Note: As you might know, I’ve been Internet-absent for the last couple of weeks and only kinda-present for the last couple of months, so there are a number of services I’ve missed the boat on and trying to catch up on. So you may or may not have heard of this, or some of the subsequent services I write about, but if you have when it was hot and happening, you might be tempted to think “OMG! You’re just talking about that now?! That was so two weeks ago!” You’re right, and I’m just trying to catch up with the cool kids.
A service I’ve been hearing a little about lately in the blogosphere is Utterz. Utterz is a mobile blogging service that enables you to blog pictures, videos, or text via e-mail or record a voice utter using their phone number. These are then posted and published to the widgets that you’ve attached to your blog(s), or just simply your blog on Utterz. The Maynard, MA-based startup is currently patent pending and attempts to offer a compelling solution to moblogging — a space that’s yet to strike chords and deem useful to its early adopters.
The way Utterz works is that you sign up for an account providing it your username, cell phone #, password, and e-mail. Upon signing up, you can leave a voice “utter” by calling 712-432-Mooo or text/e-mail your text, pictures or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org (and even interlink the two.) The content you post is then published onto your “connections” — other blogging services connected to your Utterz account — they support Blogger, Live Journal, Tumblr, Typepad, Twitter, Moveable Type and Flickr.
Utterz’ main purpose is to serve as the middle man for all of your mobile content that you destine to be online. While the service can be used to host and serve your blog, and, like Twitter, as a collective community with members talking to each other and the world, it shines as a great middle-man with integration points for the more focused services. Have pictures to blog? Post it through Utterz and they’ll end up on your Flickr account. A quick text message re: what you’re doing? Twitter it is! Feeling bored at the airport and typed a 500-word memo on your iPhone? WordPress time! Clearly, there’s a need for a service like this — with so many blogging services out there that have now began to serve different needs (i.e. Twitter is DIFFERENT from WordPress is DIFFERENT from Tumblr), there has to be something like Utterz which lets you universally access the power of all in the appropriate situation.
Being a great service on paper, however, has its share of skepticism as mobile blogging in general over the past couple of years has been one of those things that we, as regular Internet users just haven’t caught up with. On paper, being able to instantly blog anything from anywhere sounds like a fantastic idea, which it is. But for most users who are just getting used to the idea of blogging and trying to incorporate new things into our lives, it may be too much. Firstly, there is slight possibility that nobody cares about the topic you so excitedly sacrifice your experience for and live blog about, and secondly, if they do, there’s very little actual use or benefit from it carrying it out from a mobile device.
So what does the future hold for Utterz? So far, it’s off to a great start — they’ve already been able to gain a fair initial share of dedicated users and if they’re able to keep it up and find just the right purpose to serve and are able to provide a product to serve that purpose with just the right user experience, I don’t have a tough time imagining as the service with Twitter-level hype of 2008. If my life were a little more public and I played a Robert Scoble/Chris Pirillo-esque role in the industry, I think I’d uttering all over — personally, though, there’s not much in it for me at this time.