I took a cue from Mike Stopforth and had a look at two interesting and similar mobile services: ShoZu and Nakama. These interestingly named services facilitate the publication of photos and videos from your mobile device to public services like Flickr, YouTube and to various blogging platforms like WordPress, TypePad and Blogger. To put it another way, these two services enable you to publish your content which you have created using a mobile phone, for example, to your preferred photo and video sharing site for all to see. It is another step towards more meaningful mobile blogging and publishing.
Why would you do such a thing? Well consider the emergence of a new generation of powerful mobile devices like the upcoming Nokia N95 which typically have powerful digital cameras which you can use to capture still photos and video and high speed connectivity options like 3G, HSDPA and WiFi. This combination means that mobile devices can become pretty effective personal content publishing tools. The applications could be personal (you may see something that interests you and want to post it to your blog, photo or video sharing site) or professional. The point is that it is becoming easier and easier to publish your content from your mobile device and these two services help make that much easier.
Nakama was recently featured on Inside the Net and is a web-based service. It enables you to send photos and videos to various services and platforms (interestingly, not to YouTube) by multimedia message or email from your phone. There is no need to install anything on your phone and this, of course, means that Nakama is more accessible to a much wider audience because it is not device specific like ShoZu is. A pretty cool feature of Nakama is the callback feature where the system will call you back (if you want it to) and record a voice tag for your content that you uploaded. This means that you need not type out a series of tags on your phone’s keypad and, instead, you can simply record the voice tags and have them published with your content. Another feature is that you can also have content sent to your phone to be viewed on your phone. This really makes the service truly mobile. Aside from signing up, you may never visit the web site.
Content that you publish is visible on the Nakama site, which acts as an aggregator of content that is published through it to your preferred service or blog. This content is searchable and you can create communities of friends on the site itself. Even if you would prefer not to use the site as a community its primary purpose is to facilitate the publication of your content.
ShoZu is slightly different in that you must download and install an application on your mobile device to use the service. This application is basically a local client that you use to publish your content. In many ways ShoZu is very similar to Nakama. It is also a service which you use to publish photos and videos to various online blogs and services. One difference is that you can use ShoZu to publish a video from your phone to YouTube. I didn’t see that conduit in Nakama. As with Nakama, you can also publish your content to Flickr and to a host of other platforms. The main difference seems to be that ShoZu works through an application on your device and is, for that reason, device specific, to a degree. ShoZu’s site is also less of a community site than Nakama and therefore a little more focussed on the publication aspect of the service. A handy feature on ShoZu is the ability to backup your address book to the site. At the moment this feature is, like the rest of the service, free although there is the possibility that it may be a paid feature in the future.
Aside from ShoZu and Nakam, you can also publish your content to services like Flickr and YouTube directly. Many of these services enable you to publish content to them directly using an individualised email address which you can use to send content by mms or email. The newer N-series Nokia phones also come with built in conduits for Flickr so there is increasing integration with new devices which makes it even easier to publish your mobile content.