May 30, 2012

Making sense of mobile website solutions

Deltina HayThere is a lot of advice floating around about what is the best mobile website solution. I don’t believe any solution is the best. I think it depends on individual needs. Luckily, there are solutions available today for almost all of us.

In previous mobile web series articles, we covered:

But none of that tells you how to create your mobile website, or what your options are.

Luckily, you have a host of solutions available to get your Web presence mobile-ready, with many of them taking very little time, effort, or money to implement. Continue reading

May 17, 2012

The Ultimate Mobile Web Infographic

This is the second of a two-part series on the mobile Web. Also see:
3 steps to a successful mobile website

Target audience: Mid-size and small businesses, online marketers, Web publishers, mobile developers, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, general public.

Deltina HayWe sometime don’t appreciate how fast things are moving, but the mobile Web is exploding.

In celebration of the release of my new book, The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web, I offer you this mobile Web infographic to use as your guide to preparing for these sweeping changes, whether you’re an online marketer, publisher or a one of the users of 5.6 billion mobile phones worldwide today (over 327 million in the United States). The infographic explains the difference between native apps and Web apps (big difference), and points out the numbers:

There will be 788 million mobile-only Internet users by 2015, driving $20.6 billion in mobile ad revenue and $119 billion in merchandise spent by mobile shoppers by 2015. And it’s just getting started.

You’re welcome to share and re-post the infographic as long as the header and credits sections remain intact. A larger version of the graphic can be downloaded from TheBootstrappersGuide.com.

Mobile web infographic

Related on Socialmedia.biz
May 16, 2012

3 steps to a successful mobile website


Image by rzymu on BigStockPhoto.com

Plan for a mobile site that meets your strategic needs

This is the first of a two-part series on the mobile Web. Tomorrow:
The Ultimate Mobile Web Infographic

Target audience: Mid-size and small businesses, Web publishers, mobile developers, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, general public.

Deltina HayAs we’ve been saying, the time has come for you to offer your readers a mobile version of your website in one form or another.

But before leaping in and creating a mobile website just because you need one, pull back and plan for a mobile site that meets your customer’s needs, fulfills your business objectives, and integrates the features you need now and in the future.

Here are some guidelines to help you plan a successful mobile website:

Plan for user expectations

1In a previous post, we discussed how people use the mobile Web. Mobile device users already know what they want when they get to a mobile website, and are more likely to take action once they get there. To plan for this type of user behavior, answer the following questions about potential visitors to your mobile site:

Include features on your mobile site that will encourage mobile users to share your content, contact your business, access your social media sites & find your business
  • Why are they most likely coming to your site?
  • What information are they most likely seeking?
  • What types of actions are they most likely to take?

Continue reading

May 10, 2012

UppSite: Turn your website into an app in minutes

JD LasicaAfew days ago I sat down with Gal Brill, the founder and CEO of UppSite, an Israel-based start-up that can turn your website into an app in just minutes. At top is a video UppSite produced about their service, and at bottom is my interview with Gal.

As the Web turns increasingly mobile — with a majority of online Americans set to access the Internet through their mobile devices rather than their desktop or laptop computers within a couple of years — any sensible Web publisher should be thinking about how to optimize his or her site for mobile users.

“We’re democratizing the mobile era for any publisher.”
— CEO Gal Brill

I’ve written about a few such services, including WPTouch Pro (Have you made your site mobile-ready?) and OnSwipe (Make your site ‘swipeable’ on the iPad). But UppSite is the first service to come along that can turn any website or blog into an app — on the iPhone or Android — for free, in a matter of minutes. That’s pretty cool. (A Windows Mobile version is coming in a few months.)

Watch, download or embed our video interview on YouTube.

CEO Brill likens UppSite’s entry into the marketplace as akin to WordPress’s disruption of the blogging world, when it make it drop-dead simple to get a blog up and running in 5 minutes. UppSite’s mission is to help you enter the mobile era “in a truly easy way,” he says. In the coming years, he hopes and expects millions of sites — particularly small or mid-size publications — to do so.

“We’re democratizing the mobile era for any publisher,” he says.

A cross-platform solution that actually works

Up until now, online publishers have had to deal with the nightmare of developing and maintaining applications for each separate operating system: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, Windows Phone 7 and so on. Not only that, you’d be out of luck in some cases, depending on whether your site runs on WordPress, Blogger, Drupal, etc. While other services often offer little more than a prettified version of an RSS feed, UppSite promises native apps that offer a complete version of your site, with all of the important content and functionality. Continue reading

February 6, 2012

TaskRabbit: Crowdsourcing comes to your neighborhood

A mobile marketplace for getting stuff done from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Start-up offers location-aware marketplace for getting stuff done

JD LasicaOne of my favorite new iPhone apps and online services is TaskRabbit, a platform that allows people to hire other people to complete tasks in their own towns or neighborhoods.

The concept is drop-dead simple but difficult to pull off. Founder Leah Busque says TaskRabbit lets folks “outsource small jobs and tasks to other people in their neighborhood” — say, if you need dry cleaning or groceries picked up, house cleaning or yard work done, Ikea furniture assembled or a wifi system set up in your home.

“We’ve seen some really funny ones,” Leah said, “like, ‘Help me write a love letter to my ex-girlfriend to help win her back.’ Or, ‘Help me prank my office mate by wrapping all of his desk items in cellophane.'”

Here’s my 8-minute interview with founder Leah Busque on Vimeo.

A simple way to connect customers with a local workforce

TaskRabbit works like this:

• Sign up on the site for free.

• Post a task — what do you need done and at what price? Use the app to voice-record a description and upload photos.

• The task goes out to participants (“TaskRabbits”) based on their location. They bid on your job, you confirm the best match, he or she goes to work, and TaskRabbit gets a small cut of the price.

Well over 2,000 people have signed up to perform tasks in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Antonio and Austin, with Atlanta, Dallas and Houston on the way. The company’s vetting process includes online applications, video interviews and a background check, which greatly weeds out the flakes (my term, not hers). Trust, safety and security are at the heart of the marketplace, Leah says.

Unlike online services like Angie’s List, TaskRabbit is not marketing the services of licensed electricians, plumbers and carpenters but instead is targeting regular folks — individuals in a community who can offer their free time, special skills and services.

TaskRabbit has 35 full-time staffers at its San Francisco headquarters with “city managers” across the United States, and it has $24.7 million in financial backing, TechCrunch reports.

In a phrase, TaskRabbit is about service networking rather than social networking. Check ’em out.

Related

Do you have a strategy for social bookmarking and crowdsourcing?

Book: ‘A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing’