Groundswell toward Mobile
Personally, I believe that the increasing use of mobile devices is one of the major trends influencing social media right now. Over the past year I have become addicted to social media on my iPhone and it’s very difficult for me to go back to a “desktop” (or laptop in my case) interface for most social media sites. I hate the sprawling mess of the desktop Facebook site and much prefer the simple mobile interface on my iPhone app. During the past year, my company rolled out a new internal social media site from a major IT vendor; unfortunately, it doesn’t have a mobile component and it makes me feel like whoever invented this just doesn’t “get” the way media is consumed in 2013. I don’t have a lot of time in my day, and I sneak in my social media fix by taking advantage of brief snatches of time: waiting for a meeting to begin, standing in line for lunch, and even on bathroom breaks. During the second calendar quarter of 2012, almost 40% of mobile users accessed a social media or blog site on their handheld device; the access rate for smartphone users is almost double this. Consequently, it is important to make sure that your blog’s content is mobile friendly.
To make your blog mobile friendly, use smaller graphic images to avoid long download times. For video blogs post the video on YouTube and link to it there, in order to maximize the likelihood that it will render correctly on different mobile devices (and potentially get your video additional hits from YouTube traffic). Keep your blog videos short (i.e. 5 minutes or less) in order to avoid burning through your reader’s data plan in one viewing. Also, carefully consider how your written content looks visually from a mobile perspective by testing the way it renders on a mobile device(s). Also, restrict the length of your posts because mobile device users generally expect shorter paragraphs and total article lengths. It is better to take longer posts and break them up into separate posts over two or three days in order to make these more readable and user friendly for mobile devices. If done correctly, this will also help keep your audience engaged with your blog.
While continuing to maintain a traditional blog is important, you may want to supplement it with a microblog. Microblogging sites and features are gaining in popularity. As a mobile user yourself, you may find sneaking in bits of time may make easier to post a short message and/or image, than always writing a full blog post. From a blogging perspective this means that in order to get people to invest the time in reading your blog post, you may need to become more adept at making short, enticing, microblogging posts that cause enough curiosity or desire on the part of the reader to click through on the included link to your regular blog site. For example, establishing a presence on Tumblr, where you can showcase your photography and 140 character writing skills in order to present images and short descriptions which capture the viewer’s attention and make him/her want to invest enough time to read the story behind the image (on your blog).
How has mobilization changed the way you view and post blogs? What has your experience been with microblogging?