how to:How to use Sina Weibo
Launched in 2009, this Chinese microblogging site was developed as a response to a 2 year old block on Twitter accessibility in China and now has more than 200 million registered users. Sina Weibo is a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook and has similar applications and market presentations. The Weibo phenomena is watched closely under the scope of the Chinese media and government and has gained wide recognition among blogger. The interface is more in line with the Chinese consumer’s behavior and additionally pictures, movies and music can be integrated into posts.
This new social media platform seen as a more intellectual and professional outlet and has raised the reservations many Chinese companies had about social media channels. The “Chinese Twitter” format- 140 characters makes it easier and faster to share content.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
The Chinese government practices a high degree of censorship and speaking out against the government or its policies could be dangerous for you. Before you consider using Sina Weibo for activism in China be sure to educate yourself about the risks and security issues. Here are some resources to get you started:
Registration takes 30 seconds at http://weibo.com. Set up a account username, set up your profile and start reading and sharing.
Remember Sina Weibo functions much like Twitter.
Key Facts and Features:
- 140 characters per "Tweet" but you can say far more in 140 Chinese characters than in English letters
- Followers are called “Fans”
- Inline photos and videos, emoticons, and song lyrics, either from Sina’s own services or 3rd Party
- Direct uploading of videos, voice-to-Weibo service through mobile phones
- Native iOS, Android and Symbian applications installed for Weibo
- Groups (Beta) and Lists--set up or join groups around interests, create private lists of users
- Events-schedule meetings, parties etc and invite your followers
- Voting-create questions, poll users
- Trends-highlights hot topics across dozens of categories by hour, day, week
You can also download the Weibo app on iTunes which will also be available in English in the future.
Visit Weibo Square on Weibo to find fans and follow fans and to join groups that interest you. You can also create events, polling/ voting sites and download applications.
Understand: Micro-topics. Weibo takes any tweet that’s related to certain topic, then create an unique page for all users to view and discuss the particular topic. This enables users to:
- Spread popular news and knowledge
- Tweet and promote micro-topics of your friends and your own
- Gather unique groups and fan followers quickly
- Instantly creates a new page for users to discuss and post on the micro-topi
Now that you are set up and using the platform. Consider all the ways you can use this for your campaign or movement:
- Find people who care about the same issues you do
- Debate and share informtation
- Spread the world about a campaign or rally
For more ideas, check out our guides on using Twitter for activism: