Sunday, June 07, 2009

A couple of recent emails about indirect blog access

Just over a two years ago, I did a post about a web site called, which allowed indirect access to blogspot blogs. The purpose of the site was to allow access to the blogs, for use in situations where direct access is blocked. For example, direct access can be blocked by a country's government if they don't like the content of a blog, or by a firm if they don't want their employees reading blogs on the company's time! Indeed, the bank that I work for used to block my blog, so there were occasions when I'd use to access my blog from my office workstation.

By some bizarre co-incidence, last Thursday I received two emails related to this subject within the space of four hours. The first was from an American blogger who, having seen my post about, sent me an email with the title "what's happened to PKblogs???" as follows:

Hiya Gay Banker, greetings from a Wild Colonial Boy --

In order of importance (to me):

1. What's happened to ? Did some nasty government pull the plug on it?

2. What's shakin' on Threadneedle Street?

3. Do you like Joe Orton's stuff?

4. Do they let tourists see the Trial of the Pyx?

Well, okay, enough for now. Try to update me on PKblogs. I would really like it if my screwy blog could keep getting through to PK and IN and Iran (they just blocked Facebook) and maybe even through The Great Firewall of CN.


Of course, my only connection to is that I did a posting about it, so I tried sending him back a helpful email to suggest that he contact the site's owners.

But then I received an email with the title "say hi from beijing" from a Chinese reader. The email was as follows:

Dear GB,

How are you?

I am an architect from Beijing, I hope you remember me. I wrote to you earlier this year, I was so surprised to receive your reply.

I've been reading your blog for years now, your have such a interesting gay life in London, I can never imagine. Unfortunately, we can not access your blog from China now, I tried Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities in China, it's all the same.

Maybe it is because there is a "gay" word in your web site ( Chinese government blocked it for some reasons. I still can read it during my trip to overseas, I'm very busy travelling around for work this year, I'm lucky though.

Anyway, I'm here to say hi, and wish you good luck.


This email came as quite a shock to me, because my recollection from when I was in Shanghai last year was that it was possible to access my blog from there.

So the big question is, given that doesn't work any more, do any readers have any idea how to get round blocks like China and other governments have imposed?

Update 10-Jun-2009: I'm wondering whether any of the RSS readers would get round this problem, e.g. google reader, bloglines or newsgator?


Anonymous said...

Maybe this will help:

Hope it works!

Anonymous said...

I think if people subscribe to the blog via RSS so that they are emailed a copy each time you publish this should work?