What Is Moblogging? (A Mash-Up Of Previous Posts)

A mash-up of several previous posts in advance of the BlogHer session on Moblogging led by Debi Jones (aka Mobile Jones).

(Also see: Moblogging 1.0 to 2.0, Moblogging 2.0)

David Harper wrote:

“When the discussion began several years ago the activity of “moblogging” was thought of as simply pushing text and photos one way from a “remote” location or mobile device to a website or blog (IMHO). That content would then be available for desktop access.

Well, two years later moblogging as a label to a plethoria of mobile publishing activity fails to describe the behaviour of many of it’s participants. And as such, does a great injustice to all the emergent activity going on – much of which is apparently under the radar.

You see, there is a revolution going on all over the world. People from Japan to India to Europe to the United States and South America are engaging content on mobile devices in record numbers – in fact mobile access to the Internet has already surpassed desktop access. Also rising are expectations as to how you should be able to share content and communicate with the people around you via mobile phone.

Yes, I said mobile phone not “mobile device.” Simple, affordable web-enabled mobile phones. I’m talking the masses here folks. For tens of millions worldwide (more then all us “bloggers” combined) mobile access to publishing, communication and collaboration tools are their one and only pipeline onto the Internet and to each other. The majority of them don’t know the luxury of using their mobile device as a “handy” way to publish to their desktop blog. They don’t have a desktop.

“Moblogging” as currently defined doesn’t account for this. maybe it doesn’t have to. But, by focusing on only one aspect of mobile publishing, we lose sight of greater opportunities – providing a greater number of people with a voice, and an even greater number with the ability to become involved. “Blogging” (not moblogging) as I see it is more than just publishing content, it is also the dialogue around the posts (like this discussion), the community it develops and the action that can result. Should not the definition (and tools) of “moblogging” be expanded to account for those activities from alternative locations and mobile devices as well?

To underscore my point, RSS & Syndication is now is being used to bring content to the mobile phones of people who have until now had zero or little access to a desktop computer – combined with mobile forums, chat etc.- the technology shortchanged are able to engage in mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-PC communities.

The blogging world is now is overflowing with ways to send information – text, photos, video, geographical data – from a mobile device to a conventional Weblog or Web Site. But, what has been blatantly missing and quite critical is a community-based solution that provides a space where individuals can meet, share and interact with content from mobile device to mobile device – “closing the loop.”

Wireless Ink’s belief is that the availability of simple and flexible tools for the publishing, personalization and distribution of user-generated content is essential to empowering the masses.

We’re working on those tools and we could use your help. Take WINKsite for a free spin and let us know what you think.

…we’re listening.”

Comment by Debi Jones:

“There's one other critical component to the liberation of consumers. The habit of equating a device/phone purchase with network service purchase is a raw deal for consumers. Carriers providing a subsidy on device purchase ensures that consumers are saddled with a 2 year contract or they can pay $200 to $300 for release in exchange for a $50 discount on a phone. The math doesn’t make sense. Further, if consumers separate the purchase of their device from their purchase of a service agreement there’s no need to worry about disabled features (i.e., Verizon Wireless disabling Bluetooth to insure customers must download applications and content over their network).

Can anyone imagine buying a PC from their ISP? Consumers must demand the separation of what are clearly 2 purchase decisions, not one. VZW was sued by a consumer over the disabling of a published feature (bluetooth) on the phone they sold. It may take more consumer lawsuits to accomplish the fair availability and choice for consumers among devices. Carriers will make noises about they role in ensuring the device will work on their network, but that's bunk. All devices must pass FCC approval before they can be sold in the US. This process is sufficient for network operation.”

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