Mobile blogs, social artifacts and the Economic and Social Aspects of Blogs in the Digital Society 2025

rodin blogger.jpg

This is the text of my speech at the European Internet Foundation in the European Parliament last week.

My co-speakers were Mr. Ziga Turk Secretary General of the European Council “Reflection Group on the Future of Europe” and former Slovenian Minister and Mr. Henri Serres Managing Director of Information Systems and Communication at the French Ministry of Defence

It is always nice to be invited to speak at EIF and special thanks to MEP James Elles , MEP Edit Herczog,

Peter Linton(EIF) , Cristina Monti(EIF), Serge Ferre(Nokia) for inviting me.

The topic of my talk was ‘Economic and Social Aspects of Blogs in the Digital Society 2025′ – and I had an emphasis on mobile considering my background

Transcript of my talk as below:

Qs: Who is your most trusted news source?

For me, it was the Economist. Today, it is YouTube

Qs: What is your most trusted blog?

Ha ha! That’s a trick question .. The correct answer is none. You should never trust a specific blog

You should read blogs from a variety of sources and then make up your own mind

If you answer a specific name, you should go back to watching TV(i.e. have your news fed to you!)

What is a blog

Blog :

- A personal perspective you subscribe to

- Twitter, Youtube, Stream of consciousness

- Blogs have no editorial. Rather they have a personal editorial.

- Hence, a blog (any blog) cannot be trusted in isolation

- It should not be

- It is not meant to be.

- But nor should a newspaper be trusted!

- Newspapers should come with a health warning: Telegraph – right leaning. Mirror – left leaning

Who is a good blogger?

- If you can get an audience at Speakers corner , you can be a good blogger

- A blog is a medium

- It is the content that matters

My definition of a blog

Hence, I define blogs as – viewpoints expressed by citizens

Hence ..

Future of journalism (and of civil societies) is tied to blogosphere but future of journalism is not tied to newspapers


Age of the Newspapers: Journalists are newspapers

Interim: Bloggers are journalists

Age of the Bloggers:

Everyone including journalists are bloggers

There are no newspapers only perspective sites

There are journalists with a paid model/VC funding ex (Christiana Amanpour , Paul krugman)

Newspapers will die because advertising dies with it

But journalism need not die

News = New, Trusted, Relevant

Newspaper = Collecting, Analysis, Distribution

Not news papers but perspectives – don’t read one blog. Read many. Collect many perspectives

Traditional media says that they should do our thinking

Its time to reclaim that

Do our own thinking


Hence, I define blogs as – viewpoints expressed by citizens from mobile devices

Create a feed automatically, add metadata to that feed, share feed (friends/all)

Goldmine for communication companies, network operators, devices – share social media content

3 dimensional blogging:

Time + place + community

Social change?

Will social attitudes change?

Technology lags social change – but web and mobile seem to accelerate social change

- The 50+ age group is’s fastest growing demographic

- United States residents spent $469.5 million on online dating and personals in 2004, and over $500 million in 2005, the largest segment of “paid content” on the web other than pornography, according to a study conducted by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) and comScore Networks.

A mobile blog could be a social artifact

Social artifact is any product of individuals or groups (social beings) or of their social behavior. Artifacts are the objects or products designed and used by people to meet re-occurring needs or to solve. problems. An example of a common social artifact is a document.

Think of a guestbook

An icon – Rodin

Rodin Think should be the icon for blogosphere.

Guest book (social artifact)


Mobile blogs as social artifacts inspired from C Enrqiue Ortiz who called Mobile devices as social artifacts

Responses to questions:

a) Why should we trust the Web?

Because the web and search is agnostic i.e. there is nothing which biases a result one way or the other(ex in Google – we see all articles even those that are critical to Google). Hence, to me – that’s a trusted medium

b) Who will be the winners and losers in the Digital age? The losers will be the ones who will not connect and participate. Ex Taliban kill couple who are in love. . These will be the losers

c) Should we not have a debate on network investment? – Yes we should. But – no we should not think of putting intelligence into the network (and charging for it). In general, my view is: It is hard to justify charging for QOS especially on mobile devices since a customer could pay for extra QOS – walk under a freeway – lose connection – call help desk – sue Operator. Even SMS QOS is not guaranteed(no guarantee of receipt). MMS suffers from the end-to-end problem i.e. intelligence tied to the network(both operator and both devices need to consistently support MMS for it to work person to person)

d) Should we not suffer from too much choice: As a libertarian, I prefer choice to no choice! We rely on the knowledge and intellect of people to make the right choices

e) Regulation on deep packet inspection – ex Phorm – I support it. It is a good move from the EU