Extreme Mobile scenario

Extreme Mobile

What if every­thing con­verged into a sin­gle mobile device that con­nects you to… every­thing? The smartphone/tablet/netbook/laptop could evolve into the most ubiq­ui­tous device on the planet – a per­sonal link pro­vid­ing indi­vid­u­als with infor­ma­tion and media in a portable, well-connected form at a rel­a­tively low price. Jour­nal­ism would have to work dif­fer­ently in a thor­oughly wire­less, any­thing any­where society.

The mobile phone is now the most ubiq­ui­tous media device on the planet. Or rather, the device that used to be just the mobile phone. Because while peo­ple still do actu­ally talk to one another on it, some of the time, today’s mobile is much more than a phone. Extreme Mobile scenarioIt has evolved to encom­pass pretty much all of the capa­bil­i­ties and func­tions pre­dicted for it over the past 10 years. And now pretty much every indi­vid­ual has one of his or her own – a per­sonal link pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion and media in a portable, well-connected form at a rel­a­tively low price. The result is a thor­oughly wire­less, anything-anywhere soci­ety to which news media have adapted. This is jour­nal­ism in the age of extreme mobile.

Today, what used to be the mobile phone is tech­ni­cally termed a Spe­cial­ized Social Ser­vices device. Most peo­ple just call it their Triple-S. It has essen­tially replaced their com­puter, lap­top, smart phone, iPod, iPad and a host other for­mer per­sonal tech­nol­ogy. In fact, the mar­kets for most of those other mobile devices are grad­u­ally going away as their advan­tages and capa­bil­i­ties are incor­po­rated into the lat­est generationTriple-S.

Most sig­nif­i­cantly, the fact that most every­one has a Triple-S on his or her per­son most all the time has cre­ated a world where peo­ple from the same town, a dif­fer­ent state or another coun­try are con­stantly and inti­mately con­nected.  In this envi­ron­ment, news has become even more viral, fast-paced and dig­i­tally con­sumed.  Sto­ries are viewed in a less text-heavy, more info­graphic visually-based lay­out.  Gone are the days when peo­ple scanned through pages and pages of text; news now is more con­cise and geared for fast con­sump­tion.  Jour­nal­ists more than any­thing now act as the traf­fic police of news sto­ries, guid­ing the direc­tion and flow of information.

In this environment, news has become even more viral, fast-paced and digitally consumed.  Stories are viewed in a less text-heavy, more infographic visually-based layout.

Our story fol­lows a day in the life of Al Jen­nings, a suc­cess­ful busi­ness entre­pre­neur and fam­ily man.  With his Triple-S, Al is more con­stantly con­nected with his envi­ron­ment, includ­ing news, work updates and enter­tain­ment.  From the time Al wakes up in the morn­ing to when he crawls into bed at night, the Triple-S keeps him updated with the news and enter­tain­ment he chooses. The advan­tage of the Triple-S com­pared to devices such as an iPhone, most pop­u­lar 10 years ago, is users spend less time scan­ning through unwanted news.  Jour­nal­ists now write their sto­ries keep­ing in mind the imme­di­acy and per­son­al­iza­tion that the Triple-S is able to deliver.  Jour­nal­ists no longer have to write a story that appeals to thou­sands of dif­fer­ent peo­ple with dif­fer­ing tastes, inter­ests and per­son­al­i­ties.  The sto­ries jour­nal­ists write are now deliv­ered to peo­ple with sim­i­lar inter­est graphs.  For instance, Al receives his cus­tomized news through a select num­ber of jour­nal­ists, rather than a myr­iad of dif­fer­ent writ­ers.  Jour­nal­ists have begun spe­cial­iz­ing in one or two cat­e­gories, rather than cov­er­ing a vari­ety of news stories.

Jour­nal­ists gain pop­u­lar­ity through dig­i­tal word of mouth; peo­ple share sto­ries and news with each other through social net­work­ing plat­forms. Begin­ning a jour­nal­ism career can be dif­fi­cult and there are fewer well-known jour­nal­ists com­pared to 10 years ago; how­ever, these jour­nal­ists are highly respected and esteemed.  Jour­nal­ists are employed by news com­pa­nies, major net­works (such as ABC, Fox, etc.), news­pa­pers, and dig­i­tal mag­a­zines.  A jour­nal­ist is paid based on the level of con­sumer read­er­ship and pop­u­lar­ity; the more demand a jour­nal­ist has, the higher salary he or she earns.   The major net­works and big news cor­po­ra­tions often enlist jour­nal­ists to write mul­ti­ple sto­ries through­out the day.  This com­bined with the con­tin­ual updat­ing jour­nal­ists must do to keep their sto­ries cur­rent, causes jour­nal­ists to con­stantly be glued to their Triple-S devices.  Sim­i­larly, con­sumers are con­stantly check­ing their devices for the lat­est updates in news and entertainment.

A journalist is paid based on the level of consumer readership and popularity; the more demand a journalist has, the higher salary he or she earns.

Jour­nal­ists work on their niche story top­ics to deliver to Al, as well as any other Triple-S user, a per­son­al­ized news­feed.  Even though Al has never met these jour­nal­ists face to face, he feels per­son­ally con­nected to them.  When Al fin­ishes read­ing a story he espe­cially likes, he shares it with other indi­vid­u­als in his social cir­cle.  This in turn allows jour­nal­ists to gain pop­u­lar­ity and deter­mine what sto­ries they should focus most on writ­ing.  When Al ini­tially pur­chased his Triple-S, he set up a user pro­file that gave him total con­trol over the news sto­ries and infor­ma­tion that he wanted to receive.  Since Al is a busi­ness­man, he elected to be informed of the lat­est news in the busi­ness and finance world.  He receives both local and national news relat­ing to his field of inter­est. As Al’s tastes and inter­ests evolve, so does his cus­tomized news­feed.  The sto­ries that Al receives over break­fast will con­tinue to unfold through­out the day.  Al will receive mes­sage updates from these jour­nal­ists, pro­vid­ing him with the lat­est updates and happenings.

One such jour­nal­ist that has deliv­ered Al’s news to him since the day he acti­vated his Triple-S is Fred Oliver.  Fred is nation­ally known for deliv­er­ing the best in entre­pre­neur­ial busi­ness and finance news.  Though Fred lives on the Cal­i­for­nia coast, far away from Al’s sub­ur­ban home in Ten­nessee, the news con­tent Fred gath­ers for Al is highly per­son­al­ized to his daily work life.  As Al leaves his home to drive to work, Fred is already work­ing on updat­ing the sto­ries Al read dur­ing break­fast.  Through text mes­sage alerts and audio mes­sage updates, Fred deliv­ers the news to Al, and other users inter­ested in the same cat­e­gory, as it’s hap­pen­ing, cre­at­ing a live play-by-play. News can be read on the Triple-S or lis­tened to with or with­out head­phones. If Al isn’t inter­ested in a par­tic­u­lar story by mid-day, he sends Fred an instant mes­sage and he is removed from con­tacts receiv­ing the story. It’s not uncom­mon for Al to hear from Fred through­out the entire day, dur­ing work lunches and even on the drive home.  All across the coun­try, peo­ple shar­ing Al’s inter­ests who have cho­sen to sub­scribe to Fred’s top­i­cal news­feed receive sim­i­lar updates.

All of Fred’s news sto­ries are pho­tographed, writ­ten, and deliv­ered through his Triple-S.

Fred’s role as a jour­nal­ist has cer­tainly changed from the way in which he would have writ­ten and deliv­ered news 10 years ago.  The way he pro­duces, edits and deliv­ers news con­tent has taken on a far more mobile role. All of Fred’s news sto­ries are pho­tographed, writ­ten, and deliv­ered through his Triple-S.  A sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of Fred’s work­day includes trav­el­ing, updat­ing his sto­ries from var­i­ous loca­tions.  Fred no longer has an office in a news­room, like he did 10 years ago, where he would sit and write news sto­ries.  With the use of his Triple-S, Fred can begin writ­ing a story in his favorite cof­fee shop, edit it on the train, and deliver it to his read­ers while run­ning errands on the way home.

In a sense, the Triple-S has become Fred’s news­room, allow­ing him the capa­bil­i­ties to cre­ate, deliver and inter­act as a jour­nal­ist.  Being the vet­eran and prized jour­nal­ist that Fred is, he does not hold a phys­i­cal office.  How­ever, there are oth­ers in the jour­nal­ism indus­try that typ­i­cally inhabit the news­room.  Interns and upcom­ing jour­nal­ists in train­ing hold offices in the news­room, fre­quent­ing them almost every­day.  These jour­nal­ists need guid­ance at times as all begin­ners do, so the prox­im­ity of higher-ups serves well.  They hope to become skilled enough at their craft one day in order to go off on their own much like Fred Oliver and have their own reg­u­lar news­feed and loyal read­er­ship base.

Jour­nal­ists act as aggre­ga­tors, cul­ti­vat­ing a user friendly and per­son­al­ized news­feed just for Al.  Gone are the days of loung­ing over the morn­ing paper, though news­pa­pers are very much still in exis­tence. News­pa­pers are los­ing pop­u­lar­ity more quickly now, con­sid­er­ing they only offer gen­eral, smaller story lines. News­pa­pers are not per­son­al­ized to their users, like the Triple-S allows, but the older gen­er­a­tions still enjoy a tan­gi­ble prod­uct.  Today, jour­nal­ists act like “bugs” in society’s ear, deliv­er­ing news through­out the day.  The style of news is less text heavy, focus­ing more on info graph­ics and audio.  Jour­nal­ism is now pack­aged in the forms of pod­casts, video and images since peo­ple are always on the go and have less time to sit down and read a story from start to finish.

Journalists act as aggregators, cultivating a user friendly and personalized newsfeed.

The every­day life of Al Jen­nings accu­rately por­trays the daily rou­tines of mil­lions of other peo­ple around the world.  As described, the Triple-S has suc­cess­fully ful­filled just about every need or want peo­ple could hope to gain from the use of a tech­no­log­i­cal device.  The func­tion and capa­bil­ity of the Triple-S is applic­a­ble to every indi­vid­ual, regard­less of the aver­age person’s lifestyle, age, occu­pa­tion, per­son­al­ity or geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion.  The Triple-S has been so suc­cess­ful because it offers peo­ple what they want most from tech­nol­ogy: fast and absolute access, any­where, any­time.   More than ever before, at any other time in this world’s his­tory, the human pop­u­la­tion is inti­mately and con­stantly connected.

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