I have been on Sina Weibo for a short while now. Here is my account. Sometimes it gets a but much on my Chinese senses, but I have found Weibo to be a very interesting experience. I found an article which explains the data structures really nicely. It makes for an appealing user experience.
On Sina Weibo’s official interfaces (Web and mobile), the equivalent of a Twitter retweet is instead shown as two amalgamated entries: the original entry and the current user’s actual entry — which is a commentary on the original entry, often with a mention of his sources, if the original entry was obtained from an intermediary.
At first it was daunting, but later it made more sense to me. Furthermore, Sina Weibo actually feels like how a proper microblog should be, with the addition of comments on updates. This makes it feel much more relevant when you are discussing an update. For instance, when communicating via Twitter, your stream is filled with @ replies, when these could easily have been contained within a comment system. It just makes it feel much more cleaner.
The communication shouldn’t be on the channel itself, but rather separated into it’s own system. It’s like the equivalent of sitting at a bar where people shout at each other. Eventually you’ll be so battered with cross-talk that it becomes too much and irrelevant.
However, it must be added that cross-talk allows for interesting eavesdropping.
Sina Weibo is like an interesting mix of Tumblr, meets Facebook updates, meets Twitter. It works for me. Besides being filled with requests by people to help them with their English, Weibo has been interesting experience. It feels as if people comment a lot more on updates. This is probably as opposed to Twitter, where sending @replies would later start to feel like clogging the system.
I’m interested to see how Weibo develops. It also hosts it’s own pictures. Which is nice too.