This list reflects our personal tastes and the limited parts of the Chinese Internet we have been following, and does not aspire to being a complete list of the best blogs in China.
Another thing to bear in mind: some of the most interesting online writing in China is found on BBS forums, not blogs, so to understand the Chinese Internet, you need to have a trawl through the anarchic world of the BBS sites too. A few recommended BBS forums are listed beneath the blogs
This collaborative blog, connected to editors and writers from The Economic Observer newspaper (who now make up a small minority of its bloggers), covers everything from business education to literary history, from world music to social affairs. The comments are intelligent, the posts well written, and you never know on any given day whether you'll be greeted by an analysis of leadership philosophies, a discussion of French film, or musings on which authors' appearance resemble their writing style. An essential stop every day. Some highlights: Posts by blog editor Fang Jun, City Magazine editor Xu Zhiyuan.
News editor for the Beijing Times. Though posts here range from travelogues to musings on spirituality, the highlights are media commentaries: How headlines are chosen, critiques of editing decisions at other papers, and especially those posts labelled "read, but please don't repost" in which Zhang doesn't mince words in picking apart some member of the Chinese media. Some highlights: A 7-part series on his trip to Saigon (part 1 here); "Expression and Performance" - a critique of China Times' reporting; reflections on elite vs. popular press. Danwei translated his musings on running a "Laborers' Paper."
Media professional (television) writes about her job, with tantalizing glimpses of the production process, and of her life, with engaging stories about the things she does and the people she meets. Highlights: Massage Story - a chilling trip to get a massage; The ignorant should be afraid - a suppressed news spread on AIDS investigations. Amycrazy had to take down an interesting post noting that CCTV's in-house Spring Festival party this year marked the elimination of the practice of roasting the leadership (see Danwei's story) and its replacement with pop stars.
Keso's Playin' with IT
Tech and blog oriented posts. This is one of the most popular blogs in China. Highlights include a daily list of annotated links to interesting blog posts.
Lao Liu at Jianzhao Chaizhao
Editor of the Duku (读库) book series talks about the editing and publishing process.
Shanghai-based media critiques - Oriental Morning Post, Xinmin Evening News, Wenhuibao and others get the treatment. VigNews also runs occasional multi-media presentations, like this Powerpoint presentation on how to start out in the media business.
Tubie or not tubie
Writing on music and other topics by musician and author Wan Yi (Album "The Zippergate Affair"; book The Fragmented 70s Generation). Highlights: How banned songs are tempered; Choosing paint colors.
AntiWave: A rotating cast of contributors do podcasts. Media critiques and white collar experiences mixed with liberal doses of humor. Flypig, one of the creators, has a well-done blog slanted toward global technology and business-politics. Highlights: Roundup of the 3-8 Blog-gate with a London correspondent; Lei Feng 2.0; Work Stories 4 English words in Chinese conversation.
Acerbic commentary on Chinese cultural and entertainment happenings. Recently became notorious for staging a shutdown of his blog.
Ad-fans: Commercials and print ads; ad-related news.
A blog of photos and writing by Ou Ning, one of China's best graphic designers and a veteran of the rock and art scenes. He lives in Guangzhou but is often in the capital.
The Beijing Female Patient
Musings on life in Beijing and media people by a woman who is not scared of Beijing slang, this blog has at times been rated China's most popular.
Publisher, Beijing personality and recently, actress, Hong Huang's blog discusses her magazines, events in Beijing and Shanghai, society and media. Includes the odd rant about people in the Chinese cultural scene and jokes about big cars and small dicks.
One of the founders of China's first post Cultural Revolution art movements The Stars, Ai Weiwei has been a stalwart of the cutting edge cultural scene in China for a quarter of a century. His blog contains mostly photos, with occasional short writings.
The blog of poet and "beautful girl author" Yin Lichuan. Some of Yin's poems have been translated on Feng 37's poetry section.
Editor for Modern Weekly and The Outlook Magazine, his blog contains original writings as well as notes and thoughts about his day job.
Blog of the real estate tycoon and media figure Pan Shiyi.
BBS and forums
Daqi.com (formerly ChinaBBS, this is a forum aggregator)
Xici Hutong (see Media Jianghu and Reporters' home)