• Brands Who Think We Can't Wait to View the World Through Their Silly Mobile Apps? Priceless
    For the benefit of those consumer brands that weren't listening the first few hundred times this has been said, consumers do not wake up in the morning thanking the lord they live in a country where they get to worship your brand and see life through its narrow self-serving lens. That only happens in the retro-fantasies of Don Draper and the households of top executives at many of these major brands. The only people who really should or would "love" a brand the way many brand managers think we do (or could) are the vested upper-level managers whose stock in …
  • ChaCha Goes Hollywood
    The human-powered SMS search engine ChaCha had its own Michael Jackson moment last month, when there was still uncertainty about the entertainer's death. During those few hours of doubt, "we were bombarded by 100,000 questions like 'did Michael Jackson die?,'" says Susan Marshall, VP of marketing. "No one really knew." Suddenly, a simple text search service that usually trades in minor trivia or local movie times was thrust into the role of being a trusted source of news. " Let that be a lesson to mobile media. We're not playing around anymore. People are expecting answers, the right answers, from …
  • The Last Minute And The Last Mile
    I don't think anyone doubts that the intersection of mobile phones, GPS positioning and the real estate/rental markets will be a big winner for somebody. As I peruse some of the available options in downloadable iPhone apps, the possibilities seem endless to me.
  • The 'Misery' Of The Mobile Web
    When longtime Web design guru Jakob Nielsen released a report yesterday pronouncing the mobile Web experience "miserable," even a persistent critic like me got a little defensive when the phrase started making the rounds. Is the mobile Web really that bad? I thought most of us were embracing the platform at long last in the past year? The metrics I have seen lately peg monthly mobile Web use in the U.S. at 50 million to 60 million people. How bad could an experience be if so many of us repeat it on an ongoing basis?
  • Palm Pre: After The Creepiness Fades
    Before I even cracked the box of the Palm Pre, I admit that this latest iPhone wannabe started out at a disadvantage. Sorry, but those TV ads have got to go.
  • I Ran Out Of Gas On The Way To the Brand Experience
    In the last few days I think I may have spent more time monitoring the state of the Nissan Cube car brand on mobile handsets than have the brand managers behind the new and quirky car. And I am still trying to figure out what the car is about. As I tooled around a wealth of branded media as well as third-party auto sites, it left me wondering whether it's too early in the mobile lifecycle to expect a product to have a coherent mobile footprint.
  • Send In The Comics
    There are a handful of media types that seem to be struggling mightily to find their proper mobile form. Intuitively, we know that formats like radio, podcasting, short-form video, and even books and magazines should map well against the portability of mobile and the enlarging, lush palette of the smart phone screen. Watching each of these media experiment with different modes of delivery and presentation is one of the unique joys of being involved in the early stages of a new technology.
  • Absolut-ly (Sort Of) Useful
    It's hard not to love the Absolut Vodka Drinkspiration branded app that just launched on the iPhone late last week and will appear on Android soon as well. Basically a mixed drinks selector with a lot of cool twists, the app satisfies a basic brand extension task. It is as drop-dead gorgeous and conceptually interesting as the classic Absolut print ads. Check that box off. But does it go anywhere with these good looks?
  • Mobile Patriotism: Noted With Pleasure
    As we move into the July Fourth holiday weekend, I am determined to shed my recent grumpiness over crappy mobile Web pages, ham-handed 2D code executions (I got a lot of mail on that one!) and the weirdness caused by tossing Google AdSense into any old mobile app. Here then, for a holiday respite from my usual crankiness, I join the legions of cheerleaders for a patriotic weekend of mobile boosterism. No whining. No complaining. Here are things that make me proud to be a mobilista.
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