Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mobile Monday London & UKTI present the Future of Mobile Lunch in Barcelona

Mobile Monday London in association with UK Trade & Investment present the Future of Mobile Lunch at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona

– Wednesday 18th February 2009 at Restaurant Oleum –

We are living in an age of digital convergence. Not only that, but our creative and technology industries are also converging. So what does this mean? What are our mobile customers up to? Who are they and what do they want in their mobile future? What kind of businesses will succeed in this new climate? What services, devices and infrastructure are needed to create this future? And how do we support this future commercially in terms of resources and business models? And is the UK the hotbed of creative and technology talent that we like to think it is?

Exploring these key themes over a relaxed lunch at Restaurant Oleum are some key industry players who, between them, have many decades of business experience across the creative, marketing and mobile industries. Lord Davies of Abersoch, Minister of State for Trade & Investment will open the proceedings and then we’ll follow with a panel session. Our panellists are :

  • Dr Walter Tuttlebee from the Mobile Virtual Centre of Excellence who has recently been working on comprehensive research on how to support the 2020 Mobile Vision. Walter is the nearest thing we have to a crystal ball for the mobile industry.
  • Alistair Hill of comScore M:Metrics who knows who our mobile customers are and what they’re up to across Europe. The emerging trends happening right now should help us plan for the near future at least.
  • Jennifer Grenz, VP of Marketing at Shozu will be sharing her insights into customer behaviour, marketing and working within a company that crosses the gap between creative and technology industries.
  • Pamir Gelenbe, a partner with Newton More Venture Capital and Private Equity and co-founder of mobile marketing company, Flytxt. Pamir knows where the money is and where it’s going, and maybe even how to get it. He might just be worth listening to.
The event is proudly supported by UKTI, who have been invaluable in their support to both the Mobile Monday London community and to British business in general. They are one of our unsung industry heroes and we’re thrilled to be working with them on this very special lunch event.

There are just 80 places available at this lunch and we wouldn’t want you to miss out so be sure to RSVP promptly. 50 places will be made available to Mobile Monday members globally via local Mobile Monday chapters.
The Details

Location: Restaurant Oleum, C. Mirador Del Palau Nacional (MNAC Palau Nacional, Montjuic) 08004 Barcelona [Google map link]

Time: Doors open at 12:45pm for a prompt 1pm start.
Panel session: 1pm until 2pm, which will be followed by networking

*Lunch and drinks will be served during the event courtesy of UKTI*

RSVP to Helen Keegan, Mobile Monday London, helen@mobilemonday.org.uk by 9am Friday 13th February please.

About UK Trade & Investment
UK Trade & Investment is the Government organisation that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. Our range of expert services are tailored to maximising the international success of individual businesses. UK Trade & Investment also helps overseas companies bring high quality foreign direct investment, including R&D, to the UK’s open economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UK Trade & Investment offers expertise and contacts through a network of international practitioners throughout the UK and in British Embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world.

For further information please visit http://www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk/
Ph: +44 (0)20 7215 8000
About Mobile Monday London
Mobile Monday London is a community of around 3,000 individuals, primarily in London, with a common interest in mobile communications in general and mobile data in particular. We now reach beyond the mobile industry specifically and cross over into media, marketing and web 2.0 where there is also an interest in things mobile. Mobile Monday London is part of a grass roots network of Mobile Monday chapters globally. We've been operating since November 2005 and organise free monthly topically themed events of interest to our mobile community and beyond, detailed at our Web site http://www.mobilemonday.org.uk./

Is the Love Letter doomed in our digital age?

The National Trust seems to think that it might be as we’re swapping the old fashioned pen and paper for very short ‘I luv u’ messages instead. Now that would be a shame. Admittedly, it’s over 20 years since I had a proper love letter. In fact, I got three in three days from the same handsome boy I was dating at the time (Mark Hickson, where are you? All is forgiven!) but then we didn’t have mobile phones or computers and I was also sharing a landline with about 30 other people in a Hall of Residence in deepest New Cross. And clearly he was thinking about me. A lot. I still have those letters and they’re a lovely thing to keep.

And it got me wondering if text messages or an email means as much as those letters mean to me or if they’re seen as throwaway and disposable as much of the rest of our modern lives seem to be? And can we ‘keep’ and ‘treasure’ emails and texts in the same way that I have kept a bunch of old letters from friends, family and loved ones? I wonder if services like Treasuremytext are the answer?

The National Trust has surveyed 2,500 of our Great British public and come up with some interesting factoids.

Andrew McLaughlin, head of communications at The National Trust, says, "In today's age of easy and instant communication, written letters and carefully crafted poems aren't as important as they once were, but if anything that makes genuine love letters more valuable rather than less.

In comparison, text messages and emails just don't cut it, I'm afraid. Our survey shows that people would still love to receive carefully written letters or poems, but just don't make time to write them.

Fortunately, while we may have lost practice, we haven't forgotten the letters and poems which once made Britain one of the most romantic countries in the world. Among the thousands of writings we have on display at properties up and down the country, the love letters are always among the most popular and say far more about somebody's life than almost anything else."

What do you think?

For the record...

Swedish Beers is *not* at Belchica this year and nor is it on the Tuesday night of MWC. We still love Belchica, it's just not quite right for what we wanted this year.

So instead, we are holding it on Wednesday 18th February 2009 from 6.30pm at Dostrece which is just off La Rambla at C/ Carme 40, nearest Metro: Liceu.

Our sponsors are Admob, Palringo, Silverstreet and dotMobi.

If you spot any blogposts like this one saying otherwise, do tell them they've got it wrong.

Thanks and skål

Update: Very pleased to say that the lovely folks at Mobileslate have updated their party list. Hurrah to the power of the interwebz.

Did you know…

The lovely folks at Sharpcards just emailed me with some insight into the global messaging market and I thought you’d be interested to see what they had to share…

The mobile messaging market raked in around $130 billion in revenues by the end 2008, and is on target to increase that to $224 billion by 2013. Although the majority of this is made up by SMS, the popularity of MMS has been increasing steadily over the past few years. In 2009 MMS is expected to generate over $31 billion worldwide, $1 billion more than SMS was generating five years ago. MMS is also being predicted to pass 115 billion messages by the end of 2011 according to Portio Research last November.

In 2008 Sharpcards (the enhanced mobile messaging people) sold over 1.5m mobile personal greetings worldwide, with around 20% of those sales (300,000) coming from Valentine's Day alone. Key trends from last year:

  • 40% of mobile ecards were bought in the four hours between 08:00 and 12:00 (around 30,000 greetings sold per hour)
  • 56% of sales occurred before midday and less than 2% after 22:00 – there are some of us who obviously like to live dangerously
  • It seems that most people in the world are soft at heart, with cute and cuddly outselling kinky cards by 3-1 in 2008
  • Sharpcards sent 363 marriage proposals through mobile ecards on Valentines Day 2008: Perhaps not the most traditional way to 'pop the question' and I wonder how many of the answers were ‘yes’?

Hmm, that’s quite a lot of messaging going on out there.

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Swedish Beers are go!!

Yes it's true. Thanks to the wonderful comments and support from Swedish Beers fans here on the blog and on twitter, I now am proud to announce that we have not only some very generous sponsors for our little party, but also a smashing new venue. Not that we don't like Belchica or anything, because we do, but it wasn't quite big enough for us for what we were after this year. Not least, because we have four super sponsors and their guests and a media partner to boot.

This year's event is proudly sponsored by Admob, Silverstreet, Palringo and dotMobi. More about them later.

And our media partner is the rather wonderful Mobile Industry Review who will be interviewing folks for their video show and blog on the night. Be sure to look out for Ewan, Dan, James and Ben to give them your pitch as to why they should include you in their show.

Our venue for the evening is Dostrece which is a two floor bar and restaurant. Yes, that's right, a restaurant too! This means that they will be serving food from their normal menu all evening so you'll get a chance to eat too. Prices are reasonable and it's a mix of Mexican, Spanish and Turkish flavours. @BCN_unlike reviews it here.

The venue holds up to 300 folks at any one time so it's a little bigger than last year's venue, Belchica, and it can be found behind La Boqueria market and the nearest metro station is Liceu. Just walk up La Rambla, walk past La Boqueria and Teatro Grec, then take a left at Calle Carme (or Carrer del Carme) and Dostrece is at number 40 (Google map here). (They also have free wifi if you're desperate to demo your latest iphone app.)

Doors will be opening at 6.30pm on Wednesday 18th February and we'll be open until late so there's plenty of time to drop by and enjoy the fun, meet interesting people and soak up the Swedish Beers vibe. There is no need to RSVP, but since there's a bar courtesy of our lovely sponsors, we will be distributing beer tokens on the night. There will be *plenty* tokens to go round as we have very generous sponsors this year and each token will entitle you to a glass of beer, glass of house wine or a soft drink. So be sure to seek out those with the tokens on the night (that'll be the Swedish Beers crew and our lovely sponsors).

Like our previous events, this is a relaxed evening, no formalities, no presentations, no business cards thrust in your face as soon as you arrive. Just come with an open mind, be prepared to talk nonsense to strangers, enjoy a drink or five and have yourself a good time. Oh, and leave the ties at the door please.

It is likely to get a bit busy at times. But don't worry, people will be coming in and out all evening. And if it's very busy, there's no need to queue to get in. Just check out one of the other bars nearby and come back a little later when it's a bit less frenetic. And we don't have a cloakroom so I don't recommend you bring your laptops with you - it's a liability in Barcelona I'm afraid. You won't need them anyway.

So just to recap:

What: Swedish Beers Mobile Networking
When: Wednesday 18th February, 6.30pm until we run out of steam
Where: Dostrece, Calle Carme 40, 08001 Barcelona tel: +34 9 3301 7306

And of course, it couldn't happen at all without the generous support of our lovely sponsors:

*Admob* Founded in 2006 (on my birthday as it happens!), AdMob is the world's largest and highest quality mobile advertising marketplace, serving more than a gazillion mobile banner and text ads per month. AdMob allows advertisers to reach their customers on the mobile web and enables publishers to increase the value of their mobile sites. AdMob offers advertisers the ability to target and personalize advertising to their customers in 160 countries. Sample AdMob customers include Coca Cola, Starbucks, MSN, Paramount Pictures, Reuters, MTV and many more. AdMob serves ads for over 3,000 mobile web sites, including ESPN, CBS, Weather Underground, Maxim and Peperonity. Russell (genunine old skool mobilist and blogger), Andy and I expect a few more from their crew will be around to hand out beer tokens and generally chew the fat.

*Silverstreet Active Media* is a Dutch based corporation specialized in high-end as well as mission critical Mobile Messaging (SMS) offering global, verified MT termination options (covering more than 700 GSM & CDMA networks) in addition to its vast Premium SMS (25 countries) and Premium IVR (30 countries / 15 languages) portfolios. Constantly striving to excel within its role as one of the leading messaging companies in the industry, Silverstreet handles each customer case with the focus it required to meet the specific needs that each project presents. Through its competitive offering, professionalism, and customer care the company has achieved numerous successful business relationships with MVNO's, MNO's, large brands, and others. The Silverstreet team is new to Swedish Beers, so be gentle with them and be sure to search out Simon and his team for a chat and of course, your beer tokens.

*Palringo* is a communications channel designed to make Instant Messaging work on the mobile: voice if private, text if somewhere busy and photos where relevant. Vocal IM (walkie-talkie style voice) also makes it easy for users who have difficulty typing, for people on the move when it's not appropriate to text, and for users with complex languages such as Russian, Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic. People can keep in touch with friends on popular IM services and social networks like : AOL's AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Gadu-Gadu, ICQ, Jabber, Microsoft Windows Live Messenger, QQ and Facebook. Palringo works across on the all of the major mobile platforms: Windows Mobile, Symbian S60, Java, RIM Blackberry, iPhone,Android (forthcoming), plus PC's and Mac's. Palringo has been shortlisted by the GSM Association for Best Mobile Internet Service award and will be exhibiting on UK Trade & Investment Stand (AV26 Avenida). Kerry Ritz has set up a Swedish Beers chat group on Palringo if you want to give it a go (it's a free download from your mobile) and will be on hand with beer tokens on the night.

*dotMobi* (the informal name of mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd.) was appointed by ICANN as the official global registry for the .mobi top level domain. It is backed by leading mobile operators, network device manufacturers and Internet content providers including Ericsson, Google, GSMA, Hutchison, Microsoft, Nokia, Orascom Telecom, Samsung Electronics, Syniverse, T-Mobile, Telefónica Móviles, TIM, Visa and Vodafone.

dotMobi makes the mobile phone as useful as a PC for websites & services, just a lot more portable and provides the critical link between mobile operators, handset manufacturers, content providers, brands and customers to make phones the tool of choice for the mobile web. The key differentiator for dotMobi is the mobile user experience. This is driven by the dotMobi style guides which contain a mixture of mandatory and recommended best practices for developing mobile content and services. The guides cover a variety of Internet and domain-related issues and are published on our web site for the mobile web developer community, dev.mobi. And if you want to find out more, there'll be a few of the dotMobi crew in tow at Swedish Beers.

So nothing more to add except to say, have a safe journey to Barcelona and we look forward to welcoming you at Swedish Beers.


Helen (aka technokitten) and Anna

Join the group - you'll be in good company and can keep up to date with Swedish Beers events in London, Sydney and Barcelona.

Monday, February 02, 2009

It’s Monday, there must be some (mobile) stuff going on

It’s Monday night and normally at this time, I would be concluding our Mobile Monday session in anticipation of chat and mingling at the bar afterwards. However, due to an inordinate amount of snow (there’s over a foot of it in my garden in South West London) and a distinct lack of public transport available, we’ve had to postpone tonight’s event until next week. So rather than deprive you of your mobile fix entirely, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been reading about mobile-wise of late.

Long form video content appeals which surprises those who are still fixated on the ‘snacking’ element of mobile entertainment. Of course there is still a case for ‘snacking’ on mobile, but much mobile internet usage, especially since the advent of the iphone, is actually at home and complementing other media usage. There’s more discussion about there being more than one mobile context here.

If mobile entertainment, video or otherwise, is your bag, then you could do worse than head to London to see Ralph Simon in action at E.Factor’s event on 23rd February. It’s free for members to attend and £28 for non-members.

betavine logo Tonight, we *had* planned to talk about the role of widgets in the future of the mobile web. Instead, you’ll have to make do with Vodafone Betavine’s widget competition. Betavine, a Vodafone Group R&D lab, is offering mobile developers a chance to win £20,000 in a new mobile widget competition. The competition opens today and runs until 30th April. The rules are very simple and seems like a great opportunity to me.

Opera claims that 9 out of 10 mobile internet users are male. I think this research is somewhat skewed. Research I’ve been looking at shows that smartphone usage, including the iphone, is heavily male skewed which probably explains the figures that Opera is reporting. Overall, however, the mobile internet is older and more female than you might expect. At least that’s what the nice people at m:metrics shared with me recently.

And last but not least…

olibarrett mym Despite the snow, my friend, Oli Barrett, made a valiant effort at the crack of dawn to launch his Make Your Mark With a Tenner competition. Possibly not the best day of the year to choose to launch your new campaign, but nevertheless, it’s got picked up on by The Telegraph. It’s a really simple premise, 25,000 kids will get given a tenner and a month to go and make money with it. Oli explains it all here.