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January 31, 2008

Smart Reader Solves Mystery

Smart reader Chris quickly solved the mystery of the cloned blog which baffled me yesterday when I discovered a Japanese version of Fractals of Change. Daughter Kate verified the solution by following Chris’ prescription to make a Japanese version of her blog, On Jewels:

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The solution has a zen-like essence to it. The clone doesn’t exist until you look for it! If you type the URL http://hot-news.coresv.com/doctor-xxx  and replace “xxx” with the name of almost any English-language (I didn’t test other languages) website, a Japanese clone of the website as it exists at the moment is created and returned to your browser. I don’t know how to figure out if the clone is retained somewhere after that or disappears until someone wants to look at it again (maybe this is also a philosophical question).

If a Google indexing bot crawls my link to the Japanese version of my blog or Kate’s, it is likely that a clone will be created for it to look at and index. If someone subsequently Googles in Japanese, these links to transient Japanese versions of the websites’ll be returned if the sites are relevant to their query. Even more magically, following these links will bring the cloned versions of the websites back into existence. Wow!

Interesting implication is that you can link to the Japanese version of your blog following Chris’ recipe above and the Japanese clone will exist for anyone who follows the link. Test before you do this, though; whatever this process is, it doesn’t seem to be able to deal with some complex websites: www.feld.com doesn’t translate at all and avc.blogs.com translates only partially. Both Brad Feld and Fred Wilson have complex blog layouts with lots of widgets, gidgets, and gadgets.

Apparently the business model for this service is appending ads of its own to the blog clones. The ads below showed up on the bottom of the On Jewels clone:

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