What in the Weibo!?

This post is by guest blogger and digital native, Joel Wilson.

Weibo copy

(Pronounced: We-a-bo)

(We-a-bo: Chinese for ‘microblog’)

Everyone has heard of social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (#nofilter); these companies are iconic businesses that dominate the social media market. For example, Facebook has over 1 billion users1 (that’s roughly around 1/8th of the world’s entire population), Twitter’s most active country is the Netherlands2, and 13% of the World Wide Web uses Instagram3.

But what are the other options for social media sites? MySpace has fallen by the wayside and other current sites, such as SnapChat have a strong fanbase but a weak influence when compared to sites such as Facebook. But what if there were no options, what if there was only one social media site that could be accessed or, god forbid, no social media sites at all?

Well in China its citizens aren’t really spoiled for choice when it comes to social media. Since the Chinese government has banned almost all forms of online communication, with the exception of emails and a select few chat rooms all of which are moderated by government officials there only exists one option and that option is Weibo.

Weibo is the Chinese equivalent of Facebook, albeit a more watered down version of it. It was formed in 2009 by the SINA Corporation and has over 500 million users. While other versions of Weibo exist, SINA Weibo is the dominant blogging site in China.

But Weibo is not a place of free-speech, like other Chinese blogs and chat-rooms Weibo is under constant surveillance by the Chinese government. As a result, anti-political and other taboo topics are not allowed to be posted, and will be deleted by an administrator if posted as well as certain words (such as Big Yellow Duck, Google it) being blacklisted, meaning that the words can be used in a search, but no results would be shown.

Here is the link to Weibo, but keep in mind that it is shown in Chinese and that you must be a Chinese citizen to create an account:

http://weibo.com/

Sources:

  1. mashable.com/category/facebook
  2. http://twitterfacts.blogspot.com.au/
  3. http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/important-instagram-stats/

Forget the children, freelancers are our future

When I resigned from my job to start freelancing as a freelance media consultant/writer/university tutor I’m sure my colleagues secretly thought I had lost my mind (sometimes, when I look at the hours I’m putting into business, I think they were right).

Slashies, people who get income from more than one source, are on the rise, as are freelancers. Personally, I love having the freedom to immerse myself in the digital media world everyday and drive my own career.

Freelance.com has identified the 3D sector as one of potential growth, as people get their heads around the possibilities of 3D printing. Mobile developers are big winners, and if they can create the next Candy Crush Saga they will be very big winners.

Sadly, I don’t know how to do either of those jobs but I do know how to write. As social media becomes more and more prominent as a business tool, businesses are placing more emphasis on quality copy. Your receptionist may have a few spare moments in the day to set up a Facebook page but without engaging copy, it’ll fall flat.

Freelancer.com echoes this sentiment, seeing a jump in writing related jobs. Ghostwriting has risen 41.5 per cent and copywriting lifted 17.7 per cent.

Done properly, good social media management doesn’t take 40 hours a week. Keep the freelancer option in mind.

Thanks to memeburn.com and freelancer.com for the stats.