Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Global Mobile

So there are 2.7 billions mobile phone users and "messaging is the biggest app on the planet". Alan Moore and Tomi T Ahonen try to put it into perspective in their detailed post:

  • 800 million cars
  • 1.3 billion land line telephones
  • 1.5 billion tvs
  • 1.4 billion credit cards
  • 850 million pcs
  • 1.1 billion people on the internet
  • 2.7 billion mobile phone users

He goes into these in-depth, but the sheer numbers speak volumes about where we are and where we're going. I expect the PC number will increase to over a billion once the lower cost pcs are produced. Nicholas Negroponte's project, One Laptop Per Child, or at least one of his competitors, will hopefully create exponential growth in the developing world.

But that's certainly not the point here. Mobile is the most profound technological achievement in terms of communication that we've ever known. And once the newer devices - the convergent devices, have proliferated, it's a whole new ballgame. How will we distinguish between a PC and a phone?

Monday, January 29, 2007


Kudos to Katrin Verclas and others on this site - focused on mobile phones for civic engagement. MobileActive delves deeply into what is being accomplished on this platform globally - the least of which is in this country, but that will soon change...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Second Life

So, there has been much debate on whether Second Life has a sustainable future. Marc Sirkin has weighed in on the subject, as has Clay Shirkey , and true, the sheer numbers may not be truly telling the whole story. It took me about 2 years to take it seriously myself, but now we are finally moving forward. Here's where I think the future lies for this: the integration between web site and deep link into second life. For now, the barrier is too great - you need to download a file, create your avatar, and figure out how to navigate. But once SL becomes more ubiquitous, that transition could be almost seemless.

Imagine for instance, that you are shopping for a house. You look on one of the real estate sites but want to take a closer look. You are teleported into the house itself - you can walk upstairs check out the closets - everything. Much less time and effort than making an appt and physically showing up. You don't have to see ugly furniture either!

That's where the value is for me, we just have to wait for the usability to catch up. It's a bit too techy for the average user, and I personally have felt the bugs each time I go in, but whether it is Second Life or some other virtual world - or tool, we'll be seeing more of it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Going to vs. Pulling in your audience

I have been a big believer of late of finding your audience where they live. How can you fight with the sheer volume of some of the social networking sites like myspace or facebook? But, in some cases, the right place really doesn't exist. We are struggling with that now, and I think we might contradict my recommendation. The difference to me and the reason we built Share Your Story, is that you would build a space around a common interest, whereas the other social networking sites are built around individuals who you may or may not be connected to. There were no great sites for parents of preemies when we started Share so it was easy to justify. The other argument for "owning" the space is the safety and trust issue. When our name is on it, they know it is not for commercial purposes and we can protect the community. That's important to the members and a reason for coming back.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Just when you htought it was safe to develop for SMS or .mobi platforms, Steve Jobs does it agin - he redefines convergence and we are right back where we started...

Change This

Another great site for challenging ideas - this one complete with manifestos:
Change This

Friday, January 05, 2007

Second Life

Ok - I finally went for it, inspired by the Alzheimer's association. Man, it is time consuming and a little scary. But there are 2 million members at this point and there were about 16,000 people live during my session. I must admit, I didn't get too far - I was overwhelmed by selecting my avatar's wardrobe and her "look" - I couldn't find the right pair of jeans, which is, I suppose a reflection of reality. Other stories from the MOD office: Rob found himself in a nigh club dancing and he couldn't turn it off - he is still dancing in limbo in Second Life. Susan found herself "naked" on an "island" and couldn't figure out how to geet dressed again. I'm so curious about certain things - is there crime? Where does your avatar hand out when you aren't there? And why isn't there an SNL skit on this?