Isaac Mao is one of China’s best-known bloggers and the organizer of the Chinese Bloggers’ Conference, which first took place in Shanghai in 2005. Mao is also a software developer, a social learning researcher, director of the Social Brain Foundation and sits on the advisory board of Global Voices and several Web 2.0 businesses. He has often spoken out courageously about censorship in China and has written an open letter to Google, asking the company to take a stand against the Chinese government’s filtering methods.
He talks about the state of blogging in China, from Deutsche Welle:
When Hu Young, an Internet pioneer and professor at Beijing University’s School of Journalism and Communication, published his translation of Nicholas Negroponte’s “Being Digital“ 12 years ago, he inspired many young people to go and discover the Internet for themselves.
Nevertheless, when the Web site cnblog.org published an article entitled “Attract More Bloggers – There Should be Thousands of Bloggers in China” in October 2002, it hardly seemed likely that this call would be answered.
In 2002, there were less than 1,000 bloggers in China. In 2003, that number rose to 100,000 and then to 300,000 in 2004. By 2005, China had around a million bloggers.
The first Chinese Bloggers’ Conference was held in Shanghai under the groundbreaking slogan “Everybody Is Somebody.” Since then, the annual conference has become increasingly symbolic of a movement that grows from the roots up.