Photos Moved to Flickr

Ever since Flickr moved its data to servers in the US, I’ve been complaining both online and offline about how maddeningly slow Flickr pages load in China. This weekend, though, Flickr suddenly started loading normally again. Afraid that it wouldn’t last, I immediately did something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while: I moved all my old photo albums onto Flickr. Each photo album became a “set” on Flickr. (You only get unlimited sets if you’ve paid for Flickr Pro.)

The reasons I moved to Flickr:

1. Convenience. Putting photos online and creating albums is so easy, with the automatic resizing and everything…
2. Bandwidth. My photo albums get hit quite a bit, thanks to Google Images and other online photo indexing engines. Once I remove those albums from my own webspace, I’ll be using a lot less bandwidth serving photos, which means I free up more bandwidth for other things.
3. Mobility. If I ever have to move to a new server again, I won’t have to move my photo albums. Without the photo albums, my site takes up a lot less disk space, which means a simpler move.

The downside is that I will now be paranoid that Flickr will get blocked by China, and then a huge proportion of the images on my site will no longer display for visitors in China. I’m really banking on Yahoo (owner of Flickr) keeping a good relationship with China and keeping its services unblocked in China.

Anyway, check out the new Sinosplice Photo page (also accessible via that handy menu at the top of this page). Only the album index is hosted onsite; the albums themselves are on Flickr.

The photo page has been redesigned in keeping with the more uniform look I’m trying to give the site. You’ll notice I’ve also done the same with the About page and the Language section. More to follow, all in accordance with the master plan…


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. I’m really banking on Yahoo (owner of Flickr) keeping a good relationship with China and keeping its services unblocked in China.

    Well, Yahoo seems to be going out of their way to keep up a good relationship with China, so you should be in the clear.

  2. The downside is that I will now be paranoid that Flickr will get blocked by China…

    Because we all know you were never paranoid about China blocking things before…

  3. Yeah, Wayne is right, if Flikr gets blocked, Yahoo will simply turn over some more names and phone numbers of “seditious” emailers. I don’t think you have much to worry about there.

  4. Yahoo HK handed over a user’s IP address when shown a court order by the Chinese government; Yahoo US would do the same if served a subpeona by a US court. All companies are obligated to obey the laws of any nation in which they do business. If you disagree with those laws, blame the government that creates and enforces them, not the companies and individuals who must either comply or leave.

  5. Wayne,

    The thing is, if Yahoo really had a good relationship with the Chinese government in the first place, why did Flickr ever experience such a slowdown?

    Is the recent speed increase permanent? And is the speed increase a result of Yahoo straightening itself out with the government, or was it just another random “fluctuation in the matrix”?

  6. John B,

    Yeah, well now I not only have to be paranoid about Sinosplice getting blocked, but Flickr as well!

  7. I still think you should put back up that photo of you where you look exactly like Vanilla Ice.

  8. Today NPR & Google News were both commenting on Yahoo & its relations w/ China.

  9. I’m trying out China-based Flickr clone Fotolog.

    Hooray for getting away with copyright infringement!

  10. prince roy,
    i have NEVER seen a photo where john looks like vanilla ice! i bet you mean the one after the mudpit in the cave, though, and i think that is the coolest photo — he looks like a rockstar! (but NOT vanilla ice, who was never exactly a “rockstar” per se)

  11. Amy, there was a picture, don’t remember where, on his site from (I think) his time in Japan in which his hair was coifed in a very VERY Vanilla Ice way. It was hilarious.

  12. Hallo,
    ince yesterday afternoon her in Beijing, I can not access flicke anymore. People in other countries, I ve verified, sill can. Anything known, or is that just me experiencing the problem ?

    any hacks known ?

  13. from 5 days afterwards to yesterday Flickr worked fine from here, now it doesnt , again

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