Table of Contents

Comment Icon0 Traditional spaces where Internet users could discuss societal issues with one another include the Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) as well as online discussion boards. With the advent of easy and often free online content-publishing tools in China such as 51.com, qzone.qq.com, blog.sina.com.cn and blogbus.com, Chinese Internet users have taken to them as highly accessible platforms for various forms of self-expression. This trend has led to a rapidly growing popularity of independently published websites that arguably encroach on the professional space originally occupied by the mainstream news media (Deuze, 2007; Thurman & Jones, 2005).

Comment Icon0 Chinese students from a college in Shanghai will be used as sample for this survey. They will respond to questions relating to their Internet usage, focusing on activities related to citizen journalism as well as their reaction to Internet policies laid by the Chinese government. Participants are to complete an online survey in the privacy of their own personal computers in spring 2009. In order to preserve participants’ anonymity and to encourage honest responses, no personal identification instruments will be used. The questionnaire will mostly consist of seven-point Likert-scale questions as well as a few multiple-answer questions, which would be to measure user intention towards using these web services to discuss social and political issues, in the light of China’s Internet filters and surveillance systems. The questionnaire would also provide a demographic profile of the sample as well as a general sense of their online social behavior. While Table 1 illustrates the kind of web services currently popular in China, the survey is produced for English (Appendix 1) and Chinese (Appendix 2) readers.

Popular Chinese Online Discussion Boards
校内网

Comment Icon0 xiaonei.com

A kind of interactive platform that only allows university students to register and log on
大旗网

Comment Icon0 daqi.com

The earliest forum doorway website in China to link 50,000 Chinese forums
天涯虚拟社区

Comment Icon0 tianya.cn

Communities for literature, news, pictures and music
豆瓣

Comment Icon0 douban.com

Devoted to the construction of a sharing website for book, movie and music
西祠胡同

Comment Icon0 xici.net

All kinds of forum for making commentary and opinion exchange as a leisure place for social interaction
我酷网

Comment Icon0 woku.com

Entertainment virtual community which combines Internet with mobile service intended for young web users
新茶

Comment Icon0 Neocha.com

An online community that differentiates itself by serving specifically to the emerging, innovative Chinese creative class. In the article “New Tea in China”, Pew Internet describes it as “China’s first website for artists to show off and share their wares”. It was launched in (month) 2009 in Shanghai.
Popular Chinese Hosted Blog Services
51博客网

Comment Icon0 51.com

Providing the biggest Chinese blog community
QQ空间

Comment Icon0 qzone.qq.com

My life and my fashion
歪酷博客

Comment Icon0 yculblog.com

Free blog service which provides secondary domain names
博客大巴

Comment Icon0 blogbus.com

Free personal blog space application and blog trust service with various module options
新浪博客

Comment Icon0 blog.sina.com.cn

The most mainstream and popular Chinese blog channel with the most popular entertainment stars’ blogs, and blogs for social interaction and the general public.
Popular Chinese Photo and Video-Sharing Services
土豆网

Comment Icon0 tudou.com

Personal video website which provides free unlimited space for uploading users’ video and sharing with friends in an easy and convenient way
六间房

Comment Icon0 6.cn

The top video website in China where users can watch and search a huge collection of videos and albums for free, providing unlimited video blog space to produce personal favorite video albums for sharing with friends
我乐网

Comment Icon0 56.com

The biggest free video-sharing platform countrywide
酷6网

Comment Icon0 ku6.com

The No. 1 video-sharing gateway website domestically
又拍网

Comment Icon0 yupoo.com

The best Chinese platform worldwide for issuing, storing and sharing pictures

Comment Icon0 Table 1: Popular online publishing services in China

Chapter 1.7 – Research Sample

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