The availability of Google's services in China has always been difficult since the launch of Google.cn. The reason for this, is that the Chinese citizens don't have the right-to-know. Their government doesn't believe in Freedom of Information, and a lot of Chinese people even think that it's better this way, as they think their government is protecting them by blocking disturbing content.
Google started a Chinese version of their search engine that includes censorship, even though they didn't really like it. Even with Google's efforts, China was blocking their services quite regularly, making them unavailable for the Chinese people.
In December 2009, Google became the victim of various cyber attacks, where some believed that these attacks came from the chinese government itself. The attackers where trying to access accounts of Chinese human rights activists.
Quote from Google's blog:
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
China responded by announcing a total blockage of Google's services, starting at the 10th of april 2010.
We're a week past that deadline, and there haven't been any news updates since. Chinese locals told me that they could still access Google Documents and Gmail, so I'm not really sure what has been decided.
In any case, you can check if (and when) Google's services are accessible in China. Google has created a webpage which provides a summary of accessibility to Google services from within mainland China.
Back in the days, Technorati seemed like a great tool to give blogs and news sites a little push in the back. After all, starting a blog isn't that easy when nobody knows you. So, that's where Technorati came in: on this website, you can "claim" your blog, give it a few keywords, and voila... your blog details gets indexed on Technorati. When you add a news item, it gets published on Technorati too. With a little luck, others might just stumble onto your blog.
When registering, I didn't have RSS feeds yet, but that wasn't really a problem for Technorati, as it would crawl my website in order to fetch the latest news.
Also, I was pleased to hear that they were implementing an OpenID server. Webmasters who do that, are usually people who are serious about their website, and want to take that extra step in order to make the web a better place.
I would have expected Technorati to grow, as more and more people started to use it. I guess something went wrong in the process... Technorati is - after all those years - still far from finished, and it seems like nobody's really working behind the scenes to get things right.
- Since my major update, I now have RSS feeds too, and I thought it would be good to update my site info on Technorati accordingly. But adding an RSS feed afterwards just doesn't work! What am I supposed to do now, remove my website info and start from scratch? Contact the webmasters?
- Their OpenID server doesn't work anymore. I found other people blogging about this, but never found a real explanation from Technorati about why they stopped this service.
- It is still in beta, as shown in the website logo. Common guys, only Google can get away with something like this...
- Apart from adding your personal info and claiming blogs, what is there to to? It looks like time has stood still.
- Everywhere on the internet, you can find people who are complaining about their support, so I'm not going to even try to reach them.
What happened here... where did they go wrong? It's probably money releated, but I guess we'll never really know.
I want to delete my account, but I doubt this is even possible...