Friday, January 06, 2006 » Moblogging: Yesterday’s Internet

Warren Ellis is starting the new year on a roll with the second great article in two days. This time he asks whatever happened to the moblogging movement of a couple of years ago?

"The promise of moblogging was very simple: that we all get away from our desks and record life on the move and in real time. The dirty secret of the Web 2.0 movement is that it binds people back to their desks. It’s for people who stay indoors, make lists and shelve their DVDs by cinematographer."

Nice to get a fresh perspective.

Here's a thought. Maybe the moblogging movement isn't really stalled at the technology/service provider end. Perhaps it's more that sections of the blogging community have fallen into the mainstream mindset of polished work, fearing that something raw and rough and instant may damage their hard-won reputations. Have the first generation of bloggers gone 40+? Settling down and keeping it conservative? Horrible thought.

Of course, one of the problems is that podcasts and now vlogs do require basic editing to rise above just being raw footage (not that raw footage doesn't have its place). That means the newcomers, eager to impress the old school with their wicked edit skillz, need their desktop, or some serious mobile hardware. Hardly phone and Palm Pilot territory.

Actually, I do think it's more a service provider shortfall. I'd be inclined to make a push to get services like Blogger to sort out the problems getting mobile content quickly and easily onto a site. As an Australian there's all sorts of barriers put in place for me to shoot a pic with my phone annd email it to this blog.

Imagine this;

"I want to shoot an audio file off my phone. I want to shoot a street video to my blog from the street. This is essentially what I was talking about with the streetbound “feedsite listener” in TRANSMETROPOLITAN. And this requires no more than a phone with email or MMS and a system on the other end to parse what’s being received and stick it on my web page. I’m not a programmer. I don’t know if what I’m asking for is impossible. But, Christ, it doesn’t sound like it."

Now take it a step further. Audio or video file is sent to site. RSS subscription makes this media, and just the media, available to any mobile player. When manufacturers create a media player that's WiFi or WiMAX enabled, we'll start to see it. Author on a street corner shoots and loads their work and in seconds a guy on a street corner on the other side of the world is looking at it. Now imagine a dozen people all looking at an event, each clip disconnected from the context of the website it's coming from, just showing what everyone's seeing. Hundreds of New Yorkers watching the Twin Towers collapse in real time from every conceivable angle.

I can see some good things, and some not so good things coming out of that. But that discussion's for another time.

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