Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Connectedness

Maybe we are missing the real significance of the change that has taken place with the personalized connection of mobile devices; specifically the smartphone.

At a certain level, we have looked at mobile as just an extension of our PCs and laptops instead of as a whole new phenomenon. Understandable, as they come at us so fast.

As fundraisers, what we know is donor acquisition and ongoing contact via direct mail appeals and an occasional phone call. That, to us, is connectedness with prospective donors and our current donors. We keep looking at the digital world as an “electronic” version of our printed direct mail world.

Remember when websites first came out? Our original websites were nothing more than electronic brochures.

We keep doing the same things.

We keep looking at the digital online world (and now mobile) and we try to figure out how it fits into the world that we understand.

Reminds me of that old saw: “Today’s Generals are always fighting the last war.”

What if the mobile smartphone device doesn't fit into any of our preconceived processes of connecting because it is something completely new?

What we are seeing with smartphones is personalized connectedness that "is something completely new.” Not only is this personalized connection from one person to one person, but it opens a single individual to the universe of all people holding a smartphone device.

Clearly digital connectedness began to happen when the personal computer came out with email . . . but email as connectedness was just a variant of the telephone.

But the smartphone is carving out its own space and value-in-being as something completely different. With “apps” and the cloud, the smartphone is quickly moving into the realm of the computer, as are tablet devices.  But the smartphone stands alone as “the connector” in mobile since its very raison d'être (reason for being) is to be a communication device. And for fundraisers, the multi-function smartphone communication device is the real game changer.


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