Why put unrelated entities on the title? Give me a minute here. I was reading an article on Rubin where Mark DiDia, his label's head of operations, noted, after 20 college students had finished a summer-long internship, the following:
"The Big Red focus groups were both depressing and informative, and they confirmed what I — and Rick — already knew," DiDia told me afterward. "The kids all said that a) no one listens to the radio anymore, b) they mostly steal music, but they don't consider it stealing, and c) they get most of their music from iTunes on their iPod. They told us that MySpace is over, it's just not cool anymore; Facebook is still cool, but that might not last much longer; and the biggest thing in their life is word of mouth. That's how they hear about music, bands, everything." (from NY Times. Sept 2, 2007)
MySpace has been over for a while. I think Facebook is still cool. But then again, I don't represent today's middle, high school, college students, or the international scene, if you must.
What are your colleagues, friends, kids, neighbors using to communicate, or entertain themselves? Don't think you know the answer because you read it on some big magazine/paper you subscribe to, or you've heard some fossil say it on Charlie Rose. For example, a lot of my Korean friends are on CyWorld. Gom Player is a very popular media player among Koreans. This past Saturday, at the Apple store, I noticed at least 5-8 people on Meebo.
Which brings me to: How do people access all this around the world? Cell phones of course. And it will likely become the default gadget for web browsing within a short time. iPhone is a huge hit because it brought together phone, media, and web surfing in a tight little package. Another reason why iPhone is a huge hit, as well as other brands that combine phone, media, and web, and that is because it allows people to not be tethered to their computer, at home, alone, away from the rest of the world. It allows people to be free yet connected. In a recent blog post on Google News blog, announcing Google News for mobile:
"One of our engineers was recently traveling through Africa when he ran into a loyal Google News user. When the Googler asked the local if he knew that Google News was available on mobile, the local guy replied with a puzzled look: "Of course -- how else would you get to it?" Well put, since nearly 9% of the world accesses the Internet via a mobile device."
By the way, have you any idea how big the mobile market is? Let me simplify and ask if you know how big the mobile market in India is. Huge is probably a weak word. The future is not in the $100 laptops, it's in the $100 portable media player/communicator device. Will you need to write anything down in the future? Voice recognition applications will take leaps and bounds. Minority Report (the movie) may have been set in the year 2052, but the technology seen in the film is already a toddler - recall Tom Cruise editing video and the consumer targeted commercials. If you can pinch and resize photos on iPhone, why can't you do the same to video clips while cutting, pasting, or synching them with sound? Imagine editing on Final Cut Pro a few years from now - I am, and it makes me smile.
I have a dream. To be able to translate sounds/music heard in my head on to my laptop, fully scored and synched with the video I've created. I don't hear fragments of melody in my head. I hear fully orchestrated pieces or fully arranged songs as I'm sure most people do. I don't read or write music and even if I knew how to, transcribing them is out of the question because I'm a lazy bastard. I don't know when or how, but it will happen, I hope, within my lifetime.
I am, however, happy that today's technology, with its rapid evolution, is making experiencing and documenting the world personal. Whether you see it or not, we are going to back to the oral form of communication.