These days, it’s all about the microblogging. Microblogs are one of the best ways to follow what’s going on in China. And while you might already have a Twitter account (we do, too) the truth is that the real conversations in China are all happening on domestic microblogs. Of those, the biggest is Sina Weibo. It’s a great way to see what’s going on in China and practice your Chinese reading and writing. It’s even a good way to teach English to a Chinese audience, if you’re into that! So how can you get in on the action?
It’s pretty simple. Here’s our step-by-step guide to getting yourself rolling on Sina Weibo:
- Go to Weibo.com.
- In the upper right, there is a big button that says “立即注册微博.” Click on it.
- On the next page, fill out some basic information. 电子邮箱 is your email address; you will use this to log in. Next, 创建密码: type out whatever you want your Weibo password to be. In the box next to 密码确认 just type the password you just typed again. And next to 验证码, enter the numbers and letters in the CAPTCHA test image to prove you’re not a robot. Finally, be sure the little checkmark next to “我已经看过并同意…” is checked. That indicates you agree to the terms and conditions of use. When you’re all set, click the big button on the bottom that says 立即注册.
- The next page has a message that says you need to check your email and click on a confirmation link before continuing. You can close this paghe and go directly to your email.
- You will have recieved an email from Sina with a long-looking link in the middle. Click that and you will be taken the next step of registration in a new window or tab in your browser.
- When you’re back on Sina’s site, you’ll see a new set of forms. Enter your nickname (昵称; this will be what you’re called on Weibo, so choose wisely). The choose your location by city and country. If you’re in a foreign country, choose 海外 from the first menu and your country from the second, otherwise choose the Chinese city you live in from the first menu and a district from the second menu (or don’t specify any district by choosing 不限). Indicate whether you’re male (男) or female (女) by clicking one of the radio buttons next to 性别. After that, you can enter your birthday (生日) and employment status (职业) if you want, but it’s not required. Enter the 验证码 again at the bottom of the form, and then click 开通微博 to continue.
- Congrats, you’re on Weibo! Your registration is complete. The page you’re on now is making suggestions for people you should follow (关注). If you want to use it, there’s a menu on the left where you can select famous Weibo users by categories like 影视 (Film and TV), 音乐(music), 体育 (sports), 时尚 (fashion), 艺术 (art), 动漫 (anime), 游戏 (games), and more. You can click 加关注 next to each name to follow one person, or select a big list and follow them all at once by checking them off and then clicking the 关注已选用户 button in the upper right. Alternatively, you can skip this step and directly click 3. 完成，进入我的首页 to finish the process and proceed to your Weibo home page.
- That’s it. This is your home page! Sina Weibo has tons of features, but the basic stuff you need to know is simple. Your posts go into the big green box at the top (click 发布 to post). The posts of people you follow appear below that. If you want to search for someone or posts on a particular topic, use the white search bar in the upper right (the one with 搜索 written next to it). Notice also that you can attach emoticons (表情), pictures (图片), videos (视频), music (音乐), hashtags (话题) and even poll questions (投票) to your Weibo posts.
- That’s it. Search for your friends or start posting! And don’t forget to follow us (just click that link and then hit the green button that says 加关注 next to our logo)!
Now you just need to check out some good Weibo blogs. How about this one.