Rebecca MacKinnon gives a comprehensive overview of the Chinese Blogger Conference that ended yesterday in Shanghai. Also many links to transcripts and weblogs giving more details.
“Web 2.0 is potentially a very Chinese thing”, she comments, as new features on the internet facilitate very much the Chinese way of interacting. She quotes Isaac Mao:
“We are all grassroots. We are all small voices,” he says. “The combination of all these small voices will make our society smarter.” He spoke about his Social Brain Foundation, based on the idea that the web enables people to plug their brains directly into an open network.
Of course, censorship was also on the agenda.
But this was not the time and place to discuss how to circumvent censorship. Addressing that huge elephant in the room directly would have flagged the gathering as subversive, and would have killed all the good stuff that came out of the meeting. People did talk a bit, however, about how to work with censorship. In the podcasting session, there was a surprisingly frank exchange about the way in which service providers have to police user content and kill everything political.