I’m also thinking a lot about (if not actually doing) my own writing. I hope everyone can/will appreciate the increased blogging output as of late, but my Google Docs have also grown in number and measure.
If you’re curious what I’m up to – and I’ve been very coy – check out these two innovative approaches to the future of the book:
I’m no developer, I’m more of a hack(er), but I get excited when I think about extending some of the ideas on this blog, marrying them with my non-blogging past-times and dreaming up something new. It also doesn’t hurt to have spirited (albeit brief) conversations with folks at the forefront of eBooks.
Needless to say, I’ve done the whole novel writing thing and the flash fiction thing – and I like to revisit both concepts now & again, but this is something new.
In the interest of confusing the hell out of search engines and readers alike, I titled this post “Mobile Me”, in the style of Apple’s signature syncing technology (which I completely need to purchase but never end up doing).
No, I’m thinking more about the relationship (and yes, it’s a relationship) I have to the internet and how closely tied I am to my phone, my netbook and my Nook (eReader).
While in Mexico for Spring Break I turned off my iPhone, had the Nook in Airplane mode (for battery conservation) and only used the netbook once. It was like being on an island.
It was actually Cozumel, so it was literally an island, but it was also metaphorically an island of (self-imposed) lack of connectivity.
What the trip taught me, aside from the fact that I don’t necessarily need to be as connected as I am, is that being connected on a mobile device is much more meaningful than connecting on a desktop or laptop. Heck, my work laptop hardly ever leaves its stand in my office and my desktop has been resigned to near-paperweight status, so my main modes of internet usage are primarily handheld and mobile these days.
The video above (linked & embedded) is a presentation by Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley, given at Google recently. GigaOM has the pull quotes that hit me the hardest (emphasis mine):
The Morgan Stanley analyst says that the world is currently in the midst of the fifth major technology cycle of the past half a century. The previous four were the mainframe era of the 1950s and 60s, the mini-computer era of the 1970s and the desktop Internet era of the 80s. The current cycle is the era of the mobile Internet, she says â€” predicting that within the next five years â€œmore users will connect to the Internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs.â€ As she puts it on one of the slides in the report: â€œRapid Ramp of Mobile Internet Usage Will be a Boon to Consumers and Some Companies Will Likely Win Big (Potentially Very Big) While Many Will Wonder What Just Happened.â€
I’m already 75% there myself and we’ve gotten Raelyn a netbook for her upcoming birthday and Jenn & I are likely to replace our current desktops with laptops (and large terabyte+ external HDs) when the time comes. The future (as it usually is) is already here.
I’m even more excited to make the move to a more mobile-connected future now that I’ve seen these photos & video of the new iPhone. Yowza! My current contract is up in June and hopefully the new iPhones won’t be far behind.
Some of the things I love about being able to carry the internet with me (instead of waiting around catalog the day’s events):
Checking in via Foursquare/Gowalla
Though I’m clearly a creature of considerable habit, it’s still fun to keep folks up-to-date.
Sharing pictures of my beer drinking
A man should have hobbies.
Share my rapier wit/spew bile
Download a bestseller based on the readership of others in the airport
I need to upgrade my photographic capabilities (Eye-Fi Explore X2 [hint, hint!]) to really take advantage of the DSLR + Vacation + Flickr + Facebook + Twitter math, but I’m working on it. It would also make workflow easier, but that’s another post entirely.
Despite the fact that this entire post was written sitting at my desk, connected to the internet via a laptop serving as a desktop, I feel completely confident that won’t be the case for the majority of my internet usage this year or any year in the future.
Despite having received The Nook, Barnes & Noble’s eReader, for Christmas as a present, I still don’t actually have the device in my hot little hands yet. It’s on back order and won’t ship until February 1, so I’m stuck trolling the internet for news, reviews & gossip with maybe a brief stop by my local B&N to fondle the display unit.
Wait. That sounds gross. Strike that.
In any event, here are some links and sites I’ve found in my travels that I think will be useful for Nook folks specifically, but also for anyone interested in the nascent eReader segment, plus a few free ePub (eBook format) sites thrown in for good measure.