When you need to reach your average teenager and they don't answer the cellphone, donít leave your number, because they wonít respond. Send an SMS.
My executive assistant had to go to the hospital. We tried to reach her 17-year-old daughterís cellphone, unsuccessfully. I had an epiphany and sent an SMS message. Within five minutes she responded. The insight here is that mobile is where the kids are.
To stay connected in the world of the next generation, communication needs to be crisp, relevant, and NOW. Thatís what makes SMS work. Now, consider Web 2.0. Thereís FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, TweetScan, and a cool Adobe Air application, Twhirl (twhirl.org). If you really want to stay connected without sitting in front of your computer the whole day, you need to be mobile.
The challenge is multifaceted, starting with deciding what's relevant for smaller platforms like the iPhone and Web-enabled phones. This reminds me of George Carlinís skit about Stuff (thanks George, weíll miss you). Youíre going to get all of this ďstuffĒ in your mailbox, but you only want a portion of that on your cellphone. Itís much more than just filtering what data youíre going to receive.
Carlin shows what happens when you travel with your stuff and what happens to the supply chain of your stuff. Then you see how your stuff dwindles as you move from one location to the next. By 2 minutes and 29 seconds into the video, see what happens when youíre really impatient and you want it NOW.
Staying connected in Web 2.0 correlates directly to Georgeís skit. To solve the mobile connectivity problem, you need to consider what is on the desktop at home or at work as your stuff. When youíre on the road, you need to have a smaller version of your stuff.
Solving this mobile problem is an extension of controlling the data avalanche. (See my earlier blog on this topic.) If we stay connected and mobile, this exacerbates the problem.
And therein lies another challenge: To parse data you want to appear on the cellphone platform requires manual intervention or a sophisticated system that will do it for us.
Part of the problem is that making a cellphone into the next computing platform is a task that will require modified forms of data consumption, subscription, and filtration. Before the phone can be handled like a computer, on which you allow yourself more chatter (stuff) because itís easier to ignore, there is a lot of real estate, a lot of storage, more bandwidth, and visibility required on your cellphone.
Web 2.0 will reach the cellphone. The intent of this blog is to articulate some of the issues so we can create communal thinking about the mobile angle. Respond. Please.
ó Oded Noy, Chief Technology Officer and
co-founder of Zag.com