Mobility: Are we there yet? Critical issuesin the emerging information user ecosystem Stephen Abram, MLS Handheld Librarian Feb. 2, 2012
What Changes with Mobile? Everything and Nothing
What doesn’t change? The User User needs vs. user context Content (versus format and display) Questions and improving the quality of questions Creativity and human progress Stability = fossilization
What changes with mobile? The Ecosystem Communication devices move increasingly from feature phones to smartphones Personal computing moves to a hybrid environment of laptops and tablets (plus a few power desktop anchors) In libraries the dominant mobile task environments are based on answers, communities and e-learning
What changes with mobile? Content – duh. Format and display considerations The reading experience (PDF, App, eBook, Wall, Tweets, etc.) The learning experience The entertainment experience Streaming versus downloading Instant and ‘live’ (Bloggie)
What changes with mobile? Standards Apps versus HTML5 XML ePub, Kindle Book, PDF, HTML5, etc. Tablets versus e-Reader experience (human biology does not change quickly)
What changes with mobile? Concept of Place Geo-IP Google Maps integration Sign in and Authentication Rights and permissions management Concept of ‘Place’ tied to ‘User’ Geo-location
What changes with mobile? Identity Personal phone versus home/family phone Consequences for library cardholder management Are librarians and library value systems in conflict with the new ecosystem and market values? Will adults continue to respect and trust library straitjackets?
What changes with mobile? Frictionless-ness Commerce Square (from Jack Dorsey founder of Twitter) Embedded e-commerce ecology in smartphones Death of QR codes $5/gallon gasoline . . . and the library value proposition of ‘free’
What changes with mobile? Frictionless-ness commerce In App purchasing and/or seamless buying? Commerce in a virtual goods space (start with $billion market for gaming goods and extend to other goods Other goods are a parallel commercial and retail environment in ‘goods’ relevant to libraries – e-books, streaming media, audio like music MP3, lessons and podcasts, articles, learning objects, games, tests, etc.
What changes with mobile? Opportunity 1. Search personalization (e.g. Google) 2. Push personalization (e.g. Facebook) 3. Integration of sound, video, text, mail, communication, social and business cohorts 4. Advertising 5. Major changes in usability: Voice response like Siri, gesture interfaces, face recognition, geo-restrictions, sentiment search, semantic, linked data, data mining, etc.
What changes with mobile? Business Models Pressure on consumer and institutional models as purchasing agent Pressure on retailer model Subscription models for e-Content (like Netflix for entertainment but extended to e-books from Amazon, 24Symbols or Bookish, etc.) On demand and micropayment models Author embedded models like Pottermore Books as apps or as vehicles for ads & purchases
Who to watch? Google (Android partners, Motorola acquisition) Microsoft (Skype acquisition) Facebook (post-IPO) eBay Apple (iTunes and App Store) Twitter (& Square) Research in Motion (as an acquisition target?) Amazon Open Source or any company on the fringes that is disruptive as a new player or an acquisition target)
Who issues must libraries address? Living in a parallel world Serving a hybrid world Changing their strategic planning models to add more stretch into the environmental scans, creative thinking and imagination Bringing staff and profession along the curve 12 steps . . .
Who issues must libraries address? Differential Adoption The generations are adopting at much different rates and for different purposes Boomers are the primary adopters of e- readingAdult women are a major market for e-gaming Students are resisting e-textbook adoption – for now. Tablet adoption (ownership) doubled over Christmas 2011 (Pew)
Who issues must libraries address? On the sidelines of a war Watching the emerging commercial battlefield (foundation vs. application) Android, RIM, Windows, Apple iOS, other . . . The end of the flip phone or feature phone At the same time as the end of CD and DVD and more e-Books and e-content formats Dealing with new potential walled gardens for e-content (app stores, e-formats, single device stuff, etc.)
Who issues must libraries address? Differential Behaviors The generations have very different attitudes towards mobile: Privacy Ownership and access rights Information ethics e-Commerce Reading Forced adoption Usage tracking Government involvement
Who issues must libraries address? Digital Filtering Are we comfortable with content filtering and use filtering based on: age, race, gender, location? policy (criticism, definition of porn)? the device owner or app store rules and policies? adjustment of search algorithm by personal history, behavior timeline, and user profile? Whither freedom to read? Ownership, rental, options? Balance in the use, read and purchase ecology
Who issues must libraries address? Address our internal struggles with: Fiction versus non-fiction content Books versus databases Marketing and promotion ecosystem of content Historical content (e.g. PDF repositories) Printing and end user retro-conversions (hardcopy, 3D, CD, DVD, USB, etc. - OMG) Role of QR Codes, Barcodes, RFID, etc. (plane tickets) Mobile will be the dominant personal technology but never the sole form factor Being a valid relationship in the hybrid ecology ...
Who issues must libraries address? Playing with vendor apps Developing Library apps – learn by doing Most good content vendors have first or second generation apps to play with and many are free Many ILS vendors too including ILS enhancement layers like Bibliocommons and LibraryThing. It’s too early to form anything more than an opinion and those who don’t play aren’t learning fast enough. Use a smartphone.
My Humble Recommendations Pilot and experiment with mobile social cohorts in the library Clubs Classes (mobile training or extended learning) Reading cohorts and book clubs Associations Fundraising Meetings Teams (business or sport)
My Humble Recommendations Actively lobby and educate to ensure that the emerging mobile ecosystem supports the values and principles of librarianship for balance in the rights of end users for use, access, learning and research. Support vendors and laws to be as agnostic as possible by ensuring that, as afar as possible your services and content offerings support the widest range of devices, formats, browsers, and platforms.
My Humble Recommendations Design for frictionless access using such opportunities as geo-IP and mobile ready websites Test everything in all browsers – mobile or not. Invest in usability research and testing and learn from it and share your learning. Watch key developments in major publishing spaces – kiddy lit, textbooks, e-learning, fiction, etc.
My Personal Hobby Horses This is an evolution not a revolution The REAL revolution was the Internet and the Web. The hybrid ecology is winning in the near term for operating systems and content formats. This is good since competition drives innovation. Engage in critical thinking not raw criticism. Be constructive. Critical thinking is not part of dogma or religious fervor or fan boy behavior.
My Personal Hobby Horses This is an evolution not a revolution Perfectionism will not move us forward at this juncture. Really understand the digital divide and remove your economic and social class blinkers Get over library obsession with statistics and comprehensiveness. Get excellent at real measurements, sampling and understanding impact and satisfaction. (Analytics, Foresee, Pew)
My Personal Hobby Horses This is an evolution not a revolution We need to revisit the concept of preservation, archives, repositories, and conservation. Check out new publishing models like Flipboard. Watch for emerging book enhancements and other features that will challenge library metadata, selection policies, and collection development.