You Noticed

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One of the things about having a blog (we at the China Blog have learned in our lengthy four-day stint as bloggers) is that you spend a lot of time wondering who–apart from your Mom and your editors–actually reads what you write. We’re still wondering. But we did get a partial answer this morning when news of our blog’s birth appeared on Danwei and The China Digital Times. Who reads a blog about China? So far, other people who blog about China.

Who are these people? I’m now going to write about them. Then maybe they’ll write about us. It could go on forever. Kind of like what happens if you hold two issues of our Person of the Year issue up to one another.

But seriously. There really are some great English-language sites that cover China with range and depth. If you’re reading this and you don’t already work for one of them, you might want to check them out.

Danwei bills itself as a site about media, advertising and urban life in China, but it’s much more than that. “Danwei” is the Chinese word for “work unit,” the all-encompassing Communist-era residential/professional/social/political entities to which all urban Chinese were once assigned. The site, like its namesake, contains multitudes. Founder Jeremy Goldkorn, a longtime Beijing resident who hails from South Africa, and his editors weed through and translate Chinese news, deconstruct officials pronouncements, keep on top of media gossip and just generally have a great eye for the absurd and, in particular, its many quintessentially Chinese variants. They also produce hilarious on-line video, including a regular feature called the “The Hardhat Show” about demolition and construction in Beijing.

The China Digital Times is run out of the University of California, Berkeley by Xiao Qiang, a Chinese human rights activist, who also heads up the Berkeley China Internet Project. CDT aggregates, translates and provides commentary on all manner of news related to China and includes podcasts, book reviews and a blog about the Chinese media.

Also indispensable is Roland Soong’s EastSouthNorthWest. Based in Hong Kong, Soong is an apparent insomniac who translates from mainland mainstream media and blogs at lightening speed.