Thursday, April 30, 2009

Future's Going Mobile

It took me quite some time to make the plunge, but I finally bought an iPhone.

There was the price tag that kept me from doing so, there was the current phone service I already had, there were my worries about becoming addicted to such a device and then losing it, breaking it, or having it stolen.

On the other side of the ledger was the coolness factor, the portable computer factor, and the increasingly interconnectedness of business and general life. Finally, after my own phone broke and an online purchase turned out to be less than stellar goods (my suspicion leans toward counterfeit), my wife's phone broke in exactly the same fashion. A teacher in the process of getting an Educational Technology master's degree, she too had begun seeing the utility of an iPhone (or at least hyping the utility because she'd been bitten by the coolness bug too.)

Other friends had been sporting their Blackberries for some time, Google Android operating system based phones were making the news, but there is no tech love quite like those of dedicated Apple fans.

And so we took the plunge, justifying it to ourselves that we were just going to end up with smartphones of some kind down the road anyway, why waste money on phones that didn't have this capability and ones we'd be replacing soon anyway.

News stories about the iPhone lately swirl around rumors of a third generation of hardware coming out around the same time as the third generation of software (actually firmware) and the smashing success of the App Store. Tiny programs that are designed specifically for your mobile phone, Apps automate any number of procedures, allow you to play games or find information quickly at the touch of a button, allow you to chat in real time with others and provide direct connection to communication portals like Facebook and Twitter.

This last place is where smarthphones begin to make sense for a business branching out into social media. The development of both quick apps that allow you to interact with these services is one thing. Your social networking sites should be as responsive as any customer service offering and most likely even more so. Apps like Tweetie or Twitterfon let you update your Twitter feed quickly and easily. The recent intersection of government response and the swine flu can be best learned about through @CDCemergency, the Center for Disease Control's ongoing response to the pandemic.

While your businesses concerns and reactions might not fall into the same category of national urgency, the responsiveness of their online programs have been a calming source of information amidst a frenzied chorus of media hyperventilation. Likewise, @fdarecalls, where updates on salmonella infected peanuts and pistachios kept pace with the story's unpleasant spread and demonstrated that where Twitter excels is in its rapidity of response. Mobile media will fuel that growth and in turn, social media will fuel mobile media.

This, by definition will lead to the development of mobile versions of websites. If you're considering a website redesign now would be the time to consider including a mobile subdomain. A pared down version of your main site, a mobile page has the benefit of loading quicker on the slower wireless and cellular networks while at the same time delivering essential functionality. Consider Google Classic and Google Mobile. A small amount of coding and a relatively simple redesign of your site, hosted alongside your regular page, can lead candidates to your job opportunities the moment the notion strikes them. Meanwhile, a slow loading page bogs down mobile browsing and can put off tech savvy candidates.

As greater and greater numbers of people move various business elements of their recruitment, marketing and advertising strategies online, forward-thinking organizations are already considering the next big platform development. It doesn't take a significant investment to get yourself ready, all it takes is foresight.

1 comment:

J said...

Not everyone is as boosterish as myself, it seems.