in Innovation, Mobile Phones, Services

Friends Generated Content. What's next?

20060214Apache.jpgYesterday I talked about how User Generated Content will fit in the mobile ecosystem.

Today I would like to go a little bit further with some considerations.

It’s perfectly true that you may be much more interested in content generated by your friends than in content generated by unknown people. I also said that the Contacts application on your handset should be the key to access that content. I am truly convinced that this is true.

The next step that it is important to consider is how the content is generated and how the content is shared between users.

In the last few months we have seen plenty of applications that allows you to share your data (audio, video, images, etc.) using different web services (Shozu allows you to share you pictures and videos on Flickr and YouTube, Nokia image manager will let you upload your photos on Flickr and so on.).

Those applications are great but their use implies that the user takes an explicit action to share that data. After he has taken a picture or has shoot a video he has to upload the picture or video to the web service using a third party application.

The questions that need to be answered here are:

  • How many users will do that?
  • How much data lives only on the users mobile phone and will never be uploaded and shared?
  • How much money are operators loosing because of data sitting on the mobile phone and never uploaded or shared?

I think that we need a different approach to this.

The mobile phone has to be center of my mobile data. I would like other users to access directly the data sitting on my phone and that I have tagged as public.

The Nokia Research Center is investigating on this possibility and has ported the Apache web server to Series 60. This is a great idea and I think it’s the way to go. If I take a picture I can make it immediately available on the web site that is being run by Apache on my mobile phone. No need to upload. It’s already there. If we took a blog approach to this I can also imagine that as soon as I will have shoot a picture my handset will ping my friends to notify that I have a new photo on my mobile phone web server.

Everything will live on my mobile phone and it can be an extension of my fixed mobile presence or a mobile presence by itself.
I agree on the fact there there are issues to be solved:

  • Security/Privacy.
  • Performance issues.
  • Availability issues.

These are limitations that need to be considered but I think they may be easily addressed by operators and mobile phone vendors.

Why do I blog this ? The mobile phone is slowly becoming an active node on the internet. We need to be smart enough to understand this trend. At the end of the day I think it can be a win-win for both the customer and the operator.