Weibo goes to the dogs, and rabbits
Updated: 2011-12-10 08:03
By Yang Yijun (China Daily)
SHANGHAI - If pets could talk, they would spill out their emotions on micro blogs.
In some ways, they already do.
"Mom, would you leave me alone? I want to sleep. Stop taking photos of me," Wanzi, a rabbit, said on its micro blog. The post was accompanied by a picture of Wanzi dozing off on the ground.
The rabbit's "mom", Wang Yue, updates Wanzi's micro blog on Sina.com every day.
It has nearly 9,000 followers so far.
The rabbit's micro blog became popular overnight in October when a post showing Wanzi standing outside the kitchen helplessly looking at Wang cooking celery - its snack - was reposted thousands of times.
The number of followers skyrocketed from 500 to more than 7,000 within a week.
"I was surprised. I created this account for my rabbit and the increase encouraged me to post more," she said. "I spend at least eight hours every day with the micro blog."
Wang, 27, who lives in the United States and works at home, takes around 30 photos of the rabbit every day. She even bought a new camera to take better photos.
"I usually publish posts in the afternoon, which is early morning in China. So many of my followers have told me that the lovely photos of Wanzi put them in a good mood before work," she said.
Now Wang also posts tips about feeding rabbits, as many followers plan to raise rabbits after reading her micro blog.
Yet Wanzi is not the only pet that writes a micro blog.
Xiongzong is a teddy bear dog with more than 8,000 followers on its Sina micro blog. Its owner, Yuan Lei, editor with Guangzhou-based Southern Weekly, claims to update the micro blog and also write a column in Southern Metropolis Daily on the dog's behalf.
Xiongzong, however, insists that it writes both the micro blog and the column.
"You human beings are so weird. I chat online and update the micro blog by myself, but people keep saying that it's the split personality of my owner.
"People often say that on the Internet nobody knows you are a dog. Now I tell you that I am a dog, but nobody believes me," Xiongzong wrote in his first column in October.
Xinzhoumao, a cat raised in the office of Guangzhou-based New Weekly magazine, even interacts with its more than 24,000 micro blog followers. The cat gave out a magazine with his autograph - a paw print - to fans in August.
"I have followed four pet micro blog accounts, two dogs and two rabbits. I love them because the lovely photos and language make me happy," said Jiang Decheng, a 26-year-old office worker in Shanghai.
Jiang created a micro blog for his rabbit in November.
"I love my rabbit. I think it should have its own identity. What's more, my friends who like my rabbit can easily see its photos by following that account," he said.
However, pet micro blogs don't appeal to everyone.
"I won't follow this kind of micro blog. I use it to get information and read the updates of my friends. I'm not interested in pets. Besides, everybody knows it is the pet's owner who is writing the posts," said Feng Siyuan, 25, who works for a State-owned company in Shanghai.
Cui Lijuan, professor with the School of Psychology and Cognitive Science of East China Normal University, said pet owners feel younger when writing micro blogs in vivid language and posting lovely photos, and their followers feel warm and happy.
"In the end, pet lovers may gather online through the pet micro blogs and share their experiences in raising pets," she said.
(China Daily 12/10/2011 page1)