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China: "Most Humorous" Government Web Site Goes Viral
Source: cpc.people.com.cn
Source Date: Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: China
Created: Aug 23, 2010

Recently, the Guangxi Highway Administration Bureau Website, billed as the "most humorous and most responsible" official website, went viral on China's Internet.

It was first recommended to netizens by an Internet article titled "The most humor and serious official Web site I've ever seen." The Article praises the feedback section of the Web site, which features various questions and issues, some bizarre, but the administrator always answers them in a humorous way.

"The answer is humorous, easy to understand, not bureaucratic," the article said. Not long after that, this so-called "most humorous and most responsible" government Web site became popular all over the Internet. The burst of visits even halted the Web site temporarily.

The design and layout of the Web site of the Guangxi Highway Administration Bureau is nothing special. However, it was the dialogue between the Web site's administrator and netizens that made people laugh.

A netizen called "for everyone" wrote: "The highway toll stations are temporary units, so we might lose our job after two or three years due to the reform of the national transportation system. Many of us are confused about the future. Please give some directions.”

The administrator replied, "You cannot change the environment, but you can change yourself. You cannot change the facts, but you can change the attitude, the attitude finally decides your position.”

"I think for three days about how to answer this question, and I hope to give them more encouragement." said engineer Li, who is the major "spokesman" of this message board and he gives most of the responses.

"How much for a kilogram of Lipu taro in Guangxi?"

"Please visit Taobao.com ... ..."

The netizens' questions are described as a wide range, some even bizarre, but the administrators never ignore them, but answered every question with humorous and easy to understand words instead of a bureaucratic official tone

For the humorous style, engineer Li said that is related to his individual personality. "I'm very optimistic, like surfing the Internet, do not like inanimate atmosphere."

Li said most of the netizens are young people, so this manner of communication is more friendly and acceptable to the netizens.

The Web site was established in 2007 and the "message and feedback" section in 2008. Now there are 5 staff members responsible for the maintenance and message responses, according to Yang Zhiqun, director of the Information Center of Guangxi Highway Adminstrative Bureau

Some question whether it is "most humorous"

The title of "most humorous and most responsible" also led to hot discussions on the Internet, some net surfers even held a negative attitude towards it. Some surfers believe that it is a humanization reflection. Some surfers feel that "it is good thing for the government to seriously study the manner of answering the people, but the most important thing is how to sincerely help the people to relieve their worries and overcome their difficulties.

A Netizen called "Bingbu Sima Daren" said: "Your work is very good, but why does this typical work lead to such a high degree of attention? When the ordinary work become an oddity, society is really unfortunate."

Administrators reply: "Your words made us think deeply! I will top your message for a period of time, thank you! "

"People have questions, and I should have responses," The "most humorous and most responsible" government Web site is in stark contrast with some "cold and sleepy" government websites. No responses for the surfers' questions, public information can't be found, emails from people are not read, as well as the people's complaints are overlooked... ... It is believed that the "most humorous and most responsible" Web site just reflects the lack of work in the relevant departments if viewed from another angle.

"We've got so much attention, it reflects there are too little platforms where the government can communicate with the masses," said engineer Li, the message board can let us communicate with the masses directly, promptly solve the masses' problems, "communicate with the netizens is also a pleasure. We can learn from each other, it is also an upgrade on our own. "

For the "glib" accusation, engineer Li said that they deal with messages based on information public rules released by the State Council. The questions were all asked by the ordinary people from the grassroots level, they all were asked with a common tone, so we certainly will reply them with a common tone. "If it is related to the policies and laws, we will certainly give a standardize response."

However, engineer Li also told about his worries, "We still hope that the netizens can ask questions related to our work field, if our Web site becomes a general forum, I am afraid the message board will be meaningless."
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