Hongjiang wrote me this week, “Hi Robbie: I am a Chinese college student. Several months ago I was in Germany. During that time I discovered “Category 5 Technology TV” through internet, and fell in love with the show instantly. But what’s really frustrating is that after I got back to China, I can not watch the show any more! Even though I can still access to your website and read the notes. I think it’s because of some networking policy of mainland China (The same reason we can not get access to Youtube or Facebook). Now my only solution is to ask some friend in Hongkong to help downloading the show and sending it to me weekly.”
Well Hongjiang, you’re not the first to make mention of this problem, and it’s been haunting me for some time that the “Great Firewall of China” blocks your access to Category5 Technology TV.
Why are we blocked?
Categegory5 Technology TV is a friendly, G-Rated tech broadcast. We do not knowingly participate in political agendas or debates, nor do we express anything but good will toward our global audience. So why would the government of China block Category5 TV? The short answer is, they haven’t. But they have blocked our service providers due to perhaps other shows that broadcast through those services. For example, they may have blocked YouTube for a particular video, but since we also host Category5 TV on YouTube, now viewers in China lose access to those videos.
Cost. Category5 TV is a free show. We do not charge you to watch. So we have to do all we can to keep our costs down. This means tapping into these third-party services (Blip.tv, YouTube, etc) to host our massive collection of video files (so far we’re hosting about a terabyte of video files around the world). We simply do not have the income to host these ourselves and pay for the bandwidth it takes to serve them to you, so we host them on third party (cheap) services.
That said, we at Category5 TV are committed to reaching every country in the world. It’s a bit of a catch 22, and your help is appreciated.
How can you help?
If you are a part of a business with an advertising budget, please buy ad space from us. Otherwise, please consider donating to help us offset the cost of what we are about to do.
What we are about to do…
Category5 TV is a global show. Well, we’re supposed to be. This is the World-Wide-Web, after all. So, we have no choice but to host all 245+ episodes of Category5 TV on our own servers and provide an alternate RSS feed and player for viewers in China which does not tap into any third-party services.
This means syndicating our third-party services to our own servers, and hosting basically a “second version” of everything. Players, RSS feeds, and some website content.
It’s a huge undertaking, but I’m committed to making this happen, for Hongjiang and all our other wonderful viewers in China.
So as we work toward the launch of our new website on July 1st, watch for the “Alternate Source” setting in your user preferences. For users in China, this will mean video on Category5 TV will be obtained through our servers, rather than the video hosting services which have been blocked by your government.
Please remember, this is a time consuming and expensive undertaking. If you have the means to help us financially, I appreciate it very much. http://cat5.tv/c to donate, or pop me an email to discuss ad space.