one tweet wonders

Read on The Straits Times today on how Weibo has given birth to “one tweet novels“.

What’s ironic is, Weibo is the Chinese offshoot of Twitter, which has 140 characters. Weibo has the same character limit but since its default language is Chinese, 140 characters do not equal 140 letters. As my friend mehmeh explained to me, two Chinese characters may equal to as many as 10 letters.

Just take a look at this:

It basically says that it's not true women should not be too strong. Because if they won't be, who can they rely on? And it does not mean that just because someone is not hurting, she hasn't been hurt before. All it takes is to see not the smile but her heart's tears. (@福村梅记普洱茶)

And this:

Four things you need to remember... @atmeme

See how much you can write with 140 characters on Weibo? And no, you don’t need another application that will allow a long tweet.

That’s why when I post in English, I get to say more on Weibo than I can on Twitter. Maybe I should start my own Weibo novel too.

Here are some examples from The Straits Times of “one tweet novels”.

‘On Monday, Chief Liu of the local police station entered his office. On the table was a copy of ‘A Notice To Ban Pets In The District’ for him to sign. After carefully reading it, Liu extended his right paw and left a red plum-flower mark at the bottom corner of the notice.’

On Graduation Day, the class monitor suggested we sit in a circle and write a personal secret on a piece of paper and pass it to the person on our left. In this way, everyone shares and keeps a secret. I purposely sat on his left. I have had a crush on him for four years but never told him. It’s good to know a secret of his, I consoled myself. On the paper he passed me were only three words: ‘I love you.”

In the village was an orphan named Nasa who often ran around and shouted: ‘Oh no, the aliens are coming!’ Even though no one has seen so much as a hair of any alien, Nasa has a secret: He’s a super warrior. He has fought off the aliens on numerous occasions. The villagers, who get angry every time they see Nasa, have a secret too: On weekends, they put gunny sacks over themselves to pass off as aliens and play with Nasa.’

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