Whose Reality?

It has been a while since my last post. Lots of developments, lots of interesting moves, a bunch of reports, new insights and not enough time to digest it all. In short: the war for our mobile phone is on and how. All big players are moving in, some a bit panicked one might add. Nokia changed it’s top people. Facebook is said to launch a new phone. Napster is offering a service on Apple’s platforms. Microsoft is joining the music bizz. GOOG is everywhere.

It seems all these companies think that everyone of us consumers is moving away from our big screens and machines and start to move into mobile media. Yes, of course we are, but the question remains what we actually do and are willing to do, as this again brilliant piece from PewResearchCenter illustrates.

In  the area of ebooks things move even more quickly as time goes by. The launch of iPad had quite an effect on pricing strategies in the ebook department. Interesting moves at Kindle and Kobo .

And iPad is regarded more and more as the phenomenon it is: a game changer. New and competing tablets have been announced again and again. The first ones are due any moment now.

In the early days of video we endured 3 competing standards. VHS, Betamax and V2000. What a time it was and how soon it all ended. These days standards are probably not standards anymore, because it’s all digital. One thing remains however: the customer has to make a decision what to buy. A smartphone, a device to just read or an all in one?

Meanwhile in Holland an interesting report was published by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research| SCP. After examining and analyzing user behaviour the central conclusion was that usage of new media is far less than publicity about and around it suggests.

Reading this report  a famous scene from  The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) popped up.

Background: natural disaster, heavy fighting and lots of explosions.

Forefront: a husband and wife shouting at each other: ‘Whose reality, yours or mine?’

Here’s a quote from their summary. 

Comparison of use of old and new media forms 



While it is true that new forms of media, information and medialised information are on the rise, this is not taking place at such a pace that the entire media world has been turned on its head within the space of a few years. In 2008, reading a newspaper or watching television via the Internet or a smartphone was still reserved for a small group of early adopters. The widespread perception that the new digital technologies are suddenly being used by virtually everyone is thus not valid. The new technologies require some time to become ‘domesticated’. Old media are not quickly ditched in favour of new media, contrary to what is suggested by the massive attention devoted to technological innovations in the media.
New media do appeal to certain groups – the young, the well-educated, men – more than others. While these social differences are often statistically significant, however, they are not so marked that there can be said to be a gap. Once again, the exception to this is the difference between young and older people. Young people have a much stronger preference than older people for the digital incarnations of traditional mass media; they more often read information online and also read news columns digitally (via Internet and mobile phone) more often than older people.


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