Content & Media

Carnival Of The Mobilists COM #255 Is Live; Wrapping Up A Great Mobile Year

15 min read

carnival of the mobilistsThe Carnival of the Mobilists (COM) sets up tents a last time this year here at MobileGroove, marking the end of a great year for the mobile industry and an even better one for the COM.

Indeed, the COM —the destination bringing you the best of mobile blogging from around the Web — has a new look, a new focus and a new schedule. With so much happening, I’d like to start off by running through the significant changes one at a time.

Beginning in 2012 the COM is back to a weekly schedule. Please check the new schedule here, and let me know which dates you would like to host the COM in 2012. (My personal thanks to Martin Wilson, leading mobile strategist, veteran Mobilist and founder of Mobileweb Company for his continued support of the COM and for stepping up to deliver us a new website design and hosting service.)

Finally, the new site is matched by a new focus on featuring YOU, the Mobilists. I want to promote your work, your services and your sites via COM, so please start off my sending me your image (thumbnail), your Twitter handle and a 50-100 word description of what you do. And don’t forget to follow the COM on Twitter (@TheMobilists) and spread the word!

Excellent line-up

This month we received a large number of submissions —covering the months of  November and December — making it just that little bit tougher for me to choose the outstanding blogs to include in this final line-up. So, here we go…

Chetan Sharma leads the pack with a must-read post recounting the highlights of his 8th Mobile Breakfast Series event. As we would expect from Chetan, he used the sold-out event to delve into the trends and opportunities sure to leave their mark on mobile in 2012 —and beyond. By the way, Chetan is also running his survey Annual Mobile Predictions Survey for 2012 to find out what WE think were the topics and themes that impacted 2011 (and will be top of mind in 2012), so I encourage you to take a few minutes to fill it out. Chetan’s event covered a wide range of topics, from platforms, to privacy, to payments. We’re sure to hear more from Nokia (struggling), Android (gaining the upper hand), Amazon (game-changer) and the ‘Apps vs. Mobile Web debate (except the discussion has gone cross-media/cross-platform with people demanding a great experience on ALL their devices, many of which are better delivered by apps. How will it play out? Chetan sums it up best: “2012 will be another great year for mobile. Fasten your seat belts.”

Martin Wilson at Mobileweb Company has two worthwhile submissions. The first, a guest post on his company blog by Tina de Souza, connects the dots in the  Mary Portas review on retailing, a comprehensive report providing recommendations to companies on how to address the retail crisis hitting the U.K. hard. But the most significant point of the report has to do with mobile and its influence on our buying behavior, thus transforming the entire retail landscape.. Building on all this data the post presents us with 5  recommendations on how we can/should develop retailing through our mobile channel. What is this blueprint for mobile retail readiness? Read on and find out.

In the second submission Martin walks us through the basics of Google’s GoMo Initiative and spells out why it is significant for brands and their mobile strategies. The core message: Brands need to go mobile, or risk losing business. But brands also have to do it right.

Tomi Ahonen does his math in this post to present us a gloomy prediction of what Nokia’s smartphone market share will likely be for 4Q2011. Drawing from figures, reports and past posts, Tomi concludes that Nokia’s losses are inextricably linked with the actions of the CEO at the helm: Stephen Elop. The ‘Microsoft Muppet’ —as Tomi calls him —  has destroyed Nokia’s value and threatens its future. How can Nokia fall so far when it has such a quality portfolio? It’s a key question — and Tomi’s answer is sure to spark debate.

Carlo Longino over at WIP Connect submits a must-read practical post based on his recent interview with TouchType CMO Joe Braidwood. By way of background, TouchType’s SwiftKey is one of the leading paid Android apps in several markets, and has seen a huge amount of success despite having a relatively small marketing budget. How can developers make money on their apps? It’s the question developers will continue to ask in 2012 — and this interview is packed with tips and ideas to help you turn your app biz into a real business.

Dave Olsen grabs our attention with his post titled “Mobile Strategy is Dead, Long Live Content Strategy.” He argues that ‘mobile’ is becoming a prefix when we talk about the Web. As he puts it: Search and links are the gateway for our users to our content. And you know what? They’re the gateway regardless if our users are using a mobile device or desktop.” So, do we need mobile strategies at all? Read on and make your decision.

Mark Bridge over at brings us a valuable roundup of the CES Unplugged consumer electronics event in London. His summary post gives us a good idea of what we can from the 2012 International CES this January in Las Vegas. Mark runs us through the numbers (showing that global sales of consumer electronics are still quite buoyant) and introduces us to some cool companies we’re sure to see and hear a lot more of in the coming year.

James Cameron has started a must-read series profiling some of the leading mobile minds and influencers. This month’s submission catches up with Daniel Appelquist, mobile veteran and Head of Product Management for BlueVia. What are Daniel’s his fav apps, start-ups and business opportunities? Read on and enjoy!

Antoine RJ Wright brings together a variety of perspectives in his blog post to explain why mobile fails to be a satisfying experience. Have companies stopped pushing the envelope, or is the industry at a cross-roads? Read his very personal observations and arrive at your own conclusion.

Francisco Kattan is back with a post that analyzes Amazon and asks the question: Should Amazon buy webOS from HP? Granted the post is no longer so timely (a major reason why we are weekly in the New Year), but his views on the role of Amazon and its emerging ecosystem help us understand the real essence of its competitive edge. Is the source of Amazon’s power and prowess a sharp focus on content and distribution? Read on and share your views with Francisco.

Steven Hoober combines personal experience, market reports and business observations in this post to explain the need for a broader approach to design. In his view, we need to design for every screen and think touch points, not devices. It’s an important message indeed, and one that developers should not ignore. How do we all get there from here? Read on and find out.

MobileGroove ends the year with two submissions. The first post builds on an interview with Atlas Premium (which made it’s debut in the recent Netsize Guide by Gemalto, a must-red mobile industry analysis and almanac you can download here for free). It outlines the company’s new social networking strategy and vision, one that 1) includes brands and 2) covers the bases to give Facebook & Co. some sleepless nights. Will it be the talk of 2012? Watch this space!

The second submission —from guest columnist Lisa Ciangiulli over at Optism —offers us an in-depth analysis of Starbucks’ mobile strategy (strategy, not app!). The takeaway: a comprehensive approach across all touch points can produce amazing results. What are they and how does this all tie in with lasting customer loyalty? Read on and find out!

And finally, a mention goes to this post from Six Revisions that came in via a cross-post from The post, written by web designer/ web developer Arley McBlain, asks if Microsoft’s increasing position in mobile could spark a Browser War and increased fragmentation. His message: We need to unite and demand a better browser standard.

Pick of the month

With so many quality submissions it certainly wasn’t easy.

Chetan’s post —based on discussions during his high-caliber event — were thought-provoking. Francisco did a great job of dissecting Amazon’s strategy and why it is shaping up to become the worst nightmare come true for some companies in the mobile space. And I enjoyed James’ series —and look forward to being one of the next profiles in the pipeline.

My pick goes to Tomi Ahonen for his comprehensive —and somewhat controversial — analysis of issues at Nokia. Will the number one handset maker stumble and fall? Are any hopes for a comeback blocked by current leadership? Even if you don’t agree with all the premises Tomi offers, it is a powerful argument we should all consider.

January 9th is COM #256

I am thrilled that we are going weekly in 2012 and urge you all to get your submissions in by end-day JANUARY 6th. Our next host is Mark Bridge over at TheFonecast.

Remember anyone can submit their best blog to the COM for consideration. Simply email your submission for the week to If your post is selected, then the host will provide you a link to post share and tweet to your community.

if you want to host, there are slots open. Please check the new schedule here, and let me know which dates you would like to host. Hosting the COM has its rewards. For one, there is the personal fulfillment that comes from leading  the mobile discussion on your site. Our ‘founding fathers’ Russell Buckley and Carlo Longino started the COM in 2005 as a platform for ideas, insights and a way to ensure that the tide of mobile transformation lifts all boats. For this reason, the Carnival is hosted every week at a different site, a balanced approach that allows us to encourage variety, drive interest in the posts and benefit from the rise in traffic and visits.

That wraps up our last COM in 2011 — thanks to all of you for your submission and support over the last year. Happy Holidays and see you in the New Year!