Nokia looks to DIY content with Lifeblog

And new wave of sharing may appeal to some businesses too

And new wave of sharing may appeal to some businesses too

Nokia will bring its vision of mobile blogging to the mass market over the next year by selling a one-off application rather than a service. It's a move that may also have implications for some types of business and mobile operators.

The idea of the mobile blog - or moblog - is closely tied with high-resolution cameras such as its 7610 and 3G networks but the concept of a 'lifeblog' got an airing this week at the Nokia Connection 2004 event in Helsinki. It is very much about a personalised, PC-based diary that isn't shown to the world but used among family and friends.

Christian Lindholm, director of multimedia applications within Nokia Ventures, this week painted a picture of the Lifeblog as "a digital shoe box" - the modern day equivalent to where old photos and momentos would commonly be kept.

It relies on connectivity with other devices - a mobile phone's screen being too small to show complex timelines - and quality of photos that are good enough not to throw away.

Lindholm said a Lifeblog application may end up selling for around £30 but it is also crucial other players get involved in the nascent market.

He denied this is a play that will ostracise network operators - much of the concept relies on short-range syncing and customising Lifeblog for individual operators to sell that hasn't been considered yet - but admitted some aspects do not suit the wireless world. For example, he said transferring megapixel photos over GPRS would be painful.

While a consumer play, there are clearly applications for certain vertical sectors such as insurance, property, entertainment and leisure, all of which rely on recording and documenting events, places or information.

Joichi Ito, an investor in blogging start-up Six Degrees, which works with Lindholm's unit at Nokia, said: "We always underestimate how much [people are willing to consume] DIY content and overestimate the value of pre-packaged content."

As various companies in old and new media, in fixed and mobile communications, think about which content will be valued by users, it seems the race to cash in on what's homemade is only going to intensify.