In my last post, I began to look at how mobile interent on relatively cheap technology seems to be becoming the norm in South East Asia. I wondered whether my friends over at @koreuk could confirm this from their experience and I would really welcome anyone with first hand evidence sending me in some details or commenting below.
But I am still not convinced it really hits the issues I am trying to get to about mobile use in South and South East Asia. If that market is the one which is about to rocket, it would be interesting to see in which direction the rocket is pointing? No?
Q4. What are the main differences between the Asian mobile market and a) North America; b) Europe? The online Web is less advanced in Asia than in North America or Europe. Broadband connections per 100 people in Asia are only 6 percent, compared to 23.9 percent in Europe and 15.5 percent in the Americas (ITU). This means that mobile is THE mode of communication across key Asian markets. Millions more Indian consumers can be reached through mobile than through TV, for example. Even in the most developed Asian countries, such as Japan, there’s a whole class of people living in mobile who don’t ever touch a PC. Meanwhile in the developing countries, there’s a whole class of people who don’t have access to bank accounts, and the needs of this unbanked sector are being met through mobile – it is a great example why mobile innovation and advances in Asia really matter – it’s just not the same in North America or Europe because the same needs do not exist. In the US and Europe, where the online Web is much more established than in Asia, mobile marketing has struggled to gain its fair share of the marketing budget. In 2009, US marketers spent US $25 billion on digital advertising – of that only $400 million was mobile advertising, according to Forrester Research – just a fraction of marketers’ overall budget. That’s starting to change now, but most US marketers are trying out mobile for the first time, often just targeting a particular audience, such as iPhone users. Whereas in Asia, where mobile has been the number-one digital channel for years, marketers adopted the mobile medium much earlier. Marketers have been through the period of trial and error – in the early days mobile strategies lacked direction and were hampered by the limitations of mobile technology and consumer awareness and companies’ mobile activity tended to be sporadic and disjointed splashes of mobile activity. Today mobile technology has evolved and consumers and marketers have both become more comfortable with it as a medium, leading to the industry adopting a more focused approach that helps to facilitate innovation while safeguarding consumer rights. Marketers of the East have, therefore, been there, done that and are now seasoned professionals spearheading mobile innovation. In the United States, mobile channels such as SMS and MMS are not being totally explored for marketing needs, but in Asia, marketers have long since recognized the importance of these mass-market communications that reach all customers, whatever their handset or however mobile savvy the consumer might be. SMS has become the lowest common denominator – the starting point – for mobile communications and many marketers are successfully running creative text-based campaigns. Equally more sophisticated techniques such as QR codes have only recently started to take off in the US – in Japan marketers have been using them for years and Japanese handsets come with pre-installed code scanning capabilities. Another key lesson from Asia is that marketers now recognize and sell mobile as an important and indispensible extension of traditional brand marketing techniques. While mobile is a separate medium and can be used effectively as a standalone channel, it is especially beneficial when used in conjunction with other branding and marketing strategies. Most marketing efforts in Asia now include a mobile plug – print and electronic ads direct consumers to text for more information or to visit a mobile Website. This gives marketers the opportunity to reach out to a larger target audience than was possible with print or Web alone.
Here is the infographic from Hollly Richmond's article:
Just seen the Rapture vid which Pete Rollins has sent out via his Vimeo site. It's a piece of viral advertising, I suppose. But I have to say it is so unbiblical that it took my breath away! An advertising gimick...mmm...well, I suppose it worked if it gets me posting on it and so advertising his book. But I wonder whether a more biblical approach via Isaiah 58 and so on would yield more positive results.
The message is clear. It's the same message Pete has been sharing with us for a while now. Those Christians who think they are under God's wings, who are faithful to him and the Church but who fail to live out their Christian faith will ultimately be abaondoned by their loving God.
For Pete, God is only concerned with the few Christian's who abandon personal salvation and holiness in search of radical engagement with the world and those in need. Indeed, in this cartoon, God calls the faithful to heaven in the rapture, only to abandon them there while he and the angels go and establish themselves on the earth alongside those who rejected God and heaven in favour of the poor.
Now, it's a timeless liberal message that God is concerned for the poor. But I am not so sure that this particular version of it does justice to the Bible, to the Christian Church and most importantly to God.
The Rapture is caricatured in this text. It doesn't follow any of the biblical accounts in any detail at all. If you read any of them (Mark 13, Thessalonians, Revelation), you will see God is pretty much involved from the start. Revelation is a revelation of what God is up to - not some cataclysmic happening which God eventually has to intervene into. This is the wrong rapture taken from the wrong Bible.
The Church is caricatured in this text. Faithful Christians are consigned to hell because they are not socially aware or socially active enough. But I am not so sure that we can read Matthew's Sheep and Goats parable as the only criterion for judgment. It would seem that God has a bit more to say about the need to be born again and to worship the Lord and to serve his ways. How can the God who has established the Ten Commandments side with those who have categorically denied the first two of those commandments in their service of the earth? YES, Christians do need to engage in social action. Isaiah 58, Micah 6 and so on stand in perpetuity as the way to respond to the covenant love of God shown in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. But...you can't consign them to hell just because they don't fit your particular liberal view of social action. Stop judging the Church, Dr Rollins.
God himself is caricatured in this text. God is shown to be a pretty passive, arbitrary, capricious kind of God. First, he remains aloof from the planet's plight (I am with you always to the end of the age, says Jesus in Matthew 28); then he decides to act by calling on the faithful; but his call is actually a trick to get them out of the way; once they are in heaven, he descends to earth with his angels to spend time with those who orginally turned their back on him. The holy joes get to live in a godless heaven. I am not sure this is really the kind of God who is revealed in the Bible or in Christian tradition. I think Dr Rollins needs to be a bit truer to the tradition in which he stands.
I know its just a parable - but what service does this do to the Church? Not many lessons aren't learnt through negative teaching.
Same patterns as before here. The big thing to remember is that there are other social networks dominant in other countries...
For some more detail, go to the original and click on a region for a break down - so if you click on Europe and find the UK, you'll see that almost 30million of us are on FB - 47.7% - just under the American record!
Summer News - See U @ #gb11? (BTW that's Greenbelt for non texters)
There have been some comments online and intext that the 21st century love affair with social media engagement means that young people are growing up without a clue how to have interpersonal relationships. Indeed, this extends to horror stories of kids texting one another across the same room; of social spaces like youth clubs, cafes, churches closing down because we are all locked into our individual social media cocoon. CODEC are exploring some of the issues behind this at the moment.
Is it true that social media cuts people off? Sometimes! Is it true that people using cars crash them! Sometimes! It's about the use of the tool not the inherent danger in the tool!
You can see lots of ways over at BigBible where our #digidisciple program is showing that this need not be the case.
Indeed, other research just out from Pew Internet at the Pew Research Center suggests that while initially social media involvement can make people more isolated, people who socialise on social media are much more sociable in real life! Go figure! Lol! You can find the full report here.
Meanwhile over on his Posterous site, our research director has been blogging about internet usage and then about mobile internet usage with a few questions about where Asian mobile is heading. There's an interesting mock interview he did on social media here too!
Enjoy the summer and we'll be back in the Autumn with a new seminar series and lots of events happening.
By the way - have you see the Christian New Media Conference yet? Going to be good and CODEC are organising the theology strand looking at Creativity, Imagination and the Digital Age. Going to be so good.
Finally, if you are at Greenbelt, come and say hi at our stand in GSource!
I'm not sure that in the end any of the Twitter ratings sites really cut the mustard. Klout is all over the place. PeerIndex never really seems to read my tweets correctly. Social.List was a bit of a flash in the pan. No doubt there are hoardes of others too. How indeed could you actually read someone's social impact. I may have a Klout rating of 69 but there is no way that that is consistent or resonant with real life. Moreover, just making an impression on the internet is not the same as making a difference in real life.
So, Methodist Conference tweeters managed to create half a million internet impressions on one day and our tweets may well have reached a combined audience of 58,000 people. But when you factor in the retweeting, the crossover between users shared by different people, and the built in redundancy of twitter currently running at about 70%, you probably need to factor down those figures by a good 90%! It's not that they are bad. They are excellent. A lot better than in 2010 when the same -90% scalar would need to be used on a much less impressive starting figure. But, for example, just one tweet by Stephen Fry would result in double those internet impression figures and would reach many thousands more people! We are small-fry in the digital world!
The true impact of Methodist conference was in those people who tweeted in to say that they had reconnected with Methodism. The true impact of social media is really in how social it is being and how much people are entering into meaningful relationships online. Hence my worry at the moment that my follower numbers haven't risen for the last two weeks! Am I failing to connect with people in some way. Well, perhaps because I am just so busy...?
Moving onto a more international exploration of social media...
A whole host of people are measuring the impact of social media globally. The best place I've found is World Internet Project and its UK link institution Oxford Internet Institute, which issues the biannual survey into internet use in the UK. It's parent body produces whole ranges of reports from around the world. Well worth a look. But the contemporary world loves infographics, so you might want to look at Internet World Stats for a different view of the figures:
Notice, immediately, how the largest figure is not America or Europe - as you might expect, but Asia. But again you have to be pretty careful about the figures here. I remember seeing a WiredUK infographic (similar one here) a few months ago which pointed out that bandwidth was largest between North America, Europe and Asia - with huge amounts of traffic now being routed through Seoul.
But if you look at the huge population centres of Africa and South and East Asia, then connectivity rates are minute. So, despite Asia having 44% of users - only 4.5% of India has the capacity to be online and only 8.5% of China! Those figures are staggering - see the figures for yourself here! When the hugely populous centres of Asia are online, the whole net will change its ethos and direction, I think.
A more useful map was prodiced recently by GlobalWebIndex. This one provides a global map of usage in different areas. The most interesting graphic on the whole piece, I think, is the percentage within each country - which is the little bar chart in the middle at the bottom!
If you want to explore GlobalWebIndex's research, I'd recommend the Lite Tool available from the link.
That tool helps us see what UK social media peeps are actually doing:
This is a whole sample but you can break it down into specific ages, genders and social types. A very good tool indeed.
Impact is a difficult thing to measure. Social Media is making an impact - probably hitting well above its expected rate. Twitter seems to have much more impact within society than its actual numbers should allow. But it is clear that social media is already a force within contemporary society and is only likely to gain in importance rather than diminish. See Mashable's piece on the quadrupling of the internet by 2015!
I'm hoping to do three more blogs over the next few days on the impact of social media on real-time relationships, on our neural capacity (taking a pop shot or two at Carr's The Shallows and some of the tosh being talked about the internet as dumbing down its users), and on social media and the classroom. More on those later...
Jill is massively experience in interview processes and communication - including a series of fifty interviews with politicians and celebrities for Channel 4. That level of experience absolutely shone through during the day.
The day started with some preliminary exploration of communication theory, including a look at interview style. Part of that early process involved showing the obligatory disaster videos. I thought you might like to see one! This one is of an interview exploring illegal downloading. However, there was a mix-up in the Green Room and the person being interviewed is actually someone applying for a driver's job at the BBC! Look at his shock! But I think he does quite well!
Once we had been briefed on communication theory and several interview techniques (still awaiting the powerpoint!), the rest of the day was taken up with various exercises and feedback sessions in which each of the participants produced a piece of media (an interview, a soundbite, a 'downtheline' interview), these were then shown to the whole group who discussed them and raised points to be worked on.
Here was my interview looking at the whole area of social media and the Church. Jill went for the Church of England at the outset since it was so close to the issue relating to synod and social media. You will note that I wasn't prepared for this question and so I stutter from the outset! Feel free to laugh! Note the plug for @twurchofengland and @thechurchmouse and the blatant attempt to be positive and de-negative! Also note the crass error of saying 'down in London' - oops! Also, note how much I failed to mention Durham University, St John's College or CODEC! I need to be more on message, don't I!
The interview process was followed by us having to produce a soundbite about that subject which should last for only 20secs. We were not allowed to use notes - all from memory. This was good fun. Although I was struck by what the difference was between a slogan and a soundbite. Clearly I went for a more preachy content - three points bridge three points. Jill then surprised us by telling us to change the soundbite there and then to 7secs - really hard.
Finally, we were given a 'down the line' interview where we spoke to a camera without any one present. I found this a lot harder. I like to respond to the person in front of me rather than speak to a piece of technology. But I could put up that interview if enough people ask!
It was a good day and I learnt a lot.
The post-training feedback was excellent with Jill saying I was a natural communicator and should seek out media opportunities! Ooh! Off to Hollywood then?
I was away last weekend, spending a lot of time listening to an American pastor/leader speaking about chili peppers and Christianity! Nexus music college where Emily has been studying this year was holding their graduation events; moving boxes and driving. End of term for Emily’s Gap Year and it doesn’t seem as though it was ten months ago that she was moving into the house in Coventry. Now all is done and she is back home preparing to head off to Uni in September. Bankruptcy looms!
While away, I was following the fun on the #synod hashtag about social media use at the venue and also some of the tweets on other issues. I’ve been drawn into the socmedia conversations following the success of the #methconf meme. That success has been documented by @digimission in a fantastic infographic here and in Toby's (@tobygmscott) guest post yesterday.
I understand there is appreciation for what went on at the very highest levels of the Church.
Interestingly, over the weekend I learned of two other developments on the hashtag meme theme. To see a #hashtag meme, one of the simplest ways is to search the hashtag in your Twitter client and then save the search. Then when you return to the saved search, it should update you with new tweets on this topic/meme.
So, apparently there is a missional theology meme running – under the meme hashtag #iqtank – it’s not about having a high iq – well, I don’t think so. Moreover, the meme was strictly running well before Conference as well, so we didn't start it up but it seems to have renewed energy...
#iqtank is a group of people who want to explore missional theology in 140 character chunks! It looks good and has some great people already following the hashtag. Look our for this one to grow. They had a 3 1/2 hour meeting on Tuesday (while some of us were slaving away at meeting in Methodist Church House, and tweeted as the meeting developed. Lots of ideas about guest posts, archived blogs and so on...see @vfxhanley's summary here.
The second meme is #cpol.
This group has grown up after #methconf focussing on political activism, young people and especially Methodist young people.
A number of the young people were asking about how they could be more active following the debates at Conference on Poverty and Big Society. I suggested they talk to the JPIT team, which they did. But when I returned from Southport, I began to think of how Twitter might be used in a kind of networking way – getting people to talk to one another who might not meet up too quickly – so I suggested some of the young people should talk to @amymb – Student President at Cliff College and a Labour Councillor in Cheshire – I also included @danny-wilson, the EA’s young person on Parliamentary politics and @emilyhewson a youth worker who is very active in this area.
The result was the new meme – a non-hierachical, non-partisan place to explore political activism among young people. As I understand it, there are no leaders, no core committee, no membership requirements, no need for party or denominational affiliation. It may be anarchic, it may be crazy, but it’s a start. It was interesting in the first few days to see a number of people (older people?) coming in and asking what was going on – about the partisan nature of the early adopters; about whether this was already being done elsewhere. I was particularly interested by @CMSUK coming in and suggesting we should have asked! But as Grace Pengelly and Emily Hewson said, you never said you wanted to be involved!
Anyway, #cpol and #iqtank are places to look for some interesting Twitter developments…
Meanwhile back at the #synod (decided not to insert links...)
The issue seems to be that while members of synod and the press gallery are allowed to use gizmos (mobiles, ipads, laptops), people in the public gallery are not. This has been seen to be a social media ban – or a twitter ban at Synod. Of course, it isn’t quite that simplistic. #methconf managed to run a pretty sophisticated multi-channel communications strategy which actively drew people INTO the experience of the Conference. A lot of that was piecemeal and serendipitous – the fact that the video channel worked and integrated so well with the Twitterfall; that we had reached a critical mass of tweeters; that those tweeters had a good amplification factor so that we could make 540,000 internet impressions in one 24 hour span. Whatever the details, socmedia at #methconf worked astonishingly well. A credit to the @methodistmedia team.
So we looked for a similar performance from our Covenant partners. Well, first no video – just audio. Second, a rumour emerged that twitter was banned in the hall. In fact, it eventually transpired over the weekend that the ban was only in the public gallery and covered all gadgets. Who could possibly want a digital ban at Synod?
The answer first seemed to be the University of York. This seemed a little strange to some – a university stopping digital communication? Moreover, if the Uni wanted to ban social media, then all they needed to do was dampen the wifi signal in some way. We saw the effect of this at #TDC11 when they put a lot of socmedia people inside a building which acted as a Faraday Cage – result = lots of hot air and lightening bolts!
But the ban seemed to be partial – key tweeters such as @petespurs, @markrusselluk, @paulbayes were happily tweeting away along with people like @justinbrett and @mrcatolick. From the Press Gallery, we saw tweets from @riazat-butt, @ruthiegledhill and @simonsarmiento. So it was working in places but no tweeting was allowed in the public gallery – with stewards on duty to stop rogue tweeters.
But then as the weekend progressed and the #synod meme seemed to cover only this issue with sporadic looking at the debates, and with @nickbaines asking questions about the point of using socmedia in Church Comms especially with the nutcases you sometimes have being involved (don’t think he was referring to anyone in particular, @mrcatolick), the news became even more bizarre. Apparently, according to @GenSyn, the ban was discussed in the Business Committee and people (@GenSyn, @Nedlunn) were told that the ban was a security issue – to stop possible terrorist attacks on #synod by people using technology/mobile phones in the gallery.
Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it! This was met by a few gasps across the internet and with increasing consternation from the Church of England’s digital bishop @alantlwilson. By Monday morning, there was a conversation going on (including me and another Methodist for some reason!) between a few bishops and other members suggesting a way forward including conversations with the new Business Committee Chair and the new Deputy General Secretary. I would have thought, myself, that it was the business of the Communications Team…but I’m not getting involved.
Anyway – a long post…a long discussion. I prefer the way it was handled in the Methodist Conference and simply want to pay tribute to @tobygmscott, @annamdrew and @karendburke for all their hard work to get it set up and running so well!
BigBible Bigger Bible Conversations...
The Big Bible Project looks to encourage the use of digital tools by Christians, and the Christian sector, sharing tips, tricks and positive stories of digital media use. It arose within Biblefresh, a 2011 national initiative encouraging Christians to read and engage with their Bibles more (reading, training, translating and engaging).