Alan was asked to author the paper by Microsoft and it is well worth spending 30 minutes or so reading his excellent views on the allure of the mobile that has started to totally consume our lives.
Alan opens the paper with the following
When it comes to mobile telecommunications, it is often said that what works in one country, does not work in another. I wholeheartedly refute that argument. Human beings are more alike than we care to admit. We are programmed to be a “we species”—a social networking species with an innate need to connect and communicate. I often muse on the reason why SMS is ubiquitous as a communication mechanism. It is because we as a species do, in fact, constantly communicate via short messages, a behaviour that we learnt millennia ago.
That is why we are inevitably moving towards the Mobile Society, where our mobile devices become the remote control for our daily lives. Because any technology that allows us to better connect, communicate, share knowledge and information, and get stuff done will be widely adopted.
The Mobile Society is completely different to the industrial society. It requires a new logic and a new way of thinking of how to create business, civil governance, health care, and education. The mobile society is seen as both an opportunity and a threat because it signifies a reordering of business models, new flows of communication, and the appearance of new gate keepers in the information distribution wars. Resistance is a natural response when society changes structurally. As a consequence, there are differing points of view on what exactly the Mobile Society can deliver, depending on who you are.
Alan’s observations are spot on. In the paper, he takes us on a journey through the history of mass media from print to recordings, cinema to radio, television to the web – and finally, the mobile.
In the paper he also looks at the unique benefits of mobile:
1. Personal – my media
2. Always carried – the city in my pocket
3. Always on
4. Built in payment
5. Point of creative impulse
6. Recounting the audience – the holy grail of advertising
As we as an industry are trying to look for smart ways to adopt mobile advertising, Alan’s paper is very timely – as it reminds us of how we got from print to mobile, and the challenges, and opportunities that mobile brings as a mass media tool.
It is a brilliant whitepaper, so if you do nothing else today, download it and read it when you get a spare moment.