• Following The Frog
    Legendary games publisher Konami ("Metal Gear Solid," "Contra," "Castlevania") has an interesting way of researching the viability of a new platform. They throw a frog at it to see if it sticks...or croaks, as the case may be. "For us, 'Frogger' is a very stable bellwether," says Jim Bradbury, Executive Director of Mobile Operations, Konami Mobile.
  • In Search Of 1947
    This has been a summer of supposed tipping points in mobile media. Last week's Barack Obama VP text message amounted to one of the largest and most important single SMS drops in mobile marketing history. Nielsen estimated that 2.9 million people received the 26-word announcement about the Joe Biden veep pick.
  • The Monkey That Rules The App Store
    I am not that good with an accelerometer. These motion-detection gaming devices wreak havoc with my pathetic hand eye coordination and remind me I suck at spatial relationships. "Dad, you really suck at this," my daughter says with genuine shock as I veer my Mario Kart Racer off the mining car tracks yet again. Bloody Wii! I don't even try to play the Super Monkey Ball on the iPhone. With 300,000 units sold at $9.99 in its first three weeks in the App Store, it appears to be the gorilla in the market right now.
  • The Summer Of Like
    Maybe spending a few days in the Haight in San Francisco softened me up a bit, but lately I find myself encouraged more than I am disappointed in my mobile travels. Mobile content clearly is improving demonstrably in recent months in its design, mobilized information architecture and even ad executions. Perhaps I am seeing my various cell phone decks through rose-colored glasses after revisiting the Summer of Love. Maybe someone spiked that black bean burger I wolfed down at lunch. I am even willing to cut Google a break. Somebody stop me before I hug a hedge fund manager
  • Good Hippie Hunting
    "And where did the pot go? In that hole or this one? And why would you want water in the bottom of the bong?" As a parent you don't always see the hard questions coming. When planning the vacation day trip into San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, who knew I would have to explain the architecture of a bong to my sweet 16-year-old daughter? In retrospect, of course, any Dad with half a brain would anticipate the countless head shops on Haight. Just consider all those upscale baby boomer tourists who need their pot pipe straight from psychedelic head quarters. I …
  • Waiting For The Local Train To Arrive
    For the 15 years or so I have been covering digital media, local media has been in a persistent state of becoming. Those piles of local ad dollars always seem so ripe for the picking, and most users are hitting the Web to locate nearby information and services...aren't they? And yet, moving all those mom and pop stores to buy digital media, and getting users to think of the Web as a local resource, both proved to be a long, slow process with no visible tipping point. And so excuse my cynicism as I watch the mobile platform take its …
  • Emailing It In
    "Why didn't you answer me? I sent you a message yesterday about going to that midnight book launch tonight." My daughter, who I am proud to say eschewed Harry Potter throughout her childhood (because she knows a shallow dweeb when she sees one), blindsided me with her devotion to this Stephanie Meyer phenom. I volunteered to bring her to the bookstore Friday night for the ubiquitous launch event, but I never got a message back from her about final plans. "Why would you email me?" she asked in that loaded teen way that packs a decade of issues in half …
  • Mobilizing Ernie Kovacs
    The other day while browsing the mobile version of YouTube, I serendipitously called up old Ernie Kovacs video skits from his various '50s TV shows. For the uninitiated, Kovacs was one of the underappreciated innovators of early television. Like Lucille Ball's best physical comedy and Steve Allen's "Tonight Show" gags, Kovacs' visual vignettes understood and worked the unique parameters of a new form. What is interesting is that many of these skits would work very well on the mobile phone.
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