Phone bloggers get multimedia upgrade

Foneblog v2 brings more features to mobile bloggers, and more revenue to operators' pockets

Ireland-based NewBay Software has updated its software, which lets people update Web logs by mobile phone, adding community messaging features, better statistics and support for the latest multimedia phones, in a bid to help increase revenues for operators.

With FoneBlog v2, bloggers can be notified by text message, multimedia message (MMS), WAP or email whenever anyone posts a comment to their blog, while visitors can now ask to be notified of any updates to their favourite FoneBlog site. It's also easier for a reader to forward pictures from a FoneBlog.

NewBay believes this will help to create user-driven communities of phone bloggers and their readers. The company said FoneBlog v2 has also been optimised for the latest multimedia phones. An animation option will now let bloggers 'broadcast' a series of pictures over MMS, or even SMS.

The original FoneBlog was launched in early 2003. So far it has only been deployed by O2 Ireland, but NewBay hopes to get more mobile operators onboard and recently teamed up with Verio to develop its product.

It appears that the motivation behind many of FoneBlog v2's upgrades, in particular the text and MMS updates, is to increase the amount of revenue generated by the mobile operator from customers.

"FoneBlog v2 gives mobile operators a better, easier to use, more addictive product that generates increased messaging traffic," said Paddy Holahan, chief executive of NewBay Software, in a statement.

"FoneBlog [will]… convert operators' technological capability into real revenue."