Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Mobile Social Networking - the course

I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural University of Oxford CPD short course on Mobile Social Networking yesterday. Now I'm one of 16 people who has a certificate in it. Now you know it must be going mainstream!
Led by 3G strategy consultants and authors Steve Jones and Tomi Ahonen, and engagement master (and author) Alan Moore, it was packed with insight and inspiration.
I can't tell you the whole story, but here's a few insights, facts and figures that emerged:
1. 2% of the world's GDP (rising to 3% very soon) is spent on mobile
2. email use is actually falling among teenagers as they reject it in favour of sms and IM.
3. Wondered why school-age kids don't want clamshell phones? cos you can't text on them while they are hidden up your sleeve.
4. Non sms content on mobile is worth $31bn in 2007 - that's bigger than all content revenues online, bigger than revenues from Hollywood and bigger than the entire music industry.
5. 100:1 is the ratio of UGC contributions to paid content consumption on the mobile. It's 1000:1 on the internet.
6. 33% of US youth have already uploaded images to Flickr from cameraphones.
7. 43% of Japanese mobile users have clicked on an advert on their mobile phone.

And here's Steve Jones' how-to-have-a-successful mobsocnet application:
1. Phone itself has to be easy to use (the user interface has to be delightful - ensure you reduce apparent complexity)
2. The application has to be emotionally rewarding (facilitates and strengthens peer-peer communciations).

Combine those with Tomi's 6M's and the conclusions you ought to be drawing from the Communities Dominate Brands' boys concept of mobile as the 7th Mass Media - and we start to get a framework to succeed in.


  1. Have you seen the Synovate study which produces some confusing data eg

    Of British 18-to-24-year-olds surveyed online…

    94 per cent have never downloaded ringtones

    66 per cent have never used MySpace

    89 per cent have never blogged

    94 per cent don't use online dating

    I've cross posted here

  2. Hi Simon.
    Does the research say how many British 18-24 year olds have added a ringtone to their phone (ie not just download a paid for one, which I guess is the figure you refer to?)

    Does the research say how many have used facebook, faceparty, bebo etc etc etc instead of myspace?

    If 11% of British 18-24% have blogged - that's puts them way ahead of the internet average (around 8%). How many have commented on someone elses post on a blog or a forum.

    Wht do they mean by 'using online dating'. Loads of kids meet people they are introduced to through social networking. They may not think of themselves as using online dating.

    Often the questions on these surveys miss the point. They ask the wrong questions.

    They often (it seems to me) are the questions of the digital immigrant of the digital native.

    Mistranslations between the two give us gaps in understanding.

    How many 18-24s use the internet?
    What do they think they use it for?

  3. Hi David

    I'm trying to get the people from Synovate into the dialogue then we'll know where they were coming from!
    Just today another report this time from Netimperative/Comscore
    reports 28% of the total worldwide Internet population visited an online games site and the average gamer made 9 visits per month - much more in line with expectations. On the other hand a Reuters report
    a projected 30% growth in online advertising by 2008 under the heading "UK Internet advertising growth to slow". (Actually a really interesting article I'm going to post separately on).

    I guess the lesson is that statistics get skewed by perspective!

  4. I never needed a course for mobile social networking but i sure wish i had taken one. when i first started using peekamo, i didnt know what i was doing. to be honest there are times i still dont know what to do;)


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?