What IS Moblogging?

So that monster post below reminded me that I haven't posted about Moblogging.org, a new blog by Jon Hadley dedicated to keeping track of Mobile Blogging Resources. It's got some good links in it and should be FULL of activity relatively soon as more and more smartphones start hitting the market.

But that begs the question about what exactly is "moblogging"? Erik, Jim and I had this conversation a while ago when Erik got his new Zaurus and WiFi. Does it count as moblogging if he's at a Starbucks blogging from his laptop via WiFi? How about if he uses his Zaurus? How about from his couch (via WiFi)? What about using a Palm instead? What if you're connected via a Bluetooth connection?

Okay interesting... there's a fuzzy definition around "Mobile Blogging" so this is what I'm going to say, in my little world, moblogging does not have anything to do with WiFi. I'll call that SpotBlogging just because in order to blog via WiFi you need to be tied to a hotspot of some sort, whereas "real" moblogging can be just about anywhere. This should cut a lot of the confusion right there.

So now, that leaves us with Moblogging vs regular blogging. If I take my computer out to the country and connect via GPRS and post, am I moblogging? Again, I'd say no. If you're using your PC or a normal keyboard, you're not moblogging. You need to be using a mobile phone, or a PDA via a cellular connection with a real IP - GPRS or 3G. It seems very specific, but I think that's more or less what everyone has in mind anyways.

So what's the point of moblogging if the definition is so limited? Well, moblogging has distinct advantages that make up for its lack of flexibility. It mostly has to do with the multimedia capabilities of the devices you're going to be using to moblog. Unlike your computer, moblogging devices usually have cameras (3650s or Palm Zire 71s), and they'll have the ability to record sound and video. These can all be posted to central server in a quick and integrated way. Blogging from your PC means you have to use at least 2 different devices to post photos or sound and involves transferring files a few times.

In short - moblogging is about mobile multimedia. My Nokia 3650 integrates media and connectivity in a single device like none that has ever preceeded it (to my knowledge). With it, I can moblog events, happenings and life in real time using tools that are just not normally available to normal webloggers. Weblogs are about words and links. Moblogs are about media and immediacy.

I think that we're just at the beginning of moblogging, actually, and am working on what you could call "next generation" moblogging where people both create and consume this information from their mobile device. This is where Japan is now in many ways, and is where we're headed as well.

There, that's my mind. Comments welcome.


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