If this were any other country you wouldn’t believe it but the Great Firewall of China has started re-directing traffic from the three major search engines (Yahoo!, Live.com and Google) to the Chinese owned search engine Baidu.com!
Other sites such as YouTube.com and Google’s BlogSearch are reportedly also being re-directed.
China has previously blocked sites like WordPress.com but this is the first report of it re-directing to a Chinese competitor.
I’ll bet the guys in Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft who bent over backwards to facilitate the Chinese governments censorship of Chinese Internet traffic (even to the point of Yahoo!’s handing over evidence which imprisoned a Chinese reporter for 10 years) are feeling pretty dumb now. If they don’t, they should.
This end result for people living in China is that their choice of search engine has now disappeared and the Chinese government only has to worry about controlling the results one search engine displays. A sad day for Internet freedoms in China.
Of course, it will also hit the income stream for Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! but given that they lay down with the Chinese government, I have a real hard time feeling sorry for them.
UPDATE – conflicting reports are emerging about this story, some are reporting that the story is untrue however, search engine expert Danny Sullivan has received confirmation from Google that there are problems with some of their services in China.
Technorati have overhauled their site completely. Some of the changes are great and some we could do without, frankly!
The best change is that they have drastically sped up the site. I dunno did they add more servers or simply optimise their queries (I suspect the latter) but the site and particularly searches are now running a whole lot faster.
The next great change is that they have moved the blog searches to a page of its own. You can now find blog searches at s.technorati.com. The searches return relevant results and make subscribing to searches a whole lot easier than heretofore.
On the downside, on the main Technorati page they have a scrolling bar of tags along the top – make it stop! I thought we had killed of the Marquee tag people!!!
Overall, the new design seems to be getting the thumbs up from most reviewers. This can only be good as with the rollout of Google’s excellent Blogsearch tool, reasons for using Technorati were becoming fewer and fewer.
If we ignore the fact that the term Web 2.0 is controversial for all kinds of reasons and concentrate on the applications themselves, which Web 2.0 apps (using the broadest possible definition) do you use most?
- my blog and podcast software all the time (they are run out of WordPress)
- my Flickr account regularly to post photos
- Google’s Docs and Spreadsheets frequently for collaboration or sharing of documents
- Google’s Calendar to synch with my laptop and mobile phone calendars
- Technorati, PubSub and Google’s Blogsearch to subscribe to RSS searches
- Flock as my main browser of choice (primarily because of the Flickr and Del.icio.us integration) – I also use Firefox, Camino, Safari and IE7
- Feedburner to burn and track my feeds
- NetNewsWire, Google Reader and iTunes to consume my feed list
- TechMeme, Megite and TailRank for keeping up with tech news
- Del.icio.us very occasionally to store URLs for items I have found interesting
What cool Web 2.0 apps am I not using that I should be using? What are your favourite Web 2.0 apps?
Thanks to Niall Kennedy for pointing out Google’s new ping service.
This is great – one of the biggest problems I had with Google’s blogsearch was how slow it was to pick up on posts. Several hours after posting an article, typically it still wasn’t up on Google whereas the post is often up on Technorati within minutes.
You can manually ping Google’s Blogsearch here or alternatively you can add the following address to your blog platform to automate the ping (in WordPress add it Options -> Writing -> Update Services)
For more see the Google Blog Search ping FAQ
I have had issues with Google Reader (Google’s online RSS/feed reader) in the past but in the latest update to Google Reader, released today most of those issues have been addressed.
Lots of people are posting opinions on this from Marshall Kirkpatrick on TechCrunch to Robert Scoble on Scobleizer to Richard McManus on the ReadWrite Web and all the reviews are effusive in their praise!
I’m not surprised. This time Google seem to have got it right. The old “Lens” look of the old Google Reader was, to my mind, sacrificing usability for looks. Now, you have a reader with a simple, fast interface not lacking in functionality. It even has a river of news option with an infinite scroll. And if you liked the old interface you can revert to that in the settings page too!
Added functionality includes the ability to create folders, bulk delete subscriptions, star, share, email and tag posts.
Several commentators have pointed to the continuing lack of integration with Google’s Blogsearch but personally with the dire state that is in, I think this is a good thing!
I have been slow to recommend online rss readers in the past but I think with the new Google Reader that has just changed.