Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tourist trap: Personalisation and limitations of convergence?

On my way to the Chinwag Media Widgetised bash in London yesterday evening, I paused in Trafalgar Square.
It's a great place to people-watch, and do it internationally because it's such a tourist draw - and meeting point.
I'd love to be able to say I gained some great socio-economic insight. But I didn't get a chance. As is usual a tourist was soon thrusting their camera into my hands with the polite request that I should take a picture of them with a famous London scene behind them.
But this simple act did reveal something to me. The young lady had taken her standard silver box of a digital camera and customised it with pretty little fake gems stuck all over it.
We know all about the personalisation of the mobile phone - but I'd never seen anyone do this to their camera.
And it made me think. I've got a great camera on my mobile (more pixels than my digital camera, for example). But while I'm happy to hand a stranger my camera to take a shot of me and my nearest and dearest in some tourist haven - I couldn't conceive of handing them my mobile to take the same picture.
Perhaps here is one limitation of convergence? When something is so personal to you (the mobile) it's really hard to let go. So, for tourists at least, the stand alone digital camera has a future.

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?