Go right now and listen to this excellent podcast over at Popup Chinese. Excerpt from the blog post about this:
The China blog is officially dead, moribund, cadaverous, extinct, buried, bereft of life, defunct and totally-and-utterly-inert. It could even be said to be resting in peace, save for the fact that Will Moss drove a silver stake through its heart before recording this podcast. “We single-handedly made the China blog obsolete,” he joked in our studio after further sawing off its head. But he has a point. Because who reads blogs these days?
Does anyone even remember the China blogs of days past? Back then there were greats like Peking Duck, ImageThief, Sinosplice and Danwei, and you could even indulge in a little China-bashing at Talk Talk China. Then came Sinocism and EastSouthWestNorth, and then the mainstream media blogs from magazines like Time and journalists like Malcolm Moore, Peter Foster and Tom Lasseter. And then the explosion of blogs like the Shanghaiist, China Geeks, China Hearsay, ChinaSmack, ChinaHush and CNReviews, not to mention the more eclectic and academic writings of China Youren, Jottings from the Granite Studio, In the Footsteps of Joseph Rock and The China Beat?
Well… we’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but all of these blogs are dead. Or that’s the opinion of the curmugeons in our studio this week: Kaiser Kuo, Will Moss and Jeremy Goldkorn, veteran bloggers in China who’ve seen the ups and downs of social media and are prepared to tell it like it is. So join us this week on Sinica for a dissection of the Chinese blog scene. And then get the hell off our lawn. What is it with kids these days anyway?
Obviously this is something that’s been on my mind as I try to keep my own blog going. Twitter has obliterated what I used to use the blog for, namely sharing links and offering some commentary. And the China blogosphere is so fragmented it’s much harder to be heard above the din.The fact that I’m caught up in my own issues (I’m planning to launch my own small business soon; I’ll keep you posted) hasn’t helped make this blog more productive. But even if I were as productive as in 2003, the site would be in decline. China blogs are too many. and blogging in general is becoming increasingly antique.
I do miss the “golden age,” from 2003-2005, when I could open a thread before bedtime and wake up to 300 comments. But that required full-time posting and, at its peak, the help of three or four other bloggers all putting up copy throughout the day. At least I’m not alone. Danwei, Imagethief, Fool’s Mountain – nearly all the blogs have seen some decline, according to the podcast, even the journalists’ blogs.
This is a great podcast. Jeremy, Kaiser and Will talking about the rise and fall of the English-language China blogs – what more can you ask for? (Oh, and Jeremy was being very, very kind when he said, “The Peking Duck is still going strong.”)
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.