Here’s a review of a book about handhelds and Japan called Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life at WIRED:
The Japanese word for cell phone — keitai, meaning “something you carry with you” — provides a hint about its role within Japanese culture. Over time, mobile devices in Japan have come to be perceived not so much as bundles of technical features, or tools for replicating PC functions from the road, but personal accessories that help users sustain constant social links with others.
So it’s not about technology but about the social connection. What else might fall into that thinking? Blogs, wikis, IM? For sure. Let’s watch closely as our culture changes as more and more folks discover tools that allow them to communicate who they are and what they believe…and work together as well.
I kid you not: librarians need to pay attention to what is happening with tech such as this — how will keitai change our jobs, our services, our buildings?