Monday morning classes are often difficult for all concerned, and bring to mind the 1986 observations sung by Susanna Hoff.
I went to two talks (the other one I’ll post after I’m caught up on grading) today. Tonight it was Mobile Monday, the Silicon Valley chapter. The program had three speakers:
- Jordy Mont-Reynaud, the mobile dev lead for Bebo, talked about how this social networking site is going mobile in the next few weeks.
- Sam Altman, the student entrepreneur founder of Loopt, who explained how location-based services support their “social mapping” service which allows people to socialize and get together. (The service has been live for a year with Boost Mobile).
- Ain Indermitte of Nokia introduced Nokia Mosh (“mobilize and share”), a beta site for the Nokia developer community (or others) that seems like a cross between Flickr and SourceForge.
In the future MOSH will be advertising supported. To ensure we show you the most relevant offers possible from our partners, please complete the following. We will never share this information with anyone and it will only take a minute to complete.The first two speakers were more directly relevant, since they part of the sample of social media companies in the thesis project that I’m supervising this year. As a platform guy, what was most striking was the difference between the two in their view of mobile client software.
The Bebo talk was subtitled “If it doesn't work on a billion phones, don't bother.” He noted how hard it is — absent preloaded software — it is to get new applications onto mobile phones, using SMS as the least common denominator, and quoted a statistic (couldn’t find the original) that 61% of mobile games played recently were downloaded games — i.e., 39% of the games were the lame free games preloaded on the phone rather than from the $2 billion mobile game industry.
Loopt is going the other way — winning loyalty with various native applications (BREW, Windows Mobile, and various forms of Java) rather than the compromises necessary to run a WAP-based application. Part of the reason is that the location-based APIs vary by carrier, although attempts are being made to abstract the APIs across devices. (He also noted a series of privacy issues that sounded similar to those addressed by FireEagle from Yahoo).
Mobile Monday is the Nokia-founded networking group that began in Helsinki in 2000 and now has spread to a total of 45 chapters. Other than Helsinki, it seems the Beijing, London and Silicon Valley chapters are the most active. I helped start two local trade associations, and it’s rare that I’ve experienced a group with this kind of energy.
Photo by Mobile Monday organizer Mike Rowehl via Flickr.