Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm sitting in a car on the way home from the airport after arriving in Japan from New York. I had a 14 hour plane trip where I caught up on email and wrote some reports. As it has been noted, the frequency of my posts (as well as the number of blogs I read) has decreased significantly since I started playing World of Warcraft. Originally I was attributing this entirely to the addictive nature of WoW, but I'm wonder if I'm also slightly bored.

I'm an early adopter type and I'm not asserting here that I represent any normal person. Reflecting back on my personal early days of blogging, there was something nifty and cool coming out every week. Blogrolls, facerolls, Technorati, etc. My traffic was growing, blogs were becoming global, and it was all new... at least to me.

New things continue to be developed, but more and more of the work seems to involve growing pains like scalability, oversized communities and integration of "normal people" as we cross the chasm. Also, the new consumer Internet bubble is attracting attention from non-participant investors. This is an important part of making blogs a truly ubiquitous phenomenon, but it definitely feels more and more like real work.

When I was in Helsinki visiting Nokia a few days ago, I playing with my phone waiting in line and in cabs. It dawned on me that what I really want is better moblogging. Now, when I am in front of a computer connected to the Internet, I'm mostly immersed in IM for business or Warcraft for fun. When I am mobile, I have idle time that I could spend reading blogs and writing to my blog. I guess this is a sign that, at least for me, blogging has moved from my primary online activity to my idle time filler. However, considering how much idle time I have with my phone, I think I could still blog at a relatively consistent rate. Also, I wish there were better ways to read and write when I am with my computer without a connection.

Anyway, I'm going to have to think about how I can have more moblog... Also, maybe my site needs a redesign too.


"I wish there were better ways to read and write when I am with my computer without a connection." Say no more, Joi...

Funny that Adriaan and I are first to respond to this one... ;)
I first met you guys at a little gathering called "the First International Moblog Conference" which was in what? 2003? Since then we've seen pretty much no development of note in the community. Nokia did great stuff with LifeBlog (and TypePad integration), and that indicates a major piece of the puzzle: the mobile devices and their software.

I don't want to rehash this all now here... we've had these conversations since day one. The carriers, the mobile device makers, etc etc. And yes, the community of software makers (those that haven't been gobbled up the blog startups or Yahoogle) need to do a bit of work too. You, sir, are definitely the man to push on those fronts... ;)

But we may have missed the boat. Web 2.0 is all the rage and just when it seemed the american factions might do some serious mobile software dev (finally getting that it's a mobile computer and not just a phone), they decided to jump on AJAX. ;)

As for a redesign... well... let's talk. You're home for a bit and I'll be home Wednesday. :D

p.s.: many of us are bored with blogging... at least some of it's aspects which a year ago still energized us.

what about reading blogs? Does that still appeal?

moblogging has fallen off the radar - but I have a feeling it might be about to be revived :)

Antoin, reading blogs is getting hard for me too - mainly just friends now - and blogs tagged as 'interesting' in for me...

Joi: I just activiated my typepad for moblog and did this entry.this entry here

I have also activated WhatDoYouThink as being moblog enabled.

I think that as early adopters, moblog via handheld devices and camera phones will be the next wave community. Each holding onto their phone camera's cutting small 3/4 minute vedio and audio clips and directly posting to the web

Joi, check out the new Web Browser for S60 that the team at Nokia Boston just launched. Unfortunately the new phones won't be out for a bit, and we haven't yet successfully back-ported to existing S60 devices (we'll set that as a challenge for the open source community). But it really changes the browsing experience on mobile. Which is the first half of good moblogging -- being able to navigate, orient, and read. And we have a simple RSS reader, with a full RSS engine coming.

What features do you need for moblogging? What are the most repetitive actions that need to be as efficient as possible? If you're good at T9 you might not need a real keyboard (I don't) but maybe you want the "blackberry" style device, or a flip QWERTY keyboard? Is a camera in the phone critical? Or bluetooth from an external camera? Do you want to post Web-sized images, or the original multi-megapixel images?

What other relevant questions haven't I asked?

(Anyone who posts on this topic, please cc me an email if you can -- thanks! franklin.davis at nokia dot com)


Also, if you switched to using your phone a lot, would you want a Plazes client for it?

I understand how you feel. I am also an early-adopter type and am feeling pretty bored right now. We're in one of those valleys where most of the new ideas are just evolutionary improvements on existing things. Nothing revolutionary is showing up on my radar. Web 2.0 should be exciting me, but its not. It feels too much like Clue Train 2.0.

I long for the excitement I had in the early days, after PSINet sent that first commercial Internet packet from Japan to the US opening up a whole new world to Japan. Those were cool times.

I have only just launched a blog - having toyed with the idea for many years - and mostly having no time to develop one myself - being too busy researching other blog behaviour and finding that most of what I want to say is already being said - more eloquently as with this blog of Joi's - but then also encountering Blogs that produce content in ways that paramount to plagiarism! What is with that?

But now I see my clients scrambling to claim this blog space - especially within the past few months - thinking that by stamping their brand all over a blog will appeal to consumers - who want to spend time reading more content along with all the other "more and me too content" In an age where ad agencies are desperately trying to develop communication initiatives where they compete for consumers "more time" I can't help but feel that we are heading for an information clog / a haemorrhage of content - more so than we all feared before web 2.0 - I don’t know about you but I can't assimilate anymore data from hundreds of sources claiming to hold my attention - for information that is the same but re-hashed in a multitude of ways...

I agree with you Joi - that moblog gives freedom - unchaining one from the confines of the PC - I feel that when I share content with my friends and immediate community via the mobile (keitai) I feel a freedom that influences the content I create - which is more visual than text based. After all "a picture speaks a thousand words" - pictures are where I can express myself freely - ultimately not many people may experience my blog/moblog - however I feel the blog allows me to express myself - a way of releasing tension and frustration that comes from working in a commercial environment where my true creativity is stifled...where in the blog my creativity finds freedom to develop, form, and evolve...time to reflect, step back, and re-examine my ideas!

Joi and all,

Yes, I also think back to the Moblogging Conference;). I for myself use my blog less and less for publishing (in the journalistic sense) and more and more as a means for noting stuff - as a notebook. Some stuff goes public, some remains private.

And I really use my weblog more and more in "mobile situations". Still here in Switzerland this is quite expensive and I really see it going mainstream only when the telcos change their pricing plans. Which they should before they get skyped.

This - the possibility to use my weblog via cell phone - keeps me also from switching to (even if I try to add some stuff), because I can consult it, search it anytime anywhere.


I also think that there is a lot to do in the blogging space, at least if we look at it less as a publishing space, but as my space from which I do most anything I want to keep in one way or another.


What I still lack though, are phones on which I could scribble like on a simple piece of paper. I guess this kind of phone exists in South Korea and I really would want one. I would probably moblog a lot of small drawings to keep ideas...

yes! bored! it has to be sthing amazing. strangely enough, i'm using flickr as my aggregator now, since it seems if it's important someone will put up a screenshot of their blog up on flickr. and the photos show me where ppl have been, so if i'm interested i go check more info. but i'm all about the visual now, started this little distraction


Find your inner hard-reset switch. Once you do, hit that baby. Hard.


Two common cures for relieving boredom and re-energizing yourself are getting a new camera or a new girlfriend ;-) is very useful. It integrates cleanly with your photo functionality in series 60, Sony Ericsson UIQ. They have already embedded with the Flickr service, allowing for literally one button moblogging, with both tagging and lots more text functionality than an ordinary mms/email as standard. It also allows for two way gprs useage, with flickr pinging you with updates if you want to be, allowing you to add both further text and comments/tags later. (I think thats in this release).

Joi and Adriaan. This has to be the most subtle plug for a project that I have ever seen. First publicize the problem and then a few weeks later publicize a solution like Ecto....

anon: haha. Yeah. I honestly wasn't thinking about Ecto when I posted this, but I guess you're right.

Just trying to keep you honest ;-)

as soon as somebody makes an affordable portable device, fitted with a hq camera and a qwerty keyboard (for quick tagging) moblogging is going to take off. souped up with no-click GPS, and integration into a google maps type program, idle time will be made fun.
think of all the caption contests! and the emergent "where r u now" flash mobs that will pop up.

mo-geo-blogs are the new blogs!

I've never mo-blogged and honstely I'd be surprised if I ever do, but then again flock has definitely helped me when it comes to blogging and especially when it comes to I find myself using delicious alot more than my blog. I'm more interested in slight tags and comments on existing things. Also your guilt complex with your blog is amazing, it seems like 1/3 of your posts involve sorry about not blogging more etc. Don't worry about it. I blog maybe once a month maybe sometimes 2 times in a week, off in on etc. Anyway. I'd imagine part of the mo-blog problem is probably that most people don't (or can't) get new software on their phones (how do you do that anyway w/o a usb cable for the phone?) and also the relative lack of open standards for mobiles j2me is great as are a lot of the mobile languages. Also the previous poster who mentioned ajax is correct, I was interested in j2me and then got into ruby on rails and all the xml stuff recently i.e. in the last year. What I want is a device that auto-detects wi-fi, connects, downloads my rss feeds and updates my blog auto-matically. basically a pda with xml and rss built into it.


I would be tempted to go on and on ;) I will refrain myself for once.

* Web 2.0: WebApps 1.0, WebForms 2.0, AJAX, Desktop Browser, Canvas, …


* Immersive Web: XForms, CDF, WebAPIs, XHTML 2.0, SVG, SPARQL, Mobile Web (which means any web browsers)

glitchy has good points... in the meanwhile, get a sidekick 2

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