I could hardly sleep at night knowing there was a meetup I’d never been to, and I’m happy to report that my visit to Mobile Monday (MoMo) on 3rd Aug was a delightful and enlightening experience. For those of you still out of the loop, MoMo Edinburgh is a new group for anyone interested in the mobile scene, and folks meet monthly for lunch in Centotre to discuss the latest happenings. Turns out they’re a lot of fun!
It was a very friendly and welcoming bunch, and the cozy size (6 of us on this occasion, as holiday appeared to be a priority for others) made it easy to have group discussions. I was brought up to speed on Blyk, the mobile phone company that offered free minutes/texts to the youth market in exchange for viewing targeted advertisements (full story here), and Geoff prompted us to contemplate (1) Is this trade of ads for free texts/calls going to work? (2) Did the operator plan fail, or was the service strategically designed that way as a launch to get the other operators’ attention?
Aside from the comparison to Spotify, Blyk also reminded me of AdPay.tv, a local startup that proposes using advertising as a form of online currency for purchases. I wonder if AdPay.tv ever planned to enter the mobile market, or if there is still potential. As for the second question, I think it’s a fascinating theory and in the interest of enjoying clever marketing strategies, I’d like to believe it.
Overall I felt spoiled by the great company, interesting discussions, and a tasty meal on top of it all. We each enjoyed a glass of wine, aubergine pasta (well ok, I don’t eat vegetables, but it was delicious), and coffee for a tenner. And there was plenty more food for thought:
- How can web be better displayed for viewing/navigation on mobiles devices? Will this require different design of devices or sites?
- Will laptops disappear as they are made smaller and mobiles are made more functional?
- What are the opportunities in mobile apps for the bike rental systems found in several European cities?
- Why do tech guys look down at IT businesses?
- Why should costume designers not be responsible for designing theatre websites? Many folks seem to under-appreciate information design…
- Who will dominate mobile market in the future? Prediction voiced that iPhones will have about 10-20% market share, with a highly controlled system that moves in a predictable direction… and a user base that likes it that way. The other 80% is still to be fought over. (That caught me by surprise! So who will really serve folks with the ‘think different’ mentality?) Word at the table is that Windows Mobile is actually much more open/accessible for developers, as you can play with coding much deeper down than is possible for iPhone.
If you’re sad now you missed it, don’t despair. Join the Google group and put 31st Aug in your diary for the next MoMo lunch. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on any questions and we can continue the debate below.