The above chart is … remarkable. Take a second to parse it (I’ll wait) … Here’s the takeaway: people have adopted mobile phone technology faster than almost any other household technology. The Economist captions:
What makes this particularly interesting is the fact that information and communication technologies (of which smartphones represent an extraordinarily elegant and powerful marriage) are a general purpose technology. They have, in other words, the potential to reshape the economy and boost productivity across all sectors and industries, like electricity or the automobile. Such transformations are about far more than simple technical innovation, however. They often require wholesale remaking of infrastructure environments, of business models, and of cultural norms. …
The potential of the smartphone age is deceptive. We look around and see more people talking on phones in more places and playing Draw Something when they’re bored. This is just the beginning. In time, business models, infrastructure, legal environments, and social norms will evolve, and the world will become a very different and dramatically more productive place.
Over at Quora.com, a user asks the question on everyone’s mind: “What was it about Instagram that made it worth a $1B acquisition by Facebook?”
Founding blogger Robert Scoble serves up a great answer. In a nutshell? It’s all about mobile.
Today Facebook has NO revenues from mobile. None. That’s amazing, since so many people, hundreds of millions of us, use Facebook on mobile clients. …
Let’s say that Facebook can turn on monetization on mobile clients. That could mean $500 million in revenue on first quarter, $700 on second, $900–$1 billion on third. Looking at it this way paying a billion for Instagram makes a LOT of sense.
Here’s the deal. The future of the web is tied to mobile phones. In fact, Morgan Stanley projects that mobile browsing will outpace desktop-based access within 3–5 years.
The fact that Facebook just wrote a check for $1 billion is all the evidence you need that there is a tectonic shift happening—one that will impact everyone, not just the giants.
Most small businesses could use more dynamism in their promotional efforts. Sure, it can be a time-consuming and intimidating process to try new marketing channels like Foursquare, Yelp and Groupon, but the alternative—a stale, unchanging marketing program—is not a viable strategy for any business that’s looking to grow in a time of sagging consumer demand.
So, with this mind, here’s a list of three new ways to market your business.
In practical terms, responsive web design means creating a website that doesn’t look terrible on your smartphone’s web browser.
(Note: This definition won’t satisfy web developers, but it’ll work for our purposes.)
If you have a smartphone, you’ve probably noticed that most websites look like, well, crap when viewed on a small screen. And navigating them is hard even for the most dexterous and eagle-eyed among us. That’s because 9 out of 10 web pages were designed with only the personal computer in mind, with its larger screen dimensions, expansive keyboard and handy mouse.
Contrast your mobile web browsing experience with your experience in an app designed specifically for a phone. A much different deal. Apps are (in comparison) intuitive, cleanly designed and easy to navigate.
In an ideal world, your website would morph into an app (in terms of layout and functionality) when viewed on a smartphone. As it happens, responsive design makes this possible. Today. The Boston Globe recently redesigned its site to fit a variety of platforms. Here, courtesy of Wired, you can see the Globe on smartphone, tablet and PC screens:
Responsive web design is about making sure a website meets a baseline levels of usability and aesthetics in every single medium: PCs, smartphones, tablets, videogame consoles, TVs, etc. Flexible imagery and text that ebbs and flows based on screen size and orientation are two of the core elements.
The question you may be asking is, Why does this matter? Who, beyond web development dorks, should care about responsive web design?
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