Hand-blogging Explained

I am happy to see that my 'hand-blogging' post rattled some of you.  It was particularly amusing to see suggestions about mixing the idea with character recognition software or smart-pen.  Such variations of the idea are not what I had in mind.  Besides, they are old ideas indistinguishable from digital-ink/tablet ideas.  The primary focus of my post to show that it is people that matters the most, not the technology.

Most people on this planet knows nothing about blogging.  I doubt if more than 5% of Internet users know what blogging is.  Stepping back even further, Internet users are only a small portions of the world population.  If the world population was a pancake, Internet users are the top crust and bloggers are just a small tip of it.

I spend a lot of my time thinking about how technology affects rest of the pancake.  I think about how blogging may be a tool for survival rather than a tool for mere communication.  From this perspective, character recognition software or Bluetooth-pen loose all meaning.  Even typing makes no sense.  Guess how many people in the world know how to type.  Only the top crust.

When I think of mobphone, I am thinking about a dirt cheap rugged device the size of a pager and only a few buttons.  Even voice phone calls are optional in such a device.  Such a device can be configured at a local store to point to a specific blog which is created when the buyer purchases it.

A person, lets say Mrs. Wong, walks into the store, choose how many categories she wants, pays $20, and receives the mobphone with category overlay, a URL printed out on a sticky paper.  Mrs. Wong goes back to her street cart and sticks the URL on the side.

Each morning, Mrs. Wong writes out prices and stuff on a blackboard, points the mobphone at it, and clicks the 'pricelist' button.  Each button serves as a form of cheap metadata.  Next she points the mobphone at her goods, lets say fresh fish, and clicks the 'fish' button.  That's it.  Mrs. Wong can look at her blog once in a while when she returns to the store to pay monthly due to keep the moblogging service going.

Mrs. Wong's customers can jot down or tear out a tearsheet to get Mrs. Wong's blog URL when they pass by her cart.  Each afternoon, they can see Mrs. Wong's goods and prices before deciding to make the trip down the street.

A similar 'down to earth' blogging can be done with FAX machines.  A blog is mapped to a phone number and a post is made by faxing a page.  Call it Fax-blogging.

When you really think about it, all this is obvious.  Unfortunately, it is not obvious until it hits you on the nose hard enough.  I hope many people get nosebleed from this and the previous post. <g>