Wednesday, December 03, 2008

MoMoLondon site goes Alpha

December is here, the frost is starting to bite and MoMoLondon is back on the scene with our event on 'Mobile Social Networking - Platforms and People'. We are going to investigate the ins and outs of running mobile social platforms and take an alternative slant by talking with and about people that use it. All this and ... finally we have hit alpha with our new web site. Right now it is where the registration for the event is taking place, so create a profile play around on the site and register for the upcoming event ... ... remember it is an alpha of the site so not everything works yet and there will be the odd issue or two ... but hopefully in the main it will help us get to where we have been wanting to be for well over a year now.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Amplified08 event

Lots happening on the London scene right now ... to demonstrate this on November 27th at NESTA there is going to be a new event called Amplified08 that aims to bring together people from many of the different industry specific networking clubs, such as Mobile Monday London. The plan is to get 200 people together and get them chatting. The art of networking is all about getting into conversations with people you wouldnt normally meet and naturally you end up learning new things, get ideas, build your network of contacts and in some cases create an opportunity. It is of course a big social experiment, but if you are active on the networking scene in London you will know that there is potential to fill this type of event out 10 times over. This will be a great excuse to get out of your industry silo and meet people from other trades and cultures. See you on the 27th November.

MoMoLondon - Nov 10th - We are 3 years old :)

Yes its that time of month again! However this event is rather special as it marks the 3rd Birthday of Mobile Monday London. Its been an emotional 3 years so far and we are working hard to make sure the so called 'credit crunch' doesnt affect us. Registration is now open and the main MoMoLondon event is immediately followed by a Swedish Beers gathering at Bar 101 (downstairs from the CBI at Centrepoint). So come along and celebrate all things mobile!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Battle of the brands

With the impending launch of the new Android phone with T-Mobile, most information I have read mentions little of T-Mobile ... sounds familiar? Well I wonder if we are starting to see the start of the end of the mobile networks branding up devices in the way they have. If you buy an iPhone, apart from a SIM from your network, there isnt much on there that makes you think anything other than its an Apple product. I wonder if the mobile market is about to go this way. The Google mobile platform is going to be about Google search, maps, mail, calendar and so on ... doubt there will be space for the operators services on there. If Nokia can get over the fact it has allowed operators to butcher their devices in the past, they may be able to control their own future a little more. So, should this be a reason why Microsoft and Yahoo! should combine to hold their own in this market? I think this is inevitable that consumers will go and buy the product rather than the network. It's a little like going out and buying a PC then deciding which ISP you want to use to connect to the internet. The only real restriction is that the operators are holding exclussive rights to the devices in certain markets, so choice is a little restricted ... well right now it is.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MoMoLondon back for Autumn

Monday saw another great MoMoLondon, back for the autumn and this time we put together a panel to discuss all things regarding mobile platforms. The theme was subtitled 'Too much choice or Hobson's choice' ... which is a good summary of how it feels right now in the top end phone market. Choice is always an interesting concept to dig into. In most things in life, where there is great choice, you find people tend to pick the most convenient and easy option. However this doesnt mean the best choice was made. This could be the case for mobile platforms. Companies like Apple own most of the loop from hardware, software, delivery and product shop. Therefore they pretty much own the experience. So to compete do you need to cover this whole experience. Only time will tell, but Nokia have tried in the past with their music store but with network operators having a big say over what gets delivered on the handsets is this really going to work. It seems the only way is for a big brand to force through change (for the better or worse) rather than wait for people to make the choice.

On Monday I didnt really get much chance to absorb everything that was said (as an organiser you have to make sure things run smoothly ... well smoothish). But a big take aways were the big difference in opinion when it came to which platform was preffered between mobile web and native applications, but also the opinions about why and how standards are going to help or hinder future innovation. Some of the audience remarked that, like the web brought about standards through the stuborness of some browsers to just conform to standards and not get swayed by others. It will be interesting to see if this works in the mobile world, change is slow and compatibility with legacy is going to be harder to cope with than in the desktop world.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nuance acquire SNAPin Software

If you arent following me on Twitter the news is that Nuance have just acquired SNAPin software where I have been working now for only 2 months. Nuance are the big player in customer service and SNAPin until recently were competing head to head for what used to be a niche industry of mobile self service. However this is about to hit the big time with roll outs of the SNAPin platform with Vodafone. How this affects my good self, well of course only time will tell. But as always it is business as usual in the morning and lots of deadlines to hit :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

And so I am starting to get back into developing the final areas of the Mobile Monday London website and I thought I should see how it looks on an iPhone. Looks mostly ok, just a few minor rendering issues but other than that it works very well on the device. We are looking for a company to host our website setup (Tomcat + MySQL most likely), if you would like to host our site and get a logo on it with links back into your own site let me know and we can start going through how we intend to launch the new site.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

MoMoLondon packs em in for July

Hi folks, I would have posted this earlier in the week, however it has taken me a while to get some time to really reflect on Monday's MoMoLondon event. We themed around 'Enabling location in applications' to cover areas such as actually what is around for you to build location into, how to share it and how to access some of those capabilities from your handset. A really great thing about the event was it was packed, not a spare seat and the whole thing ran along smoothly and on time ... gosh! We also had some of our global MoMo colleagues in from Spain, Germany, Italy, Finland, USA, Estonia and more, great to see everyone over a glass of wine afterwards. We also welcome Helen Keegan (aka technokitten) officially to our organisers, who no doubt most mobile folks will know already, and she has helped us out on numerous meetings in the past.

Huge thanks must go out to Ted and Kate from Skyhook Wireless for hosting the event and putting on the party at Bar 100 afterwards, much appreciated by all the MoMo community. Also thanks to our other speakers and demoers Ben Ward (Yahoo! Fire Eagle), Charles Wiles (Google Gears), Andrew Scott (Rummble), Justin Davis (Buddy Ping), Mark White (Locatrix) and Matt Womer (W3C). Not only did they keep the momentum going but made a really good Q&A panel at the end of the event ... cheers folks!
Taking a bit of a look around the web, we have found quite a few blogs post Monday's event, so here is a quick round up from other people that attended ...

And so MoMoLondon takes a breather for the summer. We are still interested if anyone would like to sponsor drinks at a bar for a networking event ... email me if you are interested. We will be back in September where we hope to have some interesting announcements regarding our website, and hopefully a full autumn and winter events diary. Keep your eyes on our Yahoo! Group for more information.

(Pictures taken from Dan Appelquist and Mike Butchers from Flickr ... nice shoots guys!)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

MoMoLondon July is all about location

MoMoLondon is back for July on the 14th (important that bit remember!), sponsored by SkyHook Wireless with a great lineup from Skyhook, Yahoo, Google, Rummble, Locatrix and W3C. All set to be a great event, and there will be a number of our friends from the global MoMo community in town. Keep your eye out on friday for the registration opening.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Its all happening since my last post

Well I havent posted to my blog for a little while now so I thought I would do a quick update on whats been happening. I have pretty much finished the MoMoLondon website and am now readying it for deployment to a host (more on that when it happens). I have also got back into the real world and taken a Technical Program Manager job at a company called SNAPin (a US based company with offices in London). Its a great role interacting with most areas of the company and I will need to get my head around all things mobile from the operating system, network operators through to the user experience (phew!). Also in a couple of weeks the next Mobile Monday London (14th of July) themed around Location, with an alternative slant on it, more about that later as well.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MoMoLondon - June 2nd - Wassup in mobile media and marketing?

The next MoMoLondon event is to be held next Monday (June 2nd) and will be an open panel discussion regarding the future of the mobile industry in the media and marketing industries. This should be a great insight into opinions from the panelists from the BBC, Financial Times and Fjord ... the panel will be hosted by a good friend of MoMoLondon Helen Keegan. Look forward to seeing everyone there, registration is now open, take yourselves to if you are already registered with our yahoo group, otherwise register here first.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

MoMoLondon May 2008

MoMoLondon May 2008
Originally uploaded by Alex Craxton
Last night saw the MoMoLondon community come together at the Thomson Reuters building at Canary Warf to discuss 'Monetisation through Advertising' with a great panel of Russell Buckley, Ray Anderson, Shan Henderson and Claire Valoti. Thanks to everyone that came along and had a chat with over a glass of wine afterwards. See you on June 2nd for 'Future of mobile applications'.

Friday, May 02, 2008

My site

I have spent a day playing around with my site. If you take a look, let me know your thoughts as it is early days yet and I intend to reflect some of the stuff I get up to there along with posts to my blog here and more trivial day to day stuff on twitter.

May MoMoLondon registration open

Registration is now open for the May 12th MoMoLondon event, the theme this time around is Monetisation through Advertising and is kindly being hosted by Thomson Reuters down in the Canary Warf end of London. Should be a good lineup this month with hopefully a good panel discussion to wrap things off. If you are in town and would like to come along, make sure you are a member of our Yahoo! group first and follow the instructions on the post to the group for registration.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ever spotted a happy person with mobile email?

No? Neither have I. You see loads of people in London with Blackberry and Nokia email phone, but typically you see them reading something followed by a long sigh. I think this comes down to email typically being a more involved interaction where more information is usualy exchanged than most people want to deal with on the move. Also many people really misuse email communication as a whole, as though sending an email to somebody means they now have to jump your commands. Reading through an email conversation on a mobile is not an enjoyable experience. If you have ever received many emails from people with a Blackberry you tend to get a short response, so should you really be sending shorter messages to people with a Blackberry? It feels like we need something between the length of a traditional SMS and the never ending email conversations. Perhaps when people are more online with their mobile conversational applications such as twitter and jaiku will find a role within a business environment. I also believe if you really want somebody to do something for you, there are better mediums than email, perhaps an email just to point them to a task list or application might be as far as I would go. As you might have guessed, I am not a fan of email, I dont often have great experiences with email. You either get a conversation that would be better done over IM or in person or you get one liners that could work better as a text message.

Microsoft misses the point with mobile (again)

If you have been on the tube in London recently you will probably ... no ... you will not have been able to miss the adverts for Windows mobile everywhere and anywhere. I cant believe Microsoft have gone and done it again, selling their platform as an extension of the office. Missing the idea of it being a personal device. Dont they get where mobile has been and where it is going? I think somehow they want a piece of the Blackberry 'people' market. Remember the apple advert sneering at microsoft ... just feels they didnt get the jibe Apple were getting at ...

So here is an interesting challenge, go to google and type 'microsoft mobile' or 'windows mobile' and see what you get. First link ... tells me a lot about where they are targetting their mobile products right now.

Friday, April 18, 2008

And so the final stages into Alpha

As blogged before, the website for Mobile Monday London is nearing the stage where it will go into a closed Alpha. We are going to attack it from a user experience angle so that we can be sure that it will serve our community now and into the future. It will hopefully be released into a public Beta for our community before the summer gets going (to hold me to that) and we are now putting together a roadmap of features it has now and some milestones over the next year, looks to be an exciting future for it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

London isnt to blame, its in Beta

London Mayor Ken Livingstone today announced that London was going into Beta, and therefore anything problematic, wrong or broken are just teething problems. Mr Livingstone was quoted this afternoon saying:

'We understand peoples worries and frustrations with the recent issues, however we are looking to fix these for the final release of London. We are taking Heathrow back into a closed Alpha for the meanwhile to sort out some of the bugs and will use private invites only to make sure we dont have to cancel any further flights in or out'.

When questioned further about also putting the London Underground into Beta, Mr Livingstone said that in fact it had been in Beta for nearly 100 years, they had yet to get around to updating the logo suggesting it would have been a misuse of public money.

Mr Livingstone also pointed out that many people hadnt noticed the Beta symbol on the London 2012 Olympics symbol when it was released in recent times. The public have been asked to keep on the lookout for other services and commitments that the London Mayor's office have pledged to that are in Beta before complaining so loudly.

The new Totally London badge is expected to have the footnote ... 'Its not our fault, we are in beta afterall'

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

MoMoLondon new website close to alpha testing

I have been working on a new website for MoMoLondon over the past couple of months (when I have time to code) and here is a sneak preview (click on image):

It still needs a designer to go over the layout and images, a web developer to clean it up but the basics are now in place ready for some closed testing. If anyone is willing to host a simple JSP/MySQL site for MoMoLondon then please contact me directly (info on right panel).

MoMoLondon - Review of April events

Mobile saw the end of a busy weekend of mobile industry activity in London with MoMoLondon's User Expereience. Considering quite a few from OTA had turned up people were engaged by a really good speaker lineup and an open invitation for sponsored places at MEX from Marek. We showed a couple of demos and did a quick review of the weekends activities. We have had some great feedback from the community on both events so hopefully we will be doing similar next year (dont hold me to that!).

Had to put this on the blog, its Phone Phight, written by Lastminute labs overnight at Over The Air ... (spot Tom cheating with an early jab) ...

... and OctoBastard from the Future Platforms folks ...

And finally just before the demos at Over The Air, here is a quick video sweep of the audience ...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Over the air, in the press

Another update on Over The Air (will keep adding to this), now I have caught up with emails, blogs, twitters, life and so on, here are some interesting articles/reviews I have found on the weekend event ...

The Register (little mention of Mobile Monday London in there, damn)
BBC Backstage
BBC World - Digital Planet (about 20 minutes into the report)

And from the blogsphere

Dale lane
Mark Ng

Question is, where were the rest of the technology press, they knew it was happening and many were invited along, perhaps there are too many events on at the moment and they are stuck at Heathrow T5 or something?

Slideshow of Over The Air

Just thought I would put a flickr slideshow covering the 2 days of Over The Air ... enjoy

Saturday, April 05, 2008

And now to Mobile Monday London

Well Over The Air is over and thoughts already turn to monday's event on Mobile UI. Dan Appelquist will do a quick review on summing up the weekend, probably in a 'its been emotional' fashion :) ... but in all seriousness we have a great line up as always so hope to see folks there.

Over the air ... a review

Well Over The Air is now over, and a great end to the day with some really interesting demos that were hacked together over the last 24-48 hours (quite a few of them over night). One was a mobile app to help mix cocktrails, one was a sword fight with bluetooth, another was virtual fridge notes and so on. I was really enthused and educated about mobile over this weekend, so I take away a lot. Unfortunately the hack I put together didnt work when we demoed it on stage (god damn demo demons) and we ended up with the 'most over engineered' award (wahey!) for probably an over complicated demo, although my hack was 10 java classes ... but we had some great feedback so the tiny idea might one day blossom into something else. I am not disheartened, it was a 4 hour hack and with the great help of Betavine we got something nearly there in time ... I havent done anything like this before and it was although nervy, was quite enjoyable.

Huge thanks go out to all of the organisers of Over The Air, I wont pull anyone out in particular as there are more people than I can mention here and it would be unfair to thank just a few of them. At Mobile Monday London we are going to review the conference and see how we can improve and streamline the event as there is interest to run a similar event abroad and no doubt they will benefit from some wisedom you only get by going out and doing this type of thing.

I hope that some of the demos I saw today I will see in some fashion in the not too distant future as they show great ideas can be prototyped into something in a short time. I would like to think one of the apps might make it as a demo in a future Mobile Monday London.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

MoMoLondon April 7th 'Mobile UI'

Quick post today, the registration for the April MoMoLondon event is now open. This month the theme is around Mobile UI, planning through to implementation and is kindly sponsored by our friends at Taptu.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

MoMoLondon website

If you wonder what I have been up to in recent weeks, I am getting close to finishing the new web site for the Mobile Monday London community. Yes in the near future we will be moving from the Yahoo group and Blogger mess we have used for the past 2 or so years. The idea has been to bring together the forum, messaging, blog, events management and events registration system. Of course there are many features we havent yet got around to, but will do over the coming year, such as the obvious and obligartory mobile site and integration with some more interesting social applications to help promote and share knowledge within the community.

We are now looking for hosts for the site from the mobile industry, its a simple setup so we shouldnt need anything particular special regards the platform although we will be sending out a lot of emails from the platform as part of the forum and event reminders.

Registration for Over The Air is now open

Click on the banner to go to the registration page for the over the air event on the 4-5th April. Registration is totally FREE and the event will run over night and all food and drink will be free for everyone that attends.

Over the Air is a special event being organised by Mobile Monday London, hosted by Imperial College and supported by the BBC. 48 hours of mobile and wireless development by and for the leading lights in the industry.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MoMoLondon is going Mobile London

Yes its nearly that time again, Mobile Monday London's next event will be themed on 'Mobile London' or at least what mobile is doing for the people of London (outside of just calls, text and web that is). If all this comes off (the logistics are complicated this time around) then this should be a really interesting event. More info when I have it, in the meanwhile register yourselves with our Yahoo! group if you will want to attend: and await an email about how to register for the event.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

How to make sense of the noise of the Web 2.0 generation ... Web 3.0?

Looking back over the last 10-15 years, beyond the desktop that is, you could sum up the first real movement on the web was around discovery and communication. Then the underlying trend of Web 2.0 has really been around sharing and connecting. One side-effect of the Web 2.0 generation has been that everyone creates a lot of noise, things I will not be interested in clouding my view on what I might be interested. So how to make sense of all this. This is where it all gets complicated of course, if in the last year I have done things like go on holiday, join social groups, attend events, gone to parties, taken pictures and video, blogged, communicated and so on, how do these relate and what is relevant to other people. A recent conversation I have had regarding deep tagging (at the Creative Coffee Club in Central London) provides and interesting step into how you can flag things with richer assets such as video. Tagging right now appears to be the way the web is being sewn together, easier to implement of course but across multiple cultures lacks relevancy and can be very tenuous where two things tagged the same are actually anything to do with each other. Relevancy is a deep subject, the things I have mentioned above regard who I am, where I was, when I was there, what I was doing, what interesting things happened, who was there with me and the same information about them. As I have mentioned, things becomes really complicated as chances are, once you upload these to current Web 2.0 sites you may not able to answer all those questions, especially if you are in a room with lots of people you dont know or cant remember. So the point at which 'things' are captured is going to become more important. The mobile device right now is quite good at capturing basic things like photos, low quality video, texts and so on, and all we typically get in common is a timestamp (which relies on the device time being right). But it is hard to apply this meta data that relates them together, right now that is mainly done in retrospect. Some devices can do things such as geotag, some file formats have additional meta data such as EXIF on photos but it only goes so far. I think the geographical information is only going to move forward once devices really exploit this, GPS is limited especially when you are inside. So how can I capture things and apply the meta data right there and then. If I take a photo on my mobile, yes I might be able to tag a location, yes it will be timestamped but if my phone and the file format provided a way to immediately add some meta data that could go quite a long way to making sense when everything is uploaded. If I am videoing an event, how can I pin/tag things within that event so I can find them later on, deep tagging is not something you find in video/audio capture devices right now but it would be a great addition that could allow a system to automatically edit some of your assets when uploaded. Another interesting trend has been in micro-blogging where people write short bursts of what they are up to on things like twitter, facebook and so on. Because again this is timestamped, information such as this could help sew together other captured assets and apply some level of relevancy in a manner users might be more comfortable with. I realise some thought has been put into areas such as the symantic web, however I think the factors that will make this all work is when the user doesnt need to do anything or very little to apply this information at the point of capture. Anyway food for thought.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Upcoming needs to move forward

I have been a long time user of Upcoming, but I have noticed in recent months the number of events being posted there has drastically fallen, or at least in the London area that is my feeling. Upcoming (now owned by Yahoo!) has the potential to be a lot more than it currently is. Being that it is really based around what is happening a where the user interface doesnt have a natural feel for these simple requirements. Of course its major thing is that you can see what other people are interested or attending and a mix of this along with better tools but this is where competition from social networks such as facebook become a challenge, especially in the fact that facebook is a rapidly evolving platform that keeps the interest of its users hooked. Also there feels like a missed opportunity in not having a decent mobile site, this should really fit into a calendar and alert people to new events and send reminders for events, along with details of where they are. So where now for upcoming. Well I guess the future of Yahoo! is up in the air regards the Microsoft interest so perhaps nothing will change for a while, which is a real shame as I like these social networks that just focus on one area rather than try to be something for everyone.

MoMoLondon - Mobile OS reflections

Last night saw another successful event for MoMoLondon with a busy room listening to the debate on the future of the Mobile Operating System. The speakers brought up some interesting trends in areas such as Smartphones (and what exactly smartphone means), Open Source v Commercial OSs, web applications and how they are integrating more with the capabilities/features of the OS and M:Metrics gave some statistics of smartphone usage in Europe and the US. It was a good turn out, great to kick off 2008 and everyone catching up before the congres in Barcelona.

Anyway, here is a quick audience sweep from the event, David Wood from Symbian is speaking ...

Friday, January 25, 2008

MoMoLondon - February is Mobile Operating Systems

Mobile Monday London is back for 2008 with an event around 'Mobile Operating Systems' to be held on the 4th February. As always register yourselves first with our Yahoo group and from there you will be sent a mail when the registration for the event is opening.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Year, New Goals

Its been a good break over the Christmas and New Year period, I have just started on a 2 month sabatical to help build up Mobile Monday London and I get a bit of time to relax before going back into Ymogen. So what has changed in the last few months, well firstly MoMoLondon is now a limited company, with directors (me being one) and we now have plans to move forward regards sponsorship and what we want to do for the community in the coming year. And we already have plans for events such as a 48 hour developers event (more on that later) and some other exciting themes in the coming months, february looks likely to be the next event. Keep your eyes on for further news.