zondag 21 november 2004

Using mobile data services

"A new study of mobile phone users finds that, while many of them have phones that can handle data, most identify themselves as 'too dumb' to figure out how to use data services."

This indeed is the major hurdle towards increasing data usage. I still find it unbelievable that carriers and content providers are primarily thinking about how useful their service is if people use it, but meanwhile keep forgettig the most important part, how to get users use the service in the first place! Just having a link to your content in an i-mode or Vodafone Live! portal is clearly not enough. At the moment, I think WAP-Push is a very compelling mechanism to trigger usage. And triggering usage is so important when you want users to understand the value of what you have to offer. Therefore I disagree with what Mike Masnick from Techdirt is saying:

"The fact that many aren't bothering with wireless data suggests they don't see enough value to make it worth it to learn. Simplifying the interface brings down the hurdle, but doesn't necessarily make anyone feel any more compelled to jump over it."

Most of the time people will only understand the value of a service after they've first used it, or somebody showed it to them, and this is definitely the case with mobile content and services.

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