This morning I am speaking at the first ever Social Media Breakfast in Washington, DC. The featured topic is, “What trends or predictions do you believe will prevail? How can we be visionaries in a space as dynamic as social media?” The answer? Get mobile now.
From the incredible outpouring of donations for Haiti to the ongoing Android/Apple wars, this is the year of mobile. Fifty-five percent of Americans connect to the Internet wirelessly, says the Pew Internet & American Life Project. If you want to be a visionary, a leader in this space, then own mobile media.
In my mind, we’re at a similar place of adoption as social media in 2006 or 2007. Rather than trying to establish visionary leadership in an overcrowded market, it makes sense to become a master of this next generation of portable Internet media. It’s much easier to lead in a greenfield space than to overcome very strong leaders in the existing social media marketplace.
This means more than the iPhone, too. Intelligence in this market requires understanding the market dynamics between Android (see my review here), Apple and Blackberry, as well as the four major carriers in the United States and their network technology. If you are outside of the United States, you’d better understand Symbian, too.
It means understanding what makes a great application from the end user’s point of view (as opposed to publishing junk for the sake of appearing cool). Owning this space necessitates understanding which platforms to build applications on, too, and why (See our post on the topic last summer). You have to be up to date on the latest, and be willing to experiment on your own — without paying clients.
Start this week with the anticipated Apple tabloid and iPhone announcements and don’t look back. Keep abreast of the latest mobile news, own it, lead in it, then share what you learned. That’s how to become an Internet visionary in 2010.