New Styles of Blogs, RSS Take Center Stage at DEMO Show

"Moblogging," or new location-based blogging technology and new RSS tools kicked off the annual DEMO show on Monday.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—A star-studded cast of bloggers on Monday kicked off the annual DEMO emerging technology show here, introducing five new blogging and RSS tools that are designed to make blogging more ubiquitous, easier to manage and even more corporate.

The DEMO 2004 keynote panel included Microsofts Robert Scoble, John Patrick from Attitude LLC and Mena Trott from Six Apart Ltd.

Two of the more interesting products focused on "Mobloging"—technology that adds mobility to the act of the blog. The founders of Six Apart, creators of the industry leading Movable Type blogging software, rolled out an addition to their Typepad consumer blogging product that allows users to post photos or audio to a blog from virtually anywhere.

The software appeared easy to use. Camera-phone-enabled users need simply snap a picture, and e-mail it to a preconfigured address—which creates an entry in their blog automatically. Although this process is somewhat unwieldy on a cell-phone, Six Apart has created a custom application for PalmOne Inc.s Treo 600 and other Palm devices, which makes it easier to blog photos remotely.

The new moblogging capabilities are available today for all but the basic Typepad customers; and basic support will be added in two weeks, the company officials said.

At the same time, Six Apart will add support for receiving new blog entries from multiple email addresses, which lets a group of camera-toters update the same blog.

Taking the Moblog concept one further, WaveMarket introduced its upcoming WaveBlog service, which takes the concept of "warchalking" to the blog and cell-phone market. Warchalking is the practice of marking sidewalks and walls near free wireless access points, similar to the hobo signs of a past generation.

Users who subscribe to the WaveBlog service can create location-aware blog entries, which can then be viewed and read using a map-interface.

In addition to creating location-aware blog entries, the WaveBlog service also includes an alerting feature. Customers will be able to subscribe to popular location bloggers, and then receive updates when new content is posted.

Company officials demonstrated how its service could be used by party-goers in San Francisco, following in the footsteps of a party hipster. The service was also demonstrated being used to avoid traffic tie-ups and to locate speed traps.

Although its difficult to precisely determine location using the current cellular infrastructure in the United States, WaveMarkets service is currently being used by SK Telecom in Korea.

By 2005, though, cellular companies will be able to determine location within 50 meters using cell-tower triangulation, or via handset-based GPS. WaveMarket officials said the company is currently working with cellular providers, who will deliver the service. The company expects at least one U.S. cell provider to roll it out in the next quarter. A monthly fee yet to be determined.

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