Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Are you starting out in mobile? Here are some useful resources for you.

Don't know where to start when it comes to getting yourself up to speed with what's going on in our industry?

I get asked this *a lot* so I thought I'd write a blog post about recommended useful resources and also get your contributions in as well to help newbies to our industry become fully-fledged mobilists.


Well, if you're here, you've made a good start already by checking out some mobile blogs. This, of course, isn't the only one and there's a rather good list over at WIPwiki. If you only read two blogs, then make it and

Free Reports

If you're specific interest is Mobile Marketing and Advertising, then the free Tanla Guide to Mobile Marketing and Advertising is worth downloading [disclaimer: I wrote most of it with a little help from my friends]. It's a comprehensive, hands-on look at the world of mobile marketing and includes essays from leading industry experts on different aspects of the mobile marketing and advertising sector.

If you're after a more generic take on the mobile industry, then The Netsize Guide is well worth a look too and includes market information for many countries around the globe. It's also a free download or paid-for print version.

If you're interested in the mobile consumer, then the Carphone Warehouse takes an annual look at this under the Mobile Life moniker. It contains data from both the UK and the US.

For a UK-centric view of the communications world, then OFCOM's annual review is a must-read. The report from August 2007 is available and so it will only be a couple of months before we have this year's edition.

Networking and events

The Mobile Mondays community is very active in many cities around the world. I help to run the London chapter and we have a membership of several thousand, an active discussion list and run events on the first or second Monday of the month for 10 months of the year. It's free to join the yahoo group (where you can participate in discussions and find out about upcoming events) and the facebook group for Mobile Monday London. Each city chapter runs in slightly different ways so I recommend you look for your nearest one and get involved. If nothing else, you should learn something and meet at least a handful of interesting people!

Swedish Beers is a long-standing, ad-hoc networking event I run with some pals in London, Barcelona and now Sydney for folks who have a passing interest in things mobile so we cover all areas of media, marketing, mobile network operators, content creators and more besides. London events happen 2 or 3 times a year (I'm currently looking for a sponsor for our next event if you or someone you know is interested). The Barcelona event happens every February to coincide with Mobile World Congress (again, I'm looking for sponsors for this to see if we can make it even better than this year's). There are no presentations, no sales pitches, just drinks, good company, a friendly atmosphere and lots of chat. Events are announced via the Swedish Beers blog and the facebook group.

For the women amongst you, there's the Women in Mobile Data Association and we have events coming up in September and December in London and February 2009 in Barcelona. Updates appear on the facebook group and our email list (contact me to join the email list - it's free).

And for the London mobile geeks amongst you, then there's Mobile Geeks of London which is happening next Thursday evening, headed up by the lovely James Whatley from Spinvox.

And if that's not enough, the wonderful Ewan at SMSTextNews also runs events from time to time all over the world. Keep an eye on his blog to find out when they're on.

So that's my initial suggestions for useful mobile resources. Please feel free to add any of your own as I realise this is a rather limited and networking-wise UK-centric list.