News organizations need mobile-first strategy, by Steve Buttry Page 3
I heard someone recently cite figures on the low (in his view) percentage of people whoactually ow
n iPhones (I won‘t cite the figure he gave because it‘s out of date and the
relevant numbers are those about growth of iPhone sales and apps). Actually, the
penetration percentage is a great reason to get moving swiftly into iPhone opportunities.If we wait until nearly everyone has some sort of smart phone, someone else will befilling the roles that we can and should fill.
―Mobile first‖ ne
eds to change how we think and act throughout our organizations.Reporters, editors and visual journalists need to think first about how to package anddeliver news for mobile devices. Information technology staffs need to work first ondevelopment of mobile applications for popular devices. Sales staffs need to make it atop priority to guide business customers in using our mobile apps and platforms to reachcustomers with advertising and direct-sales opportunities. Designers need to presentcontent that is clear and easy to read on the small screen (even if this means spendingless staff resources on design of print or web products). Executives need to redirectresources and set priorities so that we pursue mobile opportunities as aggressively aswe pursue the most important news stories in our communities.We try to make one size fit all in many aspects of our business, but that will not work ina mobile-first world. We need to become the mobile news, information and commerceconnection for people with the latest iPhone, BlackBerry or Droid (and whatever comesnext), but also for people with simpler phones that handle only phone calls and textmessages and for non-phone devices such as iPods.We need to figure the best ways to deliver news and conduct commerce effectively onmobile devices: text messages, email, mobile applications, tweets, easy-to-use mobileweb sites, podcasts, location-based news and commercial information.Whatever your role in your media organization, consider how you would change yourwork, your priorities and your thinking to support a mobile-first strategy. This will eitherbe our future or our next squandered opportunity.
This blog post drew 39 comments. I have included the ones I see as most pertinent tothe continuing discussion, identifying the commenter where possible.
(who’s working with Gazette Communications now as
a consultant for e-Me Ventures):