• What We Won't Be Getting for Christmas
    Generations of Chanukah and Christmas wishers before me had their signature geek gifts. My father's generation had crystal radio kits. Some of the early baby boomers like my older cousins had chemistry sets. Imagine that, you generation of helicopter parents. There was a time when we handed kids boxes of potentially dangerous chemicals as presents and said, "Just don't get any on the furniture."
  • The Unasked Questions
    What are publishers and advertisers forgetting to ask of their mobile marketing partners? So many newcomers to the mobile scene ask me about the first steps to take in getting into mobile, I decided to call upon some of my own most trusted contacts in the industry. My simple question was, as new clients come into your door, what would you have them ask of you and your competitors? In the rush to "go mobile," what are the questions that typically go unasked?
  • Kindle Goes Back to the Future
    Being a fairly retro kind of guy, and a perennial lover of all things black and white, I really should love Amazon's new mobile book reader, Kindle. So you would think I should be tickled by a book reader that looks and performs like the breakthrough product of 1997. Kindle so deftly mixes next-gen technology with last-gen performance and design that it feels a lot like a Blu-ray re-issue of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis."
  • Program The Boredom Channel
    This is the time of year when a cell phone is the only thing standing between me and collapsing into a fetal position in the middle of Macy's in a kind of synaptic meltdown. The cell phone has become the boredom killer that makes these excursions bearable. In fact, I would love to see stores and all venues pick up a cue from sports and concert arenas and engage visitor boredom with an alternative channel of programming.
  • A Google Seduction
    I had about five other topics in queue to write about today... until Google seduced my iPhone. Word circulated quickly yesterday that iPhone users going to the portal now got their own mobile Safari Web app. I saw several off-handed ho-hums from the blogopshere, and figured Google was just tossing more alpha version spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck. Instead, I sorta fell in love yesterday. Sorry to disappoint the fashionable skeptics, but Google's new entryway for iPhones is a nice piece of work on several levels that suggests where other mobile development might head, both on and ...
  • Walkie-Talkie Marketing
    You know the irritating drill. You are in the food store and the person with the cart in front of you is on the cell phone loudly consulting with someone at home about what to buy. They are narrating ingredients, asking whether little Johnny likes this or that ridiculously over-sugared cereal, or trying to get a recalcitrant teen to go downstairs and check the fridge to see whether they are all out of Velveeta. Irritating as this new American habit may be, it tells us a lot about how marketers themselves might start talking to consumers -- on the fly, ...
  • When Outdoor Talks Back
    Walking through the typical American shopping mall this season is a bit like traversing a medieval bazaar. The salespeople at the small stands in the causeways seem to have gone rabid on us. No longer satisfied with barking their wares to some anonymous audience, they now single me out, ask personal questions about the dryness of my hands, the state of my will, what I pay for heat. The possibility of Bluetooth-enabled mobile marketing fills me with the same sense of dread.
  • Drag And Drop World
    A recent TV spot depicts a man at a desktop computer dragging and dropping media from his monitor onto his car in the driveway, his MP3 player on the desk and elsewhere in his physical world. The bad news for the agency involved is that I can't recall what the ad is selling or the brand behind the message. The good news is that the creative itself is memorable -- even to this airhead -- because it strikes a cultural chord. For those of us awash in media and playback devices, the ad accurately envisions the way we want all ...
  • Gaming Week Again: When Multimedia Matters
    On Thanksgiving, it is the simple, nostalgic pleasures I turn to on my mobile phone, since the big TV is being occupied by the girlfriend's "Battlestar Galactica" marathon on the SciFi Channel. Thankfully, mobile gaming is starting to settle into a kind of nostalgia I find satisfying....
  • Gaming Week, 1: Mmm... Good, But It Tastes a Little Gamey
    New Thanksgiving entertainment tradition: look for that rare mobile game worth playing twice. The bulk of video game sales occur in the last quarter of the year, and a good hunk of that sells through in the next week. So I declare this week game week for the Mobile Insider, even if the pickings are slim.
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