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Posts Tagged ‘mobile presence’

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.

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.

This just in

Posted 02.17.2010 @ 8:10 am, by Dale Knoop

This just in from the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona courtesy of RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis:

“Manufacturers had better start building more efficient applications and more efficient services. There is no real way to get around this,” Lazaridis said in an interview. “If we don’t start conserving that bandwidth, in the next few years we are going to run into a capacity crunch. You are already experiencing the capacity crunch in the United States.”

This is what we’ve been saying at Ruxter. You cannot rely on mobiles to deliver the PC-based web. You need optimized mobile websites which render quickly and allow users to get what they want on-the-go.

Don't call us, we'll call you

Posted 02.01.2010 @ 1:59 pm, by Dale Knoop

For those of you on the fence about the importance of text messaging here’s some encouraging news:

According to a new survey published last week by Dialogue Communications, just over 80 percent of people said they would also be interested in a customer service text call-back request capability.

Users also indicate a high willingness to opt-in to SMS alerts for everything from appointment reminders to bill payments.

The study, which asked participants if  they would like to receive appointment reminders, found that although only three percent of people currently receive reminders by text – with 83 percent coming in the mail – over 67 percent would be happy to receive text reminders or alerts in the future.  Furthermore, nearly 60 percent would actually opt-in for a text reminder service.

Respondents cited text messaging’s convenience over email and if you recall one of my posts from last year, there is a growing group of younger adults who don’t even use email.

I have been mulling this over for a few months and this report establishes what I think will be the new “normal” in customer service.

It’s this: I don’t call you…..you call me.

Think of the convenience of no longer dealing with an IVR. Who invented these things in the first place? Then, think of no more muzak. Add to this no more waiting on hold. Voila! A ready made opportunity to change the customer service paradigm.

Imagine you run a hardware store. You have a free Ruxter site and you leverage Ruxter’s ability for anyone who visits your site to send you a text-to-email message. It’s springtime and your customers want to know if you have dandelion control products. The visitor to your Ruxter site simply sends you a message with their callback number and their question. All you have to do is call them back and say yes, we do have what you’re looking for.

Frankly, I would love this and it’s a great way to demonstrate you’re thinking like your customer.

Get yourself a free Ruxter site today. Your customers are ready for this kind of change.

Dale Knoop is a mobile multimedia patents holder and an industry-recognized pioneer of mobile data services. In 2005 Dale won an Emmy while serving as the GM for Sprint TV. In August 2009 he launched Ruxter which allows anyone to quickly and easily become part of the rapidly growing mobile internet with a free, fully optimized mobile website they can share with anyone. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.

Mossy mobile mayhem?!?!

Posted 01.25.2010 @ 2:21 pm, by Dale Knoop

Is the mobile internet mossy? Yes, and especially so when meant to describe something vibrant and growing. Is there mayhem? Not really but it fits with my alliteration although it could be said that the dynamism of the mobile internet can be daunting to some. Seriously speaking though, it’s like we’re in 1994 all over again and you just bought yourself a brand new Apple IIE. The mobile internet will go through its period of multiple platforms, app store fronts and the like but the real change will come when the period of experimentation ends and a common platform emerges.

What will that common platform be? Simply stated-the browser.

Why do I believe this? Three reasons.

1. Scale. Write once, publish anywhere should be the mantra of anyone wishing to have a presence on the mobile web. Yes, your all-spinning, extra flashy app is nice but what about the other platforms. I know this-you can create a mobile site, have it render on every phone with a browser (which these days is about all of them globally) and use it to communicate with your audience be they customers, voters, members, friends, etc.

I don’t see apps going away but the browser is here to stay and it offers unrivaled scale. Continental Airlines found their apps did better on the browser versus apps when it came to click-through.

2. Cost. Well, actually, cost and return together. Let’s face it-apps are expensive. My sense is that sometime in the not too distant future C-level execs will want to know what their app development dollars are producing in terms of ROI.

With the browser you’d spend a little and gain a lot due to point number one noted above. Building your mobile presence on the browser gives you scale as you develop your mobile presence into a resounding voice.

3. Features and upgradability. Let’s say you want to add features to your app. You need to get your customer to download the new one right? What if they don’t want to? Might you then be faced with supporting legacy versions of your app? Yikes. Android already has this among its versions and developers have actually had to decide which version of Android to write for.

With the browser, you can add features and if you don’t like any of them you take can take them down or you modify them when you want. There’s nothing to download.

Yes, the seemingly lowly browser is there to save the day. It will produce trees from the moss and to reduce the mayhem to the quiet hum of your mobile presence at work for you for many years to come.

Dale Knoop is a mobile multimedia patents holder and an industry-recognized pioneer of mobile data services. In 2005 Dale won an Emmy while serving as the GM for Sprint TV. In August 2009 he launched Ruxter which allows anyone to quickly and easily become part of the rapidly growing mobile internet with a free, fully optimized mobile website they can share with anyone. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.

Maybe we're not so appy

Posted 01.22.2010 @ 1:08 pm, by Dale Knoop

I suppose it’s bound to happen over and over in a nascent industry like the mobile internet. The “it” I speak of is the often contradictory statements that appear between forecast and reality.

Not too long ago I blogged about Yahoo being the top destination on the mobile internet and at the same time analysts were painting a very cloudy picture of their future on the mobile internet.

Or take Google as another example. Reports abound around their forecasted dominance of the mobile internet and yet the satisfaction curve is flat or declining when it comes to user satisfaction with the mobile internet. (It bears repeating at this juncture that your PC site on a mobile phone likely won’t render and a PC site on a mobile phone does not make you part of the mobile internet.)

Not to be left out, the app hype machine brings us our latest example of this back-and-forth between forecast and reality.

Case in point: Gartner Group predicts mobile app revenue will hit $7B in 2010. Juxtaposed against this is the new asknet survey which reports that 38% of smartphone users are frustrated by the high cost of apps and fully 34% of those that don’t buy said it’s because it’s “not worth the time or effort.”

Now, this might be a slanted report since the survey was done in Boston and San Francisco and most respondents were AT&T customers (43%). We all know how beleaguered the AT&T network is on the coasts. The sample size was also small at only 400.

Even still, taking this all into consideration there are 3 things I draw from the asknet report.

1. As I have said before, why have an app when a mobile website will suffice and what’s more, as it is with Ruxter, you can direct your audience to your site anytime you want with a relevant text message. A mobile website also offers you a lot more scale at a fraction of the cost of developing and maintaining an app.

2. The app stores are crowded and no one wants to sort through 100,000′s of titles. Granted there’s the ability to search but awareness is still a huge challenge for app stores.

3. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, mobile users are on-the-go and are not willing to spend a great deal of time in buying an app. I remember counting the clicks it took to buy a ringer when I was at Sprint and by no means am I singling them out since the other carriers are the same, but AYE CARUMBA! 21 clicks to buy a ringer? Mobile users are on-the-go and want to be told something relevant and find what they want fast so they can be on their way.

Count me as a skeptic that the app world will be as rosy as some would like to make it out to be. Mobile websites will have their day in the sun due to their scale, cost and ease of discovery and with Ruxter you get a one-stop shop to make your mobile presence a reality.

Dale Knoop is a mobile multimedia patents holder and an industry-recognized pioneer of mobile data services. In 2005 Dale won an Emmy while serving as the GM for Sprint TV. In August 2009 he launched Ruxter which allows anyone to quickly and easily become part of the rapidly growing mobile internet with a free, fully optimized mobile website they can share with anyone. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.

Your mobile site: Presence first, then purpose

Posted 01.20.2010 @ 5:26 pm, by Dale Knoop

I’ve commented before about how much I like Steve Smith’s articles at MediaPost’s MobileInsider. Here’s a link to today’s column.

Steve rightfully points out the need to have a purpose with your mobile presence. Indeed, you have to have the presence first but it’s what you do with it that matters. It’s the same thing that happened on the PC-based web. In 1994, the box had to be checked “Yes”, we have a website-a presence on the internet.

Take Pizza Hut for example. Their site in 1994 allowed you to order pizza online if you lived in Santa Cruz, CA. Today it’s a much different story for them. They learned that people would buy pizza online and reacted accordingly.

The same thing applies for the mobile world. Establish a presence, learn and study what your customers want from you via your mobile site and then offer it to them. Please don’t just replicate your PC-based website on a mobile phone or rely on your actual PC site to be your mobile site.

I’ve said it before, and Steve points this out often, the mobile user is looking for a different experience and I have codified this into the Mobile Consumptive Experience or MCE.

For a brand, the MCE dictates that even with a cool app that propels your brand only in terms of mindshare you might be leaving something on the table. Think like your customer on-the-go. What would you want if you patronized your brand, your store, your restaurant? Thinking like a customer on-the-go is what the MCE is all about.

Steve also raises up the Sony mobile experience and one can’t help but wonder if Sony even asked a customer what they want from a Sony mobile site. How about a synopsis of a product which can be found by entering the Sony product number? Their site doesn’t support this and Steve asks why they even have one if the point is to aim visitors to their PC site. Saying your mobile site is weak does not bode well for a world where mobiles dominate the web.

So, I advise brands to use the numerous customer touch points they already have to refine their mobile presence and turn it into a mobile site with purpose which your customers will want to interact with again and again and even share it with others.

For those with no presence, um, I think you should get busy and a free Ruxter site might be a great way to get started.

Dale Knoop is a mobile multimedia patents holder and an industry-recognized pioneer of mobile data services. In 2005 Dale won an Emmy while serving as the GM for Sprint TV. In August 2009 he launched Ruxter which allows anyone to quickly and easily become part of the rapidly growing mobile internet with a free, fully optimized mobile website they can share with anyone. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter.