A couple of quick items on the impact of mobility on lives -
"[mobile phones] are transforming culture, even as they spawn new markets. In Nairobi, a student paper caters to kids from across the city's high schools; submissions are sent in by text message, with articles written in textesewords broken into their smallest possible lucid components. Every few months or so, rumors circulate, breaking some code or other and giving free airtime or texts. Some people have learned to communicate for free with their regular clients or family by coding their ringing: one ring, I am on my way; two rings, I have picked up the kids; three rings, I love you." [Binyavanga Wainaina, in Bidoun]
"It's time that we recognize that for the majority of the world's population, and for the foreseeable future, the cell phone is the computer, and it will be the portal to the internet, and the communications tool, and the schoolbook, and the vaccination record, and the family album, and many other things, just as soon as someone, somewhere, sits down and writes the software that allows these functions to be performed." The BBC reports. [textually]
Iran: Excerpts from a very interesting and thorough article published on Middle East Online on how in Iran, SMS has become a way for people to circumvent authority. "Young Iranians are texting each other with humorous, subversive or plain saucy messages while the religious conservatives who run their country are slumbering. [textually]
Japan: Last month in Japan, the year-end bestseller tally showed that mobile phone novels, republished in book form, have not only infiltrated the mainstream but have come to dominate it. The New York Times reports. "Of last year's 10 best-selling novels, five were originally mobile phone novels, mostly love stories written in the short sentences characteristic of text messaging but containing little of the plotting or character development found in traditional novels. What is more, the top three spots were occupied by first-time mobile phone novelists" [textually]
Kenya: According to a report in the New York Times on the continuing crisis in Kenya, "fuel, food and cellphone credit are in short supply". Who would have thought, even just a couple of short years ago, that in a time of humanitarian crisis cellphone credit would be uttered in the same sentence as 'essential' fuel and food items? [via Kiwanja.net]
and of course from FrontlineSMS [a W+K Client]:
"FrontlineSMS is being used in 41 different countries, and in some cases by more than one NGO in that country. From helping blood donor clinics and human rights workers to promoting government accountability, keeping medical students informed about education options, providing security alerts to field workers, the capture and exchange of vegetable (and coffee) price information, the distribution of weather forecasts, the co-ordination of healthcare workers, the organising of political demonstrations, the carrying out of surveys and the reporting and monitoring of disease outbreaks, and election monitoring."
can't wait to read the novels that recontextualize this beautiful mess as incredibly logical developments. Dirt is getting kicked up. Society is being reengineered. Usage scenarios are evolving like bacteria.
Forget the viral propagation of trends - we are looking at a receptive host getting hit by mobile vectors from every side. And in the midst of the cultural re-engineering, yes, there are profits to be made - from m-pesa and banking transactions all the way to gaming.
The mobile video games market is growing faster than the markets for consoles and handheld video games, according to Understanding & Solutions. Only online games are growing at a faster clip.
“Global revenues from mobile gaming are pegged at $3.6 billion this year,” said David Rouse, analyst at Understanding & Solutions. "We predict this figure to rise to $6 billion by 2011."
The company also said that subscription-based and ad-funded mobile games were growing. Mr. Rouse said that an increasing number of games let players buy additional levels or virtual goods using microtransactions.
Pay per download is still the main money maker for mobile game publishers and distributors.
Get going or get left behind.
Get going or get left behind.