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MobileActive: Mobilizing the Masses With Mobile Technology

Sadly, this is the first mobile related panel I made it to. For some reason they keep scheduling them too early. I’ll try to be a good mobizen and take notes. More details on the panel and speakers on the SXSW site.

General panel description: Using cellphone for political non-profit and generally mobilizing people. A podcast of the panel will be posted later.

First task for the audience: switch phones with the person next to you and try to send a text message to yourself in less than 20 seconds. Only one person in the crowd managed to do this. Yes, phones are fragmented and barely useable.

Doug Busk – Singlepoint connects developers and mobile operators for sending premium messages.

The youth vote is an untapped power in American politics. Text messaging is not enough reach young people yet. Web presence works better.

Almost everyone has a mobile phone now. The result is that everybody wants to tap into that power.

http://www.ravewireless.com/ mobile applications for higher education.

Party tonite 8pm at Karma Lounge Ltd text karma to 10812.
http://www.karmaaustin.com
119 W 8th St
Austin, TX 78701

Very strong examples of mobilizing people outside the US (Philippines, S. Korea). Big difference in cultures.

SMS here is seen as an extension of Email. Used to send information to people.

Text message technology is still unfamiliar to many people. Misunderstanding the importance of keywords.

Messages that call for immediate action work better than ones that contain information for later.

Mobile devices are close and personal; people get very upset when they get irrelevant messages on their phone.

Need a very clear call to action that’s immediate and relevant. Example: nationwide sweepstakes on reality TV shows.

Consumer best practices for mobile marketing applications defines the rules on sending messages to mobile consumers. http://www.mmaglobal.com/bestpractices.pdf

Premium messaging is getting closer to be widely available. Sending a text message that will charge the sender $x. Red Cross used a SMS short code to raise funds for Katrina relief. You can have people contribute from anywhere and anytime.

Carriers charge a fee between %30-%50 from the amount charged to the consumer.

The phone is mainly a communication tool. Mostly used to communicate with people you know. How do we expand that to communicate with people you don’t know?

The phone is good for organizing group functionality at the moment. Again, call to immediate action.

Using text as vertical search can be very helpful. The phone is always with you and the interface is very simple. WAP is useful for delivering more complex information than can be included in an SMS message.

Mobile also empowers people on the street to immediately send pics and messages out.

Rave is giving out phones to freshmen on campus through the university and install their own apps on the phone. Create their own deck.

The iPhone might be a sign of change in the way operators treat device makers and selling devices outside of the operator in the US.

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