"I can pull up by the curb; I can make it on the road. Goin' mobile."
Wherever you look on the web there's talk of "Going Mobile". Even we at Merry Fools have concurred that mobile is the future of the web and that's where we want to be.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC) more people will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or laptops by 2015, 80% through smart phones.
Think Dotcom-era huge but with hopefully a bigger and lasting payoff. There's no doubt it will bring new ideas to how the web works in delivering consumables.
For consumers, it means more choice in platforms as we move away from OS standards in lieu of native apps and as more companies compete to push their versions of phones and tablets to the top of a non-standardized market. Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry, Samsung, Symbian, QT. . . .
For developers, Flash may be headed for the ol' crash and burn. My hope is that it will adapt, or at the very least be reanimated as some kind of FlasHTML5avascript Frankencode.
But as HTML 5 gains its own ground and becomes more flexible beyond its current scope of Flash-y websites and video, time is fleeting for ol' Adobe.
However, I don't see any one format holding up as standalone, honestly. Integration is the name of the game in mobile app development, from what I can see, and everything will have to cozy up nicely together to survive.
Take a look at what's happening already with multi-platform tools like PhoneGap and RhoMobile that format multiple development environments into one platform so things run smoothly across several.
While these tools are still young and imperfect, the perk to developers is they can use them without having intimate knowledge of each platform being integrated.
This will be important to businesses making the leap to mobile and targeting those audiences. It has even greater potential in business network applications.
Then you've got cloud storage which is already competing with native apps.
It's not hard to see how perfectly suited mobile is to something like the "cloud". While the average consumer can run cross-platform software anywhere, anytime through any mobile device via the cloud, for a business it means several people able to run cross-platform software anywhere, anytime, through any device on just one license.
This could mean substantial cost savings, which could eventually be used to improve business performance in other areas, namely through marketing opportunities. Something small business tends to lack in their budget.
The cloud will change marketing.
When you consider online marketing like the user-targeted Google and Facebook ads served to users based on their surfing habits, data storage has already evolved into massive user-centric data warehouses.
We have one client who already uses this kind of data storage for centralizing real-time analytics. Not in marketing to consumers but for improving their in-house business practices.
The idea works the same for a marketing venture though. The more readily analytics is disseminated in the "cloud" the more actionable and near real-time data becomes, giving businesses greater opportunity to remain competitive in their markets.
The potential of that only reinforces the call for a switch to mobile and why the future of the web is well on its way in that direction.
Where does that leave the PC? Sorry, but the honeymoon is over, old gal. I foresee a dark basement office of neglect and obsoletism, much like the fate of this guy.
As a copy writer, naturally I have some questions about my own place in a mobile world. I like putting A LOT of words on a page, I relish the real estate of a web page, but I'm not sure how mobile users will receive that.
We The People have short attention spans and while mobile devices are designed as consumption devices, how much of my ranting will the average reader tolerate before thumbing me aside?
Does the future of web copy boil down to character limitations set forth by the practices of social networks like Twitter? Will I be forced to convey my message in 140 characters or less?
Or will readable content become obsolete and replaced by image-driven content because one picture does a better job than 1000 words?
Less is more, but c'mon.
After all, how many times have I been out and needed a review on a piece of equipment that I want to purchase?
I think if anything, mobile will reduce Internet clutter and all those sites with 700-word articles full of filler will eventually fall to the wayside for more concise writing.
If content development means a bite-sized world for copy, I'm writing it.
And if going mobile means improving the ways we communicate information, then "keep me moving".