Moonpig will buyover Google in 2010

'Hands free mobile' by Obi-Akpere

I won’t be making too many predictions like the one above. But one I am happy to put my name to is that 2010 will be the year of mobile.

Whether mobile will take off or not this year has been the subject of much discussion with colleagues. There’s a lot of caution; many of us have been burnt by previous false dawns. But against the evidence – massive penetration of cheap smart phones, uptake of mobile broadband and the explosion of apps –  we have to be more ambitious about mobile in 2010.

From my vantage, the world of democracy and politics will be very much part of this mobile bonanza. Here are three prime areas:

1. General Election campaigning
Every party, media outlet and activist group will make extensive use of the web – that’s a given. It will be in the use of mobile that innovations and headlines will be made.

Whether its micro-donations to parties, opposition flash-mobs at events or manifestos in 160 characters – the mobile will make the election feel closer, more personal and more accessible.

Overkill, imposition and data security will all prove problematic.

2. Social marketing
As the functionality of mobiles increases, so the costs of social marketing via mobiles will decrease.

Government marketers have long been interested in mobile, and with the ability to run cheaper, better targeted campaigns we will rush to mobile in our droves. Expect lots of location-based games and personalised advice through apps.

The challenges will be around monitoring, evaluation and creativity (i.e. how to make it look and feel cool).

3. Service delivery
Fuelled by the sudden windfall of public sector data, we can expect a boom in mobile-based interaction with public services.

It is likely that most of these will be packaged up by social enterprises but government will also get involved, especially local authorities. Prime for development will be emergency services, transport infrastructure and environmental services.

Data security, security of payments and records management will prove problematic.

Only time will tell…

What’s in your crystal ball (app)?

Stuff what I has been reading… 16/02 – 22/02

Things I’ve read this week…

BarackObama.com to Change.gov

The Obama election campaign will always be remembered for its use of the web to keep voters up-to-date and engaged. But how will this campaign momentum transfer to the Administration? This Pew research shows that as campaigning becomes governing, half of Obama voters expect the frequency of contact to be maintained.

Leadbeater gets Carter
Charlie Leadbeater is peeved with the low-sights of the Digital Britain report . Charlie makes some good points about the reports lack of engagement with changing business models business in digital media. But I am disappointed by his generalisations that government doesn’t get digital. I for one don’t think that’s true.

Decisions, decisions
Good collective decisions depend on the amount of information available but also the ability of individuals to determine the veracity of the information. At least, that’s how it works for bees.

It’s getting to that time again – the general election on the web

On Thursday there’s an event on at the US Embassy where a panel will present their thoughts on the influence of the web on the US election and, laterally, what it all might mean for the UK.

This will be the first of a flurry of online campaigning analysis as minds begin to focus on a general election at some point in the next two years.

Online campaigning is interesting for lots of different reasons: for academics it means data, the media see a rich source of scoops, and the parties see massive PR potential, if not a direct route to voters. No prizes for guessing what new media consultants see. For the electorate, online campaigning should mean having access to a sufficient amount of information on which to base informed decisions.

While all are agreed on the desirability of electioneering online, there is no agreement on what is feasible and what is worth doing. Online campaigning is still a ‘grey area’, which makes it a nightmare for the regulators – and probably the electorate – but while everything is up for grabs it also means that online campaigning is a rich source of innovation in a otherwise pretty mundane area of politics.

Continue reading “It’s getting to that time again – the general election on the web”