Monday, 6 February 2012

In the general spirit of bombarding people with useless trivia, I have noticed recently that Blogger seems to be adding .au at the end of 'blog addresses, more or less at random. Statcounter tells me that I've had two visits today from
and one from
If you click those links, they take you to their perfectly normal blogs, and if you then delete .au from the end of the url, it doesn't make any difference.

I've tried adding other country suffixes like .nz, .ca or .za and it doesn't work with those, only with .au.

UPDATE: it also works if you replace .com with, or if you replace .com with .in.


PJH said...

Basically it's users in Australia accessing the blogs.

So Google can censor blogs on a country by country basis.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PJH, that was quick, and very worrying, thanks.

Leg-iron said...

It means that eventually, someone in Australia could set up a copy of your blog. You won't know it's there but all your Australian readers will be redirected to it.

That's why I've been quietly setting up an non-Google blog ;)

Mark Wadsworth said...

LI, but they'd only be able to do it if Blogger allowed it (and I've no reason to assume they would).

Firstly I'd be mildly flattered if somebody made a perfect copy of my blog, secondly, what would be the incentive for anybody to make a perfect copy of somebody else's blog, and thirdly, we could, collectively just set up new 'blogs using a different system.

Leg-iron said...

Google is Blogger, and Google have form in doing what governments want them to do. The bottom line is, if it makes money, to hell with the users. How can we complain? We aren't paying for the service.

Firstly, it's unlikely to affect the likes of you and me at first. It'll be the big influential ones they'd want to block. Although Certain Countries would want Google/Blogger to block all pro-smoking blogs.

Second, the incentive. Suppose ASH Australia were to make copies of all the smoker blogs, then get Google to redirect all Australian users to their .au copies, then start writing stories about how we all now have cancer/emphysema/dandruff and regret smoking, and regret telling everyone it was okay... One by one, we'd 'die' in Australia. Then in New Zealand. Then in Canada.

Do it all again with blogs on drinking, blogs on food, and so on. Would they? It's what they're paid to do.

Thirdly - yes, but if we do that after Google have caved in (once again) to the pressure groups, who's going to see the new address?

That's why I'm learning how to use Wordpress.

Leg-iron said...

Subrosa comes up as .au, and you come up as .in

You seem to be the only one in India so far.

JuliaM said...

Wow! I wonder where I am..?

Does Google add an upwards inflection to everything on a .au blog, so it sounds like you're asking a question all the time too..? ;)

Mark Wadsworth said...

LI, yes, Google/Blogger have form, do you really think that ASH Australia would kill us off online? Wouldn't that be a bit pathetic when people can hack about a bit and establish we are alive and well? And I can't get mine to work with .in.

JM, they all work with .au, including yours.

PJH said...

LI: "How can we complain? We aren't paying for the service."

Well as pointed out elsewhere, if you're not paying for it, you're the product, not the customer.

Julia: "Wow! I wonder where I am..?"

The country-source of the URL is dependent on the location of your reader, not of your blog.

Someone from India will be viewing your blog from, someone from Australia will get the version. Think of it as a way of identifying your visitors by country.

Leg-iron said...

Mark - that is, of course, the reasonable response. But we are not dealing with reasonable people.

We are dealing with the sort of minds who are happy to pretend that tobacco smoke can pass through walls, that a single molecule of nicotine is deadly while selling up patches and gum that are full of it, and who are happy to beat a smoker with their own dead child even though there is absolutely no link at all between cot deaths and smoking.

Would they try something petty, childish and ultimately futile?

They have never tried anything else.

Leg-iron said...

PJH - Sitemeter already identifies most visitors by town ;)

Mark Wadsworth said...

LI, yes, I noticed that they revived the story that "smoking in cars causes cot death" a couple of days ago. Good job my kids are well past cot age, so I can merrily smoke in the car :-)

Tapestry said...

cot death is a cover story for baby death from vaccination, as is shaken baby syndrome.