Mobile Social, Mobile Apps; the story of the chicken and the egg

Priya Ramesh (@newpr) posted a really neat article on the Mobile apps vs Mobile websites and their burgeoning influence in the social media space, as well as offering tips for companies on who aren’t sure where to spend their money first. I’m offering a commentary on some of the unrevealed linkage that makes his recommendation a sound one.

Remember that Coke commerical, where the guy waved his phone over the machine and a coke dispensed? I do, but I’ve been to almost every major metropolis in this country and I’ve never seen one of those machines, I have almost 1000 connections between twitter, facebook and linkedin and I’ve never heard one of my friends even talking about it. Why?

The problem I will label “logistical failure to launch”. The problem is, or one of the problems is, innovators come up with superb ideas that certainly create efficiencies and conveniences for us as consumers, but they have one fundamental flaw. The logistical channels are not widespread enough, or even in place for such a convenience to ever be realized. In his article he says “Mary Meeker, internet analyst at Morgan Stanley also known as the “Internet Queen” predicts that within the next five years “more users will connect to the Internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs.”

And my first reaction was “right, obviously”. But there’s more to this. The logistics are now beginning to be in place where companies CAN and SHOULD, to Priya’s point, be developing a mobile social presence. With the introduction of the HTC, a major contender for iPhone marketshare, there is truly a platform out there that can interact with RFid payment gateways, wireless cafe’s and gas stations, etc. Where in years previous, phones where essentially more technology than code, they are now more code than technology and that represents a true opportunity to shape and build a relationship with those people. So, concordantly in the last few years innovators have backed off building mechanisms to facilitate consumerism and instead spent their time building applications that are neat and garner occasional interest by the person; generally though, they don’t offer anything of tangible value. Now the pendulum has swung back in the other direction and organizations wishing to build and sustain a community need to put a heavy emphasis on social mobile convenience applications. If the beast can get over consumerism and truly build a relationship these mobile social people, then you can build a brand and truly influence people.

Go social, go mobile. Great article Priya!

Here’s the original article.


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