Ancient Celtic mythology has a concept called “the time between times.” It was the dusk and dawn. The few moments between the waning of the day, and the advent of the night, or vice-versa. It was in those times that everything became more magical, though perhaps a better word would be sacred, or even more powerful. As I read the Pew Research Center’s study on the pressures that the move to mobile has on the news, I couldn’t help but think of the time between times.
The move to mobile is gathering steam, but news organizations cannot yet afford to pull much from traditional news to invest in the mobile arena. The money just won’t support it, yet they have to move forward on the mobile aspect of journalism. So it is a “time between times,” where the traditional era isn’t really there, but the new mobile era isn’t either.
The Future as a Consumer
As a consumer of news, I really don’t like advertisements that much. The ones I hate really hate are the ones that pop-up on my iTouch (virtually an iPhone). There’s a limited amount of space on an iphone, and having an unwanted advertisement interrupt me makes me more disinclined to whatever message they are selling.
On my iPad, it doesn’t aggravate me as much- advertisements show up on the side of the screen, just like on my laptop. The article in question (Digital: As Mobile grows rapidly, the pressures on news intensify) talked (A LOT) about the changes in digital advertising. They said some things that I’m not sure if I quite understand, but regardless, I managed to get an opinion Whatever changes the news providers (and their advertisers) throw at me, I’ll adjust. I consume most of my news on my laptop or desktop computer, and not on a mobile device, so the move to mobile hasn’t really affected me much in the regard to my current habits.
The Future as an Employee
Adaptation is not enough, however. As a future of employee of media, this move to mobile means a lot. Tailoring my content for an audience that consumes it on their phones or tablets, instead of their laptops and televisions, will be a constant evolving task. If I work in advertising, I will have to come up with ad campaigns tailored for a mobile audience.
One advantages of this shift is that advertisers will probably have more information on individuals, due to information-gathering methods used for mobile devices. Geo-tagged photos, the immersion of social media into all of our transactions, all add up to more information that advertising can use to get their message to resonate with you. Targeted ads are probably the future (it’s already happening).
One of the disadvantages is that all this is relatively new territory. How do I know what banner ads will work on what size devices? Trial and error? Focus groups? Furthermore, how will consumers react to targeted ads? Will this be the straw that breaks the camels back? Will they become uncomfortable with the knowledge that advertisers have access to?
The future is an uncertain place. Yes, things change: people will consume their news and information in a variety of ways, be in traditional or not. But one thing will stay the same: people will always consume information, and the devices to do so, be in stone, paper, or smart phones, will continue to evolve, adapt, or wither away. As a consumer and employee, I’ll try to stay ahead of the curve.