Friday, June 16, 2006

Evaluating moblogging, plogging and vloggin applications

Our ongoing evaluation of moblogging tools continues! I have been trawling the list of Web 2.0 applications by Bob Stumpel et.al which is found on Sacred Cow Dung blog.

There are thousands of sites on the list, so I concentrated on looking at sites that mentioned ‘mobile’ and found these in various categories like blogging 2.0, communication 2.0, community 2.0, images 2.0, multimedia 2.0, test2speech 2.0, voice2mail and voicemail 2.0. I checked out sites that allowed plogging, vlogging and audio messages to be posted to email.

Even though some of the sites had a ‘mobile’ description next to them, they tended to be more desk bound PC capable. Examples of good PC based applications include sharpcast (a plogging site), Waxmail (voice emails can be send as MP3 files using Outlook), Orb (allows voice emails to be posted via email or skype, also supposed to work mobile phone to skype but I did not try this out). I also found Photobucket, a PC based application but there were excellent online tutorials on how to use it.

I then googled “mobile to voicemail”, “mobile picture sharing” and “mobile phone picture sharing” to see try to uncover as many sites as possible.

Many of the mobile sites uncovered by checking the sacred cow dung site and googling had constraints that made them unsuitable for use in our mportfolio trial. Constraints included:-
  • only being able to use the site with certain telecommunications providers,
    rabble (sharing photos on mobile phones) & spinvox (converts voicemail to text) were examples of this.
  • the service being available only in certain countries, for instance, spikemobile mblogging is any available in Australia.
  • the software only supported certain types of phones Nokia’s excellent lifeblog facility and webshots falls into this category
  • some of the sites also required the use of macromedia flash or similar to run the application, springdoo is a good example.
  • A few sites had costs attached to their use, splashdata supports many phone configurations but costs US$29.95 to access.

Anyway, after a couple of weeks of searching for and testing moblogging sites, one promising site was left.This one is presently usable from New Zealand using my Treo 650 for access.

xanco provides a mobile photo archiving and sharing service. This is a European site. Set up was very straight forward and the site displays well on my Treo. It is also easy to use and photos are emailed directly to the site from your phone.

The search continue. Using a mobile phone to collect evidence will be a project that will take some time to sort throug. Along the way, I am collecting good data on the factors that make mobile phone based moblogging and plogging sites easy to interface and work with.