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Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2004

Dave!Many, many people are blissfully unaware of the name Dave Winer and I envy you. It's enough to know that if there is a conflict in the blogging community, Winer is probably in the middle of it. This is not without cause, as the guy is a fairly important figure in the formation of weblogs and adoption RSS feeds... but he's been beating us over the head with his "credentials" ever since, which upsets a lot of newcomers who want to contribute to how we blog.

Winer first came to my attention when he claimed authorship of the RSS spec during the early days of the RSS/Atom syndication wars. This came as a big surprise to me, because I was fairly certain that a group of people at Netscape had something to do with it. Maybe Winer was involved, I don't really know, but claiming sole authorship seemed bizarre to me at the time. I decided to label him as an egotistical crackpot (much like Al Gore "creating the Internet" before him) and move on.

The problem is that you can't safely ignore Winer if you have any interest in the technicalities of blogging. He is simply too important to the formation of weblogs to put aside, and will never ever let you forget it. When Winer speaks, people listen.

Which is why I cringe now that Dave Winer has decided to define "moblogging" for us. And it's not because he decided to write the definition (hey, if "mobile blogging" isn't enough, then somebody should)... it's because he got it totally wrong, and now we may be stuck with it:

"So Scoble and I sat down for coffee with this mission in mind. To figure it out. To figure out what Moblogging is. And we did. We nailed it. We know. And now I'm going to tell you. Moblogging is any activity that occurs away from your normal blog-writing place whose purpose is to create content for your blog."

Sorry Dave, but you didn't "nail it" at all.

In order for that definition to work, I'd have to know what my "normal blog-writing place" is. The simple fact is, I don't. Sometimes I blog at work. Sometimes I blog at home. Sometimes I blog in hotel rooms half-way around the world. Sometimes I blog on my desktop computer. Sometimes I blog on my laptop. Sometimes I blog on a public Internet terminal. Once I even blogged from a PDA I borrowed from some guy at the airport. So, according to your definition, I am either never moblogging because I have no "normal blog-writing place" or I am always moblogging because I have no "normal blog-writing place." The definition just doesn't work.

I'm not even going to pretend I would know how to define the term "mobloging" (getting attacked by Dave Winer is just not something I want to experience). I had always thought that "mobile blogging" was "mobile phone blogging" with either text messages or camera phone uploads. But now that PDAs (and, eventually, actual PCs) are converging with mobile phones, that seems like it's a definition doomed to be antiquated any day now.

Then again, perhaps the same could be said of the term "moblogging" in the first place, and we should just let nature take its course?

Categories: Blogging 2004Click To It: Permalink


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