November 24, 2005

Trends in Chinese blogging.

The NYT reports:
The new wave of blogging took off earlier this year. In the past, a few pioneers of the form stood out, but now huge communities of bloggers are springing up around the country, with many of them promoting one another's online offerings, books, music or, as in Mu Mu's case, a running, highly ironic commentary about sexuality, intellect and political identity.

"The new bloggers are talking back to authority, but in a humorous way," said Xiao Qiang, director of the China Internet Project at the University of California, Berkeley. "People have often said you can say anything you want in China around the dinner table, but not in public. Now the blogs have become the dinner table, and that is new.

"The content is often political, but not directly political, in the sense that you are not advocating anything, but at the same time you are undermining the ideological basis of power."...

Another emerging school of blogging, potentially as subversive as any political allegory, involves bringing Chinese Web surfers more closely in touch with things happening outside their country.

Typically, this involves avid readers of English who scour foreign Web sites and report on their findings, adding their own commentary, in Chinese blogs....

By far the biggest category of blogs remains the domain of the personal diary, and in this crowded realm, getting attention places a premium on uniqueness.

For the past few months, Mu Mu, the Shanghai dancer, has held pride of place, revealing glimpses of her body while maintaining an intimate and clever banter with her many followers, who are carefully kept in the dark about her real identity.
How interesting it is to see how individuals repressed by government censorship find new and clever ways to break through with blogging! I love the idea that what Mu Mu is doing is intensely political because it is in China, when it wouldn't be the slightest bit political here.

1 comment:

reader_iam said...

Now the blogs have become the dinner table.

What a great statement that is!

Ann, believe it or not, I actually found this post the most intriguing of the day--I just haven't had time to sit down and read the whole NYT article yet, much less think it over.

But I absolutely LOVE the imagery of the virtual "dinner table" as a subversive tool.

Can't wait to let that idea percolate awhile.