Digital Directions: Are You Putting the Wrong Product in the Wrong Medium?
3. Location-aware. This is a big one. The mobile device knows where you are, which could add real value to content. Instead of madly flipping through Zagat on a rainy night in Cleveland, a mobile restaurant guide could present those restaurants that are closest to you. Same content. Better way to get it.
4. Camera-enabled. The fact that the mobile device contains a remarkably good camera has not been fully exploited. Social media applications that can intelligently organize mobile imagery have the potential of creating significant value far beyond the entertainment value of Flickr.
5. Lower resolution. The iPhone display is beautiful, but it is about 1/8 of a megapixel. Hey, you can’t have everything.
Products That Span All Media
Publishing models fail when a product is put into a medium for which it is not best suited. For example, newspaper classifieds collapsed because print lacked the ability for individuals to post and edit their own ads. Enter the two-way, instantaneous Web and Craigslist.
Perishable content that needs to be continually revised and reprinted has a reduced window in which to amortize production costs. Such content is more economically feasible when supported digitally.
Nonperishable content in which reading comfort, portability and transferability are valued—such as novels—are likely best delivered in traditional print. By the way, if all books were electronic, how would we give them as gifts? Gift certificates via e-mail? Yuck.
The most exciting opportunities available to us as content creators and distributors are in envisioning product models that span media, in which each component of the product uses the unique attributes of each medium. Some possible opportunities:
• A travel offering in which a visually rich, introductory print component was bundled with a location-aware travel guide and a Web-based travel community site.