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Archive for the ‘Mobile web’ Category

It’s a plane! It’s an app! It’s the mobile web!

Posted 07.07.2011 @ 7:30 pm, by John Epperson

Ruxter blimpI was having lunch with a friend earlier this week to get his opinion on some of our upcoming changes to Ruxter. One of the major things we’re working on is an updated look and feel for our user-created mobile websites. Shifting priorities and resources have prevented us from updating them as we wanted to during the last 12 months or so – in technology time that can be eons.

As I was demonstrating the new features and enhancements, when I showed my friend the updated mobile web interface design he asked, “This is mobile web right? You’re not using an app?”. This caught me a little off guard and the significance of the questions didn’t really occur to me until later in the day. And it is this: the processors and web browsers on mobile phones are now capable of rendering a web experience that equals what only an app could do not much more than 12 months ago.

Having been firmly on the mobile web side of the web vs. app debate from the beginning, I’ve been watching the web gain on the flood of apps for a while now.  And I have to admit, it feels really good to have Ruxter stepping into what was previously app occupied territory.

In the coming months I’m looking forward to seeing the creations of the large brands as they continue to put their apps on the side burner and begin embracing the mobile web. As for Ruxter customers, who have much smaller budgets, in the very near future we look forward to providing you a mobile presence that is second to none.



John Epperson

John Epperson is a co-founder and President of Ruxter. Having worked in various fields across the technology spectrum in the last 20+ years, John has gained a broad understanding of technology. Together with the Ruxter team he has developed a web-based application that allows anyone to quickly and easily harness the power of the mobile internet. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.

SmallBusinessComputing.com Twitter Chat #SBCChat on Mobile Commerce

Posted 04.14.2011 @ 3:50 pm, by Mike Craig

SmallBusinessComputing.com will be conducting their first Twitter chat next Wednesday at 2:00 pm EST, kicking off with an excellent topic – mobile commerce.

  • Topic: Mobile Commerce
  • Date: Wednesday, April 20
  • Time: 2:00 pm EST
  • Place: Twitter – Chat Hashtag #SBCChat

I’ll be on the panel (Tweeting from @ruxtermobi) along with a lineup of small business and mobile marketing pros -

Igor Faletski, CEO of Mobify, Aaron Sandoval and Melissa Vincent, vice presidents at UR Mobile, Annette Tonti, CEO of MoFuse, Aaron Maxwell, founder of Mobile Web Up, Laurie McCabe, principal analyst and co-founder of SMB-Group, Vangie Beal, ecommerce expert, Jennifer Schiff, Schiff and Schiff Communications, Dan Muse, B2B Quinstreet and Lauren Simonds, Small business Computing.

So if you’re interested in learning more about mobile commerce for small business, join us next Wednesday afternoon at #SBCChat.

More details on Small Business Computing’s #SBCChat here – smallbusinesscomputing.com

The Importance of Mobile K.I.S.S.

Posted 10.01.2010 @ 3:32 pm, by Mike Craig

KISS MobileA recent study from Gomez “When Seconds Count” National Consumer Survey on Website and Mobile Performance Expectations notes that slow-loading mobile Internet sites continue to turn off consumers.

The article makes some vital points for any business interested in engaging in mobile marketing

  • 32% of consumers will start abandoning slow sites between 1 and 5 seconds
  • Over 37% say it makes them less likely to return to the site.
  • Half of users expect websites to load as quickly, almost as quickly or faster on their mobile phone, compared to their home computer
  • Web users say that speed is much more important than functionality for most sits. Only banking, medical and travel sites are evenly split between the two.

In talking to small businesses about mobile marketing, our position at Ruxter is that effective mobile marketing combines ‘being seen’ (with a mobile website) with ‘being heard’ (by texting to reach customers directly).

As the Gomez report thoroughly indicates, the vital piece of ‘being seen’ with a mobile website is not about additional features and functionality that make the site more of a PC web experience; the important part is in ensuring that the site loads quickly and provides useful information to the consumer.

At Ruxter, we’ve taken the approach that a self-service template keeps businesses within a framework of quick-to-load and easy to navigate content.  It’s simple and effective.

But whether you’re using the Ruxter mobile template to begin a mobile marketing campaign or developing a custom page for your business, the importance of developing a ‘mobile internet home’ that is designed for a fast customer experience is absolutely vital.

As the Gomez report notes, seconds count in mobile performance.  The mobile web experience is not the PC experience in miniature – remember your mobile K.I.S.S – Keep it Short and Simple.  Design your home on the mobile web to give your customers the vital information about your business quickly and you’ll be well on your way to effective mobile marketing.


Mike Craig - VP Marketing at RuxterMike Craig is a co-founder and VP of Marketing of Ruxter.  Mike has worked in IT consulting, project management, design and marketing for 15 years on projects throughout the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.  Together with the Ruxter team he has developed a web-based application that allows anyone to quickly and easily harness the power of the mobile internet. You can contact Mike here and follow @ruxtermobi on Twitter.

The mobile landscape is vast!

Posted 06.23.2010 @ 6:18 pm, by John Epperson

Vast mobile landscapeOur local Social Media Club (SMCKC) hosted an event last night that focused exclusively on the mobile space.  Three presenters, Mike Craig (Ruxter), Barbara Ballard (Little Springs Design), and Dustin Jacobsen (Barkley) provided respectively, a high-level view of the space, basics and best practices of UI design, and the role of location based services (LBS).

My first takeaway was, “Holy cow this landscape is huge!”  Of course I’m not referring to the screen size of mobile devices, but the numerous avenues available to businesses to market to their current and potential customers.  I spend my days in the mobile space, so I’m pretty familiar with everything that was covered, but having the space expertly laid out in a concise 2 hour session was an eye opener even to me.

The amazing part of this though is that you don’t have to prepare to enter the mobile space as if you were launching a second Normandy invasion - you can approach it with small steps.  There are numerous services that allow low cost experimentation with SMS, mobile web creation, and even mobile app creation.

So, if you’re new to mobile, don’t let the enormous possibilities overwhelm you!  Here are some basic tips:

  • Start small and experiment
  • Promote your mobile presence on your other channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Talk to your mobile customers and make sure you are providing value in exchange for their loyalty
  • Continue to experiment and grow your mobile customer base

If you’re still hesitant about getting started in mobile, reach out to your local Social Media Club.  They’re a fantastic resource and will be able to help steer you in the right direction.

(The presentations can be found here: http://shakegently.com/2010/06/22/mobile-marketing-presentations-for-social-media-club-kansas-city/)

John Epperson is a co-founder and President of Ruxter. Having worked in various fields across the technology spectrum in the last 20+ years, John has gained a broad understanding of technology. Together with the Ruxter team he has developed a web-based application that allows anyone to quickly and easily harness the power of the mobile internet. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.

Watch where you step, the mobile web is everywhere

Posted 05.24.2010 @ 3:39 pm, by John Epperson

The mobile web is everywhere

The mobile web is everywhere

In numerous conversations over the last few weeks where mobile phones have come up, I’ve been asked about the market share of so-called smart phones.  I quote the statistics of 17% in the U.S. (per Commscore) and just a little less globally, and then I mention that penetration in the US for smart phones will likely more than double to near 50% in the next twelve months.  To which the response is usually, “Really? No way!”  And accessing my not so bottomless depth of wit, I reply “Way!”

The interesting part of this though, is that the growth of internet usage on mobile devices is paralleling the growth of smart phones!  When you think about the sheer numbers involved, that’s pretty amazing.  If you’re a business of some sort, what this means is that your customers are now searching for your website and viewing it on their mobile device.  And to give yourself a good jolt, if you haven’t looked at your website on a mobile phone, take a minute and check it out.  I’m not talking about using an iPhone – which account for only 4% of the total US market and do a reasonable job of rendering your site – assuming it doesn’t use Flash :-).  If you don’t have a mobile optimized website yet, you might be in for quite a shock.

The bottom line is mobile phones aren’t just for phone calls and texting anymore.  So, if your marketing and awareness budget doesn’t include a plan to create a mobile presence, it’s probably time to revisit the budget.  The mobile web is here now.  And it’s growing.

What Steve Jobs said - but also didn't say

Posted 05.03.2010 @ 11:55 am, by John Epperson

Steve Jobs says no flash for you
Steve as the Flash Nazi. Are apps still on the menu?

From my vantage point the apps bubble seems to be bursting – at least a little bit anyway.  It’s not too difficult to discern my opinion of apps, as I just referred to the app boom as a bubble.  To me apps are temporarily bridging the gap between the true capabilities of mobile devices and the future capabilities of the web browsers that exist on those same devices.

It’s a scenario almost identical to what occurred in the late 90’s and early 00’s with the browser on the PC.  Remember ActiveX controls and thick clients?  This is the exact sequence of events that gave rise to Flash.  In case you missed it, Steve Jobs last week publicly announced what he thinks is the future of Flash – there isn’t one.  What was between the lines of his statement is that the future for apps is just as limited.  He pointed out that HTML 5 can, for the most part, equal the capabilities of Flash.  So, what does that mean for apps?

Just like the PC world, there will surely always be a place for apps, but that place is not front and center like it is now.  They will be relegated for uses where the browser isn’t capable of providing the necessary security or data layer access that the browser can now provide thanks to HTML 5.

Before apps are relegated to that level of specialty though, I think there is still somewhere they are very much needed, and that’s a role similar to that of device driver.  The biggest holes in HTML 5’s powerful capabilities are its inability to directly communicate with accelerometers, cameras and GPS on mobile devices using standardized methods.  There are draft standards and various individual efforts attempting to create some organization in this area, but it’s still falling short of what it could and should be.  What if device manufacturers supplied drivers on their devices that provided a standardized API for use by the web browser?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jks-idxVrCs&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

If you’re unfamiliar with the capabilities of HTML 5 take a look at Robert Scoble’s interview with the guys at NextStop.  Seeing what they created gives the impression that the browser is now very near the capabilities of device specific applications.

John Epperson is a co-founder and President of Ruxter. Having worked in various fields across the technology spectrum in the last 20+ years, John has gained a broad understanding of technology. Together with the Ruxter team he has developed a web-based application that allows anyone to quickly and easily harness the power of the mobile internet. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.

 

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