November 18, 2005
Shakespeare as a TXT MSG

CNN reports that a British cellphone company aimed at students, Dot Mobile, plans to condense key elements of Shakespeare, and other authors into text messages to be sent to students. Of course, the move has attracted all the required publicity:

Academic purists will be horrified. Hamlet's famous query, "To be or not to be, that is the question," becomes "2b? Nt2b? ???"

John Milton's epic poem "Paradise Lost" begins "devl kikd outa hevn coz jelus of jesus&strts war." ("The devil is kicked out of heaven because he is jealous of Jesus and starts a war.")

What interests me about the CNN article however (read it here ) are two points:
1. Dot Mobile is a cellphone company aimed at STUDENTS. Niche marketing - perfect. American companies should take notice. If service and branding are going to be differentiators - then clearly this is the next logical step for cellphone companies.
2. On a related note - the Shakespeare TXTs will be available FREE to subscribers. I.e. its an innovation not for tangible revenue per se, but rather to build and build upon existing brand affiliations.

Very, very interesting.