So with my Chinese capable to a degree where I think I can read Chinese enough to know roughly what might be going on…if it’s a story book for toddlers…perhaps, I’ve recently been indulging myself into the wacky world of Weibo, and the results have been fruitful to say the least.
There’s been a lot of talk as to whether or not Weibo is of any use to us foreigners, though I think that’s purely based on language issues. Once you have a decent enough grasp of Chinese the rewards are handsome, and it’s even introduced an English interface lately.
So what have been the fruits of my labors? Well quite a few in fact. I’ve been given a few recommendations of people to follow – people who post funny pictures, jokes, advice, and so on, and it’s been a fascinating insight into the internet culture of China. Acclaimed writer Han Han is one to follow, and is often prone to posting bitingly funny observations of life in China, as is famous actress Yao Chen. I’ve also gotten an insight into the world of Chinese memes, and can safely say that they are just as creative as anything you can find on Western-based meme sites.
I’m also following a few Chinese language learning accounts,and get a daily feed of idioms, quotes, and sayings that you wouldn’t get on Rosetta Stone – again, it serves as a great tool for delving deeper into the ways of China.
As a blog writer, I’ve managed to post a link of Weibo to my blogs, and hope to get my expat-minded writing out there in the Chinese web space, though I know they may not gain popularity due to language issues, but hey ho. My followers have been on the rise of late, though I’m convinced it’s got nothing to do with the fact I’m a “cool” foreigner ha ha.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Weibo is the little scraps of news stories you won’t often hear about on mainstream news channels.Through this, I’ve been exposed to a whole different range of scams, stories of hope, love, and loss. There’s thousands of these little gems floating around Weibo at any given time and all you have to is follow the right people and you’re opened up to a whole new world of Chinese happenings.
There are 400 million Chinese users on Weibo, and even us expats are starting to get involved too. Even Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt are chipping in. So why not take the plunge into China’s most engaging, amusing,fascinating and sometimes shocking web community and get a peek into what’s really going on over here.
Tags:Weibo Chinese blogs Chinese memes Chinese internet
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