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November 23, 2008


graeme wood

Thanks for the kind words Tomi. And yes, you're right, I learned a lot from the book - is a sequel really in the pipeline?

Graham Hill

Hi Tomi

You are right. Graeme has written a must-read post. Very inspirational. And very well pulled together from so many disparate sources.

But remembering my last visit to the supermarket, or my last visit to an international airport, or even walking down the Schildergasse in Cologne, I can't help but think that the future he describes is one for the 1% of people who are actively involved in social media, or the 9% who are ocasionally involved, rather than the 90% who couldn't care less. Or who don't even know that it exists! Not the online version anyway.

Or to put it another way. The vast majority of my social interactions are with real people, face to face, in person. And I suggest that is the same for the vast majority of other people too. We still live in networks of small physical worlds, not in one big joined-up virtual network.

Maybe that will change in the future. Maybe things will be different for Generation-C. We will just have to wait to find out.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi graeme and Graham

Thank you for the comments. Will respond to both individually

graeme - thanks. It really was a great summary quotation. And yes, we both - Alan and I - want to put together the sequel, but we had our other projects, my convergence book (Digital Korea) and my mobile follow up to M-Profits (which was just released as Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media) and Alan has his customer analytics book project (hopefully coming to a bookstore near you very soon, I believe the book is nearing completion). So yeah, we do want to do it, but trying to find the timing for both of us - in this whirlwind industry of so dramatic changes - is difficult, as both of us also have a real day-job ha-ha, and even finding time to blog is often a big hassle...

Graham - good points. But I think it is a danger for us older people, digital immigrants - to assume the world and the customers are like us. Young people make no differentiation at all, none at all, between their friends on virtual systems like a social networking site or multiplayer game - and "reality" or real people. Mark Curtis of Flirtomatic was just talking about that at the IIR Mobile Content conference in London a week ago, when he said that when they surveyed their membership, the responses of young people who claimed they had "met" the flirting/dating contacts was almost 100%. It then emerged that young people define "to meet" differently, to them meeting in a virtual space is the same as meeting face-to-face in the bricks-and-mortar real world. It was only older members of Flirtomatic, who understood "to meet" to mean in the physical world.

So that world graeme is writing about, is spreading very rapidly among the youth and young adults, in the industrialized world - and very tellingly, on simpler systems, also starting to happen in the developing world.

But yes, lets monitor it and see how it evolves. The real world won't disappear, and we may well see various "backlashes" where some feel that there is a need to do serious human contact "things" - and it could be for example a fashion/pop culture thing, like punk rock was a reaction to the over-produced disco - glam rock - Europop of the early 1970s.

But yeah, the big trend is definitely more to social networks, digital communities, collaboration etc.

Thanks for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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