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Trends of blogging in China.

Stars use celebrity blogs to bring fans closer

XU Jinglei’s blog has become the focus of Chinese net citizens’ attention.

The famous director and actress talked about her friends, her experiences shooting movies in her personal space where she has also posted her photos as well.

“The blog makes me feel closer to her,” said Wang Shu, an employee at a consulting firm in Beijing, who visits Xu’s blog once a week.

“Through the blog, I found that the star’s experiences and feelings are very similar to mine,” Wang added.

On March 6, a fan of Xu spent half of his monthly salary to buy a more user-friendly domain name for Xu’s blog (www.xujinglei.cn). The fan’s action has brought an additional 2 million online hits to Xu’s blog. So far, Xu’s blog has attracted 18 million hits since it debuted last October.

Xu is not alone in the celebrity blog wave. Well-known IT experts, writers, economists and property giants have established personal spaces online.

Wang Shi, chairman of real property firm Vanke, likes to talk about his mountaineering experience on his blog.

Yu Hua, a famous writer, posted the first chapter of a to-be-published novel “Brothers (Xiongdi) Part 2” on his blog. Yu likes to write literature reviews on his blog.

Hong Bo, editor-in-chief of an IT Website, introduces the latest Internet applications and potential opportunities on his blog, keso.cn.

“The celebrity blog has led readers to see the other side of the stars, which seldom appears in the public media,” said Fang Xingdong, an Internet observer, who also runs a hot blog to comment on events in the IT industry.

Neptone Yang, a Hong Kong media personnel, likes Xu’s blog because “she writes a little better than others in the actor/actress circle.”

Wang also admits that the celebrity’s fame, rather than content, attracts her to her blog.

“It will definitely boost the blog industry and make blogging more popular in China,” said Lu Weigang, an independent Internet analyst. “Blog is a kind of ‘grassroots’ culture, so (the celebrity’s blog) content will be close to the public.”

Through the celebrity’s blog, Wang hopes to see their pictures, including personal and family ones, during work or at home.

“If possible, I would like to see more photos of their family members,” Wang added.

Yang and Zhu Feng, a middle-aged woman who has also visited Xu’s blog, hoped to see the blogs of government officials including Chinese president Hu Jingtao and Shanghai’s mayor Han Zheng.

“If they are busy, their secretary can record their daily life,” Yang added.

Currently, no officials higher than ministry-level directors have blogs online.

“It will change as a blog is a nice platform for officials to send and receive voices from the public,” Fang said.

It is still a problem of how to protect one’s personal space’s domain name.

“Everyone has the equal right to use own names to register domain names. It is hard for us to solve the dispute with two people with same names even if one side is a celebrity,” said Liu Zhijiang, assistant director of China Internet Network Information Center, or CNNIC, the regulator of the domain name “cn.”

The latest example was that a Xu fan paid “several thousand” yuan to buy back Xujinglei.cn, which was registered previously.

“I am grateful to the fan and I will call him to say thank you tomorrow,” Xu said in her blog on March 10.

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March 19, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 39 Comments