Recently, many of the Windows Live Space blog users in China mainland are upset by the notice of migration to WordPress.
Around Sep.29th, the users received a notice saying “The deadline is March, 2011, but you should move to WordPress immediately. …From Jan. 2011, you will be unable to add new posts, and March will be the last chance for you to access your account information.”
Like a stone thrown into a peaceful lake, this news shocked many Chinese users. For many of them, the Windows Live Space has been an important part of their life for a long time.
One of my friends has kept her Space blog for over five years, which records her five years of life after graduation from university, including memories of her relationships, career, marriage, and the birth of her first child. It records her happiness, sorrows, and valuable moments of herself, her family, and her baby. More importantly, her blog is opened only to a group of friends, who share with her all these memories. Her blog receives an average of 50 comments for each new entry, and such interaction among the friends is what makes the Space a cozy and private place.
Now, she has to move. She is worried that errors might occur during the migration and cause data loss or privacy issues.
She is also thinking about which new place to go. WordPress, strong as it is, remains a strange name for many Chinese users.
On Oct.7, Windows Live Space sent to its users another notice, “To provide better service, we will cooperate with WordPress in most part of the world. However, in China mainland, we are looking for local service partners. Before formal notice is announced, you can still use Windows Live Space as usual. Thank you for the 6 years with us. We remain your loyal friend.”
During the week between the two notices, what was happening?
Some of the Chinese users have already moved, still others are waiting or hesitating. Some users complain that when they try to move to WordPress, some web pages can’t be opened. Some users say that when they try to move to Sina, it seems all the posts are been censored and those private entries become open to all. Some users showed their disappointment towards Windows Live Space by asking, “Does it mean that Space force us to move??”, and “Regret I chose it 6 years ago.”
Meanwhile, the local companies begin to compete for this huge market. In China, although QQ has a large market share, numerous working young people prefer MSN to QQ, and Windows Live Space to QQ blog. Why? It really depends, but some people feel MSN and QQ represent distinct user groups.
QQ may not be the most competitive candidate, but it is very proactive in this matter.
Early on Oct. 3rd, QQ announced its new tools that can help users move their blogs from Windows Live Space to QQ blog. If users search “Windows Live Space moving” in Chinese language on Google, QQ’s notice of solution appears first on the top.
It is said that Windows Live Space might choose Sina as its partner, but its PR department said it is not decided yet.
(I personally feel very sorry that Windows Live Space decides to close its service in China. It must be a tough decision for the company because it is giving up so many loyal users.)