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Thursday, 15th March 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Joanna Ptolomey


The UK Office for National Statistics measures inflation via a basket of everyday goods which also acts as a social barometer. Recently mobile content and technology show an increase in demand along with a growing trend for internet and 3D TVs.


How do we calculate the cost of living? In the United Kingdom the Office for National Statistics (ONS) uses a basket of goods each year to measure inflation. It is also seen by many as a social barometer of change and importance. What are we spending our money on and what is important in our lives?

In recent years the MP4 player and Blu-ray discs (both 2009) and apps (2011) have been included in the ONS basket. Other items drop out – step ladders and casserole dishes perhaps signal that 2012 will be our move towards less homemaking.

The announcement yesterday saw tablet computing (such as iPads) and bundled communication packages (telephone, internet and tv) moving into the 2012 ONS basket. Hardly surprising news if you have been following the commentary on the LiveWire, especially since the start of 2012.  

There is a huge demand for mobile content and technology. Dale Moore commented on the trends not just in mobile, but social and the cloud too. However the recent FreePint research report Enterprise Market for Mobile Content offered a more considerate approach of vendor mobile offerings. So businesses are remaining cautious.

The death of the TV has been prophesied for some time now but now the TV manufacturers are beginning to find their feet in the market. Reports from the LiveWire on trends at the recent Las Vegas consumer electronics show highlighted the growing trend for internet and 3D TVs.

This market has remained somewhat untapped over the last decade. But with the race to get the world online and being a digital citizen, this could one of the best routes forward for many citizens and a highly lucrative market for vendors.

Annoyingly I am having my own mobile content issues in my home. My home office has just been moved to another part of the house due to homemaking issues – apparently I still need step ladders for home decoration. However my wifi signal is now rather flaky in my relocated office. Perhaps I need to hire a mobile signal booster person? A what?

Reports surfaced yesterday from the South by southwest technology conference of a marketing stunt completely missing its target. Thirteen people from homeless shelters were employed as mobile 4G hotspots, by BBH technology, to roam the conference looking for densely packed people spots to serve as mobile wifi transmitters.

The New York Times, as well as many other media outlets, reported that most event attendees were uncomfortable with this marketing stunt as being in the main exploitative. The mobile transmitters, the homeless people, were paid – $20. Only you can decide how your ethics lie with this story.

So to sum up – mobile is still big news, but you already knew that. We are loving communications companies offering bundle packages for broadband, TV and internet. We still love TV, and want it to do more and give us different types of content. However there is no casserole in the oven to nourish your body and you won’t be doing any house decorating soon. 


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Joanna is a freelance information consultant and analyst. She started her career in information as a clinical librarian in the NHS before moving to global consultancy group DTZ. Prior to working in the information sector Joanna was a project planning engineer in the construction industry for 10 years.

She hopes to help people use information for assessing risk, making decisions and in governance. She is particularly interested in inequalities issues such as accessibility, information literacy and the information divide especially in the healthcare sector. She is the author of a chapter 'Digital divide and accessibility' in Government Information Management in the 21st Century. She is also the author of the book Taking charge of your career: a guide for library and information professionals.

You can follow Joanna on Twitter.

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