Thursday, January 04, 2007

Leave me alone, I'm reading my phone...

What is about the least likely thing you'd expect to be a hit on mobile?
Teeny weeny screens must mean no one would want to spend much time staring at them, mustn't they?
I mean, that's why there are still those who witter on about the disadvantages of the mobile screen when it comes to the internet, or watching TV, like it's going to prevent users from taking up the really small screen in mass numbers.
Except we've learned over time to regard what happens digitally (and particularly on mobile) in south-east Asia as a pretty accurate predictor of what is to come for the rest of the world.
And guess what's the latest hit on mobile in Japan: The mobile novel.
It's not great news for print publishers. One of the stock arguments for the sustainability of print is its portability. "You can't take your laptop into the loo" I've heard (except, of course, you could if you wanted... haven't these people heard of wifi?).
Imagine if you can take your entire library in - or call up something new on something more convenient - your mobile.
Oh, you can. And the Japanese are showing us, you will.

The implication is that people are willing to download relatively simple content just to read. So could a newspaper or magazine reinvent itself for mobile just as books are - and charge for the download just like people pay for a game to be downloaded?

There's more, now the novelists are writing the books on their mobiles. They find they type faster on their phone's keypad than on their laptop's keyboard.

Which reminds me of this post about mobile internet: "Someone asked me this morning how much hassle it was having to text-type in all your usernames and passwords etc. Made me wonder how many people 'typed' before they were forced to do so by the desirability of accessing content on the internet via a pc. People seem ever adaptable - provided the end result is what they want," from a previous post (here)

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?