I have often thought that text messaging is a more successful, though less versatile, communication tool than blogs.
"Blog or die...or maybe text it instead"
by Paul Golding (UK)
January 26, 2005
Everyone who knows of Tom Peters usually knows a quote from his work. The killer quote for 2005 is probably going to be "Blog as if your life depended on it" to be found, where else, but on Tom's blog.
The buzz this week is the Blog Business Summit, in part because Tom's blog is giving it so much coverage.
Can us Mobilists get Tom's interest in text messaging perhaps?
In a recent discussion thread with Tomi Ahonen, my attempts to advocate widespread use of mobile email (with push) a la Blackberry were given a rude awakening by Tomi's insistence that mobile users prefer texting any day. His ever-so-heavy put down was:
Today Blackberry has 2 million users (vs over 900 million SMS text messaging users). Wow, big deal.OK, so we can argue about the implications of this statement, but Tomi's other statistic is perhaps more revealing:
Of the 7 trillion person-to-person (non-Spam) messages sent in 2003 e-mail covered 86% and SMS only 6% (most of the rest was IM). Yet SMS delivered 94% of the 50 billion dollar global revenues generated by messaging traffic.
The point is that if blogging is supposed to be an essential part of the business communications armoury, then texting deserves a consideration too. There are certainly many in the texting world who argue that marketing folks just don't yet get the importance of texting as a potential marketing tool. Surprising, because it's ability to enable news to spread is surely well known by now, such as during the SARS outbreak in China. Officials tried to deny it, but after 2 million messages had already been sent to the contrary.
Is text messaging a competing communication tool, a competitor of the blog platform?
Blogging vs. texting is a fertile dichotomy that can reveal much about both.
A blog post is written and "sent" (published to the web), with a mass audience and a specific readership in mind.
There is also self-fulfillment and satisfaction in creating a good blog, with consistently high quality design, functionality, writing, thinking, and interacting with comment posters.
The communication value is in the sender, how well it is written and how well it expresses the blogger's opinions, perceptions, feelings, attitudes, or environment, plus--how well the blog establishes an online community of shared interests (from a product and its benefits ... to a political agenda).
A text message is generally utilitarian. It is not valued in itself, but only in what it accomplishes for both parties. The communication value is in the receptor, how it is received and acted upon.