JIM TUCKER: MOBILE devices – aka cellphones – are where we’ll all go to get our news in the foreseeable future.
So, Jim, you’ve finally caught up, I can hear the “wired” saying. Martin Hirst (News 2.0) will be laughing out loud.
Truth is, I’ve been using a Nokia N95 since 2008, mainly because it cost a fortune and it had a very good camera for stills and video. There seemed no need to change.
Hmmm, how things have moved along in three years.
Although the N95 still performs admirably as a phone and camera, I took a punt and bought the latest Nokia super-phone, the N8, last month, and…WOW!
Having had some downtime to explore it over the past few days (I usually spend man flu time reading or sleeping), I’ve discovered a whole new online world.
It’s my first brush with touch phone technology, which has taken a bit of adjustment, but now I’ve got it sorted (removing the protective film from the front and the camera helped), I’m amazed at how even someone with my dodgy old eyesight can manipulate the screen to read anything (who needs an iPad?).
This baby does everything – phone, texts, email, still and video camera, web browser, radio receiver, music player, social media, live TV monitor, GPS, etc. Pretty much everything you can do on a PC (although editing pix and vids might be stretching it).
It has three home pages, which I’ve loaded with RSS feeds from all the major news outlets in the world.
That was an interesting mission, by the way. For ease of RSS loading, Stuff beat everyone. I gave up on NZHerald, it was so clunky, which suggests the people running that site have yet to notice the revolution that’s upon us.
I can do Facebook on the phone with relative ease, altho my drift into short word forms – like texting – has already brought one complaint from a colleague who reckons I can’t spell.
And I’ll say this for Nokia – the manuals in both print and on the device are easy to follow. I’ve avoided reading manuals for years because they are usually badly translated and incomprehensible.
So, the big question: how will this affect journalism and the teaching thereof?
For a start – clever headline writing, intros that sing and strong images are going to be more important than ever.
Story extracts will need to be very reader-friendly if they are going to attract distracted browsers into the full texts.
Journalism teachers will have to monitor their students online habits to find out where they get their news, and then look at the popular sites to see what they’re doing to attract people.
As always, the textbook that best informs is what’s happening in the news media itself.
For a luddite, I’m damned excited about it all. Just hope the eyesight holds up long enough to see the full effects of what’s going to happen.