As with all blocks the government makes, there was no notification or reasoning, so we can only speculate as to what finally brought the hammer down.
The government does seem to be starting to pay attention to English-language China blogs though, and more and more have been blocked over the past few years. Just a month or so ago, the excellent ESWN was blocked. I suspect that our blog will not be the last, so if you’ve been holding out on buying a VPN, you might want to finally make that leap.
The block will certainly affect our traffic, and is a serious issue for our Chinese-language version, as most Chinese readers don’t have and can’t be expected to buy VPNs. We’ll try to set up a mirror or something like Danwei II so that people without a way to scale the wall can still see the site. In the meantime, if you don’t have regular access to a VPN, there are some temporary solutions. I suggest vtunnel, or one of the many proxy extensions that exist for browsers like Firefox and Chrome (I use Chrome and have been using the “One-Click Proxy” extension at work where I have no VPN, it works).
In any event, rest assured that posting will continue uninterrupted. Just don’t expect anything else today. Today, all you get is this image of a Panda hopping the Great Firewall. We’re happy to leave the creepily manicured pastures of China’s internet and join the other Grass Mud Horses ranging freely on the open plains of the real internet, where river crabs fear to tread.