Friday, March 25, 2011

mobile madness on the north shore

Ever on the lookout for an opportunity to interact with humans instead of my laptop, I've been meaning to check out the North Shore Web Geeks monthly meetup for a few months now.  What better way to spend a snowy evening in March? After all, 'tis the season for March Madness. In this case, March Mobile Madness!

the crowd networking before the talk

 The group met at The Port Tavern in Newburyport (right next door to Taffy's -- great NBPT breakfast spot). Working from home, I don't often meet others of my kind, so the first thing that struck me was "these are my people."

The crowd was about evenly divided along male/female lines -- more like the real techie world than the media's image of the techie world. Yes folks, there is a world in which both men and women wear Drupal T-shirts :-) The age breakdown seemed to be mostly Gen X with many Millennials and one or two Boomers. Not that I asked people their ages, I guessed by appearance so it's possible that the few I thought were Booomers were actually Xers who had lived hard. :-)

techie conversation was buzzing
It was great to hear what people are working on and share thoughts about the challenges of developing content for mobile.

The turnout was excellent. Who knew that there was so much "web" development going on in Essex and Rockingham (NH)counties?

It was challenging to photograph the event in a crowded and dark room, even with my semi-decent camera. When I mentioned this to one of attendees who was taking photos with her iPhone, she told me that a reporter from the Boston Globe attended the last meetup and had a professional photographer with the right camera gear. Later, I checked out the article online, but there were no pix. I did notice that the Globe article also commented on the gender balance. Guess it must be newsworthy.

Dan Katcher about to begin his talk
 Dan Katcher of Rocket Farm Studios gave a talk titled Why You Should Give a $@#%! about Mobile.  So why should you give a bleep about mobile? It's the second coming of the web. I love the term "second coming" instead of Web 3.0. (Sorry Tim, but major versioning of the web ends at 2.0). BTW, I loved being able to discuss such things with people who know the difference between the Internet and the Web.

Look at that spike in Android handset sales!
 Dan's slides were packed with excellent infographics covering nine different statistics about trends in mobile devices, OSes, and apps. A few specific things really struck me.

Thing 1: Android share of mobile OS is just shooting up like crazy. Symbian declining, Blackberry peaking. Dan predicted: "Android will pass Symbian in 2014."

This infographic really brought home the dramatic increase in Android sales.

growth in mobile data consumption
 Thing 2: Mobile data consumption is growing and growing and it's mostly video with a small amount of VoIP.

The purple in the infographic is video.

This dovetails nicely with the statistic that actual phone calls are only about 32% of what people use mobile handsets for.  I wish someone would compare mobile use of VoIP with non-mobile VoIP, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.

Digression: I've always wondered why the Pew study of Internet and American Life Generations 2010  apparently didn't even ask about VoIP usage as a thing consumers do with the Internet.

I like it when I am full of questions when a presentation ends. The group moved downstairs to the main bar area for the questions, networking, discussion etc., but alas, I had to leave early and did not get to schmooze as much as I wanted to.

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