For Danwei: The Future of Mobile Media
Jan 20, 2010
Jeremy Goldkorn of Danwei asked a few people involved in China’s digital scene to answer three questions on the future of mobile media.
Below, my vision. Anyone agree or disagree?
Jeremy: Hope it was ok to post it here. (People leaving comments on my blog often have smarter things to say than I do.) I will add links to the other people Jeremy asked if they publish their responses.
1. What will be the biggest thing in mobile media in 2010? (Media includes games, news, apps, video, podcasts, SMS novels etc. etc. An information or entertainment product that can be viewed, played or interacted with on a mobile phone)
Social-related games and game-like interfaces. Farmville brought Facebook to Taiwan and Facebook’s superior mobile app allowed Facebook to beat Friendster in Indonesia. Gaming and game-like features will only get more important as phones are capable of handling better apps.
2. How is the job market going to change because of mobile media?
Employment will be revolutionized with the ability to convene highly-skilled flash-workforces. Historically, someone looking for cheap labor might go to a street corner where low-skill day laborers gathered in hopes of a few hours work. Now, thanks to geo-location of phones and eBay-style ratings systems, employers will be able to quickly gather a highly skilled labor in a short period of time for bursts of work. This is not the future. Otetsudai already does this in Japan, connecting students able to work the machines in convenience stores for a few hours at a time.
3. What type of companies will make money? Examples?
Mobile opens huge opportunities for just about any business. I would, however, highlight the fundamental change for small and locally focused business. In the past, such businesses would need to rely on word of mouth, posters and other forms of low cost media. Costly media, such as large posters or rich campaigns reaching into peoples lives were almost impossible to do. Now, thanks to Social Media and mobile, small businesses can – with relatively little investment – reach audiences in their neighborhood in very rich and interactive ways. Basically, digital slices the media landscape into such small slivers that everyone can take part.