Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Hirata just demo'ed an experiment we did with Sony. It's a moblog gateway. It receives email from a cell phone with a photo attached. The Sony team made an XML RPC metaWeblog API interface to Sony Image Station. We take the picture, talk to Sony Image Station using metaWeblog API and post the picture in a photo album. Then the gateway talks to Movable Type using the metaWeblog API to create an entry with the thumbnail from Image Station that clicks thru to the full picture on the Image Station site. The text and the title get entered into Movable Type and the category is pre-set. We are using the metaWeblog.newMediaObject (which Movable Type current supports) to send the images. Please support this standard so photo sites can use the API.

We'll continue doing tests with the research group and hope to do some syndication stuff soon. ;-) This is not a product and is really just an experiment. I'm hoping more and more groups in Sony start looking at the open standards and that the open standards people start thinking photos, video and audio as micro-content. Totsuka-san from Sony CSL Content and Applications Lab (sorry about the mistake Totsuka-san!) had an interesting comment today. He said that pictures are attached to email as second class citizens and the text is still the core of the data. I think the idea is to try to get multi-media micro-content to be more important. ;-)

PS I don't have a URL for this since we have only received an OK to demo it at the conference. Stay tuned.



Any chance you can put me in touch with the Sony folks looking at mobile imagery?

I've developed a server based image manipulation and enhancement engine that would work well with moblogged photos.

An overview of the imaging engine concept can be found here and here.

For a live toy example, send a headshot to this email address for a dynamic postcard:

An live automatic painting example can be found here:

The PDF technical one-pager is here

This is powerful stuff and I'd really appreciate getting a chance to pitch SONY on this.

Douglass Turner

Well, I think they read this blog, so you are already in touch. ;-)

Sounds a lot like the AudioBlogging Gateway. It's really the same concepts and principles used with photos instead of audio files. There is no reason why the AudioBlogging Gateway concepts and principles couldn't be united to do many multi-media types such as audio, video and photos in one Multi-Media Gateway.
I think it would be great if we could all work together on this in the open. That was my goal when I published the AudioBlogging Gateway idea on my weblog in early April.

Douglass, the frame effects look cool. i sent a test email but i got a Perl error back :-(


I found and fixed what I think may be the bug you found (jpeg image subtype bug). When you get a chance, give it a try again.

Douglass Turner

So here I am, Douglass. The images at your site look great.

Any chance you have seen my colleagues work "Editing 3D Objects without 3D Geometry" at Siggraph 98 and/or Tour into the picture work by my friend's group at Siggraph 97 ?

Finally, Joi, I am from Content and Applications lab., not from CSL :-)

it's not that pictures/movies are 2nd class citizens... it's that for email, text is STILL the lowest common denominator... every device/program that can do email, can do text. multimedia content... well, that is not 100%... even with people that you know that have it... why?

ever try to send pictures out as email attachments to a group of friends that you met at a party? wow. it's a complete logistical nightmare. some people get it, can't view it. others, mail servers block off email with attachments or anything over 100kB... some inboxes are full... some people only have email on their phone and can't view it.. it just becomes a total nightmare and at the end. so many things can go wrong as these small things just really wished that you didn't even try it in the first place. you start to solve other people's problems and all the fun of the stuff you sent out just became this huge loss.

hence, multimedia content with email is always 2nd class... because it's just not 100% guaranteed to work.

people want to fix email to prevent SPAM. let's get this issue cleared as well.


Beautiful work. Back when I was a 3D graphics research scientist at Apple in Cupertino I used to make the August pilgrimage to SIGGRAPH all the time.

I got involved in image based rendering and NPR (non-photorealistic rendering) during a two year stint with Apple's QuickTimeVR team. Not many people know this, but I was responsible for leading the transformation of QuickTimeVR from a deadend CD-ROM product into a web-based virtual navigation product.

My imaging engine is intended for folks who want to take a bit more care with the presentation of their words and images. Folks who want more control in the way they tie imagery and copy together on their blog.



It worked !

Yes, that's a green tea ice-cream on the picture. yum yum.

I want some green tea ice-cream. give me some, my Japanese friends! :-)

I did the same thing for the following sites: gormur, mms

I'm running a private MMSC -> blog gateway on a different machine. The incoming MMS messages are parsed, and the multipart MIME content is split up into an image that is uploaded to a Movable Type blog using the Metaweblog.newMediaObject method. The method returns a URL that is used along with the text part of the MIME message to construct the blog entry, that is then posted using the Metaweblog.newPost method. The beauty is that we did not have to reinvent the whole blog infrastructure :)


Hah! This is the kind of thing that could only happen on the Internet. I'm sitting at my desk right now in Reykjavik (Hellusund 7) and I can tell from your Icelandic blog that you are somewhere nearby. I'd like to learn more about what you're up to but I found no email address at

Send me an email or call me at 895 5077

Bles Bles,

The stuff Cypher mentions above is also available in conjunction with the Hex BlogPhone. The BlogPhone enables audioblogging from any phone, in addition to the MMS Imagery and text. So you can mix and match as you please. This all connects via the xmlrpc interface to the blogserver.
Near future enhancements include the ability to call in an entry and state picture will follow, and we submit the soundfile and picture together as a single entry.

I posted some pictures of the moblog conf on sat up at my mopho blog type thing.

Check them out here.

I've had blogrouter doing this for the Hiptop for a while now at; it's also on freshmeat at

I also have a feature for image rotation: if you name the image with a character, it rotates the image losslessly, using jpegtran.

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Marc's Voice Joi gets something done! Sony Image Station with MetaWeblog API. Hirata just demo'ed an experiment we did with Sony. It's a moblog gateway. It receives email from a cell phone with a photo attached. The Sony team made... Read More

Marc's Voice Joi gets something done! Sony Image Station with MetaWeblog API. Hirata just demo'ed an experiment we did with Sony. It's a moblog gateway. It receives email from a cell phone with a photo attached. The Sony team made... Read More

I published my presentation about at 1imc, Jul/2003. did experiment with SONY/ImageStation using Movable Type Weblogging, ImageStation, and mobile phone. (In Japanese) Read More

[via Joi Ito, 1] The Moblogging Conference [2] is already history. Here some pictrues from there [3]. [1] [2] [3] Read More