A couple of interesting posts by Russell Buckley at MobHappy help demonstrate some of the challenges that "mobile search" faces. First, there's this growing assumption that mobile search is the same thing as local search -- which Russell points out is untrue. Instead, it's more about "need to know" content, which is similar to what I had suggested in a column last year, talking about how mobile search was different than internet search in that it needed to help you do something right away, rather than just provide you info. However, today, Buckley follows this up with a more interesting post which really defines the "competition" that mobile search players face. The general assumption is that there really isn't that much competition for mobile search, or that it's internet search. That's not exactly true. Instead, the real competition is asking someone for info. This could be someone around you, or it could be someone that you know and trust and can call. Mobile search offerings are still much more cumbersome than simply asking someone -- and that's a hurdle they'll have to overcome to really catch on.
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