I use flickr to host most of the photos that appear on this blog. Unfortunately, flickr is now being blocked in China, so I’m afraid that if you are one of my visitors from there then none of these images will show up for you.
Aside from the annoyance this causes my visitors, this is a real problem for me for three reasons. Firstly, a large proportion of my writing uses images as a starting point and illustration, so not being able to see them in the context of the post to which they relate removes a lot of information that is necessary to the understanding of what I’m talking about. Secondly, as I am beginning to write more about Chinese issues, I hope they will be of increasing interest to Chinese visitors, so this issue will become more and more of a problem as this potential audience increases. Thirdly, when I’m working in China I will be subject to the same block that my Chinese visitors are experiencing, making flickr pretty much unuseable at that point.
My choices appear to be to either wait and hope that the block is removed, or to change the way that I store my photos, which will mean to stop using flickr. The latter would be a real blow, as I have found flickr to be the best, most flexible and useable image management system out there, and having been a member since April 2005, I have a lot of investment in it in terms of time and effort which it would be difficult to replicate on another system or to host myself.
That said, I think that realistically it’s unlikely the block will be removed any time soon given the alleged circumstances behind it’s original placement.
I’d be interested to know what other solutions people suggest?