Ethan Zuckerman summarizes Michael Anti’s thoughts about the state of blogging in China today:
He offers two reasons why blogs have social impacts:
– Because you’re having an election, which means that public opinion matters, and blogs become a political mobilization tool
– Because NGOs embrace them and use them to lobby for social change.
Neither of these cases applies in China, he tells us, as there are no elections and no functional NGOs.
He mentions that there are lots of projects trying to monitor China by following internet news – Global Voices, China Media Project, new projects at Hong Kong University. In 2004 and 2005, it made sense to follow blogs to find this “sharp news”. But since 2006, most of the interesting and dissenting news is coming from chat rooms. 2004 and 2005, he tells us, were the “golden years” for the Chinese blogosphere and they’re over now. [Full text]