What do to with the (drunken) address book, etc?

Stephen asks:

One of our recent Nokia speaker series guests (Stephen Messer, who had just sold his company for several hundred million dollars, so I listen when he speaks) put it like this - the telco industry has lost the opportunity to innovate in the contacts book, whereas the internet industry has come along and invented an entire new industry - social networking - to fill this innovation void. Hmmm, food for thought? This got me thinking anyway. Even though people do like their contacts book, are we missing out on realizing the full potential of the Internet to make an even better experience? Isn't ~MySpace just your contacts book with Internet-innovation added? Several ideas jump out at me: automatic backups is one clear missing feature that really should be widestream (...) How about integrating other features into the phonebook - or perhaps taking some away. What would you like to see?

This is a good question. At least for me the address book of my mobile phone is the single most valuable thing in it. Everything else I can replace - software, photos (they're going to Flickr anyway), etc. But it has essentially stayed the same for years. You can just put more stuff in it these days. However, I don't think it is this simplistic - there is something intensely personal about your mobile phone address book, and I am not sure whether your ~MySpace friends list is quite so... delicate. I have plenty of people on my ~MySpace, ~LinkedIn, Flickr and ~WorldOfWarcraft friends lists that I hardly in real life ever talk to. They're not friends - they're just people I knew at some point. The relationship is not... personal or utilitarian like the relationship I have to people in my phonebook (family, friends, work). And because the detachment to these internet services is greater, so is the freedom to explore and experiment - new services come and go, and you gather loose circles of "people you knew at some point" on those. Flickr is the way the internet people do social mingling and smalltalk; but with pictures instead of words.

So I don't know whether you can draw a direct analogy between these new internet services and mobile address books. Or maybe it's just the way I use these services.

If you want to pitch some thoughts to Nokia, head over to Stephen's blog and leave some insightful commentary. Or just gripe about your pet peeves - that'll work too!

(I had a 6310 too. It was truly a wonderful phone; I still have it lying in my desk drawer at the office. Sometimes, late in the evening, I take it out and cradle it in my lap, and sing sweet songs... err, um. Forget that. Just go talk to Stephen, okay?)




Comments

Thanks J! Do you think the time is right to finally launch the 6310 revival? Shall we break into the factory and start making 1000 as a special one off? The sell them on eBay, and give the profits to charity / christmas party fund... :)

--Stephen, 26-Mar-2007


Don't give away all the business plans!

--JanneJalkanen, 27-Mar-2007


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