The July Mobile Monday was a huge success. Some of the presenters complained about having to compress their demos down to 10 minutes, but everyone (and I mean, literally, EVERYONE) in the audience really like a the pace of the event and that we kept it rolling. Mobile Monday is a more community focused event than many others, so we always go for quick and compact doses of information that will get people thinking and hopefully interacting. Last night was a stunning success I think. There was one particular aspect that I wanted to put down, cause I think it’ll be of interest to anyone looking to demo mobile services. All the demos were great, but I think the ones that had the greatest impact were the demos that attendees could participate in.
Then there was the demo by ipsh!, who were talking about how they run advertising campaigns that include service like messaging notifications, wallpapers, ringtones, and some specialized point of sale equipment. It would seem like this kind of stuff would be old hat to a bunch of mobile enthusiasts. NOT AT ALL!!!! When asked how many people had bought a ringtone, almost no one in the audience had. Even though the ringtone market is big, and people pay a lot of attention to it, the purchasers of ringtones are not always the folks who are building mobile services. The demographics just don’t match up. So when Dale told everyone they could message their birthday (in mmddyy format) to shortcode VODKA (86352) and get a free ringtone and wallpaper everyone pulled out their cell phone to give it a try. It grabbed their attention, it involved them, and even though it was a simple use case in terms of technology it was novel for the group. Cell phone beeps went off all over, little jingles started playing, it was fantastic. This was an excellent example of what happens when you lower the barrier for participation. Even in a group of people where many are aware not just of what the ringtone and wallpaper markets are, but how big they are and who the major players are, allowing people to try out a service right then when it grabbed their attention still dominated their actions. Even though the ringtone and wallpaper were effectively a marketing message from Absolut, it was engaging and interesting and people enjoyed it. The fact that a wallpaper and ringtone download created so much stir with the group is just further proof in my mind that there’s a ton of potential in mobile that people are overlooking because they don’t really respect the personal, realtime, and situated interactions that mobile services allow.