Mash-up of IM/RSS and publishing services
I am happy to see that I am not the only one thinking about how IM could be a good interface for information management (search, database query), as I described last year.John Battelle wrote a clever post about it, connecting this to mobile interfaces:
first of all, a mashup of RSS and IM is just a very cool idea. The medium of IM has been underappreciated by nearly everyone in the "media" business for one reason - the leaders of the business didn't use IM. But lord knows the rest of the world sure does.
there are other types of branded content that makes total sense in IM: publications and personal web services. A great publication has an intimate relationship with its audience, it's a trusted source of information, a pal, a buddy. And blogs, as I've argued again and again, can be great publications. And great web services like local search have earned our trust, know who we are, and we know that when we ask them questions, useful answers will come back. No one wants a stupid chat bot that tries to be, say, Santa Claus, that gets old fast. But a chat bot that is useful? That can instantly deliver your favorite content to your mobile phone without forcing it through the crappy sphincter of your mobile operators crippled web interface? Or can answer questions like, say, "pharmacy 91106" with the speed and intimacy of an IM chat session?
Why do i blog this? I like this idea and I am used to ask question to AIM bots about weather forecast, movie schedule... would it work on a mobile phone? I don't really know but I'd love to have this on my Nintendo DS for sure... There is an interesting debate in the comment part of this post. For instance usabiltiy-guru Jakob Nielsen complains that it's just re-inventing the command line. Some others expects "that the rich client UI applications of tomorrow will be delivered when the "browser" is merged with an "IM client"...