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Mobile As a Medium

After examining the size and scope of the mobile market, you need to understand what it means to your users and ultimately how it will benefit the business.

One of the best introductions I’ve ever heard was from Tomi Ahonen, an author and expert on next-generation wireless, who describes mobile as “the seventh mass media.” He points out that each of the mass media we use every day has advantages and disadvantages, each playing a significant role in society, with mobile being the latest in the series.

The following sections briefly summarize each of the seven mass media. By better understanding what the users are accustomed to and what purpose media plays in people’s lives, you can better understand how to leverage the mobile medium to suit your goals.

The Printing Press

The first mass medium was the printing press, one of the greatest inventions of mankind. The time needed to publish information was dramatically reduced, enabling information to be copied and distributed farther and faster than handwritten predecessors. Not to mention there was less damage from time or the elements.

The printing press has continually played a crucial role in history. For example, during the American Revolutionary War, the printing press was used to mass-produce the record of civil unrest occurring in Boston, the epicenter of the colonial uprising. It is hard to imagine that the Continental Congress would have had the public support needed to form the United States without the aid of ...

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