Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mobile internet: A new media - no wonder Google gets it wrong

I was lucky enough to stumble on Informa's mobile web2.0 conference at Lord's in London yesterday. I'm indebted to Ajit Jaoker (for the invite) and the good people at Informa for letting me gate-crash.

I caught the last few presentations and final panel of the day (the event continues today). As a result I'll recommend you check out which was presented by Atakan Cetinsoy as an exceptionally well thought-out mobile community play. And I was delighted to catch up with Ajit and Tomi Ahonen, talk with Ken Blakeslee and at least say hi to Jouko Ahvenainen.

But the bit that stayed with me was Russell Buckley's (admob and Mobhappy) scathing analysis of the launch of Google Adsense for mobile.

He pointed out adsense will start appearing on mobilised sites whether the site the ad links to has been designed for mobile or not.

In other words click the adsense link and you could get a very poor experience. That's bad enough for the user. Imagine being the poor sap who is paying per click?

It's astounding really that even Google can't get this right. But as is often pointed out, there's hardly a brand from the old media forms that has successfully transferred to the internet.
So why should we expect the 'experts' on the internet to be able to move smoothly to being the experts on mobile?

How many are really making the effort to understand the vital differences between Tomi Ahonen and Alan Moore's 6th and 7th mass medias (internet being the sixth, mobile the seventh)?

As Russell points out people might get excited by 450,000 people accessing MySpace from their mobiles but the leaders in the mobile social space are NEW and MADE FOR MOBILE - such as peperonity. They have way more page impressions than the old guard (amusing to think of MySpace as the old guard...).

Russell should know - Admob is currently serving mobile ads at the rate of 1.7bn a month and gathering more data about what the mobile internet accessing public are doing than almost anyone else along the way.

In the evening I was Admob's guest (and many thanks to Ivanka for that) at the Mobile Entertainment Awards - where Admob deservedly picked up the award for Best Marketing and Advertising Provider. Interesting - at this Nokia-sponsored event - to see Admob getting the nod over Enpocket (Nokia's latest squeeze).

A Google rep (picking up some search-related award, obviously) said there was much more from them to come in the mobile space. On the evidence of the adsense effort so far, there had better be.

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?