单 位 博 客 模 范 奖
When Danwei launched nearly four years ago, blogging was virtually non-existent on the Chinese mainland. Even in early 2006, when we posted our first list of Model Workers, blogs had nowhere near the attention or influence they have today.
So it's time to revise our list. Comparing this year's list to the previous one, you may find some familiar names - our reading habits haven't changed all that much. Other blogs are no longer present; some have closed or stopped updating, while others have fallen off the list to make room for new arrivals (though they stay in our RSS feeds).
The last year-and-a-half has seen the launch of a number of specialized blog providers, so this year's list of award recipients includes a section for blog platforms and aggregators. The English-language Model Worker Awards for 2007 have been posted as well.
The Model Worker awards reflect the tastes of Danwei editors, but we hope that you will find them interesting as well. Let us know of other worthy blogs in the comments.
Note: Most annotations are followed by a posts link that will take you to a list of Danwei articles about that blogger or translated from that blogger's posts.
Group / Aggregators
Started out of dissatisfaction with the behavior of the major blog providers at the time (Sina, Bokee, et al.) and the rising tide of insipid celebrity blogs. Proprietor Luo Yonghao extended invitations to "cool" bloggers who made Bullog the place to go for non-mainstream commentary. There've been several shifts in direction and some public splits with high-profile bloggers, but it still is host to a substantial number of essential blogs.
This new blog portal was started by Rose Luqiu, whose blog formerly called Phoenix TV and Sina home. It was intended to provide a more independent platform for blogging; after the original site in Hong Kong was blocked, it moved to mainland servers. Subcribing to the top posts feed provides a constant flow of interesting blog posts.
Group blog focused mainly on business and marketing, with frequent forays into cultural criticism and occasional poetry. [posts]
Weekly roundups of the most popular topics in the Chinese blog world.
New Threads 新语丝
Technically more of a daily mailing list than a blog aggregator. Contributors to XYS take on academic dishonesty, malfeasance, and intellectual impropriety. It's run by Fang Zhouzi, the polarizing anti-fraud crusader who was involved in a death match over the four-color theorem. Even more than Bullog, this is the place to go when you're looking for an argument. [posts]
Lian Yue's 8th Continent 连岳的第八大洲
Lian Yue is a columnist and author who was one of the driving forces increasing awareness about the Xiamen PX plant. If Wang Xiaofeng was the face of Chinese blogging in 2006, then Lian is its face in 2007. [posts]
ProState In Flames 钱烈宪要发炎
This is an essential read. Inside information into Chinese journalism; rumors about politics and current events show up here near the start of the cycle. NOTE: URL updated 2008.11.25, after his bullog blog was closed. [posts]
Groundbreaking podcast website that tackles subjects like foreign and domestic media coverage of news, Chinese oversensitivity about Japan, media business and digital trends. The main voices on the podcasts are veteran radio broadcaster and journalist Ping Ke, and born in the '80s upstart Flypig. [posts]
Wang Xiaofeng 王小峰
Sarcastic and sometimes very funny commentary about media and media regulation, cultural trends, music and urban miscellanea. Wang Xiaofeng is also known by the name Wears Three Watches (带三个表), a mocking reference to the Three Represents theory. [posts]
Ran Yunfei 匪话连篇：冉云飞博客
Editor of the journal Sichuan Literature, Ran is also a prolific blogger. He runs a regular series of capsule comments on current events, and pays particular attention to issues of freedom of expression and democratic politics. Particularly interesting are the documents he digs up from the archives ranging from contemporary accounts of the anti-rightist campaign to reviews of educational practices during the Republican Era. [posts]
Hecaitou 《槽边往事》 "Bygone days beside the trough"
An old-school blogger if ever there was one. Hecaitou's based in Yunnan and publishes an eclectic mix of commentary, entertainment, and quirky diversions. He was the source of Danwei's recent Field Guide to Beijing snakes. [posts]
Han Song 韩松
Xinhua journalist, science fiction author. Han has a dry wit and turns a cynical eye to official media and current events. Danwei has translated his thoughts on the Tangshan Earthquake, and students' curiosity about the paranormal. [posts]
He Dong 何东
Fun blog of the host of an interview program on Phoenix TV Online. He writes enthusiastically about the subjects that interest him, and using his connections within the entertainment industry, he features exclusive interviews and news about current projects in the film and TV world. Danwei has translated a number of He Dong's pieces, from his exclusive interviews with the director of the new Dream of the Red Mansions show to his spat with director Lu Chuan over the use of the word 您. [posts]
Ten Years Chopping Timber 十年砍柴
This blog (actually titled 钢筋水泥森林里的斧头 "An axe in the concrete jungle") is written by a pundit, popular historian, and Legal Daily reporter. Posts range from commentary on current events to analyses of Ming-dynasty politics. [posts]
Keso's "Playin' With IT" 对牛乱弹琴
No list would be complete without a mention of this hugely-popular tech-oriented blog. He doesn't post as often as he once did, but he's still worth keeping in the RSS reader. [posts]
Han Han 韩寒
Popular young author with loads more street cred than Guo Jingming. His blog has been closely involved in countless flame wars, but even if you're not in it for the action, his writing is clever and perceptive. You may not care for his novels, but his blog is really worth reading. [posts]
Art, design and urbanism
If you are interested in contemporary art, design and architecture, and urban issues, established counter-cultural figures Ai Weiwei (艾未未, posts) and Ou Ning (欧宁, posts) have their fingers on the pulse.
Ai Weiwei's father was a famous poet; he himself has been personally involved in many of the most important cultural movements in post-reform era China, starting with his membership of 'The Stars', a group of artists who went against the cultural authorities in their quest for an international attitude towards art in the late 1970s. A generation younger than Ai, Ou Ning is a prolific designer, curator, cultural archivist and commentator.
Five fascinating women who blog
Xu Jinglei (徐静蕾) is an actress, director, blogger and media entrepreneur whose blog is often called the most popular in the world. Her blog is mostly about day to day life and very popular with young women with a Hello Kitty aesthetic, but she is a figure to watch in Beijing's media world.
Hong Hung, aka Hung Huang (洪晃) is the column-writing CEO of CIMG, a media company that publishes Time Out, amongst other magazines, and the daughter of Mao Zedong's English teacher and translator Zhang Hanzhi. [posts]
Li Yinhe (李银河) is a sociologist at the influential Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and a fierce defender of individual sexual freedoms. [posts]
Yin Lichuan (尹丽川) is a poet, writer and film director. She is closely associated with the 'Lower Body Writing' movement that until recently occupied the literati of Beijing.
Muzi Mei (木子美), once notorious for her online confessions, now keeps a video blog in which she talks to counter-cultural types and other urban eccentrics. [posts]
This is just a taste of the wealth of commentary that's available in the world of Chinese blogging. Quite a few journalists' blogs, including those of commentators like Xiong Peiyun (posts), Guo Guangdong (posts), and Chang Ping (posts), are quite worth reading but since they mostly contain reposts of the authors' opinion columns, so we haven't included them on this list. Since China's media commentators tend to write for a number of different media outlets, the blogs are still worth subscribing to if only as a convenient way to keep up on the latest public opinion without traipsing around to multiple newspaper websites.
The Danwei Model Worker badge is adapted from an old model worker pin issued by Wuxing County, Zhejiang. Founded in 1912 from the merger of three Qing Dyansty counties, Wuxing ceased to exist in 1981 when it was absorbed into Huzhou City. The image was taken from a thread on the Old Badges BBS (陈陈徽章论坛).