27 May 2010

Missing Flag

Have a look at my flags on the right. Personally, I find them really pretty, and I try to make sure I know which country each one represents.

The largest contingent of visitors is from Brunei (as one would expect). Then there are plenty from Singapore, the USA, Malaysia, the UK, and the Philippines. There are also quite a few from Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Germany, Norway, Japan, India, Korea, ... all of which is splendid.

Do you see one country that is missing? OK, so there's nobody from Myanmar, even though there are some from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos (all the rest of ASEAN). But there's nothing too surprising about the absence of Myanmar. So which big country is missing? Not too many from Russia, Brazil or Nigeria, but there are a few in there.

So what is the major country that is absent? The answer, of course, is China. Nobody from China has ever visited my site, even though I have taught exchange students from China. I asked them to try accessing it when they got back home; and they confirm the site is blocked!

I'd love to claim that my writing has been banned in China, as that would be brilliant for marketing. But the reality is that everything hosted by Google is blocked.

Now, I admit that failure to read my ramblings is not the end of the world; but I wonder, how much else are people from China prevented from accessing?