New Scientist has published an article on the craze of blogging sweeping China. It is written by Xiao Qiang, director of the China Internet Project at the University of California at Berkeley. He also runs China Digital News blog at chinadn.org. There is definately no shortage of enthusiasm:
Meanwhile blogging seems set to grow as a national hobby for the younger generation. Providers of Chinas 300 million mobile phones are beginning to provide moblogging services, with which users can send text and photos directly from their phones to their blogs. For now, most blogs are personal, but their potential for building networks of people and disseminating news cannot be underestimated.
As for Mao, he now enjoys a large following among Chinese bloggers. He has become a successful high-tech investor and uses his blog to gather donated books for rural schools. While others see blogs as a tool to promote social change in China, Mao does not associate his love of blogging with a political agenda.
Asked whether he has a strategy to expand blogging under Chinas censorship regime, his response is Taoist: What is our strategy? We do not have a strategy. But the information flow in the blogosphere has its own Way. The Way is our strategy: personal, fast, connected and networked.