Keeping up with the major stories in mobile is the job of mainstream and larger niche publications. Keeping up with off-shoots on those stories, as well as notable smaller points that sometimes gets missed by those larger sites is what the Carnival of the Mobilists serves towards. The Carnival of the Mobilists (CoM, @themobilists) is a weekly collection of writings from around the web speaking on whatever was notable in the past week in mobile technology. This can take the form of posts, interviews, and even the occasional video blog. In addition, each week sees the CoM hosted on a different website. This week, its my turn, and I’m sure that the collection of posts will not only get you thinking a bit more critically about mobile, but will also provoke you to contribute your piece for a future CoM.
With that said, let’s get into the contributions that made it into this week’s collection.
The User Experience Matters
Lynette Anthony from My Tech Blog shares a review of the redesigned user interface for Foursquare and how many design decisions have hindered her use of the service. Some interesting implcations to take in here for UI/UX folks who might be redesigning primary interface features around what is popular, versus what works best functionally, versus what defines the brand’s experience.
Geoff Ballinger from Reflections on Things Mobile offers a look at SMS services and the STOP/Stop command that isn’t as universal as it probably should be. Besides another trip down the road of a bad user experience (UX) for consumers of mobile services, there’s a question to carriers and their practices that comes into question when reading for their simpler offerings.
Peggy Ann Salz from Mobile Groove brings probably the most sensible approach to mobile that I’ve read yet – pay attention to how people use their mobiles, and then develop the services and features to that use, rather than directing the mobile user into a funnel which might be more disruptive to their expectations or the task at hand. Hands down, my post of the week.
Falls, Features, and Factors of Nokia
Tomi Ahonen from Communities Dominate Brands takes us all into the deep end of mobile with a summation of the market death/destruction of Nokia since the Feb 2011 "Burning Platforms" memo. What’s probably more interesting here is that there was probably a point last fall where Nokia could have recovered from this, but if the numbers and pictures Tomi paints maintain, 165+ years of a Finnish way of working, living, and connecting people will vanish.
Oren Levine from Mobile in DC was a long-time Nokia (Symbian) smartphone user who left and has now returned to the brand with the Lumia 800. Despite some notable missing features (all of which I share in dismay), the overall impressions do make you wonder some why Nokia has had some trouble getting more of these into folks’ hands.
Christian Lindholm of Moving Experiences (and formerly of Nokia) talks about how part of Nokia’s present failures in mobile can be attributed to missing the emotional factor that people have with their mobiles. To one end, Nokia instigated that emotional affair, but haven’t moved fast or clean enough in the direction of an emotional accessory, not just a communicative one. Then again, Nigel Scott’s (Excapite) observation of what else was missing (via a comment I posted), also points to the many factors of failures that are only seen once the game is over.
Media, Publishing, and Beyond Text
Mark Ramsey of Mark Ramsey Media points out what many have been noticing recenttly about the challenges older media channels are having when it comes to adapting to the participatory aspects of Internet and mobile media channels. However, Mark skillfully points out here that mobile has a long way to go in terms of being profitably taken advantage of as TV and radio have; big opportunities, if someone doesn’t try and repeat the methods of the media prior.
MobiThinking brings to the CoM an interview with Judith Curr of Atria Books. This is probably one of the more indepth looks at mobile and publishing that I’ve personally read that adds definitive value to the conversation about publishing and its options for readers, authors, and publishers when mixed-media approaches are utilized.
Lauren Hunter from Church Tech Today and myself (via Mobile Ministry Magazine) at the Biola Digital Ministry Conference covered the topic of making church websites mobile. Church Tech Today speaks on using some of the various plugins and content management systems that work with existing blog platforms, while I specifically presented on the entire project of making ministry websites mobile using Mobify and biNu service solutions.
MobiAffiliates has put together a comprehensive HTML5 guide for mobile and mobile web developers. Full of references, resources, examples, and notes around some best practices that are forming in light of the statistics of device-use trends, this is probably another one of those "bookmark/ifttt/RSS/alert and check back" as you need or evaluate resources for creating HTML5-compatible content and interactions.
Weekly Requirement of Fruit
Tim Cook introduced Apple iOS 6 at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). Depending on your experience with mobile devices, its either old, refreshed, copied from other platforms but not enough, new, or amazing. Given that I can’t load it on my 1st gen iPad, I’ll refrain from any major comments (but if someone is willing to upgrade me to the latest iPad, I’ll be sure to have enough superlatives for multiple impressions).
Audio and Video Carnival Stimulation
You might be less into reading and more into watching and listening, and so these podcasts/videocasts are definitely recommended for their insights and personalities:
- James Whatley and Stefan Constantinescu with The Voicemail: Episode 2
- Steve Litchfield’s The Phones Show: Number 172
- Rafe Blanchford, Ben Smith, and Ewan Spense with 361 Degrees Podcast: Mobile Question Time (Part 1)
- Kevin Hendricks and friends on the Mobile Tech Roundup: Number 272
About the Artwork
The artwork headlining this week’s CoM was produced by me on my iPad (1st gen, 16GB, WiFi-only) using just my fingers and the Adobe Ideas app. Its titled Person Holding Book on Flight; drawn as I was on a flight to the Biola Digital Ministry Conference. Mobile is available at the point of creation, even if creation happens on a tablet. My sketchnotes/drawing gallery is linked on this site.
Wrapup and Future Contributors
That’s it for this week of the Carnival of the Mobilists. As you can tell, there’s been a lot to talk about in one shape or another. Thanks for taking the time to visit my website, as well as the sites of those who have contributed to the Carnival. I can tell you from personal experience just how great it feels to have post come back to the top of your stats counter because its been included within the CoM.
If you would like to contribute your mobile article, podcast, vlog, or presentation to the Carnival of the Mobilists, simply send the URL to it to mobilists (at) gmail (dot) com. At the time of this writing, no one has stepped up to be the host for next week’s edition of the Carnival (see the host schedule). If you have contributed before and are interested in hosting, please get in touch via the same email address so that submissions have a place to be seen next week.
I leave you with one of the more profound tweets I read this week that happens to speak some sense into the fervor about smartphones we often read:
The smartphone is the most amazing computing device ever until the battery dies.
Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) Tweet Link
Its only revolutionary when its on. See you next time.
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