I joined what I would officially call a crowd at the Houston NetSquared meeting last night. Ed Schipul (Schipul) has just returned from a week long crash course for the new iPhone (so new I had to add to MS Office dictionary). I would say he was just showing off except he was so damn excited about the whole thing I can only conclude he was genuinely happy to be sharing all his discoveries, frustrations, and optimism about this latest gadget. There was a brief (very brief) and nasty rumor that someone was going to win an iPhone, but I think this may have been the wine and appetizers talking.
The most important thing I take away from last night (insert tongue in cheek) is my introduction to Charlie the Unicorn. Ed asked, as he wrapped up last night, that we take what we learned from the meeting and pass it on. And so, I do this for you. Be prepared, Charlie is not useful, he will not better your life. You will not be in anyway inspired nor will you gain anything with this knowledge other than to avoid looking like a deer in the headlights when someone makes reference to Charlie. So, maybe you will in fact gain a few cool points… a very few. And if you happen to know that Charlie actually made his appearance in 2005 on Newgounds, then you can stick your nose up a little at those folks who are new to Charlie and have seen the edited YouTube version. The folks at Newgrounds certainly are…
Newgrounds Staff Comment:
“To answer all the clueless folk: TypeQueen (the creator of Charlie the Unicorn) had a habit of submitting an annual unicorn movie to Newgrounds and this was his 2005 offering. It was later stolen and put on YouTube in a cropped video format, at which point the masses latched on to it. This is the ORIGINAL creation, by the REAL author. If you saw it first on YouTube, you were late to the game – it was already a big hit on Newgrounds in 2005.”
My brain was so full with all the information from last night when I got home I was still trying to sort it all out… figure out how the iPhone will effect me, more importantly how will effect the web and my clients. I didn’t even notice that I was brushing my teeth with my kids’ toothpaste, some how the bubble gum flavor seemed to fall right in line with… that’s right… Charlie!
Ok, seriously… what do I take away about the iPhone?
- Look Ed, I am using an ordered list…
- TLR is a Website and Creative Design Studio… we focus on full marketing campaigns… and I get to do what I love to do, which is make things look nice. I am not a programmer by any stretch of the imagination, and I am left wondering… how much of an impact will the iPhone actually make on how we do things online. I heard last night that Apple will be excited if they win 1% of the market. And that’s the mobile market – not browser market. I get that there may be real business opportunities out there for folks who are creating custom apps – I also think the idea of using the iPhone as a mobile (and inexpensive when compared to using laptops) way to do business within a specific organization – say a Doctor using it in the office to show a patient a video relevant to what’s to going on with them – is pretty dang cool! I just can’t imagine, just yet, my clients wanting to spend the extra money on a site that will also display well on an iPhone… not until there are some real numbers behind it. I mean, I can hardly convince the small Mom & Pops its worth it to optimize their sites for Search Engines.
- And that leads me to another thing I was pondering as I walked out to my car last night… WOW! has the internet become competitive. I feel like we need to start breaking companies out into leagues like we do high school sports. I mean if you are a small school – they don’t throw you on the field with the team from the massive school.
- Conspiracies (what would a NetSquared meeting be without them)… there are many ideas floating around out there as to why Apple took the approach they did with the iPhone… no Flash, no downloads, no windows, no copy/paste, no large files,etc… I think I see these as an opportunity to make money… as these features become available, you will be able to have them… for an additional service on your package with ATT. But, that’s just based on a conversation I had with the guy sitting next to me… what do we know?
So here are the 3 major things I am mulling over after the meeting last night:
- I am taking a wait and see attitude about the iPhone. I do believe this is the beginning of the change in the way we interact with devices… and I think this is the first one of its kind and it will be a bit buggy, but I think this is the way things are going. And I think more and more, we are moving away from complex and clunky sites and online applications that look great and work for now… to using the fundamentals of designing for the web in a clean and simple approach. So, even though Ed assured me it was a legitimate business expense, I am going to hold off buying one… someone did ask last night if you could actually make a phone call with the thing??!!!
- I am curious to see how the iPhone makes its way into conversation I have with clients. Will it make a big splash? Will I start hearing about immediately? Or, will I be the one educating them in the long run… that this something they really need to pay attention to? I’ll let you know.
- Ok, back to Charlie for a minute… I think it is a truly intriguing subject. It has all the makings for some kind of case study in technology, information sharing, information accessibility, society and culture. How does something float to the top of the World Wide Web? How does something become popular 2 years after its initial splash? How does something so useless find its way to me? And here I am writing about it – just fuel for the fire. I would love to see the statistics behind this thing… but that’s just the kind of geeky girl I am!