Blogspot, Blog-City China blogs: Move!

Posted by Martyn

Or at least set up a mirror site! For those who don’t live in Mainland China, it’s easy to forget about blocked sites. True, unlike sites such as the BBC, Blogspot and Blog-City sites are relatively easy to access via use of certain servers. However, the truth is that many people either don’t know how to get around the block or simply don’t bother.

If I were a Chinese censor gazing at the list of all the China-related blogs hosted on Blogspot and Blog-City then I would, without a doubt, have a huge smile on my face. Mission accomplished. Job well done. China’s Internet users are effectively denied access to these sites, all 100+ million of them. Why, therefore, do China bloggers choose to remain in a place where their largest captive audience cannot access their sites? Most TPD readers reside in China. The number of daily hits would be slashed if, for example, TPD moved back to Blogspot.

One of the most intelligent China blogs around, Sun-Bin, recently set up a mirror site on MSN Spaces. Horse’s Mouth did the same on 20six.co.uk. I hope that the remaining Blogspot/Blog-City China blogs will follow their example. Particularly Asian Security, Those Who Dare, Kevin in Pudong, Public Enemy and Paper Tiger.

For extra encouragement, here is a list of 100+ free blog hosting services.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 28 Comments

Although I should add that Paper Tiger on Blogspot did set up a mirror site on Blog-City which was then also blocked in China! Poor Lisa.

September 30, 2005 @ 12:47 am | Comment

I was gonna say, *grumble*!

Luckily I haven’t been posting as much lately. I have some big writing projects I’m working on. I do however feel tremendous “blogger’s guilt” for not keeping my site up the way I used to.

Give me a couple of weeks, and I’ll set something up. Thanks for the info, Martyn!

September 30, 2005 @ 1:15 am | Comment

I’ve been too busy to keep up my site well, and there hasn’t been much interesting news lately. Hopefully i can set up another site after i get done celebrating “Liberation” this week. Yeah, rock and roll!

September 30, 2005 @ 2:35 am | Comment

An excellent post Martyn. Well said.

September 30, 2005 @ 4:13 am | Comment

I expect a regime made up of a gerontocracy that relies on thugs to hold onto power to limit its citizen’s freedom to speak. But back in old Blighty at the Labour conference an 82- year old man who fled Nazi Germany in 1937, was a former vice-chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and is a member of the Stop the War Coalition in the UK was literally thrown out of the conference by former bouncers for repeating the word “nonsense.”

September 30, 2005 @ 7:12 am | Comment

perhaps I misunderstand you, but you seem to indicate that as long as a site has a true domain, ( .com , .net, etc. ) it will not be blocked, from what I have read over the years I have always understood this not to be the case?

September 30, 2005 @ 8:07 am | Comment

RJT

You certainly do misunderstand.

There are hundreds of free blog hosts, the vast majority of which are not blocked in China. Therefore, why on earth do so many China bloggers persist in using the handful of blog services that ARE blocked?

Every blogger I know would like as many readers as possible. Therefore, if you’re blogging about China on BS/B-C you’ve effectively lost everyone living in China as potential readers. Hell, aren’t media restrictions in China bad enough without the BS/B-C China bloggers adding to it by continuing to blog on blocked sites?!

As I said, Chinese censors must clap their hands with joy when they see how many China blogs remain on BS/B-C. It certainly makes their job a lot easier.

Fine, if non-China residents wish to continue chirping away about China to other non-China residents, that’s their choice and none of my business. But I’ve checked several blog editors and they are all much of a muchness. The software involved in blog hosting is very basic. Nobody can tell me that BS/B-C is significantly better than all the rest.

As I said, it’s everyone’s individual right to choose where they have their blogs but it just annoys the hell out of me that some choose to remain behind the Great Firewall and happily submit to the Celestial Nanny.

September 30, 2005 @ 8:31 am | Comment

Thanks Steve.

September 30, 2005 @ 8:33 am | Comment

“Celestial Nanny” I like that, I am going to steal it and use it in a conversation.

I can’t wait to do so.

September 30, 2005 @ 8:36 am | Comment

Haha, I can’t claim credit for that. It’s years old. Perhaps Richard might be able to remember who first coined the phrase.

BTW, hope the new Burmawatch site is going well.

September 30, 2005 @ 8:45 am | Comment

thanks, it started off well with a Andrew SUllivan link, that sent me 2000 hits, but that is starting to die down now, to like 10 hits so far today, oh well, It will take a while for the search engines to catch on to me, yahoo and google have sent me some traffic but I guess this just takes a while, thanks for the thought though

September 30, 2005 @ 9:12 am | Comment

and by the way I HAVE got some hits from China.

September 30, 2005 @ 9:16 am | Comment

Martyn,

I sent you the means for getting around all internet censorship in China and I invited others to email me for instructions as well.

Sure, being blocked in China is an annoyance, but the means for getting around it are simple and it allows for complete anonymous surfing from behind the firewall.

Even after my blog was banned in China, I still continued to maintain my blogsite without hinderance. If anyone should be smiling, it’s me because the censors failed. I’m still able to update my blog and readers can use the same technology to view my posts. Moving my blog to another host would be nothing short of a french surrender.

I have mirror site, but I don’t update it very frequently.

If anyone else wants to know how to get around the net nanny, feel free to email me.
horsesmouth-at-gmail.com

September 30, 2005 @ 9:45 am | Comment

Gordon, I think Martyn’s point is that for the average surfer in China, getting around the net nanny is a disincentive that might prevent them from bothering to take the steps you did. If I were in china I would certainly do it, but if you just want to get English-speaking Chinese people, for example, it’s probably better to use a mirror that they can access freely.

I’m gonna do it, I really am…just give me a week or two…

September 30, 2005 @ 10:24 am | Comment

I hear ya Lisa.

You might look into http://www.blog.com for a mirror site.

Our friend Madge has his blog hosted over there and I took the liberty of establishing establishing a new mirror site there as well.

http://thehorsesmouth.blog.com/

I figure if he gets another hair up his arse to have our blogs banned, he’ll end up shooting himself in the foot as well.

September 30, 2005 @ 12:52 pm | Comment

thanks for the very kind words, martyn.

it is actually very easy to copy and paste (with all the links and even pictures from blogspot to msn space), just a few clicks.
you just have to do it in edit modes. i started in blogspot, without know all these nanny “5h17″.

i usually wait a couple days before updating the mirror, only because i am such a bad typist, and i usually can find more reference, and some update in between.

September 30, 2005 @ 6:24 pm | Comment

Thanks Gordon. No, I’ve long since followed your technical instructions out. Nowadays, I have full www access without the use of certain servers.

You’re an exception on B-C because you know more about system than the B-C team so they obviously reward you with a free premier service blog in return for your consultancy.

However, Lisa’s got it right. I take the opposite view. If someone’s China blog is on B-C and they choose to steadfastly keep blogging away after the site is blocked in China one might consider it a small personal victory – but think about it from the Nanny’s point of view, what does the Nanny want?

I think the Nanny would want the BS/B-C bloggers to stay right where they are, i.e. nice and blocked.

Therefore, by staying put one is doing the bidding of the Nanny. I would much rather see every BS/B-C China blog scatter onto the hundreds of alternative blog providers so they are accessable behind the Great Firewall.

September 30, 2005 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

No probs Sun-Bin. I said ‘intelligent’ because you don’t just link to other people’s blogs and/or paste large tracts of interesting media articles, you actually put a lot of thought into the posts. A rarity these days!

Thanks also for the mirror site. I can thank you on behalf of the 100+ million www users behind the Great Firewall!

September 30, 2005 @ 7:01 pm | Comment

I’m not sure wehre “Celestial Nanny” comes from. I know I saw the term “Cyber Nanny” for the first time on Danwei, but am not sure of its origins.

September 30, 2005 @ 10:00 pm | Comment

Presumably relating to the old term for Chinese being “Celestials”.

October 1, 2005 @ 12:59 am | Comment

I did email you Gordon, but you never replied. (This was back in August when blog-city was banned.)

I just moved my blog.

October 1, 2005 @ 3:15 am | Comment

dishuiguanyin

Your blog? What’s the URL? You haven’t linked it to your name above.

October 1, 2005 @ 6:50 am | Comment

I need a free blog host that support Chinese characters in comments AND gives me full control over my heading banner like Blog-city did before it was banned, does anybody have any recomendations?

October 1, 2005 @ 7:49 am | Comment

Hi medi8

I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the blog providers I linked to in the post supported Chinese characters and control of headers just like Blog-City. After all, Blog-City is by no means exceptional.

However, I remember Bingfeng at Bingfeng’s Teahouse once recommending http://blog.bcchinese.net/ as a reliable blog host which is also used by many Overseas Chinese. Therefore, that might be worth checking out.

Please let us know which blog host you end up using. That would be useful to know.

October 1, 2005 @ 8:07 am | Comment

To get around the block put on Blog-City by Chinese censors, which has made Angry Chinese Blogger inaccessible in China without the use of a proxy, I am happy to announce that an unblocked mirror sites http://www.20six.co.uk/angrychineseblogger is now up and running, spreading the news that Beijing doesn’t want you to hear.

Angry Chinese Blogger’s entire back archive, along with all new articles will still be available at http://angrychineseblogger.blog-city.com/

I would be grateful if you would add a link to the mirror alongside the master link to Angry Chinese Blogger.

ACB

October 2, 2005 @ 8:10 am | Comment

There you go Martyn,
http://www.lifeafterjiangxi.toughblogs.com/blog is me.
I was on http://www.lifeinjiangxi.blog-city.com but had to move due to being unable to actually update my own blog. (I don’t have my own computer at the moment, so using a proxy is pretty impossible. Was hoping for some words of wisdom from Gordon, but, maybe even he couldn’t figure out how to use a proxy in a netbar.)

October 3, 2005 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

Hi dishuiguanyin

I’m getting an error message when I try to access your new blog URL. Would you mind checking this out – then get back to me? It’ll be a pleasure to spread the news of the new unblocked blocked site.

Thanks.

October 4, 2005 @ 3:56 am | Comment

Martyn,
There’s a link to it in Richard’s sidebar. The one titled “Life After Jiangxi”. That works. But yeah, you’ve noticed a slight problem that exists – when you click a link it works, but when you type the address into the navigation bar it tends not to work, at least for me, and I’m the owner of it. I’m not sure if this is something to do with China or not.

October 4, 2005 @ 10:12 am | Comment

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