Saturday, June 24, 2006

A bit of a round up

I've had a nudge from a few regular readers that I haven't blogged anything in a while so I'm going to make a concerted effort to do a bit more over the next few days for you. So bear with me, this will be in spurts!

So what's new in my mobile life?

Well apart from being very busy on some major football related projects (is there a World Cup on or someting?), I have been getting out and about a bit. Swedish Beers on the 14th was a blast - round up on the Swedish Beers blog so thanks to everyone who came to that. Then this week, there was the lovely Fathom Partners party [a few pix here] where I caught up with Jessica from Fathom Partners, Gillian from Emap, George from ICSTIS, Julie from Vodafone and Pamir from flytxt. I also met some folks from Monstermob who weren't exactly reeling from the announcement that Martin Higginson had got the old heave-ho but felt that the content market was changing dramatically and moving away from content per se, and towards applications like Instant Messenger on your phone. I guess Shozu (of which I'm a big fan) comes into that category. Margins on content sales are so slim now that everyone and his dog wants a cut, it's very hard to make any real cash. And we're still stifled by ridiculous data charges. Why a network operator thinks it's ok to charge you 2p a kb when browsing a mobile internet site or downloading a video, ringtone or picture, I really don't know. Anyway, an interesting point of view.

Then on Thursday there's the massive o2 wireless festival at Hyde Park, London and Leeds. I toddled along there on Thursday, courtesy of Mike Butcher at mbites and we had a jolly old time. KT Tunstall and the Fun Lovin' Criminals were the highlight for me. We did get into the o2 VIP blueroom even though we weren't o2 customers and that was kinda fun. There was a really nice chillout area with free massages and beds and beanbags to lie on and there was also a tent with the 4th stage in there and a bar. Then the VIP bus which gave you a birds eye view of the stage. And I think the o2 branding worked very well. They even blew bubbles (like the ad) over the crowd at the main stage.

Motorola had a presence there too showing off some of their fancy new handsets but also providing another free chillout area and a bar that wasn't as busy as some of the others. Whilst we were there, we tried doing some podcasting - unfortunately the sound quality was appalling so it won't be published. However, we did end up chatting to some teenagers about their festival experience and whether they thought any better or worse about o2. They'd been the day before and had bought an o2 sim pack just so that they could get into the blueroom. They went in there and won tickets for the Thursday so that doubled their enthusiasm for o2 so it clearly worked for them.

There was also a bit of guerilla marketing going on outside the event. As we went in we got 'night in' packs from T-mobile containing a bath bomb, some mini pringles, a National Lottery scratchcard (I didn't win anything) and a very fancy T-mobile branded bottle opener. Then on the way out, we got given free Snickers bars from errr, I guess Snickers. At the event we also got to try Black Tower Pinot Grigio. Not the best glass of wine I've ever tasted!

Pictures of the festival on flickr here and here.