There is a lot more potential to mobile marketing than pushing pithy text messages to TV viewers and serving micro-banners on WAP sites. In one of the few mobile marketing research studies to move beyond the gee-whiz-this-is-gonna-be-big conceit, Datacomm Research's "Mobile Advertising: Opportunities and Illusions" explores how the entire marketing cycle can benefit from wireless, and how many pieces of the wireless content value chain benefit from marketing.
I have been seeing so many ambitious plans for using the mobile platform lately, from mobile TV to full article downloads by newspapers and magazines, it is refreshing to see see a handful of new mobile launches that respect the art of brevity on handhelds and understand that less is more.
I can't say that I personally understand the appeal of the Sprint Friends Lounge. When I pop into this mobile chat and community service, it just looks like a bunch of random posts organized into a few themes, demographic groups, and regions. Dozens of fellow cruisers are in any of these rooms at any time, and cruising is precisely what it seems they are doing. A long scroll of posts are mostly one and two word come-ons: "Whassup?"
"Mobile community" is another one of wireless wonderland's deliberately amorphous terms. Nascent industries usually embrace hazy language because there is just too much damned VC money floating around. It is amazing how insubstantial ideas seem concrete after seeing them a few hundred times in Powerpoint presentations. Digital veterans will recall the "content, commerce, and community" trinity to which everyone bowed--but few executed very well--back in 1999.
I have been playing with a range of wireless mobile music devices this week, from a WiFi-enabled MP3 player to both Sprint and Verizon's music services. I even tried to figure out Microsoft's press releases surrounding the upcoming Zune media player. After all of that, and even with having free reviewers' access to the complete libraries on all of these systems, my 30GB 5G iPod is the one I snatch from the table on my way out the door. My personal habits suggest that while music yearns to be portable, it doesn't necessarily need to be wireless.