Mobile New Media is the theme of MobileBeyond. Blogs, having become natural vehicles for company messages, offer many advantages over other media. The main one is the longevity of a blog post.
Once posted, blogs remain available to future readers decades from publication date. Some blogs, like Copyblogger , leave out publication dates knowing that what they’re writing will still have value decades in the future.
Blogs are also more personal than other forms of news and commentary. A blogger’s personality, beliefs, and ideas carry forward only to the extent readers follow. Journalism and commentary sites share print’s longevity, depending on a newspaper or periodical’s shelf life, but blogs are purposefully one-to-one diaries while print and broadcast most often are one-to-many. A true blog, written by a single individual, amplified by readers’ comments, becomes a testament to its era.
Mobile New Media and Traditional Media
I started MobileBeyond in 2009 to fill a gap in the world of blogging. Other bloggers mostly reviewed new mobile devices software (apps) and services. My interest in mobile new media, though, has always been to me about how mobile changes human communication and behavior. It’s the most powerful channel for mobile new media blogs and content.
Other blogs are very interactive but not new media. Readers sometimes contribute 50% of the content with the blogger writing little content. Traditional print, such as the “Dear Abby” column, attracts audiences looking for advice about personal issues, most of which comes from other readers. Radio talk shows, on the other hand, vary from informative to argumentative, depending on topics and hosts.
This doesn’t mean MobileBeyond doesn’t cover mobile technology trends or discourages readers’ comments. I cover mobile tech a lot, but usually in the context of how people respond to new technologies. Mobile is the best example of new media. It’s actually multi-modal as Michael Becker points out since today’s smartphones offer the Web, video, audio, photos, chat, talk and more.
In the past few years, I introduced podcast interviews with mobile and marketing luminaries. I chose audio podcasts because they’re similar to public radio talk shows. They engage listeners and encourage attention and reaction.
Serious content on television, on the other hand, doesn’t hold viewers’ attention as well. News programs serve up a regular diet of 2-3 minute “video bites.” TV content, with exceptions found on PBS, has turned TV news shows into 23 minutes of video pablum, lost puppy stories, local disasters, and repetitive “reality shows.”
Satire Helps Bloggers Powerfully Make Statements
I also frequently use satire. Sometimes, I spit out turbulent, short, turgid prose. I remember the post I wrote about the great, great granddaughter of Thomas Edison, who supposedly started suing phone manufacturers for borrowing the “look and feel” of similar devices created by TE. I wrote the post and recorded the audio like a press release when Apple, Nokia, and Samsung sued each other for copyright infringement.
The reader didn’t understand my piece was entirely tongue-in-cheek satire. She made very clear in her written response that my story couldn’t be true because Thomas Edison didn’t have a great, great, great granddaughter! Responses like that make bloggers feel they accomplished something.
The Edison piece reminds me why I like using a variety of styles that elicit different reader responses. Future mobile articles based on mobile life 20-30 years hence, reflecting back on the present have worked well. Pieces like “A Day in the Life of a Wireless Guy” or “Edison Estate Sues Apple over Patent Infringement” on face value appear plausible. Most readers after reading two lines, though, “get it” and read on chuckling when they realize the story is about as real as a unicorn.
Combining a blog post with multimedia audio is the ultimate to me. It also offers readers and listeners a choice. If their eyes are tired, listening to the podcast is best. People who like to visualize on their own through the written word can read my piece. A good example of mobile new media is “Perfect Mobile Device at a Mall with the Mobolites.”
That’s MobileBeyond. I think it’s a blog about one person’s reflections on the crazy, zany world of mobile and mobility. But I inform as well as entertain. Without amusement, only a few people–probably my sister and a few friends–would read my stuff.
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