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Motivation Behind the Lens

What motivates someone to post a photo of their girlfriend's painted toenails, a trip to the dentist, or packages of eggplant?

Brown says he started Buzznet to have a simple place to post his photos.

"For me, it is a way to document my life," Brown says. "It lets others gain some insight into life in urban Los Angeles and experience select pieces of my life through my eyes."

For Brown and others, a moblog is the perfect way to keep in touch with family and friends around the country. By sharing a public keyword, you can also let others post directly to your moblog to add their photos of a recent event, such as a wedding or a party.

More artistic types enjoy sharing photos of tattoos, eyeballs, or sunsets with the blogging community. It might be the most common shot of all to turn the camera phone around and aim it at your eye, but if you look closely at the Buzznet "eyeball" category at http://eyes.buzznet.com/cat, you'll find some interesting shots of a moon reflected in the iris of an eye.

Ron Chilston, a Phoenix photographer and web design partner, says he draws inspiration from other mobloggers. "I am picking up different ways of composition, cropping, close-ups, etc. from other Buzznet bloggers," Chilston says. "I feel I'm expanding my horizons photographically."

Chilston says it's also a way to publicize his business—in fact, he's sold three photos to moblog users.

Social commentary is the motivation for other users as they share photos of graffiti, bumper stickers, or war photos. During the New York City blackout in 2003, many bloggers instantly documented the parade of commuters walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. Textamerica still keeps an archive of photos from the event at http://blackout.textamerica.com.

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