Yesterday the blogging population saw the announcement of Blogger Mobile - for US based mobile users, they can start blogging with minimal effort and set-up hassle. Just send a picture/text to firstname.lastname@example.org and you're up and running. The service sends the user a web link and a code which can be used to view/edit the blog. Bloggers who already maintain a blogspot can register existing blogs against their registration code.
This is an interesting development for a number of reasons:
1) It demonstrates how important the mobile phone is for the future of blogging. The mobile is the perfect tool for adding pictures/text to your blog. Most of us (!) spend a lot of time away from our PC's/laptops but the mobile stays with us.
2) It could mark the change from blogging being a niche activity to a mass market phenomenon. Simplicity is absolutely critical to running up the adoption curve and so many products remain niche because they havent managed to overcome provisioning complexity. This is the brilliance of what Four11 and Hotmail did with email. They turned email from a product that needed an ISP, modem, PC, pop3 address, smtp config etc into something that required 2 minutes of registration time in an interenet cafe or a friends PC. Blogger has reduced the provisioning complexity down to a couple of steps.
3) It suggests that Blogger has done some form of deal with US operators (not all of them). This is interesting for me because I think European operators might have a different attitude given their commitment to the upkeep and maintenance of their walled gardens.
Despite all the positive press, I still think there's room for improvement, because fundamentally the average mobile user is not familiar with sending with pictures or text to an email address. We send stuff to numbers.