Archive for December, 2007

h1

The New Natives

6 December, 2007

Rupert Murdoch certainly created a common term when he referred to himself as a ‘digital immigrant’. The term ‘ditigal native’ has become common enought that I received a chart today with a generational breakdown showing where groups ar natives, immigrants or aliens.

I think the same thing is happening in mobile, and that it has happened with every paradigm shift device.

When television first arrived, we called it ‘radio with pictures’ – and that’s exactly what we did with it. We also treated it like theater and had static camera with actors moving about. Eventually we realised it was a new phenomena and TV as we know it took off.

With the internet – this started the same way. We took the existing forms of media – TV, magazines and newspapers – and put them on the internet. Even now, a huge number of internet sites remain digital version of legacy media.

But that changed when the natives, who had grown up with the internet, reached the age of invention. Suddenly we got internet sites (and services) which could exist only on the internet. Amazon, eBay, Google for starters. More recently we’ve seen tagging, sharing and social networking sites join them.

On the mobile, what we’ve got now is really the same thing. The previous media (in this case the internet) on the new medium (the mobile phone). Mobile natives, those who grew up with the mobile as a integral part of their life, are only just coming of age.

I don’t think we’ve seen even the first wave of native application for mobile, and I think most of us are so steeping in other media/mediums that we can’t even conceived of what these might be. Sure, they are likely to include location, bluetooth and integrated uses for the camera and phone – but I’m not even going to start imagining what they will be.

And, like all good innovations – once we see them, they will be so obvious that we’ll wonder why we didn’t come up with them first.

Anyone who says they know the future of mobile, mobile services, mobile applications – is more than likely only a mobile immigrant. The future will be with the natives.