Blogs on the run!
Apple's worldwide launch of the new iPhone will mobilise the next wave of user generated content, predicts Ardi Kolah.
For example in the UK, Channel 4 has just announced it's linking up with Sony PlayStation Portable to offer 'Big Brother' on the go. And BT Vision promises to place broadband internet at the heart of the connected household.
Across the Atlantic, Apple has just launched its latest category-killer consumer product -- the iPhone.
This single event sent shock waves through the competing Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where manufacturers were stuck comparing the size of their flat screens (Sharp won with a 108-inch monster!), which left many of them feeling they should've bought a ticket to San Francisco where analysts were crowning Steve Jobs as the new "King of Technology".
Job's latest invention -- a combination of mobile phone, wide-screen iPod music player and internet device -- lifted Apple's shares to a new high of $97, raising the company's market value by a whopping $9.5bn.
Just as the Mac introduced the world to the computer mouse and the iPod made "wheeling" rather than clicking the preferred method of navigation for a new mobile generation, the iPhone goes one step further.
Users can now indulge in the pleasures of a fully-integrated touchscreen interface with the flick of a finger. One revolutionary feature of the new iPhone is that internet pages can be resized for better readability simply by 'pinching' the screen.
So what's next on the horizon -- and more particularly, what's in store for beleaguered brand owners scratching their heads trying to make sense of all this technological change?
Well, sooner rather than later brand owners will need to start surfing the wave of consumer generated content -- on mobile.
"Although mobile TV has been relatively slow to take off in the UK -- there are over 12m subscribers in Europe -- we're starting to see the emergence of consumer generated mobile content that's driving audience engagement. It's now possible for the consumer to contribute content to mobile video blogging sites such as 3's See Me TV in much in the same way as they do on YouTube," observes Dusan Hamlin of Inside Mobile.
Brand owners keen on deeper audience engagement will soon offer fans and consumers the opportunity to "broadcast" their own generated content on a mobile platform.
And it's a relatively straight forward process for a sponsor to set up a human-operated moderation service offering guidance and advice, implement a set of editorial guidelines and sort this stuff into relevant categories.
Once a user has contributed content, they will see a "My Stuff" link the next time they visit the sponsor's "community gallery", which allows them to see what content they've submitted to date, check how many downloads they've had and to add more personal information, such as a nickname. Sponsors can offer prizes for the best clips voted on by other users, which all adds up to a deeper level of audience participation for the sponsor.
And it's likely that millions of users will prefer to "blog on the run" from a mobile phone rather than sit patiently at a computer terminal in order to share their thoughts with the outside world. And they may have to thank Steve Jobs for that.
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