A Live Photo Feed of Your Life

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. What happens, then, when you gather an online community of users, all of whom are actively contributing new pictures on a regular basis? It seems that the answer is a website called Mobog. The photo sharing site was recently raised from the dead and the owner put in a review request to let John Chow dot Com readers know about it. And yes, before you ask, Mobog is absolutely free.

Subscribe to Pictures

The idea behind this picture community is that users are able to upload photos either from their computers or from their cell phones. Each user has his or her own stream of pictures and you are able to subscribe to this feed. If you subscribe to a friend’s feed of uploads and this friend sends pictures from his cell phone on a fairly frequent basis, you are effectively treated to a live photo feed of his life.

In this way, you could say that Mobog fits somewhere between the microblogging model of Twitter and the picture sharing model of Flickr. Mobog has some social networking elements, in this way, but it’s not nearly as comprehensive as some of the other networks out there. It’s much more specialized than that. You can, however, send messages through the Mobog internal messaging system.

A Little History Behind Mobog

Even though the current version of Mobog is relatively new, its origins actually date all the way back to 2004. That’s an eternity in Internet years! Back then, Philip Kaplan started Mobog as a hobby. Unfortunately, the site became a little too difficult to maintain and Philip chose to take it down in 2006. Before the wrecking ball came through, however, Mobog caught the attention of a men’s magazine.

It turns out that FHM selected Mobog to top its list for the 50 most addictive websites. That was quite the honor, but it wasn’t until recently that Philip decided to rebuild the site “over a weekend.” It’s been live for a few weeks now and he’s already gained about 10,000 registered users.

Website Widgets and Personal Profiles

Sharing pictures on the Internet is far from being a novel idea. It is not immediately obvious why someone would choose Mobog over a larger online community like MySpace. The subscription idea sounds like it could be interesting — you can either receive updates via email or through the site — but that’s not all that different than seeing your friends’ recent pictures in your Facebook Mini-Feed.

One nice feature that Mobog does have is the ability to embed pictures on your website or blog. By placing a small piece of code, your latest Mobog picture will always be displayed. Again, if you make extensive use of the mobile upload feature, your site visitors can effectively get a live shot of what you’re doing. It’s like lifecasting through a series of stills.

Each user profile is given a very easy to remember web address. Philip Kaplan’s username, for example, is “pud” and his profile can be found at http://www.mobog.com/pud. There is a limited level of customization available there. I guess Mobog (not to be confused with Bodog) is taking the minimalist approach.

In fact, that’s my overall impression of Mobog. The entire site, both in terms of design and concept, is incredibly simple in nature. It has been stripped down to the bare essentials and I feel that the average web user may be turned off a little by the lack of features. You don’t need flashing banners and complex templates, but even something as simple as an obvious logo could work wonders.

Monetization and Flickr

At this time, there does not appear to be any monetization on Mobog whatsoever. As the site continues to grow, I can see the potential for a few ad banners and maybe some sort of premium account. In the meantime, it seems like the most popular pictures being uploaded will inevitably be those of webcam girls. At least there’s a filter for NWS content.

In the end, I can’t say why someone would opt for Mobog photo sharing over something larger and more established like Flickr. The website widget is nice, but a Flickr photostream seems more powerful. Lastly, I think it would be a good idea to allow users to attach Creative Commons licenses to their images. Otherwise, it’s not clear what can and cannot be “shared” elsewhere.


19 thoughts on “A Live Photo Feed of Your Life”

  1. Shawn Knight says:

    I think the best thing you can do when sharing your pics on sites like this is to put a watermark on your images. It won’t always prevent someone from stealing a photo (they can sometimes Photoshop out the watermark), but it more than likely will make them skip over yours and go to the next person. Also, a watermark link to your blog will generate free traffic πŸ™‚

    1. Abdul says:

      Nice idea.. since I never shared photos before, and I’m joining this, I’ll do it!

  2. vancity says:

    “It turns out that FHM selected Bodog to top its list for the 50 most addictive websites. “ … bodog or modog .. ops i mean MoBog

  3. jatt says:

    Nice web! I already joined, but i think flickr was better :mrgreen:

  4. Syed Balkhi says:

    I am kind of gettin tired of these social network type sites.

  5. Jared Taylor says:

    Personally i like the minimalistic approach, less load times.. less ad’s, less distraction from your photos, ImageShack for example is terrible for popup’s and annoying flashing “you have a crush” ad’s πŸ˜‰ speaking of ad’s id like to welcome John Chow dot com to my entrecard spot today on http://www.theaffiliatesecret.com. hopefully our blog can drive even more traffic to webpage today! cheers. πŸ˜‰

  6. Earnblogger says:

    Nice service. But Flickr is best for sharing photos.

  7. tyna says:

    Photos that I don’t want stolen are left on my hard drive or USB,any one that I put on these social websites are not for money making ventures.Watermark or not if you are going to sell it don’t publish it on the web. If you must reduce the pixel(to reduce the picture quality) so that who ever takes can only use it on the web. I don’t see any harm in checking it out,the website looks good to me.

  8. Thiago Prado says:

    the system is nice however Flickr is more powerful and has way more users to share the pictures.

  9. Noobpreneur says:


    Good review – I have had a look at it, but IMHO, flickr is still THE photo sharing service.


  10. Jared Taylor says:

    It must be daunting competing with Flickr, photobucket and imageshack.. not to mention facebook, bebo, myspace etc.. Maybe a minimalistic website is what sets him apart from the others, personally Imageshack drives me crazy with the ad’s and pop-ups. In other news we wish to welcome John Chow dot com to todays entrecard at The Affiliate Secret. Hopefully we can contribute to your already huge daily traffic, Cheers πŸ˜‰

  11. Thiago Prado says:

    It looks like a mix between twitter and flickr….

  12. Geiger says:

    How does this differ from Splash Blogging? I’ve bookmarked it because I am curious how to monetize photo sites.

  13. After starting to Reading Johnny Chow’s Ebook last night I have to say I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mr. chow. The first few pages gave me some invaluable advice that I intend on sticking to for the rest of my life.

  14. Nice service , I prefer flickr if it comes to photos. I am more into stock photography.

    If you want to monetize your photos check out how to Sell photos online


  15. Forumistan says:

    Yeah, its like a mix of twitter and flickr…

  16. ideasr says:

    Yeah, looks pretty much like a mix between fliker and twitter :mrgreen:

  17. Carl says:

    great read

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