Friday, April 20, 2007

Long tail will wag the mobile internet dog

Internet success stories have long valued the long tail. And all the predictions are that the value of the mobile internet will follow the same pattern.
What's interesting to me is the way the socialisation/democratisation of the web has set new standards for users and means they want to take that with them into the mobile web.
The result of this is that while the fixed line net was initially grown by content providers of the mass industrial age, the mobile web will explode as a direct result of User Generated Content.
And because of the social nature of 2.0 I expect the growth to be exponential - and to dominate the way the mobile web develops in a faster and more pervasive way than we saw with the original fixed-line internet.
The long tail will wag the mobile internet dog more vigorously than it has the fixed line internet.
I don't know the facts and figures - and I'd welcome hearing from anyone who does - but I suspect, where mobile internet is concerned, already content provided by mass media makes up a tiny percentage of all content on the mobile web. The vast majority must be coming from users setting up their own mobile sites, creating their own content and services and selling them.
I think of sites like where users can create their own ringtones, and a mobile webpage to sell them on.
I think of sites like where you can create your own mobile internet page in seconds - and then start charging for content and downloads from it (360,000 plus have already).
These are sites which converge the user, the buyer, the seller, the marketeer, the employee - all in the one person. This is the social nature of trade described in more detail here.
I think of Admob, which allows you to start making money from your content - if you can add its code to your mobile site.
But there's still a gap in this. I set myself up a mobile version of this blog. But I'd have to call it a 'lite' version. There's no ability to add an rss feed (ie of latest items from this blog) and there's no way I can monetise (should I wish), beyond actually selling the content in a micro-payments model. And who pays for content?
Peperonity do ok from this model as they place ads on my content. I get a site to play with, they get a way of serving mobile ads. But wouldn't you want a cut of the earnings from the ads? allows you to choose fasterfuture as a widget to download to your mobile - and that delivers every post as it's made from this blog to an organised rss feed. But there are few design options, no ad model (from a ugc perspective), no ability to add code etc etc.

For the long tail to truly go exponential I think we need something which allows all of these:
1. Really easy creation of mobile pages (on fixed line and on mobile)
2. Really easy ability to change the design to our tastes (and I'm thinking icons/desktop style as well as background colours and layout)
3. Ability to add and create rss feeds
4. Ability to add code snippets (ie YouTube video, google adsense)
5. Really easy share/ creator propogation (ie socially networked)
6. Enabled for social trade.
7. It has to be free to the site owner.
8. Option to offer as an application-based widget.

So, a lot of the things we expect from our blogsites on fixed line - and a few which don't.
If you know of anything that ticks the boxes - or is about to. Please share.

If I'm asking for the moon on a stick, let me know why!

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?