COM #250: Nokia Quiz, Apple’s iCloud, Mobile Ad Networks, Mobile Web Influencers List

Carnival MobilistsThe monthly Carnival of the Mobilists (COM) sets up camp at MobileGroove with an entertaining and eclectic mix of themes and topics that speak volumes about recent developments in mobile. From a curated list of Mobile Web influencers to an examination of the pros and cons of mobile apps, it’s all there – so let’s dive in!

Tomi Ahonen is in rare form this month with a deliciously disruptive post dripping with sarcasm. It would be a great laugh if it was only fiction. But this quiz, which tests our ability to run Nokia into the ground (as it appears Microsoft and Stephen Elop are doing as we speak), is based on keen observations from a long-time Nokia watcher (and former employee).

A sample question: You hear that your reseller chain – the mobile operators/carriers – has gone into sales boycott because of one decision made by your company. Do you:

a – apologize in public and reverse that one decision which is causing your resellers to boycott your products or

b – announce your support of a series of new technologies that the carriers specifically hate, to really infuriate them, like Dual SIM phones and Skype

Is Tomi’s post sarcasm, hard truth, or a merely a product of his caffeine-induced all-night blogging routine?  Take the quiz and let us know how YOU rate.

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James Coops at MobyAffiliates walks us through the fast-paced mobile advertising space and introduces us to some upstart startup mobile ad networks rising up the ranks. The company profiles provide valuable market intel — and support James’ core argument. Innovation in mobile advertising is happening on the fringe — and being driven by nimble newcomers, not just market giants like AdMob (Google).

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Our dear Antoine RJ Wright is back this month with a post that suggests a UX rethink when it comes to our number one mobile device activity: taking pictures. Antoine correctly points out that mobile devices allow us to act on impulse and inspiration. Snap and capture is a big part of what we do, so should devices provide a ‘shortcut button’ of sorts that allows us to take spur-of-the-moment pictures? Check out his post, and speak your mind.

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Judy Breck (lead blogger over at Smart Mobs) calls our attention to the rise of online listening rooms in a succinct  post that summarizes a recent Wired article. Listening to music may have been a pastime that isolated us (requiring us to plug our earbuds/headsets into an array of gadgets), but social changes all the rules. Now we can come out of our cocoons and experience music in a whole new way.

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Alex Franks over at Blyk joins the COM for the first time (welcome!) to share his views on where mobile advertising is — and what’s needed to move the dial on spend. To drive his point home Alex draws from a variety of reports and observations from the recent Media Playground 2011 event in London. It’s a solid summary post and convinces us that makes a strong case for mobile advertising growth and excitement. In the words of Alex: ‘Viva la Revolution!’ (Disclosure: Blyk was an event sponsor and spoke on the mobile advertising expert panel.)

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We also welcome Nan Hickman over at Open Strategies. The post, which walks us through the recent Apple developer conference (WWDC), hones in on the iCloud announcement and what it really means for Apple (and us). Nan’s take: “By pushing the content to the cloud, Apple not only strengthens its ecosystem usability experience, but creates future monetization schemes for storage and, probably ultimately, future data mining of what content people have and who they know and what context are they in.”

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Richard Monson-Haefel over at Ambient Consulting weighs in with a pair of posts focused on what flies (and fails) in mobility solutions. In his first post, titled Which way to go? iOS, Android, or Windows Phone 7?, Richard cautions us against getting too caught up in the debate on operating systems. Instead, we should focus on the ‘big picture’ and consider that the dominant operating system could be ‘none of the above’. (It has happened before. Remember when BREW was the tough kid on the block?) It’s a serious piece backed by facts, so well worth a read.

Richard’s other post, Cross-Platform Mobile Solutions Are Bad, argues just that. In his view, resident cross-platform solutions – applications that are installed on the device – as opposed to mobile Web applications that run in a mobile browser are tempting. But there is a lot that speaks in favor of a strategy that focuses squarely on native development and mobile Web.

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Martin Wilson over at Mobileweb Company draws from recent industry reports and surveys to map out the opportunities in the emerging mobile retail/commerce space. How can retailers really deliver value via mobile? Martin tells brands and shops what to consider (and demand) when developing a mobile presence.

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MobileGroove deep dives into Mobile Intel: Retail, a mobile intelligence report that draws from Millennial Media network data (data that was accumulated across 67 billion mobile impressions in 250 countries and territories) and consumer research conducted by comScore. The report is chock-full of valuable data that helps brands identify key mobile retail opportunities and engage with the growing audience of mobile retail users, the segment of consumers using their mobile devices to research and purchase goods and services. A surprise finding: mobile retail not just about promotion (being front and center when people are considering products). It’s about transaction (triggering the actual purchase decision).  A big reason why companies should grasp the mobile retail opportunity with both hands.

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Andy Favell over at mobiThinking (a must-read source of information about all aspects of mobile and mobile marketing) connects the dots in recent developments to provide us an up-to-date look at NFC (Near Field Communications) progress worldwide. Find out where contactless payments are gathering traction (and why). Kudos to Andy for a piece that gives us a crash course in an area of mobile payments sure to be top of the business agenda for many quarters to come.

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best mobile blogAjit Jaokar over at Open Gardens does us all a service by providing us an expertly curated list of Mobile Web influencers. Ajit worked together with Daniel Appelquist (@torgo) to develop the list, which I’m pleased to say includes many veteran Mobilists and COM contributors (@mtrends Rudy De Waele, @russellbuckley Russell Buckley, @eortiz Enrique Ortiz and @yeswap Dennis Bournique — to name a few). Altogether, it’s a great list — even though some comments correctly point out Ajit should expand the scope to include global industry experts and leading women in mobile. I caught up with Ajit today and he assures me the list is “evolving,” so we should continue to check back. Ajit also gets my vote for ‘pick of the month’ for this post. Well done, Ajit!!

The complete list of Mobile Web Influencers.


And finally…

Coldbeans software from Russia joins the COM and takes the wraps off a Twitter mashup allowing developers to create their own Twitter bots.

Thanks to everyone for contributing!

The COM will be back again next month (August) with a roundup of the best blogs posted in July, so check the schedule for the next COM host (or sign up to host a CO at your own website). In the meantime, remember ANYONE ANYWHERE can submit their best blog to the COM for consideration. And, if your post didn’t make this lineup of blogs, then I hope you will try again next month.

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