Clearly I touched a cord to evoke such a passionate response from @paul_kinlan — which is great — and I think he’s got some valid opinions and observations — but I think he’s also missing a bit of the point.
Perhaps my approach to encouraging people to come at mobile from a totally different perspective was too aggressive and didn't leave enough room for personalization. But in some ways it was intentional to express my point. Of course the light bulb would never work… that is, until it did.
I'm not unilaterally saying that nobody is communicating on web, nor am I saying that web is 100% about content consumption; I actually never even stated that, I stated it’s merely “content consumption oriented” vs. mobile being “community oriented” — whatever — it’s my opinion based on observation and research.
My main takeaway from Paul's response however is this. To simply assume that mobile is an extension of web (i.e. another platform to engage with the same users in roughly the same way) leaves publishers missing out on huge opportunity. The goal is not to splinter your mobile and web experiences into two distinct and completely different products. What I'm suggesting is that by looking at what you actually build for mobile native vs. web, and developing a framework, feature set and functionality that embraces the natural community and communication capabilities of the phone and orientation of the users, publishers can capitalize on some amazing engagement they just aren't likely to see on the web.
Does that mean we won’t read content on mobile? Nope. Does that mean that we won’t chat on the web? Nope. But it does mean that we'll be optimizing for the behaviors that are more present on each respective platform.
I'll close with this. Try on the possibility, that just maybe, mobile native (as we know it today) and web/mobile web are entirely different engagement paradigms. It’s not that unreasonable to suggest we look at them with a slightly different lens.
But then again, who the fuck would ever want to take a phone call from outside of the comfort of your own home… or listen to music while in the car. Yeh, even if that did happen, we should just make the experiences and features identical. Yeah… that’s the ticket.