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Friday, September 30, 2005

Mobiles As Social Phenomenon

Despite all its fancy image , at its core the mobile phone is about connecting people with other people, so they can do business, get to know each other, or enjoy entertainment together, writes the eWeek article. Some look at mobiles evolving into "social computers." Others believe that cell phones - especially when they break up the quiet of polite company with their often-jarring ringtones - are mostly just plain rude. The mobile are just wireless telephones; they're configurable, but they can't compute anything and may become a catalyst to extend the reach of people to other people, in terms of location and context. Not only are people joining fantasy sports leagues, dating services and online group-centered competitive games in record numbers, they're also signing up for "wallpaper" and ringtone clubs, camera-phone photography groups, travel-discussion groups, soft-porn groups—you name it, there's probably a company or special-interest group that will fit your personal interests. The common bond: cell phone.
Digital Chocolate founder/CEO Trip Hawkins, a mobile device content guy, thinks cell phones are not "about content now, -(They're) about (making) new excuses to engage in social context." He points out that about 96 percent of the world's wireless revenue streams from the killer app—voice transmission—and that the simplest communication applications are usually more than enough to satisfy users. This is the cell phone at its social best, he said. Almost all successful online services today - "Text messaging, e-mail, chat, voice, personalization of services – all these are about people connecting with old friends, meeting new friends, and how they want themselves to be represented". The old model was that people grew up in small villages and enjoyed a tremendous amount of personal interaction throughout their lives. Now we live in far-flung houses and apartments—most of us in big, impersonal cities—and we spend a lot of time in our cars and at our work desks alone, so we're starving for personal interaction. Hawkins is at his best (full of insight, I should add) when he concludes that an awful lot of human beings are not happy, and are not sure why, and are bored and lonely. Too often people are popping sedatives and there is a latent need to interact and be entertained constantly – Mobiles and related services provide the perfect platform for this.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"