Despite my early tempestous relationship with Quora, I have found some great insights and moments to think and contribute.
One of them occurred last night as Quora’s designer posed an interesting thread (I am not sure it was in the form of a question but I supposed that’s OK for an insider) about identity-and specifically mobile identity. You can read Rebekah’s thoughts here or follow her on Twitter here.
Rebekah poses that identity is more than just your email, or your pictures or your Twitter stream for that matter. Your digital identity is how you manage access to your attention. Will you read your Twitter or your Facebook wall? Will you update your Tumblr or your blog? How you manage external access to that attention is your identity. The other pieces (email, SMS, Facebook etc) are all components.
Rebekah believes (and I largely concur) the battleground is your mobile device. This is the access point to your attention, thus the access point to your identity.
Rebekah and I diverge on one point-which is neither huge or insignificant in that I include tablets as part of that access point.
When talking about the consumer experience in digital media and roadmapping over the next five years, the central figures are your cell phone (the assumption being the curve of feature phone to smart phone conversion holds) and I believe the tablet. The two devices as Apple has shows work together in a lot of ways, and we’ll see that in 2011 from the likes of Samsung and others who merge the Android OS on phone and tablet.
The reality is, chances are if you read this blog you never leave your house without at least one cell phone (the assumption being that readers of this blog probably carry more than one) and more than 90% of the time the tablet it with you as well. The laptop is easily forgettable, and the desktop is a distant memory.
When thinking about capturing and holding attention-designers need to think about utility and IA. Content folks need to think about real estate and connection.
I am convinced the way I got my job at CBS Mobile more than 5 years ago was my understanding of the personal nature of the mobile experience–which means that as a product person I need to be able to clearly make the experience sustainable across devices and across OS experiences.
Understanding the way consumers take in data and control their data intake is at the heart of understanding identity. In context, a news organization can have this generations equivalent of the Pentagon papers. Unfortunately just having them is less than half the battle–presenting it to a highly connected audience that demands personalization is the key.
Watch as Faebook, Twitter and products that we don’t know yet introduce new ways to access information-that access point will become the key. It’s a way to sync your self to your data and your phone (and tablet) are at the hub.