PICTURE PERFECT TURK

SnapMyLife.com is a photo-sharing site that makes it easy to send photos from your camera phone to an online gallery where they can be shared. It uses a service from Amazon.com called the “Mechanical Turk.” (The name refers to a chess-playing automaton bearing the bust of a Turkish Gentleman. It toured Europe in the 18th century and was a big hit. It was supposedly a marvelous mechanical device but was eventually revealed to be a cleverly designed box containing a midget. The midget was a really good chess player. He even beat Napoleon.)

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk employs real people to tag photos with keywords and place names so various categories of photos are easy to find. When you sign up, you get a special email address to forward your photos. Joy forwarded photos of some greeting cards she made and got instant comments. She didn’t get any from Flickr.com, a much larger photo-sharing community. There are around 600,000 SnapMyLife users so far.

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