The always creative Haitham Sabbah has a great trick for searching for international blogs on Blogger. Using the URI “http://www.blogger.com/profile-find.g?t=l&loc0=**” and replacing the stars with the country code you’re interested in, you can find all authors on Blogger who’ve identified themselves as Jordanian, for instance.
Haitham’s using this trick to flesh out the Global Voices Bridge Blog index and is (understandably) frustrated that there’s no way for Palestinian bloggers to select “Palestine” or “Occupied Territories” as their country – he assumes that many Palestinian bloggers are leaving the “country” field blank, rather than filling it with “Israel”. (Palestine does have a two-letter country code: PS.) I checked to see whether Blogger supports another semi-state, Western Sahara – it does.
My frustration has been not with Blogger but with blogger users. Trying to find Fijian blogs, I’ve come across lots of Brazilian and US bloggers who appear to be amused at the idea of coming from Fiji. (One bloggers tells us he comes from Evil, Indiana in Fiji.) What is it about Fiji that makes people want to pretend to be from it? Search for blogs from Iceland and you find lots and lots of blogs in Icelandic, which is generally a pretty good indicator that their authors are, indeed, from Iceland…
(Lots of the Samoans appear to be, in fact, from Samoa, including Madison, who’s got excellent blogging skills for a three year old. And enough people know how to spell Nuku’alofa correctly that they’re probably from or in Tonga. So what’s up with Fiji?)