Tomorrow, the 4th Edition of Le Web 3, the biggest European blogger conference will take place in Paris, France. Amazingly, there will be 1700 participants coming from all over the Europe. I was there last year ( read my live blogging ) and my eyes were first time opened to see the power of blogosphere., one of the earliest and most popular blog service providers (BSP) in China has been running for 5 years. Its 5th anniversary ceremony has been hosted in the past weekend in Wuzhen, an ancient town located in the north of Zhejiang province and embraced by the Beijing-Hangzhou grand canal with rivers and canals crisscrossing the whole town. A peaceful place, a very well-organized ceremony and a number of Chinese blogger stars, it was a milestone for and possibly for the entire Chinese blogosphere as well. As a blogger, it’s a pity I could not make the trip there, here is my greeting Happy Birthday, a bit late, but a truly warm one.

Five years, BlogBus brought us a successful story of a startup and revealed the potentials of Chinese blog market. What can we expect for the next 5 years? (I just noticed that Wuhui Wei, COO of BlogBus left only one word as his MSN signature: Where.)

So, maybe, we need a reflection, more than a celebration.

Some Out-dated Stats of Chinese Blogosphere

According to the reports by the China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC): by August 2006, the number of bloggers has reached approx. 17.485 million, increased 30 times since 2002; 7.694 million bloggers are updating their blogs regularly; 33.747 million blog space has been registered; 75.565 million blog readers and 54.709 million of them are reading the blog regularly. Obviously, I need the latest report, but I guess the figures are enough to show you the great potential of Chinese blogosphere.

Some Maybe-Not-Suitable Examples: Six Apart, WordPress and Lifesterblog

Providing a high standard blog hosting service to make users happy and developing a innovative marketing model to generate a reliable revenue, that is definitely what a blog service provider should bear in mind. But, there is probably more than that.

InnovationSix Apart, founded in September 2001 was started as a software company, the creator of the widely used Movable Type blogware. In 2003, it acquire a French weblog publishing company and released its hosted weblog publishing system, now the largest paid blogging service in the word, TypePad. In march 2006, it starts phone blogging service by the acquisition of the SplashBlog. In June 2006, a new Web2.0 blogging platform featured with social networking, Vox released.

Technic-DrivenWordPress, a blog publishing system has not really stood out in the market until 2004. It turned the simple blog management software to a full content management system, it also introduced a vital template/theme system to the bloggers. The latest version of WordPress supports Widget, Atom 1.0 along with publishing protocols and so on. is a rather young, HongKong-based blog service provider which has been profiled by us in May. What mostly differentiate LifesterBlog with other Chinese BSPs is that LifesterBlog much focus on the integration with other web services. With very friendly Ajax-based user interface, the users can easily import (embed) their contents hosted in other web2.0 players such as YouTube, Flickr, Amazon, Yupoo etc.

Blogosphere is a Market, Blogging is A Business

Blogging is here for fun for many so-called bloggers in China. You can become a superstar in minutes if you can express your opinion, your mood, your ambition in some extreme way. However, it seems that blogging is much more serious in the western blogosphere. Blognation has too many stories to tell (well, yes, I was an insider and quitted long time ago). Blogging should bring not only the good contents to your readers, but also the value to the bloggers. The China’s blogosphere is not mature, who should take the role to purify a bit the market and bring more real value to Chinese netizen. I guess it has to be the BSP.

More to think about, but it has to come to a conclusion as this post is a bit too long: Reflection is always good for next bigger celebration.

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Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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