Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Moblogging Category

John Poisson
I'm an investor in John Poisson's company Tiny Pictures which is the developer/operator of Radar. Radar is a cool photo sharing site for people who aren't exhibitionist weirdos like me. John and his team have worked with people like my sister trying to figure out the behavior of the mobile youth (and non-youth) and focused on the "Full-Time Intimate Community" (FTIC). FTICs are the close group of friends (usually around 8-10 people) with whom you share presence. Most mobile youths know whether members of their FTIC are awake, at school, happy, sick, finished with their homework, etc. They use their mobile phones to keep in touch with their FTIC usually sending state changes by text message. The idea behind Radar is to use photos as a presence stream to your intimate friends so you can share a richer presence and make short comments on the stream of images that show up in the "channels" from your friends.

Because of it's rather intimate and private nature, you end up snapping photos for their presence value over perfect artistic value and because of the private nature of the friends list, the content is also often more intimate.

I'm "joi" on Radar. Shoot me an email if you want to be my Radar friend. Like Twitter and LinkedIn, I'm only friending people I really know so apologies in advance if I don't accept all friend requests.

Technorati Tags:

Thanks to some help from Boris, I have moved the moblog resource page to the wiki. Apologies to everyone who had sent me changes and additions. I had been unable to edit my old resource page because I had accidentally deleted the source files. Now you can register on my wiki and add and make changes yourself. I would make the changes myself, but I think I've lost the email that I receive in the entropy of my inbox.

The page is quite dated, but it is referenced in various places so I decided that I should keep it alive. If anyone wants to bring it up-to-date, that would be wonderful.

This was posted using FlipClip a Japanese startup doing lots of mobile phone video stuff. This post was posted using the MetaWeblog API.

This feature is still in betatest. Maybe they can get them to make an aspect ratio feature so I can make myself look less chubby.

It would be nice if they included links to download the media files in various formats other than just the flash thingie.

"The bill, which President Bush is expected to sign, would make it a crime to videotape or photograph the naked or underwear-covered private parts of a person without consent when the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Conviction could lead to a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both."

via Emily at Smart Mobs

I wonder what they're going to do about mobloggin' Aibos...

On a more serious note, although "it carves out exceptions for law enforcement, intelligence and prison work," what does this mean exactly? How about private security cameras? I remember hearing about ISPs where the sysadmin had parties where they would drink beer while reading user email. I'm sure there is a security camera version of this.

From Christian Lindholm who is in charge of Lifeblog at Nokia:
Lifeblog will blog to TypePad - some reflections

Our team today announced that we are partnering with Six Apart to make TypePad the preferred destination when you blog from Lifeblog.


The Feature
Encouraging Cameraphone Use -- For Less Than Encouraging Reasons

Instead of banning them, Chinese authorities have creatively adapted cameraphones as yet another tool to control its citizens, if the latest allegations prove to be true. Authorities there reportedly threatened pro-democracy radio talk show hosts, after which they all quit. This didn't involve cameraphones until new reports emerged that authorities have contacted the families of callers to these shows still living on the mainland. They have been told to convince their relatives to vote for pro-Beijing candidates and then snap a picture of their ballots with a cameraphone to send back proof.

Of course we should all have seen this coming. I remember when I got my first camera phone, I got one for Mizuka and myself. Our relationship was still pretty "fresh". That week, I went on an trip to Kyoto with a small group of older Japanese businessman friends. "So... where are you? Can you send me a picture?" "Ummm... sure. OK. Here." Yes, there are simple ways to get around this by preparing photos or doctoring stuff, but it's obvious that the privacy issue for camera phones isn't just the subjects being photographed, but the owners of the phones as well.

SENT, "america's first phonecam art show" opens in LA's Standard Hotel Downtown tomorrow. The site looks great. Congrats Xeni, Sean and Caryn!

Kathryn Cramer
Halliburton Pulling the Plug on GI Communications

A week after a scandal broke involving photos of American troops torturing Iraqi prisoners, Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, & Root is pulling the plug on private electronic communications with the folks back home, apparently at the request of the Department of Defense.

via Jim

Oh right! If it weren't for that pesky Internet...

I haven't seen this in mainstream media so I may be jumping the gun. Anyone who finds any other information about this, please let me know so I can update.

This should be a cool event. I'll be participating remotely in some way, but if you can make it, you should. I'm on the program committee.

Subject: Int'l Workshop on Inverse Surveillance: Camphones, 'glogs, and eyetaps

Call for Participation:
International Workshop on Inverse Surveillance:
Cameraphones, Cyborglogs, and Computational seeing aids;
exploring and defining a research agenda

Date: 2004 April 12th.
Time: 12:00noon to 4pm, EST (a working lunch will be served)
Location: Colony Hotel (1-866-824-9330), 89 Chestnut Street, Toronto


* Camera phones and pocket organizers with sensors;
* Weblogs ('blogs), Moblogs, Cyborglogs ('glogs);
* Wearable camera phones and personal imaging systems;
* Electric eyeglasses and other computational seeing and memory aids;
* Recording experiences in which you are a participant;
* Portable personal imaging and multimedia;
* Wearable technologies and systems;
* Ethical, legal, and policy issues;
* Privacy and related technosocial issues;
* Democracy and emergent democracy (protesters organizing with SMS camphones);
* Safety and security;
* Technologies of lifelong video capture;
* Personal safety devices and wearable "black box" recorders;
* Research issues in "people looking at people";
* Person-to-person sharing of personal experiences;
* End of gender-specific space (e.g. blind man guided by wife: which restroom?);
* Subjectright: ownership of photograph by subject rather than photographer;
* Reverse copyright: protect information recipient, not just the transmitient;
* Interoperability and open standards;
* Algebraic Projective Geometry from a first-person perspective;
* Object Detection and Recognition from a first-person perspective;
* Computer Vision, egonomotion and way-finding technologies;
* Lifelong Image Capture: data organization; new cinematographic genres;
* New Devices and Technologies for ultra miniature portable cameras;
* Social Issues: fashion, design, acceptability and human factors;
* Electronic News-gathering and Journalism;
* Psychogeography, location-based wearable computing;
* Augmented/Mediated/Diminished Reality;
* Empowering children with inverse surveillance: Constructionist learning, creation of own family album, and prevention of both bullying by peers and abuse by teachers or other officials.

IWIS 2004 will be a small intimate discussion group, limited to 25 participants.

Email your name, the name of your organization, and what you might add to the meeting, as part of a one page extended abstract, outlining your position on, and proposed contribution to the theme of inverse surveillance. Submissions should be sent by email to hilab at Alternatively, authors may email up to four pages, in IEEE two column camera-ready format that address the theme of inverse surveillance. Prospective participants wishing to submit a full paper may also contact the workshop facilitators prior to submission.

All participants (accepted papers or extended abstracts) will have the opportunity to contribute to the published proceedings.

There is no workshop registration fee. There is no submission deadline; reviews will continue until there are sufficient numbers of high quality theme-relevant contributors.

* Dr. Jim Gemmell, MyLifeBits (lifetime data storage) project with Gordon Bell; author of various publications on lifelong personal experience capture.
* Joi Ito, Japan's leading thinker on technology; ranked among the "50 Stars" by Business Week; commended by Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications; chosen by World Economic Forum as one of the 100 "Global Leaders of Tomorrow"; Board member of Creative Commons;
* Anastasios Venetsanopoulos, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto; author on hundreds of publications on image processing.
* John M. Kennedy, Chair, Department of Life Sciences, UTSC; author of Drawing and the Blind: Pictures to Touch.
* Dr. Stefanos Pantagis, Physician, Hackensack University Medical Center; Geriatrician, doing research on wearable computers to assist the blind, and clinical work on brainwave EyeTap interfaces for Parkison's patients.
* Steve Mann, author of CYBORG: Digital Destiny and Human Possibility in the Age of the Wearable Computer; 30 years experience inventing, designing, building, and wearing devices and systems for personal imaging.
* Douglas Schuler, former chair, Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR); founding member SCN.
* Stephanie Perrin, Former Chief Privacy Officer of Zero-Knowledge Systems; Former Director of Privacy Policy for Industry Canada's Electronic Commerce Task Force; responsible for developing domestic privacy policies, new technologies, legislation, standards and public education; recipient of the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award.
* Dr. Jason Nolan, Senior Fellow, Mcluhan Program in Culture and Technology
* Dr. Nina Levent, art historian, Whitney Museum; works with visually impaired; collaboration on using EyeTaps and wearcamphones in museum education.
* Elizabeth Axel, founder, Art Education for the Blind, Inc. (AEB); collaboration on using EyeTaps and wearcamphones in museum education.

ORGANIZERS: S. Mann; S. Martin (; and J. Nolan.
IWIS 2004 arises from planning over, the past 2 years, at Deconference 2002/2003.

ADMINISTRATION: PDC, 416-978-3481 or toll free 1-888-233-8638

Administration sources tell TIME that employees at the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to keep their eyes open for opportunities to pose the President in settings that might highlight the Administration’s efforts to make the nation safer. The goal, they are being told, is to provide Bush with one homeland-security photo-op a month.
They should just give him a moblog and have him do it himself.

via bopnews via American Footprint

Phillip Torrone has programmed his aibo (robot dog) to moblog.

Christian is "Mr. UI" of Nokia. He gave me this cool application yesterday.

Christian Lindholm
Pertti Korhonen, Nokia’s new CTO introduced PhotoBlog for Series 60 in his keynote at ETech in San Diego. This application proof-of-concept is supporting the Atom API enabling users to post to leading blog platforms. The application was developed by Futurice, who is developing a Photblog platform.
This lets you post photos to your TypePad (or any other Atom API compliant) photo album directly from the phone without going through email.

Thanks to Boris and chicgeek for making me a new moblog. I ripped off the "crop it square" look from TypePad and Boris and chicgeek figured out that categories made sense and rewrote the scripts. Boris did the design with his usual magic and chicgeek did the coding. Thanks a lot guys. It looks/works MUCH better. It's officially upgraded from version .2 alpha straight to version 2. ;-)

Phillip Torrone, moblogger extraordinaire breathalyzer moblogs his NYE.

Armed with his hotel alarm, a docomo picture phone, a clie and a pocket pc, Philip just finished 3 weeks of moblog madness.

Philip Torrone
what would it look like taking 1 picture, every 30 minutes, every hour, for 24 hours, 7 days a week, for 3 weeks, no matter what. click here to view.
An update for those who wonder what he did when he was supposed to be sleeping:
JoiIto : How did you wake up in the middle of the night?
ptorrone : i had 3 alarms
ptorrone : one for each 30 min
ptorrone : i'd wake up, turn on light, snap pic, fall asleep
ptorrone : i don't sleep that much, so it wasn't a big deal

I'll be at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference February 9-12 in San Diego. It looks like I'll be doing a session with Ethan Zuckerman on the Emergent Democracy Forum day February 9th and a session with danah, Mimi, Howard, Scott and others on the 10th about mobility, identity and culture. Hope to see you there.

The panel members are not "final-final" so they are not on the web yet. I'll post the description of the sessions and the final-final members here when we get everything confirmed.

Xeni chats with my sister Mimi on NPR and Mimi talks about her bento moblog. The bento moblog reminds me of when my mother used to make bento for me when I was growing up in Birmingham, Michigan. I was HORRIFIED when she would pack onigiri for me because everyone would make fun of my rice ball or call it a bomb. Yikes.

Thursday.8pm. August 14.2003

DECONversation / Maurice Benayoun and Steve Mann, moderated by Derrick de Kerckhove

Looks interesting. Someone go so we can heckle. ;-)

Steve Mann

Brainwave Building Blog

Deconism Gallery/Arts Complex was designed as a blog --- something we call "buildinglog" (which, like cyborglog, abbreviates to "glog").

We've all seen smart buildings, smart lightswitches, smart toilets, and intelligent user interfaces, but what happens when you have "smart people"? What happens when you wire up the "intelligence" onto people?

2003 August 14th and 15th we explore what happens when the intelligent building meets intelligent occupants.

The August 14th event will be an intellectual discussion about the relationship between cyborglogs and buildinglogs. Three panelists (Maurice Benayoun, Pierre Levy, Steve Mann), moderated by the Director of the Marshall McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, will enter an immersive multimedia space (a brainwave bath) while discussing the implications of thepost-cyborg age.

The August 15th event will be an actual collective (de)consciousness where the occupant-cyborgs interact with the building, to create an audiovisual experience from their brainwaves, as part of a brainwave (de)concert performed by jazz musicians Bryden Baird, James Fung, Dave Gouveia, Sandy Mamane, and Corey Manders.

I just scanned and uploaded to TypePad, my photos from the First International Moblogging Conference.

Photos taken with a Hasselblad 503CW with a CFE 80/2.8 lense and a Hasselblad D-flash 40 on Fujicolor New Pro400 negative film. Images were scanned with a Nikon Super Coolscan 8000.

While I'm being bashed on my blog for misrepresenting the banning of the use of camera phones to copy publications in book stores as banning moblogging, my sister gets quoted in the CNN article about camera phones. ;-P

Thanks for the link Jefu!

People are using digital cameras and camera phones in Japan to photograph pages of magazines and books instead of buying them.

Starting on Tuesday, bookstores across the nation will put up posters urging magazine readers to "refrain from recording information with camera-mounted cellphones and other devices".

I know several people who use digital cameras as document storage devices. Just yesterday, I saw a very cool camera mount for taking pictures of documents with your digital camera. In the context of copyright, there are some very interesting issues here that tie into the whole area of photography copyright.

via imajes via #joiito bot blog

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.

Today is the First International Moblog Conference in Japan. It's nice having an interesting conference in Japan for a change. It's also nice cuz it's an excuse for a lot of blogger types to make it over to Tokyo. IRC has made my relationship to many bloggers more personal so it's fun seeing people I've been chatting with the last month or so. So anyway, "welcome to Tokyo mobloggers". I'm moderating a session at 11am with my brother-in-law Scott Fisher from University of Southern California, Yuichi Kawasaki of JNutella, Takashi Tostuka of Sony. I think they're going to have a blog/wiki going up which I'll blog once I know. Until then, please feel free to splatter stuff on my unofficial 1IMC wiki page that I've put on my wiki. I'll try to put stuff up from the conference. Also, I'll try to be on #joiito on as well. For more information on getting on #joiito check out the IRC channel wiki page.

Too bad we don't have a hecklebot yet.

Xeni Jardin is one of those people about who you'd think, "Gee, I wish Xeni had a moblog." Well, now she has one. She just started, but it's cool. She's inspiring me to increase my caption space and be a bit more funny and thoughtful on my annotations. She's going to push us all to be more interesting in our moblogs. ;-)

SO505i.jpgJust got my SO505i yesterday.

The good news first. It does flash. Hirata pointed out a 6K flash RSS reader written by Yasuhisa which SHOULD work on my phone. This will be very cool. The 1.3 Megapixel camera works and feels like a real digital camera. The screen faces out so that you can use it like a camera without opening the phone.

The bad news. Emailing the 1280 x 960 images is impossible because of the size and because they phone doesn't let you even try making this silly mistake. It uses a new, yes a NEW memory stick format called Memory Stick Duo. I can't find it in stock anywhere and I need a NEW adapter for my Mac. Ugh.

The address book still sucks for English speakers because there is only one tab for english names in the address book.

Things that I MIGHT be able to get used to but are still weird: The antenna sticks out of your chin, the phone opens by twisting, not flipping, there is a little white LED that you can turn on and no flash. I can see how this might be more power efficient than a flash, but I haven't found it to be useful yet to light up subjects. Also, it's a bit big and heavy. It doesn't have GPS and location info so I'm sure I'll have GPS envy.

Now I have to figure out how to thumbnail in python and add it to my moblog...

UPDATE: I just found out that I can call and receive calls and talk without opening the phone. That's cool.

I've decided to put my English language audblog posts in my moblog. You will see audio interspersed between the photos from my camera. I will try to put some audio about the photos that I post. It would be cool if I could have the audio attached to the photos themselves, but that's a pain to figure out right now. Also, since I usually shoot photos in clusters around events, I think maybe a series of photos followed by some audio might be the right format for this.

I'm going to start audblogging on my main Japanese blog since my written Japan sucks and maybe I can be a bit more interesting via audblog.

Powered by audblogaudblog audio post
My first Audblog post. It finally works with MT! So now I have to figure out the style. Do I post in my main blog? I can't set the categories, add titles or text from the phone so it initially appears in my blog as just an clickable audblog logo with no text, title or category. Hmmm...

You know what would be neat? If I could voice annotate the photos in my moblog. So... How to link the photos with the audblog entries... I guess I could write a Python script to search for moblog entries and audblog entries within 10 minutes of each other and cross-link them. ;-)

Hirata just set up a web page that lets you register your blog and receive an email address that you can use for moblogging. It's based on the mail2enty Python script I'm using for my moblogging.

Mizuka and I went to see the last cherry blossoms last week and I shot some Provia 100 with my Hasselblad. I got sick of the poor quality of the Photo CD's considering the cost and bought a Nikon 8000ED film scanner so I could do my own scans instead. Here's my first attempt. I'm still trying to figure out how to get it right and it does take a lot of time, but you have control and obviously much more tender loving care than the people scanning for you onto Photo CD's. I've posted a few pictures on my .mac site. I can't figure out what the white space is that gets inserted when I publish from iPhoto.

Anyway, my iLife just got better thanks to Nikon.

Just to confirm the buzz: yes, the First International Moblogging Conference has been scheduled for Saturday, the 5th of July at super-deluxe on Roppongi-dori here in Tokyo.

Adam Greefield is proposing to hold a conference about moblogging in Tokyo this summer. Sounds like a good idea. Especially the fact that it's in Tokyo. ;-)

Aron Atkins has updated mail2entry, the PERLPython script that Sen wrote for posting email with attached pictures to MT.

This version includes:

  • parsemsg.parse supports multiple image attachments; the content of each image is returned in a list.
  • Added, which takes that list of image bodies and either saves them to disk or posts them via newMediaObject.
  • Move parsing of sys.argv out of main() -- this avoids the import * warnings.
  • Template changes in which allow for multiple images. supports both
  • JPEG and GIF image types.

His site is at here and the code is here.

Also, I have been talking to Karl Dubost about taking over the management of the code and he is also working on a new version. If you guys could coordinate, that would be great. ;-)

Thanks to both of you for continuing the effort!

My moblog is the first result on a Google search of "moblog" and I am feeling a bit responsible/irresponsible for not improving it much since it started. Hirata did the current template and although it doesn't work well in IE on the Mac, it works well on most browsers. It's light and simple. I don't have any good ideas about how to make it better... hmm...

BTW, we have an RSS Feed of the moblog. I don't know if it is a problem with NetNewsWire but when the name of the entry is the same (in my case "..." when I don't have a title) it doesn't go and retrieve the next picture.

New Yera's Eve moblogging

New Year's moblog going. The New Year's Moblog is going. Please take a look... [Joi Ito's Web]

We got left in the dark :-(
So it's 5PM here in SF - which makes it 7PM in Chicago, 8PM in NYC and already 2AM in London.
But the site is dark and empty. I wonder what that means?
- it's too late for us West Coasters to post - we don't have our New Years Eve on the same day as everyone else
- Trilateral commission retribution for negative economic policies (and overall underground interests and sympathy penalty)
- never happened - it was just a figment of Joi's imagination
- the site was flooded by millions of uploads
- some other conspiracy involving the Taken, Joi, Tim Leary's spirit and a patridge ina pear tree

My sincere apologies. We had the site turn on at GMT 12/31 0000 and turn off at 1/1 0000. For some reason, we thought this would sweep around and give everyone 24 hours to post. Kind of a "Day in the Life" sort of thing. It also reflects no one on the team wanting to have the responsibility of monitoring the content of the uploads over New Years... just in case... (we should have trusted everyone more...) Anyway, I apologize to everyone who wanted to post, but couldn't. We'll do something again soon and will plan it better.

Anyway, the site is back online. We'll try to figure out a better way to display the content. Maybe a slide show? Anyone interested in trying to figure out how to do that? ;-)

Although it does remind me of all of the times that US web sites do maintenance based on US time zones and take critical sites in Japan off-line during the busiest times. ;-) Unintentional Time Zone fascism....

The New Year's Moblog is going. Please take a look...

We're going to have an open moblog for people to post pictures to on New Year's Eve to welcome 2003. It is "open" but please use common sense when sending stuff. The URL is The email address to send stuff to is The site and the email address will be running between GMT 2002/12/31 0:00-23:59.

Send jpeg images as attachments with the title of the item as the subject. The template will resize the height to 120 pixels. 120x120 is probably the best size.

Pass it on. ;-)

"Misoka" comes from "Omisoka" which means New Year's Eve in Japanese

I've been getting a lot of attention for my moblog even though it's not such a big technical feat really. All you need is a script to convert email into MT entires. We're going to make the code available so that hopefully more people can experiment with moblogging. It's being made available under a standard GPL v.2 license. Please let me know what you think. We hope to continue to improve it. The file is available at:

Here are some notes about installation.


This is a first attempt -- there are some things missing, but someone w/appropriate UNIX experience should be able to succeed in installation and configuration. I may update the instructions as I get feedback.


The ability to read English and follow simple instructions.

A host connected to the Internet which can receive email [1] and:

Python >= 2.2.2
enabled w/ the XML-RPC interface
a blog (determine your blog id)
a blog user, the associated password [2]

Please note that this code was designed to run on the host which the blog itself is running on. Other configurations may be possible, but I don't recommend them and don't plan on supporting them at the moment.

Thanks for all the work on this Sen

Please send feedback to me for the moment. We may designate someone to be in charge of the code later. Also, since it uses XML-RPC, it should be easy to get it to work with other blog platforms.

PS The GPL license on this code overrides the CC license on this site.

image by Steve Mann
Steve Mann, who was the first person that I know to have a mobile device uploading images to the web writes about the difference between blogging and glogging.
Steve Mann
The main difference between weBLOGS and cyborGLOGS is that blogs often originate from a desktop computer, wheras glogs can originate while walking around, often without any conscious thought and effort, as stream-of-(de)consciousness glogging

The Guardian ran a piece on moblogs and I got a link. Cool.

Thanks for sending me this link Howard

We recently moblogged a wedding for Kana & Toshi. It's in Japanese, but you can get the idea. It was fun because a lot of people posted.

Planning to have a massive New Years Eve moblog. I will post the email address and instructions one we have the site ready...

My brother-in-law Scott Fisher is really into location based stuff and does a lot of stuff with augmented reality and virtual environments. He's at USC now, but is visiting for Christmas with my sister Mimi. Anyway, we were talking about blogs and location and he sent me the link for Blogmapper which lets you associate blog entries with locations on a map. Scott interested in doing something in the area and so am I. Does anyone know of any other work going on in the area of tagging blog entries with location data? Obviously, location based moblogging is something we MUST do.

The Nikkei has an article about cellphones with cameras being used in enterprise/business. Found this on Gen Kanai's weblog

I've been meaning to try to aggressively blog with my new phone and Justin's article and his phrase "moblog" pushed me over the edge. My guys set up this "moblog" for me. It's still a test site, but you get the idea...

Justin does a good job describing blogs and what happens when they go mobile.

From Weblog to Moblog
by Justin Hall, Nov 21 2002

Marc Canter blogs about it...