I’m green in Twitter. Before I downloaded the app on my phone for this class, I simply categorized it as one of those social network sites. Personally, I don’t have the enthusiasm for SNS even in China, using my own language. But somehow after using it I have some really good observations of it. I started to see it professionally and it inspired me to explore the “Twitter” in China.
I used to believe in the “SNS ruined real communications between people” cliché, plus I’m not into life sharing on SNS and the fact that those will be widespread by SNS scared me. While these features nailed the job if we see them professionally. In Weibo, which is basically the Chinese Twitter, I see this column called “Hot” appeared high on the page. (So bad at describing this kind of things) I think the “Hot” page is fairly similar to the “Discover“ page in Twitter. I found it really convenient because one can both find the news fast and jump into the discussion with some peers quickly. It’s much easier to discover and discuss an issue this way, so Twitter (or Weibo) really connects people.
Besides easy and quick accessibility to news, timeliness is another great side of Twitter and we benefit more from this in China. China has strict controls over the press and sometimes the government just blocks news from the public. That’s not happening if Weibo steal the time of blocking. Usually when news happened; there are witnesses and they write on Weibo immediately. Once they published, there is no way to stop them form spreading. (Images of Smoke Above Tiananmen Deleted From Chinese Social Network)
I always hold an optimistic opinion toward nowadays’ journalism. Seeing people talking and discussing daily news really inspired me. That informs me, as a future journalist, that people do care and want to make a sound on issues. For Chinese, this hope can be enormous because this is a sign that the Chinese are “awake” now and they began to fight for their voice; Weibo is the first step.