Here is the question

Here is the question: ”Will it change Internet culture forever?”

And more:

Is it a fad? Or a good investment?

Have you ever been “nexted”?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go to http://chatroulette.com/

And then read the following article from The New Yorker magazine:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/05/17/100517fa_fact_ioffe

Blogs, videos, celebrities, a language and a million-plus people a day have made this the latest new thing – a Facebook killer? A more evolved state of networking? Something new altogether?

Whatever it is, investors and the cool and hip are flocking to it – and it is, I must say, kind of enticing – daring and different.

See what you think….

And see if you follow my use of this as an intro to my first thoughts on the iPAD.

To begin with – read the blogs, see the videos, watch the celebrities and the million-plus users in half the time it took to get a million users on the iPHONE.

The knee-jerk reaction is “Game Change”…yadda, yadda, yadda.

So let me begin.

First impressions – I think everyone who is honest agrees to this – is that it’s just a giant iPHONE – which immediately made me think of what it would be like up against my ear – given its size, which conjured to my mind the following picture:

boombox
Boom

Kind of like, why didn’t he just carry a Walkman…(for those who never heard of one, it was a pre-iPOD device used to play back music – often personal – from little rectangular plastic storage units called cassettes – can be found in museums and landfills – see 8-Tracks).

Second impression is that it’s just not a practical phone – oh well!

However, it is an amazing device. At the basic level all the apps and things that have been reconfigured for this new format are simply even cooler and more fun – the bigger size and the depth of color just make it all that much more immersive – they work the same – but clearly a bigger screen with the same amazing clarity speaks for itself.

My favorite app is Beat the Traffic – which by the way works on all smartphones – it’s practical, useful and it really delivers – more on apps in a later post.

You can play games – although it’s not X-Box or even close in terms of span of control, but here is where it is a game changer and where we need to spend some time thinking and pondering for the future.

This is a consumption device – plain and simple. It’s a way to consume channel information in one device as never seen before.

Now in the past you could listen to music – like my friend above – and then we made that more efficient and the experience more enjoyable by allowing you to carry the output of a thousand cassettes in one tiny device (the music might not be as good…more on that too, but…) and then we added your phone and other stuff and gave you a mobile nomadic capability – wherever you were – whenever you wanted.

In the past you could watch movies on a DVD player, then on your DVD player on your computer/laptop and then on a mobile device – and now, on your iPAD, on a screen worthy of showing great movies and videos – that also does all the rest.

The Kindle got us going on e-books – and while the experience is great for book reading and the set up is still the best in the business (better even than the iPad – Apple does have something to learn) the color and richness and page turning of the iPad do add value and take this to a new level. More on Kindle too – later…

But here is the real “revolution” (how I hate that word in this context – mea culpa): magazines and newspapers. We have gone full circle and all of the Internet gurus who preached the end of those channels might have to retool, regroup and rethink.

For years we have watched the printed medium – so beloved in its time, so easy to read (was it best practice or did we just get used to it?) – take form after form on the Web. We couldn’t replicate the printed page or its unique columnar structure – the pictures and drawings were not working and the screen format was not conducive to replicating the century-old and ancient page structures.

They tried everything – and nothing really worked – go back and track, for example, the evolution and de-evolution of The New York Times to see one pathetic trip to nowhere. And so the demise of an industry became the default belief.

And here is where the iPAD is brilliant. As I have written before, its mother was a magazine (maybe an aunt but family nevertheless). You can actually read a magazine as they have been designed and were meant to be read – with a twist – you can add video, audio links – whatever – but the experience is not Web or Web2 point anything – it is uniquely and wholly magazine and I love it for that.

Now ponder this – if we believe this is a game changer – if we really are convinced this is the Grail – at least for now – the generation that we have labeled “print”-illiterate will have to learn to read like we did – just on a new device – which is not revolution by any stretch – just (as if “just”) evolution – huge implications here to say the least.

Not to mention the implications for advertisers who will now have a mixture of traditional and nontraditional ad space to use in one place at one time – wild.

So what does this all mean?

No clue – not the slightest – but for this:

There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.”  Alfred Korzybski

Don’t believe so fully or doubt so easily – be practically and cheerfully cynical and enjoy your iPAD, iPOD, iTOUCH, ZUNE; X_BOX, laptop, magazine, newspaper, movie in a cinema, TV at home…whatever!!!!

Your view?

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