Zhangshan, Guangdong Province -- Eleven officials in the Pearl River Delta city of Zhongshan recently opened blogs on the local government's Web portal to help the public get better acquainted with their activities.
"Many people take it for granted that officials open blogs just to show off. But I don't think so," said Fang Bingzhuo, deputy secretary-general of the municipal government.
"Through the blog, we can tell local residents what we are doing and why," said Fang, one of the officials taking part.
And officials can get to know citizens' ideas in a more timely manner via their messages on the blog, he said.
"We consider it meaningful and the city government encourages more officials to open blogs."
"The blogs make me understand what the government officials are like," said local resident Yang Shaofeng.
"I used to mistakenly think that officials just passed the time by reading newspapers and gossiping," Yang said. "But their blogs tell me that they really have administrative capabilities and constructive ideas."
However, they should spend more time improving their blog subjects, such as including important local issues and and sharing their viewpoints on the work they are responsible for, to make their blogs more interesting, he suggested.
Zheng Yongting, a philosophy professor at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, said blogs establish a new channel of communication between government officials and citizens and will help improve the image of those officials.
"The blogs will make the officials closer to the public and will also help them to better understand public opinion," Zheng said.
In addition to the Zhongshan officials, Zhu Yongxin, vice-mayor of Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu Province, and Liao Xinbo, deputy director of Guangdong Health Department, have also opened personal blogs.