Fair cop Gov', it were me! Back in 2003 I got in touch with Mat after hearing he was working on a mail parser that would allow people to "moblog" from their camera-phones. In early 2003 I had a moblog at Textamerica. I used it every day and really, I loved it. Then one day they simply deleted my account. No warning no nothing. To this day I don't know why they did it; perhaps because of some fairly graphic images of an operation I had on my knee?
Regardless, I was livid. For a while I'd been thinking that I'd like to start a site that let people easily moblog and this was the real impetus. Mat and I got together and the rest, as they say, is history. That history though, wow, we've come a long way. From a one style-sheet 'ZOMG I can post pics from my phone!' to a deep community and loads of projects that have come out of the site.
- What kind of stuff are you likely to highlight on moblog?
Anything and everything - whatever catches my eye. I am most drawn to intimate moments and surprising captures that illustrate the mundane in interesting ways.
- Where do you live?
- How long have you had a Moblog?
5 years and 11 Months (has it really been that long?)
- What does Moblog mean to you?
When Mat and I started Moblog in 2003 I was working for a publishing house called Sport Business, doing rather dull subscription marketing. Because I'm fairly entrepreneurial I dedicated all of my spare time (and a good portion of Sport Business' time I'm a little ashamed to say) to finding ways for the site to make money and be self sufficient. This meant working with people like Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Proud Galleries and Oxfam. For me, Moblog was an incredible learning journey. I discovered so much about the web as it was emerging from the dotcom crash and so much about how brands and businesses were largely lost in figuring out what to do with it.
From Moblog came We're Not Afraid back in 2005, after I published an image a friend of mine had MMS'd from a smoke filled tube platform. That project was an incredible journey. The site needed a lot more than just me, and so the Moblog crew helped in moderating and debate - I truly got to know some incredible Mobloggers during that time - almost too many to mention but Joe, Bronxelf, 540air, Piecoplastic were all instrumental in making the site work. So many people that I today still count among my good friends, and people who really understand and know me.
Then we got to do the Big Art Mob for channel 4, another incredible experience which let us actually pay for the first major site upgrade ever. Last year we won a Webby for the slightly bonkers Britglyph, which was built on the Moblog backbone. And now Moblog is, essentially, run by it's members! It has been an incredible 5 years and 11 months. What does Moblog mean to me? It has been my life, my child, my temper tantrum teen, and I love it and the people who make it a lovely place to hang out.
- What is your favourite means of taking photgraphs?
my phone - I'm not the world's best photographer by any stretch, Im a point n click kinda guy.
- If you had to draw a moblog family tree, who would you be linked to
Whoah! Hard! Erm, like Mat said: Me ------> Everyone. Some of us are friends IRL, some only on internets, but I do honestly feel as though Moblog is a bit of an extended family
- What would you most like to happen to moblog in the future?
One thing that running We're Not Afraid taught me (and Moblog to an extent) is that consensus led decision making is a really really tough thing to get right. Everyone has a voice, everyone has an opinion. Some are better informed, some are led by their passion and, ultimately, every voice is right to some degree. The challenge is in filtering things into a practical roadmap to Make Things Happen.
I used to sign my emails with 'The Department Of Really Moving Things Along' and I hope that through the Bottom-up approach to running the company that is emerging at Moblog we find a way to move things along and listen to all of the voices that need to be heard.
On a practical note, I would like to see Moblog become a service oriented architecture rather than the more platform based one it is today. In a word: API. People want to do *lots* of things on the web/mobile, and a 'Home' platform can only ever do some of those things. Once you have an API people can take what the architecture can do and create their own things. I think this is the future of the Web as much as it is Moblog's, so I would love to see us trying to make that a reality as we really move things along.
PS: The image above is a mosaic made up of every image I've ever posted to Moblog, all 4900 of them.
Posted by Alfie