“Meet the Bridgebloggers – Who’s speaking and who’s listening in the International Blogosphere”

is a text by Ethan Zuckerman from the year 2005. It’s method is based more on anecdotal rather than quantitative data. The core points made in this texts are:

First steps towards the blogosphere:
Estimates of the total amount of blogs are from 16 million to 36 million (in the year 2005, 10 years ago!), while the dominant language is english (estimates of around 60 %). According to Iranian blogger Hossein Derakshan weblogs can be characterized  as bridges, windows (example: diary blogs) and cafés. There are lots of (non-wester) local blogospheres revolving around local issues. The openess and connectednes varies for several reasons.  One of the main reasons is the language barrier.

How to identify a bridgeblog:
If a blog is written in a language other than the dominant language of the country where the author is writing, it is also highly likely to be a bridgeblog. If a blog is highly linkedand connected it is also likely to be a bridgeblog (see also definition of bridge blogs)

Local blogospheres:
There are important local blogospheres in Iran, China, East Africa, Jordan and the Arab World!

Attention pattern and the blogosphere:
There are mixed results in the attention patterns of the blogosphere. While the blogosphere as a whole largely ignores the third world, top bloggers do pay more attention.


  • Blogs can be a printing press and can be spaces for conversations that can’t take place anywhere else.

Blogs can be a powerful source of alternative information which is not diplayed in the regular press (due to political cencorship or the press’ own gatekeeping function). There are only few examples of relevant political blogospheres though.

  • Local blogospheres can be a closed community

This is especially due to language barriers, local topics but also choice of the bloggers to keep it local.  “An inescapable conclusion of this early research is that bridgeblogging is a small phenomenon in comparison to the massive growth of non-English blogospheres, especially the Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish blogospheres. Given the growth of blogospheres in different languages, the act of bridging is increasingly important if weblogs are to remain a common, shared space.”


Thanks for reading, as a reward you may now watch a funny video:


text source: http://ethanzuckerman.com/meetthebridgebloggers/ezuckermanbridgeblog122305.html

tl; dr:

There are several blogospheres around the world which serve as a (yet not equally) powerful alternative to mainstream media. These spheres are seperated, for example, by language barriers. They are connected by “bridgeblogs”, mostly on an elite level.




Blogs and China Correspondence: Lessons about Global Information Flows


“In countries and regions where speech is relatively restricted and news media are not known for their independence, blogs have the ability to exert greater impact on the public discourse – and are more likely to offer the public alternatives to professional journalism.”

And where is that?



Chinese blogs: highly personal and apolitical; young people as the main users; BUT “read between the lines”

“Flatness” of the medium enables the netizen participation.


Foreign correspondents in China have a relative strong connection to the Chinese blogsphere. They find blogs useful to spot emerging stories and as a general source of story ideas.



authored by Hong Kong-based media analyst Roland Soong

  • aims “to make a difference in specific cases and to create an awareness that things may be more complex than it seems”
  • offers “short-cuts” for the journalist’s story research

火狐截图_2014-07-16T21-24-22.400Zrun by Beijing-based media entrepreneur Jeremy Goldkorn

  • posts information about new developments in Chinese media and technology
  • provides translations from Chinese media and blogs
  • serves as a media watchdog over both Chinese and Western media

How did they capture China Correspondents’ eyes?

  1. original information not available elsewhere
  2. in-depth perspective based on specialized knowledge
  3. information or insight on places and people the journalist cannot easily access
  4. links to original documents and resources
  5. translated items from the original language on subjects that journalists are likely to find newsworthy

“Internet in China is a potentially alternative public sphere that provides new sources of information, analysis, and story ideas for China correspondents, which is particularly valuable given the unique working conditions and challenges faced by foreign journalists covering China.”

Representative democracy rather than pure democracy?!