An informal survey among Shanghaiist contributors yesterday afternoon found that some can actually now access Flickr (without the use of a Firefox add-on) — and they seem to be concentrated around the same office complex in Jing’an district and pockets of Pudong. The majority of us, though, continue to remain in the dark. There are any number of possibilities to explain for this strange situation:
1. One of our contributors has heard talk that his new office is in some kind of “Bermuda Triangle of unblockability“.
2. Another thinks the continued outage could be related to the recent launch of Chinese versions of Flickr.
3. And yet another correspondent thought it was time to call in the fengshui masters for an analysis of the above said districts!
Well, since we have no idea how long the partial block will continue and not all of us work at the same office complex in Jing’an and only a couple of us live in Pudong, let’s take a look at some of the new Mainland photo-sharing alternatives that have popped up here!
- Sina Photo appears to have lots of people uploading pictures of themselves trying to look cutesie. A search for the keyword 上海 (“Shanghai”) returned a paltry 731 search results, including pictures of a Shanghai newspaper cutting, Shanghai food and the Yuyuan Garden.
- Sohu Photo Park returned a whopping 22,727 search results for the keyword 上海. Alas, many of the “people-trying-to-look-cutesie” images slipped through the first page, half of which were from a Chinese military police trainee posing with his rifle (see for yourself!). Also, we noted some pictures of fake bags (from the old Xiangyang market touts perhaps?). Generally low marks on the relevancy side.
- Bababian.com, pictured above, seems to be the only one that is not related to any of the Chinese mega-portals. Notice how the look and feel of the portal is very similar to Flickr’s, down to the colour scheme? They seem to have imported Flickr’s tagging system wholesale too. Low marks for originality perhaps, but we likey! A search for 上海 returned 5,830 search results, a quarter of Sohu’s results. However, the quality and relevancy of search results seem to be a lot better.
Well, if you happen to read Chinese and want a 0% chance of your precious pictures getting GFW-ed (but don’t mind them getting censored), why not try them and let us know what you think? Flickrites in other provinces, please also let us know how Flickr fares in your location!
Kenneth Tan contributed to this story.
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