Blogging in China is at its turning point. I just feel it.
Wendy posted this entry yesterday. Here is rough translation: “Don’t know what to write… Should I write it as diary or around a fixed topic? Am I writing to myself or to others?”
The feeling of confusion was quickly acknowledged by Eddie and Claire.
Several days before, in July 13, Claire posted similar entry titled Continue or not…. In that post, she shared her experience to start the blog, to publish her blog URL to all her friends (including Wendy and me), and the initial excitement to see the increase of page view and the warm comments. However, in the end, she started to question:
Along the way to today, I often ask myself, am I going away from the initial motivation of blogging? Am I recording the true feeling or recording the feeling I want others to see? There are some direct and frank feelings I shy away from writing, because I know he is reading. I shied away from the private details, because I know they are reading. I don’t write the deepest thought in my heart, because I know….
I searched in Grassroot and found many blogger posted the similar thoughts in the recent two months.
- Youxing Education Blog: Don’t want to blog. “Life is simpler and simpler, no phone calls, no TV…”
- smile to life Hesitate whether to continue blogging. “It is hard to blogging nowadays. You write about everything, some will say you are a man/woman of characters, others say you are SB (ill minded). If you write selectively, like completing teacher’s composition assignment, even myself don’t like to read, why I should write?”
- By myself: Don’t want to write. “It is not necessary to write about everything, haha”.
- Help me: Long Pause of Blogging. “Don’t know why. Is it that I don’t want to write, or I have nothing to write? The fact is, I didn’t write anything in the last week.”
Slowing Down, China Blogsphere
According to CNBlog’s unpublished research (via IsaacMao), the blog number growth rate in China is about 34% in the 2nd quarter of 2004, comparing to 47% in 1st quarter. It is another indicator that some gradual changes have happened in China Blogsphere.
I chatted with Jack recently about what I see the blogging. The time when I started blog is different than recent days. In 2002, it is widely believed that 911 event is the trigger to the popularity of blogging. After that event, people in U.S. started to pay more attention to the inside world (mind and heart) instead of the outside one (job, work, financial data). So people want to find some way to express, so Blogging comes into stage.
At that time, blogging was defined as daily updated chronically personal pages. I am still using the daily update (at least two day update) as my criteria for blogging nowadays.
I also started to wonder the meaning of blogging some times, in early 2003. But now, it is part of my life and I am pretty sure my blogging will continue.
- It is NOT a Diary
Firstly, I don’t treat it as a diary. Diary is the secret log for myself (which I never continued for more than one week). If you are not comfortable to write something, just skip it. It is NOT a diary and don’t feel guilty if you cannot face yourself in the most frank way.
- It is About YOU and YOUR World
Secondly, blogging is about YOU, not a topic. Some use blogging software to maintain company website, or a project portal, or on specific topics, but if you want it to be personal, just keep in mind that it is all about yourself. Anything related to you can be put into the blog – the ONLY place in this world that represent yourself. So Owen calls it personal portal and topku call it personal branding. No matter that name you give it, it is just the ONLY place in this whole universe that clearly expresses you. You name is associated with this blog and whenever something wants to know YOU, they come here. Of cause you decided what you want to be perceived by others. Having that in mind, I don’t suggest any blogger to work hard to grab funny pictures, useful content and unfiltered links onto his/her blog. The attempt to do a better job that portal website or news website will eventually fail. People will go away. At last, you will go away. Remember, write about YOU and YOUR world.
- Any Topic Needs Your Own Presence
At last, if you are lucky enough to have enough readership on a specific topic (I feel lucky), stick to it, without losing the presence of YOU. My Shanghai topic won’t be interesting to anyone, including myself, if it is not my own experience and from my real story – why bother quote some good review in my blog just because it is well written? So remember, any topic needs your own presence.
Great Guidelines from Mark
Mark’s 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web is my favorite guideline on blogging. I often review the guidelines in the last two years. I even sent a hard copy of the guideline to Eric yesterday.
- Write for a reason
- Write often
- Write tight
- Make good friends
- Find good enemies
- Let the story unfold
- Stand up, speak out
- Be sexy
- Use your archive
Best wishes to every bloggers! You should continue.
I’m so glad to hear how you feel about this, Jian Shuo! Your “headline” alarmed me for a moment (that you might be thinking of quitting for some reason) but I think all the things you have said express perfectly the reason so many people continue to read your blog. I found you over a year and a half ago, for the specific reason that I was seeking some information about Shanghai. But the reason I have *stayed*, and check daily, is to see what you may have had to say about your personal life, or your personal experiences with that wonderful city. You would not have kept my attention just by posting news links to other people’s stories, and I’m sure I would never even have been interested in, for example, Shanghai transportation issues, if it had not been for how you approached telling us about them from a personal standpoint. So, in this way you have not only broadened my interests, but allowed me to experience, vicariously (through you), a part of the world I may never be fortunate enough to visit in person. I think it is not too unusual for bloggers to decide after a while that this is just not for them. Some people are writers; others are talkers or readers or just doers, and maybe it takes some experimenting to figure out where we fit in. I’m very glad that you have found your special “voice” in this interesting new form of communication. We are all the better for it!
One other fascination about this blog is that some (many) of your postings or comments turn into a healthy discussion and even into a study. And you post so much useful information which others may have otherwise considered too trivial. To me facts serve you better than emotions in blogging.
you’re definitely an eye-opener! thanks, JS! for me, this is your best article ever! keep up the good work! :D
Don’t worry Carroll. I won’t quit (easily). :-)
I think if you have the will and the audience that it is important that you continue.
A personal view of things is so much more entertaining and genuine than
either newpapers or guide books that always have their own and impersonal agenda.
Your blog is a fantastic and entertaining mixture.
Why do I come back?
Well the personal view on life in general, great photos and the obscure facts.
Post an entry on this topic. Look forward some comment
indeed goood =)