People want things how they want them. In Japan, “five of last year’s top ten best-selling novels started life as mobile phone – or keitai – novels.”
There was a time when mobile phones were used simply to communicate. In
high-speed Japan, where more than 100 million people own mobile phones, they
are not only a platform for novelists, but for all forms of artistic
The last time I redesigned ArtsJournal, I discovered that only about 25 percent of those using AJ
ever came to the website. Some users weren’t even aware that there was a website. They get it through newsletters, rss feeds, widgets, Facebook and now Twitter. I realized that I had been thinking of AJ as a website. That means I wasn’t thinking about 75 percent of our users. Or designing content for them.
Twitter novels or SMS stories might not seem like literature. Video games might not seem like the hot new literature. But at their heart, they’re stories, even if delivered in unfamiliar form. The lesson then, I think, is that if you think that your product is a piece of paper somebody holds in their hands, you’re going to be left behind. Or, at the risk of dumping on an already belaguered industry: The car is only a means to get some place. What’s important is what happens when you get there.