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Mobile marketing case study: Channel 4’s Big Art Mob | Sector: Media | Format: Mobile, blogging

This is a mobile blogging site that set out to create the UK’s first ‘comprehensive map of public art’. The Big Art Mob is a web-based resource and community ahead of Channel 4’s Big Art Project television series. 'Mobile blogging' was brought in to enable the sending of photos, text and other media direct from a mobile phone to appear within seconds on their website.

The Big Art Mob invites people to help make the first comprehensive map of public art across the UK by sending photos, text, video and audio to do with public art from their mobile phones. Using a combination of Google Maps, a geo-coding facility and 'tags' (i.e. labels/keywords) created by the senders and viewers alike, these photos and moblog 'posts' will collectively form an interactive map to celebrate and preserve the country's wealth of public art.

What makes the collective effort particularly engaging is that it has a strong interpretive dimension – users have to decide what 'public art' actually is: how far does it extend beyond the sculptures that first come to mind? does graffiti count? does it have to be inanimate? The Big Art Mob is intended to encourage enjoyable discussion about the nature and definition of public art – from figurative sculpture through the architectural and digital to street art.

Adam Gee, Channel 4 's commissioning editor, New Media, explained that: "There's no comprehensive map of the UK's public art, simply because there's so much of it. But now, with a combination of networked media and people power, for the first time it's an achievable public challenge. As well as documenting the richness and diversity of our public art, the Big Art Mob will highlight the fun of moblogging and provide the base for a lively, visually-oriented, UK-centred arts community."

The Big Art Moblog is part of the Channel's Big Art Project which will trace the evolution of six public artworks from the commissioning and funding process through to the installation. This highly ambitious, ground-breaking television series is planned for broadcast in 2008.

This is the first UK TV project to launch its interactive dimension and integrate community networks so long before TV broadcast – a full year in advance. It is also the first use of mobile blogging technology by a major UK broadcaster.

The mobile blogging technology behind Big Art Mob has been developed by moblogUK, the technology arm of popular mobile blogging site, moblogUK. Users upload images with the name of the artist and the artwork (if they know) as well as the location. Visitors to the site can also add and edit tags to help complete any missing information.

"moblogUK Technology are very pleased to be able to offer Channel 4 our mobile blogging platform for this excellent public project", says Alfie Dennen, Co Founder, moblogUK. "The broad scope of this project shows that mobile blogging is consumer ready. With the market conditions of lowered costs in sending unique content from handsets to the web, and consumers readiness to use the higher end functions on their handsets, this project is a great example of how brands, broadcasters and businesses can use mobile blogging in a meaningful way."


  • Look for applications of mobile blogging in your sector.
  • Consider how audiences on-the-go can participate

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