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Minimal Penetration of Moblogging Forecast

Unless market conditions change drastically, 'moblogging' -- the practice of posting multimedia content, usually photos, from mobile camera phones directly to blog websites -- will remain a minority recreation for the foreseeable future, according to ABI Research.

According to senior analyst Ken Hyers, "At the end of 2006 there will be about 655,000 active mobloggers worldwide. The word 'active' is important, because many people start moblogs, but nearly as many abandon them within weeks. And even by 2011, when there will be some 3 billion mobile subscribers, we expect a mere 2.7 million to be moblogging."

Given the popularity of social networking websites such as MySpace and YouTube, what is holding moblogging back? The generally poor quality of the pictures made by most camera phones is one factor, as well as the sometimes clumsy upload processes. "And," says Hyers, "for most people there's simply not enough going on in their lives that they're going to be uploading pictures on a regular basis."

According to ABI, all this would suggest that moblogging is not much of a revenue generating service offering. However, some kinds of content, and some business models do offer promise. Mobile operators garner revenues from the data services that power every picture upload.

Operators and handset vendors should work with popular moblogging web sites to encourage mobile subscribers to moblog. "Moblogs should be tied to other types of online communities," says Hyers, "where they can be supported by banner ads on the site, by targeted marketing aimed at the interests of specialized online communities, and by additional services such as photo printing."

I offer another perspective, because I believe that exploring enterprise applications is an untapped opportunity. Remote project management reporting is one compelling application where photos and short videos of project progress can significantly reduce the need for business travel to a physical project site. I've seen this approach utilized in a retail store construction environment, and the results were impressive.

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