Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chinese Blogosphere: 6 Popular News Aggregators

One type of popular Chinese blogs in English language are the ones which translate news or just funny stories found anywhere else on the net from Chinese to English.

This is a good way to entertain people who are interested in China but don't read in Chinese with some interesting material.

Although it seems that this market starts to be somewhat oversaturated with more and more bloggers trying to do the same thing.

So, I want to present the list of the most popular (and possibly best) aggregators of news in Chinese blogosphere.

1) ChinaSmack - no doubt the most popular site of its kind. It publishes hot internet stories, pictures and videos daily and has a big base of fans. The best thing about ChinaSmack is that the team running it is very creative and they constantly come up with fresh ideas how to make it better. It is reflected also in such aspect as professional site's design.

2) Shanghaiist . One thing that I learned recently about this site is that it is a part of a bigger network called Gothamist. All sites belonging to this network bring the latest news related to some specific city. As it is obvious from the name Shanghaiist is all about China's most international city - Shanghai.

The number of posts being published is huge - every day about ten new entries appear in it. In my opinion the design of Shanghaiist doesn't fit very well the speed of posting and the posts very quickly get buried in archives without receiving proper attention from readers.

3) China Digital Times  - maybe shouldn't be in the same list with other news aggregators. Because it is a more serious media and doesn't make accent on sensational stories.

I haven't followed this site and found it only while preparing this post, but from a quick look it seems that this blog has a lot of authority, but also kinda lost the dynamism it possibly had in the past.

Though "About" page claims that the blog publishes translations alongside with essays and original articles, on its main page I saw only reposts from different other sites (not even Chinese). And the design of site is quite dull. Although it's understandable taking in account that it was born in pre-Web 2.0 2003.

4) ChinaHush - small brother of ChinaSmack which at one point could become a worthy challenger for the crown of the best site in this category. But in the end of 2010 it was blocked in China and lost half of its traffic. 

Also it took quite a lot of time before ChinaHush finally made the re-design of the site (so here ChinaSmack also won). On the other hand, now ChinaHush is free of the pressure what kind of topics to choose (because they are already blocked) and they can try to use this fact to their advantage.

5) Ministry of Tofu - new kid on the block which joined the competition. Nice design, quick turnover of posts - all that promised good results. For some reason, however, already for more than one week the blog hasn't been updated and with such kind of sites pauses are highly undesirable.

6) China Whisper - the most fresh addition to this group. Similar to ChinaHush and Ministry of Tofu. Not much to say about it at this moment - time will show.


And what for me in all that? Well, it's been a while that I've been thinking to join this "rat race". 

I even chose the name - haha. If it happens - then it will be some time in October 2011. But we will see ;-) 


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