in archived, beijing, Beijing Archive 2012-2016, social media in china

Tweeting on Weibo

Sina Weibo was down briefly today. I didn’t notice because I was on Weibo, but rather saw a tweet about it from @OffbeatChina.

I use HootSuite to keep tabs on the Twittersphere. It’s web-based, so I don’t have to have software installed to access it from a laptop. You create streams based on tweets from certain accounts or searches. The streams are organized onto tabs. I have a tab for “China” and keep four main streams going here: people tweeting from personal twitter accounts, tweets from certain English-language blogs on China, tweets from blogs on China labor issues, and a China list saved by a typesetter at Random House Canada in Toronto, @SeanTai.

Here’s what those four streams look like just now:

Sample of Hootsuite (click for larger version)

Sample of Hootsuite (click for larger version)

I keep several other tabs for different topic areas that I think are interesting, as well as a “ME” tab with my home feed (everyone I follow), all my outgoing tweets, and interactions with people.

Last week, I just added a new tab for my Sina Weibo stream. Unfortunately, this tab just has one stream. It’s an app created by the developer @minli. And it basically just shows my home feed for Weibo — just those people I follow — and doesn’t give me the flexibility to have streams with certain key words or even to segment my home feed by topic.

Not a huge deal for me personally, since I have really only dipped my toe in Weibo and don’t rely on it for China news or anything. But I am a little disappointed that this interface isn’t more flexible. I don’t think I should fault the developer. I understand that only certain developers are granted access to the Weibo API and I’m not clear on what further restrictions developers might face even after getting over this initial hurdle of access.

Within Weibo, I can create lists of the people/organizations that I follow, which is lovely and good, but I cannot save searches. And I really can’t find another tool that lets me search Weibo at all. I can only search Weibo by going to and logging in.

In my search for a good Weibo search tool, I found a couple of other cool tools:

Have any advice? Please post in comments!

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