spice up their own blogs are really boring. I like to read this blogger's posts and will often come back. Happy one month!

小草

Small Grass

支持你的观点,不过有些博客的作法也无可厚非.就象大自然的多样性,健康的博客世界也应该是多元的.不是吗?

I support your point of view, but some blogs don't deserve that criticism. Just like nature's diversity, a healthy blogsphere should also be diverse, don't you think?

阿麦

Ah Wheat

我也想关博了,因为有博友说我写的是“作文” 我知道自己写的不好,但也不至于沦为写作的最初阶段吧。所以闷上加闷。一开始就没指望有什么点击率,只感觉有这样一个空间写日记不错,忽然有一天来了几个朋友,写博的态度也立即改变吧。无论怎样变,才学疏浅,越写越汗!

I've also considered shutting down my blog, because blogfriends say all I write are ‘compositions’. I know I'm a bad writer, but not as bad as when I first started writing. That's why I feel pretty bummed. At the beginning I didn't pay much attention to my click count, just felt that having a space like this to write a diary was pretty cool, then suddenly one day a few friends came and my attitude in writing posts changed. Regardless of how it changed, I see now all the areas in which I lack. The more I write the harder I sweat!

3 comments

  • Congratulations, Min, on reaching your 1-month anniversary! Wishing you more fun, fulfilment and international friendship as you add your views to our melting global blog-pot.

    I took a longgg time to find out about blogging.. at least that’s how it seems when I finally came across the phenomenon. I thought it was ‘made for me’. As an avid journal writer from my pre-10 years, I took to blogging as another way to express myself and share my feelings and thoughts.

    I simply cannot imagine life without blogging. ;-)

    Congrats again and all the veryyy best,

    Angela.

  • Isiah Lee-Fowlett

    The blogs written by Chinese about China are infinitely more interesting than those written by foreigners living in China. Many, many blogs written from China are by people teaching English who speak nary a word of Chinese (to teach English in China, you need only show up). Yet these blogs are linked to, sometimes quoted, and read as if they are insights from people who are immersed in China. That is almost never the case: they live in China but they are largely ignorant of the culture and the system, seeing it only through the eyes of student translators and the odd bike ride. They will frequently say that they are not censored in the classroom, thereby “demonstrating” that China is free. In fact, they are not censored because no one in China pays any attention to them. Regrettably, too many others outside of China don’t do the same.

    IL-F

  • Congratulations on your one month anniversary. Your article provides interesting insights into blogging in China.

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