China Alltop

The new aggregator in town is Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop, and it’s almost four months old. I really have to wonder if there’s still much of a future for aggregation sites, now that RSS Readers are so freely available. I’ll put that debate aside for now, though.

I became aware of China Alltop when Sinosplice was added to it. I don’t have time to read many blogs these days, but browsing over the various blogs and news sources aggregated on China Alltop, the big ones all seemed to be represented. It’s a good collection of China blogs.

One thing bothered me, though. Some of the most well-known and well-respected blogs (no, not this one!) were buried somewhere down the middle of the page. I started a dialogue with Mr. Kawasaki via Twitter, which led to an e-mail.

Specifically, I argued for higher placement of EastSouthWestNorth, Danwei, China Law Blog, and RConversation, and the addition of the China IWOM Blog (I should have mentioned Peking Duck too!). To my pleasant surprise, the changes were made within hours.

I’m still skeptical about the idea that a limited, static list of blogs can stay current and compete with individuals’ personalized feed readers in this crazy Web 2.0 world, but I’m very impressed with Guy Kawasaki’s willingness to listen and enthusiasm for his product. I’m looking forward to seeing what develops.

Related: The China Blog List is still going… Not long ago, all dead blogs were purged. It’s now in the process of collecting more new blogs.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. A ton of the blogs linked from that site seem to be blocked. I’m not sure how useful that is.

  2. Blocked by the Great Firewall? That should be no reason to remove them from an aggregator. The fact that they are blocked are relevant information, too – and a challenge to find ways around censorship.

  3. We just have to wait till someone makes a generic site that can be used for China 🙂

  4. Not good! Says: June 30, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I am an avid reader of your blog. I recently checked out the CBL and went to take a look at the top 10 blog: bad bad China. I found the blog to be highly offensive, crude and highly damaging to foreign relations with China. I think that a blog such as that one is damaging the credibility of both Sinosplice and CBL. It could offend the wrong people who can link it back to these sights. Please take a look, as I think this issue needs some consideration.

  5. The first thing I am quick to suggest when I hear someone is going to China for the first time, “visit Sinosplice and to get a feel of the expat lifestyle there, the China Blog List.” Essential reading and resource!

  6. ChinaGuy Says: June 30, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    What a joke. How the hell can China Business Network (which hardly anyone reads and Time’s China blog (which everyone hates) be at the front of this list. And look where Peking Duck is. Somebody is paying for location here, in one way or another. And who the hell is CN review anyway?
    The word out there in the blogosphre is that the person behind China Business Network is pretty much behind the China rankings as well. Will someone please tell me why some person in Southern California has been given this task?

  7. Disgruntled Says: June 30, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    The Bad bad site just goes to show how swiss-cheese-like China censorship really is. That gets to stay up while my harmelss, hello-kitty style family blog is off limits even to myself.

  8. Disgruntled Says: June 30, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I meant the access. I have nothing agains CBL, I love it.

  9. Not good,

    I agree that that blog isn’t contributing anything, and it’s rather embarrassing that it’s been sitting at #1 for a while. As I’ve mentioned before, the name counts for more than anything on that “hot list.”

    Still, I don’t have a policy yet for offensive blogs. I’m not just going to remove the blog simply because I don’t like it. If I have time, I’ll create a policy about what kind of blog content is and is not welcome for listing in the CBL, then I’ll enforce the policy uniformly.

    In the meantime, I trust the world won’t fall apart.

  10. Not good! Says: July 1, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Hey John,

    Thanks a lot for that feedback. Other than that, I think CBS is extremely useful. Found tons of great blogs on there too, keep it up!

  11. Green dragon Says: July 1, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Do you have an html button or anything of the sort that we can use to link our blogs to your site or CBL?

  12. Stick to your guns on your blog list, John. And thanks for the mention.

  13. maybe this will help explain…

    …about 4 months ago, China Alltop didn’t exist. It’s an initiative that I put together out of a desire to continue bridging the gap between China and those outside of China. I emailed Guy one day and asked if I could help him create a page to represent english language China blogs. He said if I could put together 50 feeds to start with, he’d put it up.

    I then emailed, blogged and posted on Facebook asking for the help of those who could recommend some good China blogs. Got zero response. Didn’t deter me from wanting to contribute something so I went ahead and put together the list.

    It wasn’t until after the list was up and everyone took notice that it was a Guy Kawasaki project that the feedback and criticism came in. You know, it’s always much easier being the critic after an initiative has taken hold rather than be that person who took the initiative to get things started without anyone’s support. So please allow me the opportunity to hopefully shed more insight into why The China Business Network is listed as #1.

    The China Business Network sits at the #1 spot for one simple reason. I spent a good week manually putting together the starting list for Guy. It’s definitely subjective as with ALL blogs listed on Alltop across all categories. There is no scientific algorithm or popularity contest to it. As a thank you from Guy for working on this page for him, he gave me the first spot on there.

    Luckily, reaction has been pretty positive so far from most in the China blogger community who keep in touch with what I’m up to and understand the good intentions and motivations by which I do things.

    FYI — The China Business Network is currently in a re-launch phase. We’ll be launching closed beta in the fall so hopefully it’ll all make more sense.

    In the meantime, if you’ve got a blog recommendation that should be on there, feel free to drop me a line as Guy actually runs them all by me first. No algorithm guys. Just a few people working hard and realizing that can’t please everyone all the time.

    Oh and by the way, to ChinaGuy…the person in Southern California (me). Hope this explains why I was given the task. Location and geography have nothing to do with it. Just because I am not currently based in China, doesn’t mean my contribution is watered down compared to those of you who are. The page targets an audience outside of China. Many of whom your collective China blogs would not be able to reach if it weren’t for bridge bloggers and those who used to live/work in China who are now based in the US. If it helps, my China “street cred” dates back to the early 90’s. I lived/worked in China from ’99 to ’04 as head of marketing for Home Shopping Network’s joint venture. I think I’m in a good position to take the initiative of trying to build a much needed bridge so those of you in China can connect easier with those outside of China who still don’t understand it as well as they should. The China Alltop page was a starting point. Hope this helps.

    Feel free to have a listen to the recent interview I did with Guy and maybe it’ll give more perspective on what Alltop is all about and how each of the categories are created.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Christine Lu
    The China Business Network

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