Web Redux

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Dan Gillmor has a good column in the San Jose Mercury News on camera-equipped mobile phones. Seems that:

1. In countries where the medium has found a market, users are communicating in new ways, revolutionizing everything from journalism to political protest.

2. Meanwhile, companies investing in the phones seem to think they'll mostly be used as "a 21st century vehicle for content delivery, much like television, or an e-commerce tool. If we can view videos on our phones, they reason, we'll watch what big companies deliver. If retailers can tell us about items on sale as we pass by their stores, we'll buy."

Sound familiar?

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  1. From Mr. Gilmore’s article:

    “And mobile phones helped protesters flummox the police in the anti-globalization campaign at the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization meeting.”

    Ironic give the neo-luddite tendencies of the anti-globalization left, isn’t it? Just imagine all the dangerous “carcinogenic” lectro-magnetic waves that come from cell phones. Also, don’t they have to pay evil corporations (some of them foreign) for their phones and cellular service?

  2. Not sure I share Mr. Gillmor’s optimism. For one thing, the differences in how text messaging is used in Asia/Europe vs. the States is mostly a function of different pricing structures. If they wish it (and the buzz from trade publications leads me to suspect that they do), American operators will be able to place strict limits on peer-to-peer communications in order to ensure the viability of a broadcast advertising revenue stream.

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