This morning on twitter I saw that photography scholar David Campbell, currently running workshops in China, posted a link to a piece he wrote on ello, saying that it was a solution to not being able to access his regular WordPress site behind the Great Firewall.
It's a great post on the contradictions in the ways that photographers discuss photo culture and their work, you should read it.
But there was another reason it pricked my ears. Just yesterday I was having a conversation with two friends, both Australians, both writers, one very immersed in culture and technology, one living and working in China. My China-resident friend observed that the firewall restrictions on services like Google and Facebook necessitated a search for alternatives and that this forced resident Westerners to use a diversity of services. It was a kind of anti-monopolistic situation, frustrating for visitors, but having the result of making people try new digital environments.
When I visited China a few years ago I found access to Flickr blocked, so I jumped onto ipernity as a place to post some photos. I'm not sure if I want to use it in any particular way now – it's more a repository than an ongoing photo space for me.
From annoyance comes an interesting contradiction.