Here comes the next generation of iPhone addicts

This item on MacRumors makes sense.

iPod Touch use has been growing faster than iPhone use.  Appe has now zeroed in on grooming the Touch consumers as the next generation of iPhone users.  Imagine:  a whole generation of adolescent Apple fans growing up to expect (demand?) that their mobile phones are truly versatile gizmos with touch screen interfaces, downloadble apps, personalization, free access to the web, and access to software that spans all devices and networks.   

This may seem obvious today, but just a few years ago it was not obvious to Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, LG, Samsung and other companies whose strategy towards mobile multimedia rested on assumptions about an audience that was locked into desktop machines running Windows and MS Outlook and Office for personal computing.  None of these companies succeeded in recasting their customers as mobile-centric by providing access to a range of software services that span multiple devices and multiple networks.  In a weird way, the mobile handset makers behaved as if desktop computing was an immutable fact, like a law of nature.   They never really tried to posit an alternative scenario.

That’s why today the momentum in mobile software and services is with Apple and Google’s Android.  These two companies have a set forth a bold vision that transforms their audience, literally recasting the user into a new role as mobile migrant who may not necessarily need a desktop computer at all.   


Posted via web from Robert’s posterous

AT&T turns to crowdsourcing to find dead zones in their mobile network

Posted via web from Robert’s posterous

The Berlin Wall mentality, reconsidered

In 1986, when I returned to New York City after living in West Berlin for a long time, a lot of people asked me “When will they tear down the Wall?”

There is something typically American about this question. Behind the question was the implicit assumption that, eventually, the two Germanies would be re-united. You might call it hopeful. Others might call it naive.

However, that wasn’t the mentality in Germany at the time. Continue Reading

Why the future of video might not be the future of TV

Richard Rosenblatt has built a content factory that churns out ultra cheap video clips at staggering volume. He’s aiming to generate 1M pieces of content per month at roughly the same cost as the New York Times spends to generate 5000 articles. At this rate, Demand Media seems intent on burying traditional media with sheer verbosity, akin to TeaBaggers who recently shut down Town Hall meetings by making a lot of noise to drown out other voices. This is an audacious gambit: we don’t typically think of major media companies as underdogs, but Rosenblatt’s business model will surely undermine theirs (on the web, at least). Continue Reading

Clay Shirky on Twitter+Iran

Useful Q&A at the Ted Blog with NYU professor Clay Shirky on the role of Twitter and social media in the disputed Iran election. There’s lots of good stuff here about a new medium inventing itself in real time. My favorite is the McLuhanesque commentary about how media get more emotional as they speed up.
Whether or not we are using Twitter or some other social app a few years hence, it seems clear to me that we’ve crossed a threshold where the household penetration of fast internet, personal computers, smartphones, and web-based social apps is sufficient that huge numbers of people can organize themselves in real time in response to real world events much, much faster than traditional media, much faster than mainstream journalism, and even faster than government censors or national security. Continue Reading

Social Media is an unambiguous threat to authoritarian regimes everywhere

During the past 24 hours the Iranian government has attempted to shut down mainstream media, confiscating TV cameras from ABC and other news organizations, in an effort to supress coverage of the aftermath of a disputed Presidential election. Major media has been unable to cover the ongoing demonstrations, street protests and increasingly violent clashes. CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon has been reduced to pulling news from Twitter.

Yes, Twitter is being featured as a primary source in CNN coverage. CNN is also dependent upon their iReporter feature and other social media sources from around the web. Is this the triumph of two-way media over traditional broadcast media? See this post from the BBC for a long list of examples that illustrate how a variety of web sites are providing real-time coverage. For authoritarian governments, Continue Reading

Something strange afoot at D7: All Things Digital Conference in Carlsbad

Since when have conferences become the arena for gladitorial combat? Back in the day, conference moderators were content to let media moguls bore the audience with canned slogans and marketing points. But not today.

Something strange was afoot today at the D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad CA. A weird undercurrent of hostility oozed through the proceedings at the Dow Jones confab. Continue Reading

Vectors of Change in Television and New Media — video of speech from 5D

In October 2008, I was invited to give a talk at the 5D conference in Long Beach, CA.    Here’s the clip.

I had a great time at 5D.   I met terrific people, including brilliant speakers, visionary designers, committed event organizers and the director of the excellent contemporary art museum.   I learned a great deal, and saw some brilliant examples of the future of TV.   I’d recommend 5D to anyone who is interested in the future of mass media and digital media.  Check the conference out at :

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I’ve joined the Oprah Winfrey Network

Those who’ve heard my public speeches know that I am passionate about the leveraging digital networks to multiply the creative power of individual people.  Two or more people working on the same problem can achieve great results, even if they are geographically dispersed.  Beginning November 2008, I will get an incredible opportunity to apply this concept on a big scale.    I’ve joined the Oprah Winfrey Network as the President of Digital Media. Continue Reading

Why I plan to address the Nokia Game Summit

Next week I will travel to Rome to give a keynote speech to the Nokia Developer Summit.   Some friends have asked me why.   Given the recent release of the Gooogle Android phone and the Apple iPhone 3G, there has been a surge of commentary about the smartphones in the tech blogs.  The general thrust of such blog posts is that the newcomers will transform the mobile industry.

I disagree.    The newcomers may have an impact, perhaps an outsized impact, but in reality the primary driver of change in mobile is one of the old giants: Nokia.    No major mobile technology company comes close to Nokia in its support of open standards, open software and open APIs.   And no company comes close to challenging Nokia’s 30%+ market share. Continue Reading