Wherever you were in London last week, you could not have avoided the snap of people taking pictures with camera phones. From the joyous moment when those in Trafalgar Square heard the Olympics were on their way, to the sadness of those coping with the aftermath of last Thursday's bombs, many poignant images were captured by mobile phones.

While it is likely that the majority of those pictures will never travel further than the phone's memory card, a small but significant number have been uploaded to mobile blogs.

Unlike traditional blogs, which tend to be text-based, most moblogs are image-oriented, with users displaying the latest pictures they have captured with their camera phone.

"People can log every detail of their life, or just use them to place their high-quality images of family and friends on an interactive online photo album," says Mark Squires, Nokia UK's director of corporate communications.

Uploading pictures to a moblog is simple, and the immediacy of images being available seconds after they have been shot accounts for its appeal.

"Some of the first pictures showing Londoners reacting to the bombs were displayed not on TV, but on mobile blogs," says Moblog UK's Alfie Dennen, whose site received so many hits last week that it struggled to cope with the traffic.

While moblogging has developed a strong cult following, however, it has achieved this without any help from the networks - only 3 in the UK offers a moblogging service.

"The networks are worried about money spent on it eating into their revenues for other services such as multimedia messaging (MMS)," says 20six's Max Niederhofer, who has a mobile blogging service called phlog.net. "Also, there are likely to be copyright and privacy issues in setting up mobile blogging services, which the networks are wary of tackling."

On some networks, however, sending a high-quality image to a blog is cheaper than sending a lower-quality one via MMS, though this is arguably still too expensive for many users. Nevertheless, many in the mobile industry are convinced we will be hearing a lot more of this phenomenon.

"Virtual behaviour mimics real life," says Julian Swallow, the chief executive of Mobrio, a mobile web services company. "When you take a great photograph, you don't just show it once. You share it, with everyone and anyone who'll look. Mobile blogging isn't just a service, it's an extension of human nature."







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