Mobile the 7th Mass Media is to internet like TV is to radio
UPDATE MAY 2008 - there is a strongly updated and revised major article about the 7th Mass Media, entitled Deeper Insights into 7th Mass Media. You might want to read that first.
Mobile as the 7th mass media is as much superior to the internet, as TV is to radio. Today at 2.7 billion mobile phone users, there are three times as many mobile phones as personal computers (and over a quarter of all internet access is already from mobile phones). There are nearly twice as many mobile phones as TV sets. Twice as many people use messaging on a phone (SMS text messaging) as use e-mail on the web. But mobile was first a communication device. It emerged as the 7th mass media only by the year 2000. By far the youngest of the seven mass media, the mobile is also by far the least understood.
Not the dumb little screen version of TV
Some TV experts will marvel at the ability to show TV content on the mobile phone screen. They then think with a legacy TV mindset, and assume the phone is the dumb little screen, worth only for "snacking" and that "classic" TV content (programmes) should be chumped into tiny bits of football highlights and news soundbytes and little "mobisodes" and this will bring TV to mobile. No. That is like taking a radio play, and bringing the actors and their microphones, and showing it when they read a radio play on TV. No, TV had power in allowing celebrity, to see the acting, not only to hear it. We need to understand what makes the mobile phone SUPERIOR to TV.
Not the dumb little cousin of the internet
I often hear various internet experts talk about how limiting the mobile phone is for internet consumption. That there are problems with scrolling, and the keypad entry is cumbersome, and we lack a mouse on the phone. This is as stupid as the TV experts. We should NOT try to replicate the existing internet onto the mobile. Mobile is not a "small internet", it is a NEW mass...