Mobile In/Mobile Out
I blogged the other day about how much I enjoy writing on my blackberry.
I may continue to post this way when I get back from europe because it allows me to sit back and think instead of lean forward and write.
But in the few days that have passed since I wrote that 'quill pen' post, I've had a number of interactions that lead me to believe that reading on the mobile device is a much bigger deal.
Of course mobile reading is a bigger deal because for every writer, there are tens or hundreds or thousands of readers. Writing is still something not everyone is predisposed to do. But reading is something everyone does.
And reading in lean back mode on the couch or in the coffee shop, on the train or in the plane, is more enjoyable and relaxing than the lean forward mode required by the computer.
I find myself reading more and more on my blackberry and its not even well designed for that experience. The iPhone is much better for that and the Kindle is another step beyond the iPhone. And we are just getting started with this whole mobile internet connected reading device thing. I expect we'll see a ton of innovation in this area in the next couple years.
A reader named Scott commented the other day than "commenting on mobile devices" is an area that needs some focus. I agree with that and hope our portfolio company disqus can innovate in that area in 2009.
Its becoming more natural for readers to want to interact with the content they are reading. Computers have allowed this to happen and mobile devices need to support it. Its not just commenting, its tagging, sharing, reblogging, and a host of other interactions that make consuming content online a better experience than offline consumption.
It's gotten to the point that if I can't interact with content, I don't want to consume it. When I read books, I underline certain passages so I can blog about them later. If I were reading on a connected device, I'd simply reblog on tumblr and be done. I don't think I'm unusual in this regard but I do think I'm in the leading edge of behavior and that more and more people will feel this way.
In any case, this is an area where entrepreneurs should focus on. Reading on mobile devices is a big trend and reading is just the start of the content consumption paradigm in a connected world. There's a lot to be done and its going to be done. So let's get on with it.