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Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media: Cellphone, cameraphone, iPhone, smartphone Hardcover – October 14, 2008
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So I simply made a goal for myself with this book: that I would take only one day to read it front to back. And that I did. 4hrs even it took, and this was the hardest book to read that I went straight through. Simply put, there were so many points that stuck out that I found myself stopping to reflect more and more - not just about mobile - but what it means to live in a connected generation.
Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media is a bit more than 300 pages of statistics and perspectives about the rise and impact of mobile devices as litereally the most pervasive new technology in the last 100 years. Ahonen chronicles not only the history of mass media to this point, but how each media interacts with one another, statistically reaching more and different people, eventually growing out from the media the preceeded it, to something else world-changing. We are in the 7th iteration of mass media in repsect ot mobiles (or cellphones), and its in this 7th interation that we have and will continue to see the most disruptive changes to our lives across every social and economic strata.
From a literary perspective, this is a very thick book that does a great job of presenting facts and figures, then rounding perspectives in a global manner to the reader. Its very hard to read this book only in the perspective of "I don't see this in my neighborhood," because the effects are so far reaching. And at the same time, some of the repeated analogies and metaphors might turn off those who are looking at this as more of a story of why mobile is a mass media, rather than the way it is written - how mobile is a mass media and what those effects can be.
From the perspectve of a mobile and web technology writer, I can say that this is (a) required reading, and (b) reflective reading. The perception of what is "good" and "far reaching" online can be missed when we see that the Internet, laptops, and even email constitute a much smaller frame of connectivity than what we tell others or learn for ourselves. Simply speaking, Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media gives every reason for one to reevaluate why they are analyizing mobile technology, and truly see it first through the eyes of all its uses (real and potential) and why the media themes leading up to mobile will have to walk alongside or get ran over.
While it is that I read Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media in the course of 4hrs, I would recommend this not only as reading material, but short-term reference material. The facts and figures are bolstered by solid research that is constantly being checked and rechecked. And at the same time, the baseline of information provided will endear the reader and analyst alike to better speak about mobile towards its intended aims, and not frame it in the perceptions of other media.
I would not recommend Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media to someone who is not into mobile, web, or connected services. This is not sociology in that respect. I would recommend it to web developers, business analysts, economists, teachers, and parents of technological teens as a means of pointing them to what is to come (quickly).
It is in this respect that Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media is a great book. It does not pertend to know the "why" of mobile, but rather the "what" and "how" and then "what's next" aspects of understanding it. This foundation makes not just for better device users, but better and more empowered world citizens.
He has outlined a rigorous and documented structure for publishers, governments, corporations, activists, and individuals to understand the
21st Century media maelstrom and to implement mobile strategies immediately.
By enumerating all the unique issues with mobile, and its ability to cannibalize the power and effectiveness of
the older 6 media types, Tomi is giving moguls and newbies alike a matrix to understand a world where a Twitter user with SMS is now 100000X more effective in 30 minutes than Reuters et al can be in the
new 'user generated media' universe ---untracked by Google for 48 hours or longer it seems.
Tomi's experience and sharing of deep market research in Finland and in Korea and with dozens of other mobile markets, is another gift for CEO's and CMO's in this book.
With 3 billion and soon to be 4 billion mobile users messaging, receiving intelligent network based SAAS alerts, and navigating to local language websites configured for mobile; Tomi is giving SME's and desperate media executives the needed framework and linkages to coordinate the 7 media types seamlessly.
As with many things with the world in tumult, the march of mobile as a 10 to the X political, economic, social, and educational bulwark continues with billions of messages per day etc and new business models.
Tomi's book is a complete marketing and strategy class under one cover.
I had to read it twice to understand many of the innovations bubbling quickly in the youth markets of Japan and Korea.
Those who read it, and ponder its lessons for their affairs with mobile enablement will be enormously enriched and informed of leading trends and innovations. The media dinosaurs who will not read it, will continue their death spiral and their eclipse.
This book is on the top shelf of my library and is equal in power to the Cluetrain Manifesto in its voice of authority and prescience.
Basically, every MBA student in 2009 needs to read this book.
Every CMO needs to roadmap the difficulties of this economic cycle with its principles.
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