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When last we visited with the popular Chinese actress/director Xu Jinglei, she was blogging about a recent trip to a karaoke bar. At the time her blog was ranked the number one most popular blog in the world by the blog-search service Technorati.

How the mighty have fallen! Today, Ms. Xu, whose most recent post rhapsodizes about a trip to New York city, has slipped all the way to 21st place. She isn’t even the top Chinese representative.

Blog popularity is a harsh mistress. Maybe Xu has been too busy co-starring with Jet Li in an upcoming movie and readying a biweekly electronic entertainment newsletter to properly tend her blog. Or maybe she’s been watching herself on YouTube.

Cultural anthropologist Lyn Jeffery, writing in the Institute for the Future’s Virtual China blog, informs us this morning that a Xu Jinglei fan has melded together an umbrella company television ad starring Xu with a little bit of home brewed bloggy nationalism and uploaded it to YouTube. “Whose blog will win the first 100 million views in the world?”

Answer: “The queen of blog: a Chinese women.”

So what should we be impressed with more? Xu Jinglei’s ability to cross-merchandise herself, or the prospect of YouTube becoming a platform for Chinese commercial advertisements? Or is it best just to look at all the pretty umbrellas?

— Andrew Leonard



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