When Mike Butcher of TechCrunch fame posted the following, my interest was inevitably piqued:
Two visions of the future continue to play out. Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ featured a society under a ‘telescreen’ dictatorship, where ‘Victory Coffee’ was served in cafés to people who yearned for free expression outside of the watchful eye of the state.
It’s a world in which the more extreme elements of the NSA and GCHQ might feel at home. In Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ the drug Soma is served to pacify the population, reminiscent of the ‘dopamine effect’ many privately-owned social networks have on us today. In both cases the new industrial revolution of technology is often empowering the previously powerless, but also aiding and abetting the powers that be.
But what future do we choose? Where should we take our society? Orwell, Marx, Trotsky, Huxley, even Thatcher — all had visions of the future. But where do WE choose to take our technological and scientific revolution? Let’s discuss these and other questions in this new Salon which will range far wider than the ’tech startups’ discussion many of us are used to.
View over the BBC news factory, taken by Mike Butcher
Against the exciting, buzzy backdrop of the BBC (curse the camera on my iphone for being broken – Daleks in Twitter’s offices last week, daleks at the Beeb yesterday – a theme is emerging – Doctor Who fever is upon us!), a fairly random group of people met to see where this discussion took us.
If any PR person out there is questioning why mobile is important, they need shooting. Give up and go home. Really. With more people owning mobiles than fridges, not considering the mobile aspects to anything we do is unforgiveable.
(And yes, I know I need to dogfood where this site is concerned – I’m on the case!)
So here are a few predictions from last weeks mobile meetup (at Tech Hub) in highly visual form (note that these are the concerns from a primarily developmental perspective):
Mobile predictions for 2012
It was fantastic that Mike Beardmore managed to capture a fantastic talk from this week’s Reading Geek. It’s well worth watching for an insight into the big trends.
Given the predictions here for heavy duty, faster downloads to mobile this year, and absolutely nothing to do with Apple, (indeed lots of focus on busting away from Apple/itunes) I’m beginning to regret having upgraded my phone from Blackberry to the iphone 4S already this year. Combined with all sorts of predictions about a Nokia comeback with their rather sexy new phone, I will, as usual, be the laggard stuck with yesterday’s phone for two years.
I’ve always felt professionally that it was important for my technology to stay mainstream to help understand users’ reality, but with mobile looking this exciting, it’s going to the the year of the green eyed monster for me on the phone front, I feel.
At this weeks thupr event, amongst the stand out things was a live call to explorer, Mark Wood, in Kathmandu.
As a PR consultant, this kind of ‘live link’ is terrifying – you know that it can all go horribly wrong whenever you’re reliant on various pices of technology which may, or may not, perform on the day. First rule of PR: always have a Plan B.
But using Mark Smith of ipadio’s mobile, Mark Wood in Kathmandu’s satellite phone (notoriously narrowband technology, prone to foibles), ipadio and speakers, they pulled it off. Live.
You can hear the interview here, including the afterchat we didn’t hear over the speakers. (Second rule of PR – make sure the microphones are off: remember Glenn Hoddle?)