Some people are obsessed with their online popularity. Klout, PageRank, hits, fans, likes, etc. are all seen as validation that you’re cool and popular. I want to reveal a little secret that is guaranteed to temporarily increase you blog’s popularity. Find an excuse to post pictures of attractive Asian women.
Some people don’t need an excuse, but if you’re not running one of those Tumblogs, you need a legitimate reason as to why you were surfing the net looking at pictures of attractive Asian women. Hint number two, use feeds, alerts, and other tools and APIs to find content for you. I subscribe to the RSS feed for the Hao Hao Report. It is a site where netizens and bloggers can vote for interesting and unique stories about China. The most interesting and unique appear on the front page and I guess in my RSS feed.
Apparently an Internet famous Chinese cosplay model was hired to promote a video game at the Shanghai China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference. However her costume was deemed too scanty and she was fired and kicked out of the expo. I’d never heard of Li Ling until today and I’m not even sure which video game character she was dressed as or who hired her. I blogged once about Yaya Han who seems to make a living in part dressing up as video game, manga, anime, and comic book characters. Now I regularly get referrals for the phrase “Yaya Han”. Hint number three, it isn’t enough to include a picture you have to surround it with text including the keywords people type into search engines to find pictures of busty Asian models dressed as video game characters.
Chinese Netizens are apparently upset as other models have worn less and successfully appeared at large conventions. Moral of the story, appearance matters, even a 30 minute appearance at the China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference made Li Ling notable enough to appear on Muskblog. Also what’s legal and appropriate to wear varies from country to country and person to person.
There are downsides to posting random pictures you find on the Internet to your blog.
- People will steal your bandwidth.
- You’re probably breaking some copyright laws.
- You’re always writing for your future boss.
- You’ll end up with dubious keyword referrals and creepy comments.
Busty Chinese Models aren’t appropriate for every blog post, however if you want to temporarily increase your blog’s popularity they work even better than kittens.
What makes this story interesting isn’t Li Ling’s costume or lack thereof, but how societal norms vary. What is considered acceptable online is not acceptable offline. Booth babes have long been a staple of video game marketing elsewhere but China remains a different kettle of fish.
Outrageousness is overused online, websites from the Hao Hao Report to Quebecore’s Canoe regularly use shocking photographs and headlines to increase pageviews and ad impressions. It works better for larger websites, who can cross promote more and retain random websurfers better than the average blogger that posts a picture of a model to illustrate a point.
Update Dec. 9th 2012
Gawker has apparently heeded my advice and posted an article about another scantily clad Chinese model getting in trouble with the authorities. It was of course re-blogged by the Hao Hao report.