Transpacifica's New Blogging Project: Sinobyte at CNET

They said this day would never come.

Perhaps the biggest fight I’ve ever picked in the blogosphere was when I wrote an opinion piece while a writing intern at Editor & Publisher in 2005 arguing that newspapers should get over blogging and put more energy into innovation. It ran under the provocative headline “Forget Blogs,” and declared, “Blogs are a horrible way to deliver journalism. Forget them.” You can imagine the kind of reception this got from bloggers.

The argument was a bit more subtle, and I think it has stood the test of two and a half years. I was trying to convince editors and publishers to put more resources into non-blog online content. And many newspapers have. Many people know about innovations made by The New York Times, but fewer keep track of the minor successes of hundreds of smaller newspapers using non-blog online media to do journalism. Bravo!

I was a blogger then, and obviously am now. I just thought big media companies should be able to put together more engaging media than I can in my spare time. This doesn’t entirely eliminate the irony that now, as a freelance writer and freelance student living in Beijing, I’m launching a blog that will be my most consistent work. In a real sense, a guy who argued that blogs aren’t all that has become a professional blogger.

So here it is. As part of the CNET Blog Network, I am now the author of Sinobyte, which will follow technology in China and Asia from my perspective as a student of media, politics, and society. All I have there so far is an introductory page, but check back later this week for an account of an impending trip to a mobile phone market and several other interesting developments that have been churning in early 2008. Subscribe to Sinobyte’s RSS feed here.

What does this mean for Transpacifica? Not much. I’ll still be writing here on transpacific relations and political and social issues in Asia. But I won’t be writing so much about the Chinese internet here. That work, and much more, will from now on show up on Sinobyte. Enjoy!

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