I love being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry....
China Going Social
On 8 December, China launched a state-sponsored social media trends service similar to Twitter in principle, called Red Microblog but very different in ethos. It is the first step in a master plan for local governments to understand social media trends...so we now have the era of the microblog hitting China. This new site is run by the local propaganda department in the central city of Chongqing, with Bo Xilai, the local party secretary, as a proud user. One of Mr Bo's real time messages read, "I really like the words by Chairman Mao [Zedong] that 'The world is ours; we should work together'." Other messages on this new social media trends site included: "Work hard, be honest and treat others well", "There is no sky larger than the hand, no road longer than the feet, no mountain higher than the people, no sea wider than the heart", and "Those who go with the flow are forever going up and down in the waves; only those who go against the wind fearing no hardship, can reach the other side fast."
Dr Steven Dong, at the Global Journalism Institute at Tsinghua University in Beijing said, "This platform would not have been possible two years ago, but the Olympics, the Shanghai Expo and the Guangzhou Asian Games have affected China's politics, economy and culture. This is a good platform for discovering and spreading news about mass incidents." Though he noted that newspapers are still more trusted!
A statement on the platform said the launch had been in response to a call from Li Changchun, China's Propaganda Chief, for local governments to harness new media and social media trends, and he has waged a campaign to turn Chongqing "red" and messages have been officially named 'red texts'. Already, the Propaganda Chief has urged residents to sing red songs 1from China's revolutionary era; read classical literature and tell stories about Chairman Mao's long march. At the time of the launch there still seemed to be a few issues to iron out, as it was impossible to register as a new member on the site; however engineers did say they were looking at the glitch.
China Central Television said that by this October just gone more than 120 million of these messages had been sent by local residents. Meanwhile, a host of other Twitter clones have sprung up in China, although Twitter itself is censored. While, according to EnfoDesk, a Chinese analyst, there will be 75 million microbloggers in China by the end of 2010, an 837 per cent increase from last year. The firm estimates that the number will double next year and then to 240 million by 2012...so China is definitely on the bandwagon and embracing social media trends...maybe we will soon see 'RedTube'?!
Photo Credit: nekonoir