November 6, 2005

Impulse blogging – the Rabble speak out

Posted in Articles at 12:11 am by siddey

Personally, I think Rabble is about to strike gold. Their investors seem to think so too – at least US$5.5m worth of gold to be exact. They will no doubt soon face stiff competition from those with much bigger budgets and more powerful mass media allies, however, Rabble seems to have realised early on in the piece, the power of allowing people to instantaneously share personal experiences with the world. It is blogging in its basic form, with the key difference being immediacy and location awareness.

When you’re out and about, suddenly wanting to capture that once in a lifetime event, or perhaps share a “here and now” feeling with someone half way around the planet, Rabble’s custom mobile application allows you to do so. The software ties a mobile phone camera and other input devices together, along with your stated location (entered as country / postcode / region etc.) in order to facilitate recording moments in time and publishing it all to blog space for other mobile and non-mobile users to access.

Imagine standing in the middle of your own town and being able to read, view and experience the thoughts and actual moments of many people before you. Surely, as with blogs today, there will be much noise to filter out but just knowing that you’re able to link information with the actual location it was created, is a powerful human experience. Imagine in decades or even centuries to come the treasures of information that could be linked back to an exact time and place.

I’m sure I don’t need to point out that this is currently only available in limited areas in the United States (isn’t everything?). I am confident, however, that once it catches on there, we’ll wonder how we ever lived without the immediacy of location-enabled, mobile blogging.



  1. geo999 said,

    Howdy Todd

    A great Post – I like your blog – it’s spot on to my interests – LBS on 3G phones in OZ are coming (like XMAS?) — but meantime as you note SENSIS/WhereIs/UBD maps/info services on Telstra mobile networks ( GPRS inpartic) is crappola — the real breakthru in Oz will be when when Google and Yahoo “local” start delivering on our networks with great POI’s, navtools etc– we may have to wait though for WIMAX mobile ( AuStar is launching this next year I am told ) – VOIP on WIMAX mobile must put the fear of Allah up Sol

    You might like to check out my blog at terracarta.blogspot — where I keep a lot of screenscrapings on anything I see relevant to where LBS is heading

    Have you thought about putting an RSS feed on your blog — I use — which give really good analytics on hits — and which shows me where the interest is coming from

    all the best from Tassie


  2. Todd said,

    Hi there,

    Thank you for the feedback.

    As you would no doubt know, the difficulty in releasing new LBS within the Australian market is the limited number of map data suppliers. Telstra is obviously one player, who via their subsidiaries UBD and Sensis have control over the most widely used map data. The other is PSMA Australia, which is a government controlled body that whilst promoting principles of “maps for the masses”, has unfortunately not responded to any of my enquiries relating to their pricing models.

    For Google or Yahoo! to head into Australia it will have to be via Telstra or PSMA.

    I believe the problem lies with the fact that these two bodies are making too much money from commercial usage of their data. To open this up to the general public a la US style, has the potential to undermine their core income streams. As Australia does not have a consumer market size anywhere near that of the US, it would be difficult for these businesses to create a business plan that shows a return from the public exceeding that of their current commercial interests. I tend to think that opening it up would trigger significant consumer interest and financial returns, however, business is business and on paper for now at least, the small Australian consumer market is unlikely to be attractive to them.

    We will need market saturation of next generation 3G handsets to occur first until we can present a case to these institutions to open up their data. Until then, it will be a costly licensing exercise for companies to enter the consumer market.

    Regarding the RSS feed, you should see a link on the right hand side for this (or if you use Firefox, there will be an RSS feed icon in the bottom right).

    I’ll keep an eye on your blog. It’s good to see a LBS news summary information source like that.

    I will be interested to see if Sol has any mention of a new strategic plan for Sensis in the new Telstra vision document he will release tomorrow.


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