Ever wondered how easy it is to wrap your legs around your head? Or perhaps
you’d like to know what Jamie Oliver gets up to after whipping up posh school
dinners? Maybe you’d even want to see someone swallow their own fist? All
this and much, much more can be found in the latest craze to sweep mobile phones
Moblogging – standing for ‘mobile blogging’ – is all about sharing your cameraphone pictures with the world, usually via a website. Text blogs have been around for years, covering every subject under the sun, but moblogs are something new. Where blogs often carry closely-argued articles written on obscure subjects by enthusiasts, moblogs are more likely to contain pictures of someone’s fat cat, holiday snaps or office paperclip fights.
“Old-school blogs are all about opinions,” says Alfie Dennen, co-founder of Moblog.co.uk, “But moblogs are more like real world conversations. We have nearly 10,000 members making personal moblogs – and up to 150,000 visits a day from people browsing.”
Moblogs are becoming popular because you don’t need to learn techy skills, spend hours programming or even own a computer to make them. Sign up to a moblogging service (often free), then simply send an MMS picture message or e-mail from your cameraphone and it appears online almost immediately.
Joss Hastings of mobile network 3 explains: “Our My Gallery service provides public or private areas and has a real community feel. We get lots of celebrity snapshots up there – including one guy who beat the paparazzi with his snaps of the Star Wars premiere last year.”
But moblogs aren’t just for show-offs and stalkers. Celebrities themselves are seeing the benefits are opening up to their fans. The band Maximo Park has a moblog of its current headline NME tour with the Arctic Monkeys, and Jamie Oliver has his own party-packed moblog website for all to see. Alfie Dennen says, “It’s incredibly exciting from the fans’ point of view. They can see behind the scenes, and even post up their own images of a concert, creating an immediate two-way communication.”
And almost before moblogging has broken into the mainstream, the next big thing is here – video logging or ‘vlogging’. Why upload still images when you can share movie clips instead? Vlogging is still in its infancy, but the appetite for it is there, believes 3’s Joss Hastings: “The See Me TV service from 3 lets people upload video clips, and then earn a penny each time someone views the clip on their phone. We’ve already had millions of downloads – and some people have earned over £1000 for their clips.”
Alfie Dennen is more cautious; “Creating good clips requires skill. Video files are larger than still images, taking longer and costing more to upload. But we’re already seeing falling charges for sending multimedia data, and pocket devices are becoming more powerful and easier to use all the time. Ultimately, you’ll have instantly updated publishing of your whole life – if you want it.”
Forget your 15 minutes of fame: we’re talking 24-hour a day reality programming from every person in the world, coming soon. Big Brother, eat your heart out.
Phones for moblogging
Motorola V3X from £free with contract, £220 pay as you go www.hellomoto.co.uk
Powerful 3G version of the classic black handset. This model packs a 2 megapixel camera, e-mail, Bluetooth and an MP3 player to watch video clips.
Nokia 6111 from £free with contract, £180 pay as you go www.t-mobile.co.uk
This pink version of Nokia's stylish sliding cameraphone is only available from T-Mobile. Its new Flext tariff offers good value picture messaging, too.
Maximum moblog sites
www.flickr.com - Very user-friendly moblog site with free basic accounts, image editing and organising, handy tags and more
www.maximopark.com/maximoblog - See just how hard these indie gods rock with their nightly moblog
www.moblog.co.uk - British service with easy, free uploads and some cool moblogs to browse
www.jamieoliver.com/moblog - Does Jamie spend all his time hanging out with beautiful women and even more beautiful food? Looks that way…
www.buzznet.com - Moblog service that's especially welcoming to newcomers. Expect lots of comments on your pics.
www.rocketboom.com/vlog/ - Video log (vlog) with impressively bonkers host and great clips - updated daily.