Friday, November 17, 2006

Rock Concert 2.0: Mobcasting

Last night I went to see the Blue Man Group's "How to be a Megastar 2.0" tour. Yes, it appears that everything is 2.0 these days.

What makes this a 2.0 concert is that BMG concert attendees can take part in the performance by using the text messaging. At the start of last night's concert, the audience was invited to text the codeword, "blue" to Mobkastr, a service of from Counts Media

Throughout the performance (for a fee of $1.99) audience members were instructed, via an LED panels on stage, to text further codewords to the Mobkastr system. Subscribers were then fed a series of messages that interacted with the storyline.

I tried repeatedly to subscribe but was unsuccessful. I landed up sending several text messages to their tech support (who must have been swamped) who were trying to be helpful but were unable to figure out why the database would not accept my number. I was given several codewords to try, but to no avail. I probably spent $10 in messages trying to subscribe to the $2 service.

After returning home I began a stub for this post. A quick search revealed that this technology had a name: mobcasting. It is a play on the concept of mobile podcasting and Smart Mobs.

Imagine that after a very significant football game between heated rivals, say Ohio State vs. Michigan. During a victory celebration a group of individuals begin to vandalize property. A few journalists may be there to cover the event, but chances are that there are many more individuals with video phones.

Observers capture the event on their video phones - dozens of phones from dozens of angles - and immediately podcast the footage on a personal or community blog. The footage gets aggregated on a single website from RSS feeds produced by the podcasters' blogs. This leads to live event coverage by the bloggers, which can then lead to coverage by the mainstream media and possible identification of the vandals and possible prosecution.

That's mobcasting. Sphere: Related Content

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