Help Using the CBL

Introduction

As the China Blog List continues to grow, a more mature method of organizing all the information has become necessary. Unfortunately, with increasing complexity often comes confusion. Hopefully the answers below will help.

How do I use filters and sorting?

On the home page, you will see dropdown selection boxes under the heading Filters and Sorting. The first two boxes are filters. The third is for sorting. (The dropdown selection box on the second line is neither; it's for page display purposes.)

The first box is the category filter. Use this if you want to view only certain blogs of a certain category. For example, if you only want to view blogs related to business, you would select "business" from the dropdown selection box. All other categories will be filtered out of the listing.

The second box is the location filter. It contains a hierarchical list of locations for all the blogs in the CBL. This allows you to narrow or broaden the scope of your blog listings. For example, you could choose "Beijing" to view only those blogs based in Beijing. All other locations will be filtered out of the listing.

When used together, the category and location filters can provide listings of very specific types of blogs. For example, by choosing "photography" in the first dropdown selection box and "Shanghai" in the second dropdown selection box, a listing of all blogs for Shanghai photography is generated.

The third box is for sorting. It allows you to manipulate the order in which the blogs are listed. Your choices are alphabetical order by blog title, chronological by dated added to the CBL, and alphabetical order by location. For each type of sorting, you have the option of reversing the order.

What does the little mouse head mean?

The little mouse head graphic (mouse) is a proxied link to the blog using Anonymouse, a popular free proxy service.

Why are some blogs blocked?

In an effort to control information, the Chinese government has set up the Great Firewall of China. This limits what websites can be viewed within mainland China. Sometimes blogging services are targeted for blocking. Very rarely are individual English language websites targeted.

What's the deal with the "locations"?

First, the locations list is hierarchical, a kind of tree. The broadest category is "all locations." The list then branches into "Greater China" (mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan) and "Outside China" (all other world locations). From there it becomes more and more specific within each region.

Some regions outside of China are not included because there are no blogs in the China Blog List to represent them. Any time a blog is added for which there is no existing location in the CBL, that location is created to accommodate it. The length of the location list is justified by the usefulness of recording the specific location of each blog.

Having a very specific location for each blog is useful because the location filter is hierarchical. A blog listed as based in San Francisco, for example, will show up in the listings for (1) All locations, (2) Outside China, (3) USA, (4) California, and (5) San Francisco. A blog listed as based in Hangzhou will show up in the listings for (1) All locations, (2) Greater China, (3) maindland China, (4) Zhejiang, and (5) Hangzhou. Including the specific location of each blog is to that blog's benefit.

What's the deal with "Greater China"?

"Greater China" is a term meaning "mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan." The China Blog List is not interested in making political distinctions between these regions, but a listing of "Greater China" blogs is very useful because it allows the user to view only the blogs written by those who are currently in direct contact with mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan (in other words, firsthand accounts).

How do I add my blog?

Before you add your blog, please make sure it is not already listed. Then simply click on "Submit Blog" in the top menu and fill in the form as instructed.

Why do you need my e-mail address?

E-mail addresses are requested because sometimes certain information must be verified, but contact info is not available on every blog. In the future, e-mail verification may become a requirement for addition to the CBL.

Your e-mail address will not be shared or otherwise abused by the CBL.

My blog is based in two cities. What should I do?

The hierarchical geographical classification system was not designed to accommodate blogs that span multiple locations (such as "Hong Kong / London"). I recommend you choose the location which is most relevant to your blog topics. If you live in "Hong Kong / London" but only write about Hong Kong, then choose Hong Kong. If you write mainly about Chinese business as it affects London, then choose London.

Alternatively, if your blog is based in two locations which are not so distant (for example, "Shanghai / Beijing"), you could choose the parent location which encompasses both (in this case, "mainland China"). This is a more truthful, but less desirable solution, because users looking at blogs in either the "Shanghai" or the "Beijing" locations would not see your blog listed.

I submitted my blog, but it hasn't appeared in the list. Why not?

How much time has passed? All submissions are checked for eligibility by real human beings with lives, so approval may take as long as a week.

After two weeks has passed, it is likely that your blog was not approved. The main reasons for rejection are:

  • The submission is not about China, or not mainly about China. This is the China Blog List. It is not interested in your global business strategies blog, even if you do occasionally mention China. It is not interested in your life in an American university simply because you are ethnically Chinese. It is definitely not interested in your spam blog. Submissions which are not focused on China are rejected. Generally this judgment is made based on your last 20 entries or so.
  • The submission is not a blog. This is the China Blog List. No matter how good your China site is, if it's not a blog, it doesn't belong here.
  • The submission is not a current blog. The CBL subscribes to a definition of "blog" which includes "regularly updated." The value of blogs as a medium lies partly in how current they are. If your most current entry is a few months old, you won't be approved. Likewise, already approved blogs that go un-updated for months may very well be deleted.
  • The submission is an extremely new blog. New blogs are born every day, but a huge proportion of them do not live long. Not adding infant blogs cuts down on a lot of administration time. Furthermore, many blogs start out with one focus, but shift in focus over time. For these reasons, the CBL prefers to add blogs that are at least several months and about 20 posts old.
  • The submission is not an English language blog. The CBL will be adding a "Non-English China Blog List" soon, but the current CBL lists only English language blogs. For this reason, your are invited to submit your non-English blog, but it will not show up on the main CBL. There are no plans to ever include Chinese blogs. There are just too many.

Why did you change the description of my blog?

If your description was altered, it is likely because it was not descriptive or not concise. The description can be clever, but it has to convey true information about the content of your blog to the user in as few words as possible.

I don't like the description of my blog in the CBL. What can I do?

You can submit a correction. Make sure that your description is descriptive and concise (see previous question).

Why is the map so hard to use?

Blame it on my inferior Flash skills or your inadequate knowledge of Chinese geography (or a combination of the two).


Based on actual experience, the CBL recommends DreamHost

dreamhost

Based on actual experience, the CBL recommends HostGator

hostgator

Looking for blog hosting in China? The following popular free hosts are blocked in China:

Blog service providers are easy and frequent targets of censorship in China. The best (but still not perfect) way around this is to buy your own domain name (we recommend GoDaddy) and pay for your own foreign-based web hosting (see two great options at the right).