It was not so long ago that the buzz in media was all about Web 2.0 – the sharing, the interactivity. It seemed so stimulus-fresh. And now, like the stimulus, it now seems to have been such a good idea – back them. But 2.0 doesn’t even have a Facebook page! So what is the media buzz now. Web 3.0? Sorry numbers, you are out of fashion, too.
The word today is Mobile. We are, apparently, all Goin’ Mobile. Not just tweets, or texts – everything is mobile. Mobile is your 2.0 “on you.”
And it’s not just the iPad or the tablets or the next generation of smart phones which are really mini-tablets (the new Samsung has a 4.65 inch screen, almost as big as some old televisions…. remember those?). It is what those micro devices do. With new free mobile apps like Audioboo, which allows you to record and post audio or QIK which does the same for video – you are your own walking production studio.
It was barely pre-Obama that “remember when you made calls on a cell phone?” was the “haha” moment. Laugh no more. AT&T’s latest promotion: free calling when you sign up for a texting plan. Texting is where the action is – talking is so Neanderthal (and not worth charging for, apparently). So a thought… just like National Public Radio changed its name to NPR because it is more than radio, perhaps it is just time to drop the phone – as in “Have you seen my new cool Smart?”
And if journalists were not having enough fun over the last few years, this means yet another shift.
Raju Narisetti, managing editor of the Washington Post, noted at recent conference at the University of Maryland that the problem with journalists today is they do not respect the readers. He didn’t mean it in the traditional fashion of “we shall decide what you need to know.” Instead, he was referring to a more sophisticated concept of producing content in a way that reflects how readers are consuming news. His example was a great story with a dynamic opening tale that lost its readers because they had to swipe seven screens before they got to the point of the story.
Some are already predicting that the stationary computer is already obsolete.
But for all us dinosaurs out there, it is good to know we can still roar, even if unconvincingly. In a delicious twist of timing, this Halloween, NBC rose like the undead and inaugurated a new newsmagazine, Rock Center – designed to be a fresh “60 Minutes.” Stacked with a pantheon of legends such as Brian Williams, Ted Koppel and Harry Smith, true giants of the network age, it felt like an old-timers game. They wrote the book – in their day. Note to Mr. Williams: leave the banter to your Twitter.
Comedian/journalist John Stewart turned up for the end of the show and summed it up. “This is why you have test shows.”
But can it go mobile?