Photo credit: Ed Yourdon
I spent the morning yesterday (blizzard and all) at the Eggs and Issues event, hosted by the Portland Regional Chamber. The speaker was David Shaw, Managing Partner of Black Point Group, and founder and retired CEO of IDEXX Laboratories – to name a few of the things he is known for. The topic was how technology is changing industries and the consumer experience.
The event was great and Mr. Shaw had lots of great information, that I believe will be shared later online. One major theme, for me, that morning was how we consume content, how much that is changing and how quickly that is changing. Mr. Shaw said that to get an idea of how website consumption is changing we can look to Japan, who is ahead of the US on mobile usage and capabilities. 80% of web page views in Japan are on a mobile device. 80%!
We have talked before about making sure your website is ready for mobile browsers. You should make sure your phone number is written in text (not an image), that your major calls to action are not built in flash and that people can read your site on a small screen. Many businesses are finding creating mobile versions of their site useful. So if someone comes to their site from a mobile browser, they will see a mobile optimized site. If you do decide to make a short and sweet mobile site, try to have an option to view the full site as well.
Social Media Sites
We talk about Social Media a lot here, because we think it is important. Mr. Shaw said at the morning event that the current generation growing up with social media sites like Facebook, find as much value in their interactions on social media sites as they do in-person interactions. That is different from anything we have seen before.
Social Media is changing the way we get our news, information, meet new people and interact with friends. The morning of the event we had a large snow storm in Maine. Unsure if the event was still being held, I frantically went to the Chamber’s Facebook page, Twitter page and website trying to find recent information on if the event was going on. Nothing. I waited longer and looked again. Nothing. Finally, I remembered that I could call the hotel to see if anyone was showing up yet to set up. Yes, I am an ‘internet person’ but it was funny to me how I expected the information, versus how I got it. I don’t think I am alone and I think that initial response to check online first is only going to get more normal every day.
The use of smartphones is playing a huge role in how and when we consume digital information. The smartphone is becoming more widely adopted and slowing down business growth for other recent technologies like MP3 players, GPSs, cameras and more. With the recent announcement that Verizon is finally going to be allowed to sell iPhones, the number of people with virtually a small computer in their pocket will only increase at a faster rate.
With the internet in their pocket, more people will receive your email newsletter, look for directions to your business, and connect with you on social networks while they are on the go. That content will need to be easily read, easy to share and easy to react to while people are on the move.
How are you going to make sure your content is ready to be read while people are not at their desks? I will leave you with the same quote Mr. Shaw left us with at the end of the Eggs and Issues event:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.