Life before Smartphone
Do you remember what the world was like before we all had smartphones? It’s really not that long ago, but our world has changed so much because of the wide adoption of this technology. Some people like to point out that many aspects of the technology have been around for quite a while. Indeed, the early adopters have been using smartphones considerably longer than most of us. However, the important shift really happened when large numbers of people got on board in the last couple of years.
Pull 3.0: You are living in it!
Way back (say two decades ago), we used to experience our media as something that was pushed on us. Think of TV, Billboards, Newspapers, Radio and Magazines. The closest we got to “Pull” was choosing our media (i.e.: which newspaper, magazine or cable channel). When it came to retrieving info on local services, often the “Yellow Pages” was the best bet. This was “Pull 1.0”. As we started to connect PCs to the Internet everything changed. We started to get in control of the information and media we experienced. We “Pulled” only what we wanted. This was “Pull 2.0”. Gradually people wanted to take that experience with them. The first wave of adventurers had big, heavy laptops they struggled to carry, to keep charged, and to get online as they touted the convenience of the coming age. We could see the improvements happening: smaller laptops, better batteries, faster, cheaper Internet connections in more places. And then it was here. “Pull 3.0”. Suddenly, everyone seemed to have a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone they could use to be online anywhere, anytime. Ultimately this is what our Smartphone does. It takes our “Pull” experience and lets us bring it with us, and have it at our fingertips wherever we are and whenever we want.
Push 2.0: The Banner Ad made it all possible
So what about Push? For many years, the undisputed king of push media was TV. Big companies used it to push messages to us in our homes in full, moving colour, but still very analog. Outside of our homes, we relied mostly on print to push our messages through billboards and posters (out-of-home media). This was Push 1.0. With the rise of the Internet in the 90s, it was suddenly possible for Advertisers to display Ads on our PCs while we were pulling information. Advertising is what blew the Internet wide open and made so many new business models possible. This is Push 2.0 and it’s ramifications are still playing out with new technology, apps, and the huge shift to mobile devices. Remember though, that this is all happening in the virtual or online world (albeit a world where we increasingly spend our time and carry around with us wherever we go).
This leaves us with a strange disconnect. The real world, all those places where we physically hang out such as cafes, bars, restaurants, are way behind in the shift to a digital life. How many times have you seen a chalkboard (early 1800s media) used to push to SNS (“Follow us on Twitter”)? Yes, some people managed to make billboards that could give us moving images years ago, but just as with the early-early-adopters lugging around so-called portable PCs in the eighties, these were the pioneers, the geeks, the fringe. Even now, when you consider the cost and technical difficulty of most digital signage, then you would have to say that this technology is not practical for a regular person in a small shop who has no interested in fiddling with the technology, or paying large sums to have someone do it for them. So we are still at “Push 2.0”. But we are ready for the next step!
Push 3.0: Get ready for the revolution!
There’s one more, very important step to go. And we are at the edge of that frontier. Push 3.0 is coming. With products like Otegaru Net and others that will follow, regular people have the power to easily “Push” digital communications at their location. You’ve already become a publisher as you upload content to Facebook and Twitter and wait for people to “Pull” your feeds. Now, you can easily “Push” the content that closes the loop right at your place of business by showing your customers similar content to what you show then on Social Media. You can start word of mouth at the source. Where it all happens. At your location. You can also drive them to your social media content, reminding them that it is there, encouraging them to engage and share using their mobile devices.
This synergy between “Push 3.0” and “Pull 3.0” will in many ways complete the shift to a digital, connected world we are inching closer to day by day. And then one day not too long from now, we will look back and remember this strange Era when we had our smart phones, but still relied so heavily on chalk or printed pieces of paper.