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The Mobile Geek of Glastonbury

Greetings readers, your friendly neighbourhood Whatley here;

While some of us are off gallivanting around the Maldives… sorry, ahem… A DESERT ISLAND …other bloggers, like myself, have to make do with the festival season to amuse themselves here back in the UK.

And what better festival other than the Mother of all festivals: Glastonbury!


Yes, it really IS that muddy. I took that photo myself.

Last year, I think I’m pretty safe in saying;

I was the ONLY person to live blog Glastonbury from a mobile phone.

Yes. That’s right, I blogged the whole darn thing (well as much as my battery would allow) from my Nokia N95-1 (the original silver one, the one with the REALLY poor battery, y’know?).

In fact the only reason my current blog exists is because of my then(?) obsession with Mobile Blogging.

You can go back and read some of my exploits here, here and here if you’d like.
But really, all you need to know is, at the time, the only way I could do this (AFAIK) was through VOX.

VOX has a neat little application that sits on some/most Nseries phones that you can download and is also available as one of the upload options in the Share Online app, also found on most Nseries phones.

Power wise, again only for last year, I had three N95 batteries (BL-5Fs for the true geeks among you) and these two things below:

That on the left is an independent battery charge-base and that on the right, a portable double AA battery powered phone charger.

The former proved itself to be extremely useful, then and indeed over the past year of ownership too. With that handy little device I can always have one battery in my phone, while another charges. This, of course, is all well and good until you go and lose the damn thing… which is what I did a matter of days ago.

I digress.

The thing on the right, I bought that from Amazon, thing is mind…

It . Was. Rubbish.

In fact I think it actually USED more battery power than it actually gave back. I ended up passing it onto some fellow festival-ite in our circle of tents…it conveniently came with a bunch of other adaptors – not just Nokia; covered SE, Motorola, Blackberry… the lot. You name it. So at least that much was handy about it…
However, for me – it was no good…

And don’t even start me on the quite frankly RIDICULOUSOrange Charge Tent“.
I mean, who wants to QUEUE for an hour to charge their handset, only to discover that when they get to the front, they then have to wait around for a further two hours to watch their phone charge at an unsecured bar.
Joined up thinking really not their speciality it would seem…

So… How did I stay charged?

Well, while the Orange monkeys were missing out on potentially 3hrs of great music, I managed to find a little store amongst the clothes stalls and falafel vendors, which specialised in phone charging.
You paid a fiver a go and it was kept under lock and key and all was fine. The system the guy had running behind him reminded me a little of chargebox and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were one and the same… I’ll ask them this year and see. Anyway, this little store became a daily haunt for my good self.

In the morning I’d get up, review any content from the night before, write a quick post or two and then upload as much as I could before my battery died. After that I’d mosey on down to aforementioned phone charging establishment, pay my fiver, and then go off and meet friends who I’d arranged to meet at a later time (do you remember when we did that?!).

Later that afternoon I would pick up my phone, liaise with all the folk that had been trying to reach me for God knows how long, and then get off to another stage where upon I’d take more photos/videos that I would later, no doubt upload.

Lovely stuff.
So aside from the not-so-brilliant portable phone charger, last year was a reasonable success.

But what about this year?

Well, my VOX blog is still up and running.
So I’ve got that working just fine, but now – look at all the other things I can do!

I can upload via SMS, MMS or Email via Moblog.
I can simply make a phone call and speak a blog post through SpinVox.
I can boot up Qik and stream LIVE content direct to the internet. Not only direct to my QIK page, but if I hit ‘55’ while I’m streaming, my 500-odd followers on Twitter will get told about it too!

The plethora of Social Tools now available to the modern, festival-going geek, really… truly… is a spectacle to behold.

I shall be using ALL of those services/apps/tools I’ve listed above… and probably more.

The question is Dear Readers, which ones do YOU think I should be using?

What should your Mobile Geek of Glastonbury be packing in his rucksack to ensure a complete all round mobile performance?

Leave your suggestions below or, if you have anything you want showcased/tested over the coming festival season, email

Yes – I know he’s on a ‘desert island’, but he’s already emailed me twice today with two new products that he’s been sent to give to me try out in the mud of Pilton…


  1. We should talk to that nice lady from Chargebox and see what they're doing, if anything, for Glastonbury. You must take some solar powered chargers with you too, James. And, a Flip. The only issue with the Flip is you capture *so much* content!

  2. Sounds cool. Looking forward to hear suggestions on the tools, as I will be attempting to report from the European Debate Championship in Tallinn, using a Nokia n95 as well.

  3. (as previously posted on Jaiku)

    * What's the new recharge solution? I have heard good things of proporta, but have never tried any of the options. Nokia has some sort of portable charger, but I don't remember the cryptic number-letter code.
    * I think the Spinvox aspect will be really handy: speaking a blog post (especially a short paragraph to go with some picture) would be key at a festival. In fact, that type of “bullet reporting” might even be one of the best uses for a SpinVox service yet. It will be interesting to see.
    * Where are the images going? I noticed Ovi has a poll about the best festival. I'm in the U.S. so I don't know anything about any of them.
    * I wonder what the copyright implications are of Qik'ing full performances. In the US, you would never be able to do that with a sporting event, but concerts…? This is the kind of thing Festivals and Sports Arenas should love, however, they fear it like no other. Eventually, they'll come around, but until then, who knows?

  4. I'll drop her a note later on, I have her card somewhere at home I think…

    Also – regarding Video I will be:


    – Qik-ing live content.
    – Posting content to YouTube via ShoZu*
    – Uploading content directly to my blog as part of a post ( as shown here:… )

    Carrying the Flip might be handy, but I have no USB port to plug it into you see…

    …Now if someone could invent a connector that allowed me to upload content from the Flip to my N95 however? That might be cool.

    Also, Ewan, let me know if you get anymore stuff in, I'll do a follow up post before I leave detailing everything that I'm taking…

    *For some reason I didn't mention ShoZu in my original post. I will be using ShoZu extensively to upload GEOTAGGED photos directly to my Flickr stream.

  5. Not mad on the Flip – used it a bit this week and the quality and trans-coding combined make it too slow / crappy for my taste when really mobile. Occasional use at home may be better. Go for QIK or just video recording on the phone and uploading that…

  6. …so you'll be running the GPS constantly then? Better buy shares in that recharge outlet then…or get thee over to Zonetag pronto!

  7. James, I was going to suggest you take a Proporta or 3. I am loving the one I have, it has come in very handy a bunch of times. They are a UK based company I think. I have a contact there if you would like it. Just IM or email me.

    Edit: I just saw that Ben posted about the Proporta also. I don't know how to delete my post sorry.

  8. I’ll be a first-timer at Glastonbury this year, and I’m taking a bunch of geeky things with me. Foremost amongst them is the larger one of these which I’ve been lent (I’m probably going to buy it from them if it works well) along with a 7Ahr battery (the only one I had lying around). Planning to use that to charge my phone and rechargeable batteries, along with some led’s and ELwire. I’ll have my N95 8Gb and stowaway keyboard which allows me to do most things I need while travelling. Last week I used it to blog from spain, phone Canada using Gizmo, track the distance of a hike in the hills and take some photos too. Amazing piece of technology.

    I should have ordered additional batteries and charger, and I have but they won’t get here in time as I leave for Glastonbury later today. I have Shozu installed, along with Scribe, the wordpress client, and qik. Now I just have to figure out getting photos etc onto my blog.

    Give me a call when you’re settled in and let’s meet up.



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