On Thursday night our iPadJournos class went to Gallery 5 to hang out with Richmond’s Social Media Club (@SMCRVA). The guests included all kinds of exciting people, well-known tweeters we follow through the hashtag #RVA: From Kate Hall (@Richmondmom), a local mom who has a large Twitter following, to the chief tweeter of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bryan DeVasher (@Bryandevasher and @rtdnews).
The first hour of the event was all about networking. When guests walked in the door at Gallery 5, they were prompted to write their name tags. But they weren’t your typical ones. All guests wore their Twitter handles on their shirts throughout the evening.
SMCRVA Program Director Nathan Hughes (@rvabusiness) started the program by not only recognizing the iPadJournos in the first two rows, but also introduced Kate Hall (@richmondmom) and Johnny Hugel (@hugel) who talked about their latest projects RVA Epic Tales (@RVAEpicTales) and Feast RVA (@feastrva)
It was an evening all about mobile technology trends. SMCRVA co-founder Doug Meacham (@DougMeacham) was the opening speaker. He gave the guests background on how mobile trends have developed since the 1980s, including how the first mobile phone was sold for around $4,000.
Jeff Rock (@jeff _rock), the co-founder and creative director at Mobelux, was the main speaker at the event. His discussion was centered around mobile trends, which apps are on the rise and which ones are destined to fail in the upcoming years.
Rock talked about how the smart phone generation has taken off over the last few years. He asked the audience how many people still have Blackberrys and hardly anyone raised hands. Most people in the room had either iPhones or Androids. Rock said that having a touch screen was one of the best things to happen to mobile devices. What makes mobile devices popular are the different apps, location software as well as photo and video quality. But he also had strong words on developments that he thinks need to end.
“QR codes must die in a fire,” Rock said. QR codes were invented by Toyota to track parts in its inventory department. But when other companies started using QR codes, they were using them in the wrong ways, said Rock. They put them on billboards, buses, and notebooks without any direction of how to use them. He added that only 6% of cell phone users will actually use a QR code, because most people don’t understand how to or don’t care to learn.
Rocks see a future in which everything is connected to our mobile devices. According to Rock, you will be able to pay for McDonald’s with the touch of a button on your phone. You will be able to receive coupons for a location that you’re near through location services on your mobile device. When you are purchasing something at a retail store, you will simply be able to tap something with your mobile phone to “like” it on Facebook.
Rock compared social media to the aging of humans. He thinks social media is still a “teenager” and will need time to develop. He sees the future of technology leading to smart homes and more responsive desigsn for apps on our smart phones. And greater things than we can imagine today are still to come, said Rock.
Christina Irizarry and Manhattan Royal are journalism students at VCU’s School of Mass Communication and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. They tweet under @Tina_Irizarry and @MsRoyal08 and can also be found on Facebook.