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Asia Next Frontier in Blogging 107

Lullabye_Muse writes "Japan Today tells us that there are 3 million people blogging in Japan and over 16 million people visiting a blog at least once a month in the country. It also mentions that over the next two years the market for blogs will expand over 40%." Meanwhile, in regards to Chinese blogging, wayfaring stranger writes "A new Wired News article talks about Hong Konger Edwyn Chan's new www.blogkumedia.com Chinese blog network, which aims to make blogging a mainstream reality for the Chinese internet." From the article: "Blogs haven't caught on in China, so even when Chan can hire bloggers, it's hard to market them to consumers, attract advertisers and raise venture capital. The investors he has met don't use blogs as sources of information, so they generally have no clue of what a blog is. 'All they know is that it's something hot which they hope to be able to cash out hopefully in less than a year,' Chan said."
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Asia Next Frontier in Blogging

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  • Here comes UTF-32! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eunuch ( 844280 ) * on Friday May 20, 2005 @06:38PM (#12594797)
    Well it looks like more of us will have to deal with UNICODE above 0xFFFF. Some of these additional characters have important business implications as some Asian names just plain need code points above 0xFFFF. So these bloggers will tip the scales even further.

    Any bets when we'll meet a bunch of sentients from another galaxy and break past thirty-two bits per code point?

    There is a somewhat hilarious description of how the Java developers dealt with all this: http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/In tl/Supplementary/ [sun.com].

    Transhumanism/singularity will probably whittle down the whole thing to the bit of course!

    • You are confused UTF-16 with UCS2. UTF-16 has surrogates to represent the entire Unicode table.
    • Most of us probably won't have to "deal" with it, since most (all?) systems except Java handle it natively. I know for sure that GNU libc (and therefore all Linux distros) has had a 32-bit wchar_t type since... ever? I'd be exceedingly surprised if Mac OS X can't handle it since they claim Unicode 3 support, and although I'm dubious of everything that Microsoft does, I believe that Windows also supports more than the Basic Multilingual Plane.

      So, unless you're using Java applications, this most likely won'

      • Apparently, Ruby does not yet understand Unicode either. Ruby 2.0 will, but that seems to be some years off still. It's a shame, because it's probably the one big thing keeping me away from Ruby. In the modern world of a global internet, unicode is a prerequisite, imho. Which reminds me: since IRC doesn't specify a character set, are there any moves to standardise on UTF8 use for IRC, since that would solve the problem in a way that works for everyone (at least in future)?
        • On the other hand, you could manually use UTF-8 in Ruby. PHP also does a (very) poor job at Unicode, and thus my solution is to simply encode all my strings with UTF-8. It has worked very well for me so far.

          If you were to ask for my opinion on IRC, I think the entire protocol is so abysmally ugly that you don't just need to standardize on a charset for it, you need to rewrite it from scratch. Seriously, IRC is probably the ugliest protocol I've ever seen, rivalled only by the Direct Connect protocol.

  • dot com boominess (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gumbo ( 88087 )
    Does this remind anyone else of stories from when Netscape went public years and years ago? I remember hearing things like a woman called up and said she had no idea what the Internet or Netscape was, but she wanted to buy some shares in it, because it sounded like a hot money-making ticket to GET RICH QUICK!!!11
  • Instead of shutting him down, however, the Gong An told him if he wanted to continue he would have to remove the more heated posts, which he did

    And so, why is blogging in China useful?
    • Exactly. When you have to follow the party line or face being "removed" - either your blog or you (going to jail) - what would there be to say?

      The people are effectively gagged there as far as politics are concerned, which seems to be one of the hottest topics for blogging here in the U.S.
    • Blogging can't be useful (that is, as useful as it can be) without heated debates and arguments?

      Is it censorship if posts which flame are removed, or is it simply removing bad content so that other users don't have to put up with that crap? The article doesn't even mention what type of heated posts they were (anti-Japanese or anti-Chinese).
    • ...so that decent may take root in society and they collectively get more brave to confront their oppressive government.

      Who knows, maybe the fall of Chinese totalitarian rule will be overthrown through public blogging.
      • "... Who knows, maybe the fall of Chinese totalitarian rule will be overthrown through public blogging."
        As far as I know, the Chinese totalitarian rule overthrowns public blogging, public speech, religious freedom.... whenever there is a single spark. "You are too simple, too naive"
        • From my understanding, China tends to set strict boundaries on some things and make sure they have solid bureaucratic control over others. For example, you can protest government corruption, but you cannot protest for an overthrow or even overhaul of the current government. As for religion, most are not outlawed (except of course for groups like Falong Gong), but they do place restrictions on religious practices and require just about everything to be registered.

          Basically, there is a lot that needs to ch

    • How many blogs in America specifically cover hot political issues? I have a blog for the purpose of keeping my friends and family back home posted about my life here in Japan. They enjoy reading it, I enjoy writing it, and nobody seems to mind that I'm not preaching my political values at them.
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Friday May 20, 2005 @06:42PM (#12594818)
    For the World Wide Web. Wiki is maybe a bit closer.

    However I've been looking into it and it seems to me to be a sad, isolated, lonely world, there are no connections between the people producing these blogs. No community.

  • Someone set up us the blog.
  • This could spell the end for Chinese society and economic power, if they aren't warned of the dangers of blogging. Although maybe we should let blogging take its course, and allow it to rot away all the powerful countries. America hasn't got long if the blogging continues.

    What happens when blogging rates reach 90%, do people just die in their bedrooms from malnutrition, while the economy implodes, and farmland is left to go fallow?

  • Chinese Calendar (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Friday May 20, 2005 @06:46PM (#12594850) Homepage Journal
    Chinese investors sound like they're state-of-the-art 1998. Which means blogs won't take off there until 2010. And their Internet crash will come right on schedule in 2008.
  • by Ckwop ( 707653 ) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Friday May 20, 2005 @06:49PM (#12594870) Homepage
    Is it hype or reality? I don't know, I write my own blog almost as a hobby; a nice pass time. I like to read the thoughts of others who enjoy the pass-time too. But I'm not so pretentious to think that blogging will "change the world" (tm).

    It's nice that blogging has brought communities together and is replacing the lecturing of the old media (news papers and magazines) with the debate brought in new media (blogs).

    When all is said and done, I think blogging is and will always be a nice pass time for the majority of people. Don't get me wrong, blogging is on the march and by no means has it reached it's destination. What I contend, is the final position of blogging within society; it will be somewhat different than people have come to expect.

  • I wouldn't blog if I lived in China because you never know what could be used against you.
    On another level, blogging could give open societies an edge as they offer processed information in the form of opinions which can be accepted or rejected as a whole when you only need general working knowledge of a topic. The quicker opinions can be integrated with yourself, the more mental ground you can cover. Of course if I was doing something critical I would not depend on Joe's opinion but would instead resear
  • Hmmm. (Score:2, Interesting)

    I can't exactly see the Chinese Government taking a shine to this. Independent analysis? Free speech? Free information sharing? A community where anyone can say anything he choses? This... in a country that has a firewall at the national level to block access to block non-approved websites, a government that bullied Google into filtering its search results?


    Was that the sound of hell freezing over...?

    I really hope this *does* get off the ground, of course; this would be a wonderfu
  • by wheelbarrow ( 811145 ) on Friday May 20, 2005 @06:53PM (#12594894)
    Blogging has not caught on in China because citizens in China have learned to keep their head down and stay quiet to avoid jail time or being murdered by army tanks. Blogging cannot work where there is government oversight and censorship. Especially not when the government in question has a long track record in stifling free expression.
  • i wonder how people will express opinions in public in a country that does not encourage that. In all likelihood, chinese blogs will be like chinese discussion groups, censored. Until the communist government is overthrown the only chinese that will be blogging are the diaspora and those in HK and the Republic of China.
  • by sacbhale ( 216624 )
    I dont get what the big deal about blogging is??

    I mean yeah its cool to blog and be heard...But how is this different from years ago when everyone had their own website on geocities and said things there???

    Yes its easy and more accessible and everyone's doing it...but its basically still the same old thing...
    • it's all no different then when you could put your idea on a piece of paper and hand it to your friend, except being more accessible.

      and that makes a big, but not fundamental, difference.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's more important for the bloggers I guess. Like that feeling when you put up your first website, and you thought about stuff you would put on it, but no, what if someone you knew read it, so you put up something else. Then you put up more stuff and had links, and oh, here's my first Java app. Wow the whole world is going to come here and see this. I really have a platform for free speech and I can share my views with the whole world.

      Then you checked the logs and realized no one cared.

      So you put an emai
  • It cracks me up how theres all this hype about blogs... I'm sick to death of hearing about it. Just the phrase "blog" seems to imbue some kind of extree-special ambiance, as it were, when in reality, its just another goddam opinion on the web. And China exploding with blogs? I can't wait to spend endless hours glued to my FP slavoring over the latest agricultural news from Guangdong...
    • posted at a web log.

      you have just made the world that much better!
    • I remember back in the old days, when having blogs were called webpages. You know, people made websites about themselves, things they liked and topics that interested them long before anyone called them "blogs". This is new sort of the way IRC is new or the Atari 2600 is new.
  • It seems like the melting pot to which people sometimes refer America is much bigger than the US.

    I know, I know, this is nothing new. "We knew the Internet would do this!" you say. "That's old news!" you say.

    It's just neat to see it coming to fruition--that's all.

    And with translating software readily available, wouldn't it be neat to peek into the world of someone who, only a few years ago, we colloquially referred to as being ultimately foreign, far away, and exotic.

    In fact, that's one reason I love
  • I think it was about 2 or 3 years ago, there was an incredibly popular blog in China, written by a woman, about her sexual experiences. (And from what I read, yes, it really was written by a woman.) I'm blanking on her name, and can't even remember if she was in Hong Kong, or maybe Guangzhou. Anyway, it was incredibly popular, among people in China, and overseas. I think that put the idea of blogging on the map, in people's minds in China. But it seems to have faded from the public consciousness since
    • yes. I knew there was such a 'blog' before.

      But I think blogging is far more putting personal sexual experience on the web. It was popular just because it was all about sex. It just like another porn site to the readers.

      Can you think of any popular blog in China, which contains personal views and ideas on social affairs, culture, political environment ?

      I can alway remember there is a doctor being locked for months, with the charge of disclosing national secured information, by reporting the fact of the ho
      • There are some blogs in China, I found a bunch of them I think last year, although I seem to have lost my links to them. I'm not a big blog-reader anyway.

        I think people in China are more free to talk about many topics than many Americans think, although you are right, if you talk about the wrong thing, you can end up in deep trouble. But I get the impression that many people in the US think if you even whisper something about governments, the police will come breaking in the door and take you away. I've
        • Reading the whole thread to know that there are much deep mis-understanding to China from US people that cannot be washed away by any means.

          There are free speech and press in China with exception to a few "forbidden" topics. For example, "taiwan independence", "fa-xx-gong" and "tibet".

          You can talk and write whatever about forbidden topics in China, unless you do it publicly and in high-profile. You cannot host a web page about "taiwan indepdence", and you cannot demonstrate a banner of "fa-xxx-gong" in
          • ...There are free speech and press in China with exception to a few "forbidden" topics. For example, "taiwan independence", "fa-xx-gong" and "tibet".

            Hey, what do you mean free speech if there are 'few' forbidden topic that cannot be discussed in public? And what is your understanding on 'few'? Are you not free enough even to mention 'Fa Lun Kung'?

            ...Otherwise it is complete free to write, to shout, whatever you want.

            That's depends on who you are and where you live. If you were a member of

            • I'm very agree with you. Mention the dark side, you may heard of the book "A Survey to Chinese Peasants", People Literature Press. Yellow cover. Is there an English edition? This book can be found in China imported book stores in Hong Kong, a best seller some moments ago. I heard that it is forbidded in China, and I never found in China book stores (An anology book is call "China Food Survey" in very similar packaging but red cover, is top seller in many China book stores. It's about the dark side of
  • Millions more pages of bizarro fecal fetishes.

    If felching were a stock, I'd recommend buying up a shitload!

  • by Strange Ranger ( 454494 ) on Friday May 20, 2005 @07:16PM (#12595002)
    I've been an active and curious internet user since WAIS and Gopher were the tools of choice, maybe I haven't "seen it all", but I've tried to. Sooo with that in mind...

    Can somebody please explain to me what sets blogging apart from Geocities "Meet my Dog, check my favorite links" pages.. multiplied by a million screaming ME TOO posts and cross links? Everyone with their own personal sad little version of Fark??

    This is not a troll. I get that out of 10 million blogs a few will be thoroughly engrossing, but still I obviously don't get the blogging thing, so I'm seriously asking to be smacked with a clue-by-four regarding blogs. What's the big draw? What do they accomplish for most people? A good place for blogging newbies?

    Swing away please. Thanks.
    • Can somebody please explain to me what sets blogging apart from Geocities "Meet my Dog, check my favorite links" pages.. multiplied by a million screaming ME TOO posts and cross links?



    • What's the big draw? What do they accomplish for most people?

      I think in many ways it is similar to Slashdot. People find out about news (and interpretations of news) that they wouldn't otherwise read. The liberating aspect of it is that anyone can do it, and millions of niches can be filled. You don't have to know anything about HTML to have your own blog that goes into extensive detail about whatever you want to discuss, whether that's of interest to 1 person or 1 million people.

      In my opinion bloggin

      • The thing is, here on slashdot there is decent discussion going on. What other blog can you go to where you have such a wealth of well-formed opinions and jokes? Ok, perhaps "wealth" is a misnomer, but that doesn't change the situation. Slashdot is more about the comments and a few links than anything else.

        The only other thing which makes blogs interesting is if the writer is good. Example: The Darth Side [blogspot.com]

        Good writing, good discussion, what else is there?

        • What other blog can you go to where you have such a wealth of well-formed opinions and jokes?

          You make an excellent point there. Still, even when reading Slashdot you have to filter through comments that you don't think should have been modded up. You have to dig for some comments that aren't as highly modded, etc.

          Comparing Slashdot to the blogosphere is a bit unfair, in that Slashdot is a many-to-many form of communication, and most blogs are one-to-many. Slashdot also has the good fortune of a rathe

    • Nothing at all, except now people too stupid to learn HTML can also contribute to the crapflooding of the web. Add to this that media is always slow to pick up tech-related stuff (I'm not saying this is tech), and you have your new, hot and empty media-hype.

      Personally I'd rather visit those crummy websites with anim-gifs at Geocities at a regular basis than ever hearing the word blog again.

      Nothing to see. Well, actually there's a lot to see, you just don't want to. Ofcourse the so called "bloggers" w

  • Only old people blog!
  • I have been teaching students in a small city called Pune in India since 1978 and I have been noticing that the blogging phenomenon is very high amongst them. This is growing by leaps and bounds.
  • by alwsn ( 593349 ) on Saturday May 21, 2005 @01:52AM (#12597209)
    Almost all young people in Korea use 'mini homepages' or blogs every day. 10 million Koreans (of 48 million) are already using blogs. Only 30 million Koreans are online meaning a full 33% of everyone on the internet in Korea have blogs. It also means that 20% of the entire population of Korea are writing blogs. In Japan there is only 3 million of 127 million people writing blogs, or about 2%. The difference is an order of magnitude. The registered blogs in Korea are also each unique to a person, as you are are required to enter the Korean equivalent of a social security number before making a new page.

    For a bit more info, check out this page. http://english.kbs.co.kr/life/trend/1337632_11857. html [kbs.co.kr]

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.