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Thread: Some thoughts and questions about mobile content

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    Administrator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Some thoughts and questions about mobile content

    Grynge started an interesting thread asking whether anyone made money from social media.
    http://experienced-people.net/forums...m-social-media

    Despite my aversion to Twitter, Facebook, et al, over the last few days I read a lot on the subject of social media, and that frequently led me into articles about mobile content so I thought I'd start a new thread to see what the EP members have to say about the mobile side of things.

    The first thing that confused me was the idea that you need to check your stats to ascertain whether there's a demand for a mobile version of your site/blog. I can understand doing a survey to find out if your existing users want such a thing but if you don't offer it in the first place, then these mobile users aren't your visitors anyway, so how do you ask people who don't use your site? The other thing was the frequent suggestion of using stats to find out how many people access your site using mobile devices. Well, if you're not providing content for the mobile users, then they're not going be using your site. Are they?

    Then followed a couple of days of wading through reports, articles, stats, till my brain started leaking out of my eyes. I can't go into it all here (but I'll sell you an eBook if I ever write one - just kidding!). In a nutshell, I reached the conclusion that even if it's not absolutely essential to provide mobile content now, IT WILL BE. It's a bit like the olden days at the end of the last century when people started to realise that having a website was essential for business. And yet... there are still many successful businesses which don't have websites. Ignoring local B&Ms which already have more work than they can handle, there's still a huge untapped market there and that's almost 15 years after the early adopters of business websites started out. Will it take such a long time for mobile content to become so mainstream that everyone has a mobile website in the same way?

    And now, after all that preamble, the point. How does one make money from mobile content? Most of the stats/surveys on the subject suggested that most people would prefer to have (put up with?) some advertising to pay for the mobi content rather than pay a subscription to view it. That led to a lot of further issues about how to present the advertising in a considerably reduced space. (Perhaps an idea for a new thread about optimising adverts for mobiles.) It doesn't seem to be too difficult for the larger companies to do deals with media groups, but what of the small guy with, say, a travel blog?

    My final question for now - does anyone here make money from mobile content?
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    Top Contributor Dave McM is a Premium Member
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    Well, you and I do, for starters.

    I set up a mobile stylesheet for our newspaper directory site last summer and put an AS for mobile ad on it. Nothing to brag about - about a pound a month on average - but it's money we wouldn't otherwise have had, for a very trivial amount of work on my part.

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    Top Contributor grynge is a Premium Member
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    I am toying with the idea of setting up a mobile version of my shopping carts. So in that instance I know if I place an image with a purchase now button underneath I may (may being who knows) get a sale? Something like

    PRODUCT IMAGE
    BUY BUTTON
    CONTENT
    BUY BUTTON
    PRODUCT IMAGE
    BUY BUTTON
    CONTENT
    BUY BUTTON

    So that is easy to work out, but in the instance when I am selling advertising/affil links maybe the affil links will have to look like a product image page from a shopping cart? but on the other hand how do you do advertising?

    The only thing I have seen to date (and be reminded I only started looking at this the other day, was a system where there was

    IMAGE
    CONTENT
    ADVERT
    IMAGE
    CONTENT
    ADVERT

    OR

    CONTENT
    ADVERT
    CONTENT
    ADVERT

    and so forth and so on. If this indeed works I don't know, but it has been about the only thing I could see that could even come close to working.

    Could a affil link work like

    IMAGE(AFFIL LINK)
    BUY BUTTON(AFFIL LINK)
    CONTENT
    BUY BUTTON(AFFIL LINK)
    IMAGE(AFFIL LINK)
    BUY BUTTON(AFFIL LINK)
    CONTENT
    BUY BUTTON(AFFIL LINK)

    These are of course just things off the top of my head, I am planning to do a bit more research but not until I get back from Holidays.
    And they thought me broken, that my tongue was coated lead, but I just couldn't make my words make sense to them, if you only listen with your ears ... I can't get in
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    Administrator Kay is a Premium Member
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    @ Dave McM - nice to know that someone is keeping an eye on the petty cash. If it's that simple, then why don't you do it on our other sites? Well, I guess it's a quick and dirty way to earn a couple of slices of bread each month but if we did it more seriously, then there might be some real money in it. I got the impression that it's not really an ideal medium for AS, unless you have the volume of mobile users.

    Holy Malony! I just looked at the stats. More than 10% of visitors to that site are accessing it via mobile devices. Is this a big missed opportunity or what? Once again, just talking about something on EP has brought unexpected rewards. Let's see what we can do to improve on this mobile content offering.

    @ grynge - sorry, I can't help with your questions, but I too am going to be doing a lot more research into this and will certainly share my findings with you once I've been able to organise my thoughts a bit better. My OP was just a taster of the vast amount of info available about stuff I'd not particularly looked at before.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    My Blog - online business, book reviews and stuff. Comments are welcome.

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    In the early days of mobile, content had to be tailored for the smaller screen if it could be seen at all.

    With today's pinch and zoom ability on the mobile, I don't know if there's such a big future in reworking existing content for mobile. Mobile users are often asking for the site to be presented to them just as on a laptop screen.

    What then is "mobile content"?
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    Top Contributor Dave McM is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    With today's pinch and zoom ability on the mobile, I don't know if there's such a big future in reworking existing content for mobile. Mobile users are often asking for the site to be presented to them just as on a laptop screen.
    Which mobile users, though? Up to a point I'd agree with you - it's certainly possible to zoom, and things generally look nicer on a "proper" site. But is pinch-and-zoom all that common, beyond iPhones? (Neither of our phones has it.) And in any case, it's still a bit of a nuisance to have to drag the screen around to find the information you're looking for, unless of course it's a familiar site.

    In some cases, I think a quick win's possible with only minor reworking. For instance, for mobile users you might choose to present only the page excerpt instead of the full page text, and leave them to decide whether they want to load the big-screen version.

    (I have to admit I don't spend much time browsing on the mobile, unless there's free wifi at the place where I happen to be. Data's too expensive (I'm on PAYG), and in any case I usually have the netbook with me. Old technology, I know, but I like a proper keyboard without having to carry a separate piece of equipment round!)

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    This has been an issue for me this week and frankly it's been a pain in the arse. Smart phones and iphone don't display sites the same way, and of course you have to provide a Flash alternative for any Apple products.

    Grynge, I found the Gomometer site that Clinton linked to be very useful just in terms of the questions it asks about whether or not your site is mobile friendly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    What then is "mobile content"?
    Content delivered in a way that a mobile user's Usability experience isn't harmed by the medium through which they're viewing the site? I just finished this site -

    Compare this leewoodhotel.co.uk with what you see if you visit it with an iphone: Attachment 239 (don't know what's going on with the image upload on this site, it's turning a 145Kb png into a 7.5 Kb jpg.)

    Which is better for the mobile platform?

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    That is a very good example of a mobile platform - but how much extra time / effort is that over the normal site?
    @Kay - you can be surprised how many people from mobiles are using a website anyway - or trying to - so allowing for them will be increasingly important.

    regards

    Alasdair

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    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McM View Post
    But is pinch-and-zoom all that common, beyond iPhones?
    Huh? Where have you been for the last few years? That's the standard now and if not now then certainly moving forward. Beyond iPhones? Heard of Android? Blackberry? Tablets? I've been pinching and zooming on my "old" Android phone for a couple of years now.
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    Top Contributor Dave McM is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    Heard of Android? Blackberry? Tablets?
    Heard of? Of course. Used? Well, Kay's phone (Acer beTouch E130) is based on Android 2.1. Mine is a Nokia X6 and runs on Symbian S60. Neither of them has multi-touch capability.

    As for tablets - well, with a screen that size, what do you need to use a mobile browser for anyway?

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