Monday, April 17, 2006

The Taiwanese Blogosphere: Cafe or Window?

ESWN pointed to this great article on Rebecca MacKinnon's blog about a blogging conference in taiwan.

I had a fabulous time this weekend with my new friends from the Taiwanese blogosphere. Special thanks to Ching Chiao (seated far right in the picture above), the main instigator-organizer who invited me, and to the China Times which sponsored my plane ticket and hotel. (One of their blogging journalists has already written me up in Chinese here.) I was especially excited to meet Portnoy Zheng, who has been faithfully posting Chinese translations of Global Voices posts on his blog since last summer. Portnoy you are awesome. It was great to meet many of the other major Taiwanese A-listers, as well as the people who run Taiwan's major blog-hosting services like and It was also fabulous to finally meet Gen Kanai, formerly of Technorati in Japan, now representing the Mozilla Corporation. We had some interesting conversations about the need for regional ping-servers and other ways for members of the Chinese blogosphere to find each other better, as I discussed in this post on Saturday.

Apparently there was a conference on blogging in Taiwan, and I MISSED IT! Here I sit, broken-hearted....


Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,

See you this weekend and I hope to share more with you. :)

Michael Turton said...

Great! I'm looking forward to meeting you!


Anonymous said...

I felt compelled to post a link to your site on Rebecca McKinnon's blog in the comment section. It is somewhat amazing that you were not notified of the conference since you are by far the best blogger in Taiwan. I noticed a photo with the url: - perhaps this is the group to contact. Your commentary on politics, schools, environment, etc. is very insightful and interesting and your efforts are appreciated by many people!

Michael Turton said...

Thanks, but I am not the best blogger in Taiwan. There must be 00s of blogs better than mine -- (MacKinnon claims there are 5 million Taiwan blogs, or about 1 for every 4.6 people. From my experiences with my own students, I conjecture that the entire population of Taipei has two blogs each).


Anonymous said...

I would second that, anonymous.

And, Michael, aren't 20% of the Taiwan total side-blogs of yours?

Newman said...


You are an A-Lister in my book. Keep up the good work you do writing this blog.

Gen Kanai said...

Michael, schee will hook you up for next year as he was one of the conference organizers.

I will note that there were no "foreigners" aside from Rebecca or myself, even though the event was in it's second year.

It will be good to have a more diverse mix for 2007 and Ching Chiao is looking for a bigger venue to accomodate a larger audience.

Anonymous said...


Don't feel sad about not being invited. China Times has its own political agenda. I don't think they would organize/sponsor such an event without prior knowledge of your contribution to Taiwan blogging.

I was once a very active poster in their readers' forum "新聞對談". That forum once absorbed a huge crowd, IMO because the manager was not biased. But then without no particular reason China Times replaced him with a guy who was obviously on the pan-blue side. He pretended not seeing some garbage posts on columns of pro-green subject, making it impossible for series discussion when the subject is pro-green.

Based on my personal experience, I would start worry if China Times did invite you ... :)

What worries me is that, both KMT and Communist are excellent at the "cultural side" of the war, including the management of public media. In contrast, pan-green is not only extremely naive about this, but even go further to treat it as "useless" and shouldn't pay any attention to it. Almost all of the pro-independence big guys in USA I met paid no attention to the handling of mass media.

With the coming of modern media war approaching, I am seeing that the history is repeating --- pan-green leaders again are giving up the the chance of fighting "war on the net", allowing pan-blue to grab this resources entirely.

nosta said...

Yeah, if you count every phonecam album on Wretch of Angel and Ah-Bi taking off their shirts in some KTV as a blog, then there must be a couple of "blogs" per person in Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

To be clear about the event, China Times is only one of the sponsors and the whole event was organized by volunteers. No institution had a final say on how the event should go. :)

Based on my experience, some 1.5 to 2.0 millions blogs in Taiwan is at best, not counting albums hosted at Wretch/Yahoo.

Anonymous said...


Thx for clear that out. I was a bit over reacting.

chiao said...

Hi Michael, my apology for not passing the message to you about the conference.

We plan something bigger next year and I shall be in touch.