When Sina Weibo came out in late 2009, my first reaction was to somewhat naïvely laugh it away as a “Chinese clone of Twitter”, which China had blocked since July 2009.
But the power of Weibo soon found itself very visible. Sina Weibo’s user base exploded throughout 2010 and 2011. Now, major league local government officials are removed, demoted, and given interrogations simply because news of his / her bad behaviour have made it through Weibo.
Still, on less political fronts, Sina Weibo has shown itself to be China’s Twitter with very distinct Chinese characteristics. After “hovering” for a few months in early 2010, I decided to give myself a relatively permanent séjour on Weibo. It worked: I was teamed up with fellow train fans early on, and later in 2011, my first ride on the Beijing-Shanghai HSR gave me big-time coverage. It can easily be said that my rail world involvements got a major boost thanks to Weibo.
I won’t be off the rails, but my main present-day involvement is as an academic. And as an academic and a world traveller I’d like “poop my knowledge like an elephant” (to paraphrase the noted Guy Kawasaki), be that extra tidbits about what knowledge was passed around in class, or what to do when you’re overseas.
Interaction takes place in the form of retweets and comments. Sina Weibo is China’s next big thing online. If your Chinese is good enough, come along and join me there!
Please note that there is no guarantee of attitude adherence with regard to education or academia-related postings on Sina Weibo for messages posted before 12:00 noon Beijing time on 06 June 2012.