My article on MSNBC
Ok. I know I'm going to hear some criticism. People yelling at me for sparking irrational paranoia over the dangers of cameraphones, as well as for causing global warming. But before you do, keep in mind, the article as it appears is never the author's original draft. Things get cut and tweaked. It's part of the process. And us writers, in the end, don't get final say. I set out to write a balanced article looking at all the issues involved with camera phones and moblogging. And I think I did that. So it's not my fault if what got published (especially that hot picture they decided to lead with) isn't as well balanced as I thought my original draft was (Quick and Dirty??? Hmm, that wasn't my choice). But you be the judge.
The Outtakes (to be released on DVD):
“A picture tells a thousand words,” says Shawn Conahan, the creator of Rabble. “There’s a big trend in self-expression now. We just want to make it as easy as possible.”Hope you enjoyed the article. And if you're in NYC, check out the Sickabod Sane concert on Friday. It'll be awesome. Here are, fittingly, some camera phone pics of him recording at Brown Sugar studios:
What makes these moblog sites so unique and appealing is the spontaneous quality of the often-grainy images, says Sarah Lane, host of G4TV’s “Attack of the Show,” who started up a moblog on TextAmerica in 2003. Since then, it’s become the most viewed moblog on the site. “I’m a girl, I carry small purses and don’t always have my digital camera, but I always have my camera phone,” Lane says.
“When I first got the phone, I found it was perfect for capturing weird things I came across,” she says. “Crazy people on the street, weird cars, beautiful sunsets. I could take the picture, upload it directly to the internet and share it within a minute. It’s a way for people to look through your eyes.”
“I’m addicted,” says TextAmerica user Cliff DeMartino, 30, who started moblogging after seeing one created by TechTV host Morgan Webb. “It’s more than just a web site, there is an actual community.” He says he’s met many people through the TextAmerica site. “I post some pretty wild things, and I think everyone keeps checking in to see what the hell I am going to do next.”
Marc Brown, co-founder of Buzznet, says that while they have staff who are on the look out for inappropriate material, the users primarily police themselves. “Our community moderates itself. People notify us when something is inappropriate. Nudity, hate crimes, personal attacks are taken off.”
“We differ from MySpace in that our emphasis is more on sharing content rather than ‘hooking up’ with another individual,” he says.
Last month, the mistaken-identity shooting of New York City police officer Eric Hernandez by another officer was captured on a bystander’s video phone. It was broadcast on WNBC-New York and used in the police investigation into the incident.
“Camera phones allow you to easily document events in real time,” says Anthony Batt, Buzznet’s other co-founder. In April, Buzznet is bringing together a group of picture-phoners to cover the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Palm Springs. They’ll be able to post pictures from the concert onto the web instantly, without having to lug around a laptop. “That type of documentation is a great example of the power of the camera phone,” Batt says.
“You don’t carry your laptop with you everywhere,” Conahan says. “The one device everything should converge on is the mobile device.”
Batt agrees. “The moblogging trend will take off even further as video popularity increases on phones.”