Moblogging isn’t Easy
Om Malik pointed out that SixApart thinks MoBlogging is the future. That may be true, but the fact is I’ve been mobile blogging for at least a year and a half. What has been missing is a convenient ways of doing it.
There are essentially two different ways to mobile blog: do it via email, which is the method currently being offered for SixApart’s new Vox service, which is where I am hosting my new personal blog. I also use the email method on this blog as well. This is nearly a universal method as many phones can send an email, or at the very least an MMS to an email address. In the MMS you can include a picture and a few kilobytes worth of text. That’s probably more than enough to try and type out on a mobile phone unless you have a smartphone with a proper keyboard.
The other method is to use a client on a mobile phone. The downside to this is that there is not a universal method by which to develop a blogging client that will work on a wide variety of phones. Even within the Nokia product line, which I am most familar with, there is Series 40 (which has a few variants), Series 60 (which has several more variants), Series 80 (Nokia “Communicator” devices, e.g. 9300/9500), and Series 90 (some high-end device I’ve forgotten what it is). None of them are necesarily compatible with one another in terms of software. Multiply that by several device manufacturers and you’ve got a problem.
Both methods have an issue of cost associated with them. In the case of email, you have to pay data charges, which if you’re not already on a data plan, can cost you some serious money. The same goes with a “mobile blogging” client. MMS is going to cost you a quarter or more (flat rate) to send from your phone. Both methods also have the problem of data entry. Unless you or your employer has shelled out the money for a phone with a proper keyboard, how are you going to enter the data without it taking an eternity?
Mobologging may be the future, but I think it’s going to take a while for that future to materialize. It’s here now for those who have the “right stuff” and can afford to pay for it (or work someplace that will).