Fest Mob – A Mobile Social Experiment

Lance Weiler who has been terrifying people for years with films such as the creepy-crawly 1998 DIY cult hit “The Last Broadcast” and more recently “Head Trauma” is now looking to bring people together (rather then scare them away) with Fest Mob.


The “fest mob” is a social mobile experiment that makes use of a “mashup” of freely available websites and web 2.0 services. The goal of the experiment is to capture the festival environment from various perspectives in real time. Participants will be using mobile phones to text, photograph, and record their daily activities.

“Since I won’t be able to make the annual pilgrimage to Park City this year, I started thinking about how I might be able to experience it first hand. The fest mob is a way for people who can not make it to the festival, to interact with those who can, in a sense creating a social network around the experience.” Says founder Lance Weiler

Festival goers use mobile phones to document what they are watching, attending, eating, drinking and seeing. Those who cannot attend the festival are able to contribute questions, comments and news that they are reading about the festival online.

The results can be viewed in real-time at http://workbookproject.com/mob via a mobile site http://winksite.com/workbook/mob or on a mobile phone by texting FOLLOW FESTMOB to 40404.


Joining the “fest mob” is a simple process for more information visit http://workbookproject.com/mob

The “fest mob” is an experiment by the Workbook Project, a “social open source project” for content creators that attempts to bridge the gap between technology and filmmaking. The Workbook Project was founded by digital pioneer Lance Weiler who is the writer / director of THE LAST BROADCAST and HEAD TRAUMA.

The “fest mob” mashup was made with the following sites and services:

Musicplayer at sourceforge.net

Under The Radar: Mobility: Winksite Presentation

Today I presented at Under The Radar Mobility. What follows is a transcript of the presentation I made.

Bullet points on the screen.

  • Winksite makes it easy to publish mobile Internet sites and build simple mobile connections via mobile phones.
  • If it doesn’t work on at least a billion phones we don’t touch it.
  • It’s dirt cheap and works well.
  • We deliver today what people use.
  • Take it for a spin.

Verbal presentation.

Winksite makes it easy to publish mobile Internet sites and build simple mobile connections via mobile phones.

It works like this…

Take a few minutes to register (it’s free), set up a profile, and create your site by entering content directly on our set-up screens or by connecting a RSS feed.

You can then choose to activate mobile-tuned community features like chat, forums and surveys.

We provide you with a URL for that mobile site (i.e. http://winksite.com/%5Busername%5D/%5Buserdefined directory name].

When visiting that URL from a PC you’re taken to your site’s “Mobile Site Profile” page at Winksite that includes basic information about your site, a simulated version of your mobile site where desktop users can engage the mobile users, and a toolbar that allows your audience to easily share, subscribe, send URL to phone, scan the QR code, and subscribe to your mobile site.

From a mobile phone the URL takes you directly to your mobile site where Winksite delivers a consistent, anticipatable experience with all the navigation/menus, pagination, and actionable items built in for you.

No downloading or installing an app. All the action takes place on the browser that ships standard on your phone.

Winksites work on the best and worst phones of carriers.

Winksite currently serves:

  • 20K publishers
  • 250K monthly mobile uniques (people)
  • 25 plus million mobile screen views (May 2006)

We traverse 150 countries with no carrier deals.

Bloggers like BoingBoing, blog networks like Metroblogging, and entertainment companies like Warner Bros. Records use us to build mobile sites, syndicate content & events, and recruit communities.

Individuals from Mumbai and Manilla, London, Toronto, and San Francisco use us to connect with friends, make new ones, or simply organize their feeds and favorites for easy access on their mobile phones. For others, it’s all about claiming their own piece of the mobile Internet.

Note: On the screen we had our “People” page running that shows a Real-time View of People Entering Winksite Mobile Communities.

Under the Radar: Mobility Conference

November 16, 2006
Microsoft Campus, Mountain View, CA

Mobility! It’s not a choice, it’s a requirement. Even in the U.S., where usage rates have trailed our neighbors for years, innovation is finally taking off. Applications, content, and business models must be customized to fit the needs of the ultramobile lifestyle.

IBDNetwork will host its sixth one-day Under the Radar event, which will feature 32 emerging startups in the mobile sector.

WINKsite is a presenting company at this event.

More information.

Upcoming.org Understands The Value Of "Mobile-Friendly"

Feeds have evolved into a popular means of sharing content between sites and are now going mainstream as more people become aware of the benefits. The use of feeds to syndicate content to mobile devices is also increasing — placing a much needed focus on the quality and usefulness of the information contained in those feeds.

Case in point are event feeds. While greatly useful from the desktop, they usually fail from the mobiles user’s perspective because 1) the feed requires you to link off to content that is not optimized for mobile devices or 2) critical information is missing from the feed — either way the mobile experience becomes a dead end.

Thanks to Andy and Gordon over at Upcoming, WINKsite is now able to go beyond the limits of basic event feed publishing to deliver a more relevant, more precise means of mobile event distribution and device independent delivery.

Let me explain, while mobilizing the Metroblogging Network’s blog and event feeds we connected with the Upcoming team. We explained to them the challenges to mobile users as we understand them to be as well as our thoughts as to how the mobile experience could be improved. They listened.

After several emails passing ideas and specs back and forth, Upcoming modified their feeds with mobile users in mind (within 24 hours mind you.) Each Upcoming feed now contains additional information such as an event’s start date/time, venue name, location, and phone number (utilizing xCal extensions.) In addition, various URL parameters are now available providing various sorting and count options. Using these extensions, Winksite was able to intelligently display various event information in our mobile UI as well as make those data (phone numbers for example) actionable. The mobile goodness doesn’t end there. These feed additions also will allow us to build other web services around these data. For example, Upcoming event feeds with Yahoo! Weather, Yahoo! Traffic, and direction feeds/APIs can now be mashed up to support a more useful and productive mobile experience.

More soon on additional ways Winksite is working with partners to make feeds “Mobile-Friendly.”

Mobile Content Festival at SWSX

Dean McCall at SalsaNet asked me to help spead the word.

…my pleasure Dean. This looks great!

Mobile Content Festival at SWSX

An experiment in gaming and application development for mobile devices.

Presented by the Digital Convergence Initiative of the Texas Technology Corridor, Film San Antonio, Critical Mass Interactive, and HBMG Foundation/ArtSpark. March 14th, 2005.

The DCI is looking to address the current influence of mobile devices on our culture. Mobile devices have had a tremendous effect on our society and we are interested in how that new audience might best be communicated to in this new medium. It is our belief that this new medium offers special consideration that have yet to be suitably identified; the least of which is viewing size. Other considerations for this new form are cost per download, as well ergonomic concerns, etc.

The Festival is looking for mobile content submissions that explore the mobile lifestyle. Submit your project now. Deadline is March 5th for Applications and Games, and March 1st for Films.

A Belated Thanks To The Scobleizer

As previously posted Robert Scoble was kind enough to set up a Geek Dinner near Microsoft’s headquarters during my trip out to Seattle.

Thanks Robert! What a nice group of friends, colleagues, and visitors looking for thoughtful conversation, divergent opinions, and a few laughs. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more.

…and the availability of excellent Vietnamese food at the Crossroads food court was unexpected to say the least.

This is the face Microsoft is beginning to show to the world (Thanks to Scoble?) – accessable and friendly – and Robert pulls it off both on his blog and in “real” life.

…now if he can only hook me up with David Winer so I can talk some mobile OPML with him. 🙂

Update: Seattle Geek Dinner: Thurs. Jan 26th

Robert Scoble was kind enough to set up a Geek Dinner near Microsoft’s headquarters during my trip out to Seattle.

Everyone is welcome, so pass the word.

… and please be sure to come over and introduce yourself.

Here are the details:

Time: Thursday 26th @ 6PM

Location: Crossroads Cafe

15600 NE 8th St # 16
Bellevue, WA 98008
(425) 747-6375


Meanwhile, Scott’s heading over to Mumbai and is having a meetup of his own on January 31st. Details here.