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Category — Mobile Web

My Nine 2012 Mobile Predictions

It’s no longer about the year of mobile.  The decade of mobile has begun and holds more promise than the interweb did in the early 2000s.

Here are 9 predictions I have for the mobile space in 2012:

  1. As I’ve been saying for years, the mobile web (thanks to HTML5) will overtake any specific App platform. It just makes too much sense to develop once and publish across all platforms – especially since you don’t lose any of the experience you would get in an App environment. Consumers are catching on that many times you actually don’t need an app for that.
  2. The mobile web will surpass traffic of the desktop web for the first time
  3. Just as QR or 2d bar codes have replaced the need to have an SMS marketing campaign for most marketers, NFC enabled phones will start replacing the need for QR codes.  First you’ll see the two of them together (like we used to see an SMS shortcode and QR code) then very quickly everything you see will be NFC enabled
  4. Brands and marketers will realize that the tablet web experience is a different context than their desktop website or mobile website and will start building out HTML5 driven experiences to take advantage of this channel
  5. All screens become mobile. It’s no longer just about the size of your smartphone or tablet, very quickly it will become about which screens (taxi cab, your car, TV etc…) you can connect to
  6. With the connection of everything to everything all the time, security and privacy will become differentiators for those who can both  make it simple to use and understand
  7. Just as the touch experience has revolutionized the way we interact with our electronics,  gesture based interfaces will start to appear and will soon replace touch.  Could this mean the return of the clapper? :)
  8. I first realized the potential of a bendable & scrollable mobile screen when I blogged about it from the Mobile World Congress in 2008.   2012 will be the year when we will first be introduced to mobile devices that either have bendable / flexible screens and / or are scrollable
  9. Social media becomes more mobile and more local

Fee free to add your own predictions or rebuff mine with your comments below. Happy New Year!



December 30, 2011   12 Comments

Wap vs. App – Updated for 2010

One year later, Marketing Magazine invited me back to keynote their “mobile 2.0″ event last week to present an updated point of view on a marketer’s choice of Wap (or the mobile web) vs. App.

A lot has changed in a year in the mobile space and how does this impact marketers – and specifically Canadian ones? Check out the slideshare deck below for this year’s take on this ongoing debate. Also apologies for the font – slideshare replaced mine with something less readable :)

October 18, 2010   3 Comments

BSTREET launches new digital platform for the Toronto Entertainment District BIA

We’re really excited about our latest digital platform we just launched for the Toronto Entertainment District BIA.

We won this business a few months ago through a competitive pitch process and this week the final two pieces went live. This is a true 360 digital campaign that syndicates content and experience across multiple channels while being supported by a robust digital media plan.

In summary we have now launched:

  • New Drupal CMS templates & overall better user experience for the primary website at http://www.torontoed.com. We’ve incorporated Google maps (with street view), an enhanced events section and created a full microsite for the Toronto ED BIA Master Plan which was previously only available as an 82 page PDF file.
  • A new mobile website that creates a mobile specific experience (for consumers on the go) while leveraging functionality and content from the primary website. The site works great on all mobile devices with a mobile browser and feels like an App – although it is not. To access the mobile site, go to http://www.torontoed.com on your mobile device
  • A new facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/TorontoED) that will feature community initiatives and updates. This is where the BIA will engage people for input, feedback and comment on things such as the upcoming John Street Initiative.  We’ve also leveraged the events database from the website to stream events automatically into a dedicated tab
  • A digital media campaign that will see advertorials, content, and placements across Toronto.com, BlogTo.com, the Weather Network and others online, on mobile and on facebook

June 15, 2010   1 Comment

Google vs. the App store

wap vs app

Recently I was having a healthy debate with my friend Steve Sorge over at Mobile Fringe around “Wap vs App” – or should marketers focus their efforts on building out a mobile website vs. building out a mobile application.

Since my presentation at marketing magazine’s mobile 2.0 conference, my point of view had been shifting towards Wap – or the mobile web. My reasoning being that with the mobile safari browser webkit being commonly adapted by nearly all smartphones we can now build once and deploy many times with few changes to fit each platform while outputting a very rich experience.

This is not only cost effective but ensures reach – which is key if your audience isn’t on an iphone yet.

Steve pointed out that most people with iphones would rather search or browse on the App store than on Google – a huge shift in behaviour. With over 85,000 applications and 2 billion downloads, the App store is evolving to become your life tool for anything you need. After all, isn’t there an App for everything?

I was being trumped with my own traditional point of view – user experience trumps technology every time.

Yesterday it was announced in the media that the iphone is coming to Bell and Telus next month. Having recently completed upgrades to their networks to enable GSM (which is what the iphone works on), they can now offer the iphone and compete head on with Rogers. With iphone users already driving +60% of all mobile web traffic in Canada, what will happen when you suddenly make the most popular device available to everybody else?

2010 will be the year that the iphone changes the mobile landscape in Canada.

Although Canadians have other great options in the Palm Pre and the pending new Storm from Blackberry, making the iphone available to nearly all Canadians is a game changer – for both consumers and marketers.

So… Wap or App?

I’m back to the middle. You should probably do both, but start with a mobile website – unless your target audience is already on the iphone. By this time next year, that could be everybody.

October 8, 2009   2 Comments

Mobile Wap vs. App – what is a marketer to do?

Here’s  a copy of the presentation I gave at Marketing Magazine’s Mobile 2.0 conference in Toronto. Speaker notes are included – although what actually came out of my mouth was likely a bit different :)

The fonts are also a bit off here as I used fonts local to my machine for the presentation. Enjoy & comments welcome!

June 18, 2009   20 Comments

Create your own mobile website for free and publish it in 5 minutes

Here’s a really interesting concept and tool for those looking to build a mobile website that will be compatible across all devices – for free. Including hosting.

mobiSiteGalore has introduced a desktop and mobile based publishing platform that allows anybody to build their own mobile website within minutes using a templated system that walks you through 6 steps that ends with your own mobile site published on their sub-domain.

The entire process is mobile web driven – so you don’t need to download any widgets, applications, or peform complex downloading sequences.  The templates are pretty restrictive (unless you’re a code geek), but it needs to be to keep it simple.

Having said that, you can add feedback pages, upload images, format content, restore to previous versions, add hit counters, send email and SMS invitations, optimize for SEO and include auto-redirect to your desktop website if someone attempts to access your mobile site on a laptop or desktop.

You can even do all that from your mobile device – a first in the industry.

Check out their online demo of building a site through a non-smartphone mobile device here.  

What surprised me was that the “free” user generated websites on their sub-domain did not include mobile banner ads or other forms of mobile advertising…. which begs the question – why do this if they aren’t generating revenue?

If you don’t like the idea of promoting a sub-domain, you can always setup a redirect from your dotmobi or mobile enabled domain to their sub-domain.

Now what’s your excuse for not having a mobile website for your company, service, or brand?

September 5, 2008   15 Comments

Mobile social network itsmy.com lets users decide what advertising to receive

itsmy.com – a popular mobile-only social network with over 1 million registered users announced today that they will be handing over control of ads to their users.

Users can now self-select from 15 categories what types of ads they’d like to receive. For example, there are fashion, sports, and entertainment categories. An initial test of 20,000 users saw 82% make their own ad selection. CTR response rates in the test group was 3%.

This whole strategy is interesting and worth following over the coming months as it’s essentially taking the exact opposite approach of behavioural targeting which has been working great in other online channels.

If they can combine user behavioural targeting with self-selection, my bet is that response rates would improve even more. I would even test a subscription model for self-selecting “no-ads”.

Having said that, many mobile devices do not support cookies or other user tracking mechanisms, so trying out a self-selection model makes sense… for now.

Here’s a re-post of a video demo of their platform from this year’s world mobile congress:



June 11, 2008   1 Comment

Social Media is ruling the mobile web

opera mobile web browserWe knew this was coming… but results from a new report from Opera, a Norway-based mobile browsing company even surprised me!

According to the report, 40% of global mobile web traffic starts with popular social-networking sites such as MySpace, hi-5 and facebook

That number grows to 60% when you look at U.S. numbers – which is not surprising as Americans tend to spend more time on the mobile web relative to SMS than other markets. No Canadian specific data was published in the report.

It will be interesting to see how mobile-first social networking site and utilities will impact this number in the next 12 months.

Other mobile social media sites to watch are:

Interesting enough, Nokia’s own mobile social media site (mosh) did not make the top 10 most visited on any of the countries reported in detail within the report. I guess owning ~40% of the global handset market does not guarantee software or mindshare dominance.

You can read the full report here.

May 28, 2008   1 Comment

Canadians are ready for mobile advertising

mobile advertising on facebokThe Globe and Mail recently reported that mobile advertising was years away from a breakthrough. You can read their full article here.

Although I agree we are still in the early stages of mobile advertising, I would suggest that “years” is more likely about two years. Just as we’re seeing exponential growth in leveraging the mobile channel for marketing activities, we are now seeing similar growth in mobile inventory for brands looking to place ads on carrier networks (both on and off-deck).

In Canada, there was virtually no mobile ad inventory to buy a year ago. Today, there’s well over 5 million impressions in mobile inventory to be bought on and off-portal. Although relatively small in comparison to email or the desktop web, this is growing rapidly.

Industry insiders have indicated that the metrics are looking pretty good too.

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May 26, 2008   1 Comment

Forecast is good for the Blackberry Weather Network widget

I’ve recently installed the Weather Network blackberry widget on my Blackberry 8800. One of the advantages of creating a device specific widget is that you can enrich the user experience beyond a typical mobile website.

The Weather Network is no exception – taking full advantage of the blackberry Java platform to delivery an intuitive and easy to manage widget.

Once you’ve downloaded the widget, you can select your city of choice for weather updates. Coming soon – the ability to add up to 5 more cities – although I believe there should be an unlimited city option like there is on the iphone weather widget by Yahoo.

The neat thing is that once your choice city has been selected, you can get the current temperature by just scrolling over the icon on your blackberry desktop. Clicking on the icon will give you a detailed forecast for that day. Using the options button, you can switch to short and long term forecasts too.

Want to try it out? Point your blackberry mobile web browser to: http://weyebb.pelmorex.com

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May 22, 2008   4 Comments