A number of people have been urging me to get back on the coffee since my stream-of-consciousness on Autobots. Apparently they feel that myself and the plot have left the station on two different trains. Well to all those cynics I should add that many innovations find fame with a purpose other than the one for which they were imagined.
As Will pointed out in the pamphlet on Super Users when Bell invented the telephone it’s use bore little resemblence to how it is used today. It was felt that casual conversation was not worthy for such a scientific tool. As Will explained:
“In those early years whenever the telephone was demonstrated in public, the process seemed the same. One end would be set up in front of an audience and the otehr some distance away. Bell would disappear and then his dismembered voice would be heard normally reciting Shakespeare (Hamlet’s soliloquies a firm favourite). truth was the telephone was then concieved as a means of conveying news, music and propaganda to the far reaches of the land.”
We tend to forget that both the Internet and mobile are still in their infancy and that for all the talk of conversations the Internet is still being used largely as a medium for downloading or e-mail and the truth is that mobile is barely new-born as a genuine tool for commercial communication. Advertising on the back of railway tickets has a similar share of market to mobile advertising. Indeed as mobile and Internet channels collide nobody really knows who or what model is going to win out. Will believes that the impact ought to drive more of an opt-in form of communication but how this will happen is really be the rub (Hamlet soliloquy suppressed). Obviously there is the potential with the mobile Internet to develop an ettiquette that is more inclusive and respectful than much of the Internet marketing to date but at the same time the “if anything sticks it works” school has a powerful call to action. So I would n’t rule out the Autobot having a say in the digital future.