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Facebook mobile lessons that may apply to media

August 2013 ijnet.org story Lessons for news organizations from Facebook’s mobile success

The social networking behemoth's mobile conversion should be “a wake-up call for media companies and news organizations,” mobile expert Cory Bergman wrote in a recent post on Poynter. Media need “to aggressively re-engineer themselves for a new reality” in the “move from desktops to mobile devices.”

News executives have expressed an ongoing doubt that mobile will make money, taking a “wait and see” approach in making significant investments. But Bergman says news organizations need to stop being skeptical, recognize the need for mobile and “move quickly and decisively.” After all, mobile is poised to disrupt journalism just like the Internet did more than a decade ago.

A "wait and see" approach? That worked out well for the newspaper industry 15 years ago.

What in the hell could one be waiting to see now, regarding user consumption of information?

We need more data to answer the following questions:

  • is Facebook a fad?
  • is Twitter a fad?
  • is video sharing a fad?
  • is photo sharing a fad?
  • are social media and social networking in general a fad?
  • are smartphones a fad?
  • are tablets a fad?
  • revisit an oldie: is blogging still a fad?
  • revisit an even older oldie: is the Web still, still a fad?

Wait and see.

The media orgs should create a small "lab" even if it consists of only one person who job it is to inform everyone else about current trends and possible future trends in consumer technology. The lab should create test or proof of concept projects. Many lab ideas will not make it into production, but the goal is to be ready with new, viable ideas when the information landscape changes quickly.

More from the ijnet story:

At Breaking News, the startup owned by NBC News Digital where Bergman works, the team decided to go “mobile first” and then quickly revamped performance goals, product plan, design process, editorial strategy and revenue products to focus primarily on mobile.

Zuckerberg's own behavior showed a willingness to delve deeply into mobile, Bergman explains. Zuckerberg removed his desktop monitor from his desk; whenever someone pitched him an idea, he would ask, "What does that look like on mobile?" He blocked internal access to Facebook.com for a week, forcing employees to use mobile devices, and he urged staff to ditch their iPhones for Android phones to more closely mirror the population of Facebook mobile users.

Small newspapers may not be able to afford an iOS developer (Objective C) and an Android developer (Java), but CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript skills should be within the reach of the IT department. The Responsive Web Design approach may be more applicable to many media orgs.
#media - #mobile - #design - #blog_jr

By JR - 459 words
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