“Bridge blogs have become an incredibly precious resource,” said Kaiser Kuo, a Beijing-based Internet consultant. “I just wish there were more of them and they covered a broader range of what people are talking about online.
“The hype-worthy is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s a lot down there,” he said.
Although far from weighty, chinaSMACK [on of those bridge blogs]captures the “Internet memes” — jokes, concepts and catchphrases that are shaping Chinese culture online and beyond, Kuo said.
“The Chinese Internet for some reason seems to be a lot more tightly integrated. A meme will start in one corner and will bounce its way up to every corner a whole lot faster in China,” Kuo said.
Like the US celebrity news site TMZ.com, chinaSMACK is a cultural weather vane, said Shaun Rein, managing director of the China Market Research Group.
“It’s one of my must-reads everyday,” Rein said, adding it captures youth and digital culture well.
“It has a great finger on the pulse of the Internet culture in China that is a lot more vibrant than Americans think,” he said.