Finally, I’m starting to understand the possible uses for a camera phone…

For a few years now, it’s been becoming increasingly difficult to buy a mobile phone handset which was both stylish and a good phone without also getting a whole load of distractions (games, camera, etc.). Now, I have a smartphone (a Nokia 6600), which is connected to my private number and my work phone (a Nokia 6310i), which is just really good at doing one thing – making and receiving telephone calls (although it does also have infra-red, Bluetooth and GPRS connectivity, all of which are useful).

Throughout all of this, I’ve been skeptical about the need for mobile messaging services (MMS) – the idea that anyone (other than teenagers, who either have too much pocket money, or are running up huge bills for their parents to pay) would want to send low quality photos to one another from their mobile phone. Recently though, I’ve begun to change my mind…

I have a couple of blogs – this (technology focused) one and another for my geographically dispersed friends and family to keep up to date on what is happening in the Wilson family. Moblog pictureFor the last year or so, not much has happened in the Wilson family that hasn’t been focused around my son, so when we were on holiday a few months back I had a bit of dilemma – I didn’t want to take my main camera to the beach, but I did want to grab some photos of him experiencing sand and surf for the first time. That’s when the camera in my mobile came in useful. At 640×480 (VGA), the images are never going to be great for printing, but they are just fine for display at 72dpi on a computer screen.

Now it seems that mobile blogging (moblogs) have become a bit of a phenomenon. According to a Nokia moblog backgrounder:

“Blogs are one of the fastest growing phenomenon on the Internet with over 6.5 million web logs available and thousands more coming online every day. Blogs are like diaries which allow people to publish their thoughts and opinions or simply act as a record of their lives. Blogs can be accessed by friends, family or anyone on the web. The sharing of photos is currently one of the most important drivers for creating weblogs… Moblogging takes this phenomenon to the next level, allowing people to use their mobile phones to instantly publish their life experiences on the web. You can post pictures, video and text from your camera phone directly to the web instantly and then share your memories with family and friends.”

It’s this phenomenon (along with “traditional” digital cameras and a PC) that’s driving the incredible growth of sites like Flickr, Moblog and Phlog.

But it’s not just ordinary (pseudo-)geeks like me that are getting on the moblog bandwagon (actually, I’m not quite there yet, but might be soon…) – Sony Ericsson and American Photo Magazine teamed up with photographer Robert Clark for his Image America project. Admittedly that was as much for Sony Ericsson to promote their latest camera phone but there’s also an interesting article from a BBC reporter on his experiences as he reported back from his US Road Trip family holiday via a moblog using Flickr and Blogger.

If only moblogging had existed when I was travelling around Australia a few years back…

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