1rst Mobile Micro-content Management Conference
At the conference Saturday, I was frustrated by Molly Wright Steenson's frustration that the panel I was on couldn't answer her question, which I can't remember word for word, but was about future uses and applications for moblogging in a social context. I was frustrated because, in a way, I was there to find the answer to that question for myself. I want to know how people want to use a moblog. What do they want to do more than simply posting to blogs? Whatever it is, when I know, I'll make it.
I commented to her afterword that maybe a part of why the question was not answered that day was that being the first "moblog" conference, people have an image already of what a moblog is, and that idea was evident when much of the talk was about doing the activity of "bloggging" via mobile. Some even went so far as to say that moblogging is all about pictures.
This view of course was contrasted by the fact that people were also presenting projects that did not fit this narrow definition of moblogging. One thing that all of these projects did have in common however, was that they used mobile technology. Maybe it should have been the "1rst Mobile Micro-content Management Conference".
I know people are sick of arguing about names, and what bloggging is and what a website is etc... but the name is so important how can it not be an issue. If the name of the conference did not include "Moblog", the discussion would have been totally different. I can't imagine anyone saying something like "mobile micro-content management is all about pictures".
When I was writing another post earlier, I looked back to a comment I had left on Joi Ito's site back in January about moblogging. I thought "Dang I was smart!".
When all is said and done, if calling it a blog helps get people excited about it and helps bring ideas to fruition, that's great. I don't care about nit-picking and it doesn't bother me either way at all. I just think that a lot of people, including myself, already have some concept of what a blog is, and although it's far from impossible to stretch that definition, starting a discussion about mobile communication technologies / microcontent mangement open standard systems totally free from that box may help stimulate ideas more freely.
I think this is exactly what frustrated Molly so much, and I'm sure others as well.
Mizuko Ito also asked a great question about how this is differs from the wiredness of Japan youth now. I can't comment on her satisfaction with the answer, but I wasn't completely satisfied. The answer as I understood it was basically that the text massaging and email exchanging between friends is one to few, but moblogging is one to world. While this is true if we use the narrow definition of moblogging, it rules out other mobile micro content management systems.
Of course if the name of the conference had not included Moblog, I probably would not have been a panel member, as once you broaden the scope to mobile micro content management systems, there must surely be some more impressive projects out there.