On my last blog, I shared a funny story about how my 11 son year old circumvented a technology hurdle at his school. Recently, I had another one of those moments, but this time it was with my six year old daughter. It was parent visiting day and her class was demonstrating the fun and creative ways they are learning to read and spell. The teacher asked the children to define the word “text”. My daughter was the first one to pipe up and offered the modern day definition of text as “a way you type words into your phone and send messages to your friends”. The teacher of course was looking for the traditional definition of a “textbook” or text as in “written words”, but I had to laugh as to children these days, that is the not at all what text means . It always amazes me to see how quickly children adopt and understand new technologies and that adoption will continue to accelerate as new innovations, ways to communicate and smart devices enter our lives seemingly on a daily basis.
I cannot begin to share with you how excited I am about Higher Logic’s newest product offering and we are thrilled to collaborate with our partner Dub to provide this extraordinary new service. Our newly released mobile membership app or as it is fondly known, Mobile Membership is truly a first in the association space. Mobile Membership integrates with your Higher Logic community, providing sophisticated data integration and is available on five smart phone platforms. At Higher Logic, we have embraced a new ideology of providing our clients with a multi-dimensional approach to membership services. Engaging your members is no longer limited to your website, your community site, your third party social networking tools, print publications and conferences; mobile is here and it is happening now.
Companies that allow for open development have already realized the benefits of incentivizing developers to innovate and develop for the mobile platform and end users have been the biggest winners. There are literally 150,000 apps on the iPhone alone that you can download that enable you to do anything, well almost anything, with the touch of your finger. Gartner Research predicts that “by 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide.” Gartner believes that the number of smart phones or phones with web access will surpass 1.82 billion by 2013, outnumbering the 1.78 billion PCs. Those are some startling statistics regarding the growth of smart phones. Information is now truly real time, context driven and convenience is key, i.e. 24 x 7 information access right in the palm of your hand. It certainly appears that the information trend is no longer being defined by a Google centric methodology. Your members will want the convenience of mobile engagement and you will want them to have it. The ability for members to take their association with them, receive instant notifications and have their association packaged as a convenient app is truly a new dimension.
Where smart phones and their apps will take us in the next few years is anyone’s guess at this point. Technology advances are happening in the blink of an eye and that same technology is allowing us to deploy new products in faster and better development cycles. In closing, I wanted to share one more anecdote. Recently, my 6 year old brought home a worksheet from school that had a picture of a typewriter on it - she had no idea what it was. I wonder if in 30 years, if her children will look at a picture of a PC and have no idea what it is…..