With smartphone uptake growing at the pace of Greek debt, here is the astounding news. For many people, smartphones are taking over as their preferred way to access the web.
Some 87% of smartphone owners access the internet or email on their hand-held. When asked what device they normally use to access the internet, 25% of smartphone owners say that they mostly go online using their phone, rather than with a computer. Roughly one third of these “cell mostly” internet users lack a high-speed home broadband connection. More
What you really need to do. Now.
If you're in business and you don't have a smart phone, get one. Until you have in your hand you may not realise what is occuring:
- Google desktop made search relevant by monitoring your behaviour.
- Mobiles go a stage further and overlay this knowledge with location.
- Your phone knows exactly where you are.
- It even knows the weather; exactly where you are.
- If it's raining, your phone can show you the nearest place to buy an umbrella. Or suggest a tavern where you can take refuge.
Q. What is the consequence for your online strategy?
A. Profound for most businesses.
We've long argued that 'website as destination' has been usurped by 'website as a hub'.
In other words, unless your website is connected to every aspect of the cloud it is a tiny desert island that may be pretty and quaint but is rarely, if ever, visited.
In this context, the 'cloud' is primarily websites and social networks, but it is beginning to include cloud applications such as salesforce, Microsoft's Office 365 and Google apps.
What is 'website as hub'?
People dip in and out of websites. Effective websites syndicate content so that it appears in multiple ways. Somebody may click a link to your site from Facebook for example. Or open a link to your site from a friend's Twitter 'tweet'. So traffic that lands on your content may come from many sources.
Your site will become interactive by being part of live conversations.
Why is handheld different from desktop?
Obviously the screen is smaller, and there's a touch screen. This means that traditional web sites are generally cumbersome to use compared to 'apps' or sites designed for mobiles.
It's common for content to be 'aggregated'. This means that content from multiple web sites is available in a single place. This allows the user to view a headline and synopsis before deciding whether to 'drill down' into the content.
A leading example of this is Pulse. Users can add content from any source (including your website) and will be alerted when fresh content appears. Your website is no longer a 'destination' for the user, but you have increased the reach of your message dramatically. If your content is liked, it can literally be 'liked' on Facebook, tweeted on twitter or emailed/sms'd to a friend.
Like it or not, this is becoming the way of the world.