Once again Apple did it—and the i-phone has changed everything.
A white paper sponsored by Neu Star (Jan. 2007) began with this quote:
Mobile marketing offers one of the most effective and rapidly evolving opportunities to engage with target audiences in new ways. In the developed world, the cell phone is the ubiquitous "third screen" in most people's lives and one that they are rarely without. For hundreds of millions of people in the developing world, the cell phone represents the "only screen" in their lives and makes these new audiences easily and individually reachable for the first time. Today, cell phones represent the most personal and intimate way to communicate with individuals.
Small screen is an important channel in the future of communications. The trend for many years has been to complicate, enlarge, and illustrate. Much of that will remain, again in the channel of large group experience of communication, but much person to person communication is moving to the small screen, specifically to the screens of mobile phones.
This emerging channel challenges us to pare down our messages to get to the simple core of who we are as communicators for Jesus. It's also a challenge to remind us to not get attached to any form of communication, but to stay close to the subject of our communication Jesus. As I have often shared in my seminars, early on in my communications career I thought communications technology would never get any better than the self-correcting typewriter. I remember the days of crank mimeographs and having to correct stencils—the self-correcting typewriter really was a miracle.
It has been a wild ride learning each new form from desktop publishing to email to websites to blogs. In the past I thought our church communications would continue to become more and more complex, more graphically image and motion rich. I wondered if holograms for every congregation (visualize the teaching of Jesus, the building of the Temple) would be our next learning challenge. I was so wrong.
I find it hopeful that the next big thing might be a small thing.