Archive for Mobile

Gilbane Advisor 1-7-16 — 16 Mobile Theses

Happy New Year!
We’ve been busy with December’s Gilbane Conference and the holidays, so to get caught up and keep this issue a reasonable size we have collected conference content in a separate blog post, and included a larger Short Takes section below.

16 Mobile Theses

Benedict Evans summarizes his view of fundamental issues at the intersection of mobile and computing. There are links to more detailed analysis which should be read to fully understand his position.

We’re now coming up to 9 years since the launch of the iPhone kicked off the smartphone revolution, and some of the first phases are over – Apple and Google both won the platform war, mostly, Facebook made the transition, mostly, and it’s now perfectly clear that mobile is the future of technology and of the internet. But within that, there’s a huge range of different themes and issues, many of which are still pretty unsettled. Read More

and see…

Contextual Runtimes

Fred Wilson on Evans’ 16 mobile theses…

… my favorite part is titled “Post Netscape, post PageRank, looking for the next run-time.” In this part Ben describes what used to be the dominant environment and the search for what is next. At the end he states: “Really, we’re looking for a new run-time – a new way, after the web and native apps, to build services. That might be Siri or Now or messaging or maps or notifications or something else again.” … I agree with Ben but I think there won’t be one runtime in the mobile era. I think what is emerging is multiple runtimes depending on the context – “contextual runtimes.”

Fred is right, and further, some runtimes will be open and some closed. This tension between “open” and “closed” has been a constant of computing systems and standards for decades and has fed creative development of both. Context determines the leverage of “open” or “closed” and is fluid. Read More

and see…

Mobile Counter-theses

Tim Bray on Evans’ 16 theses…

I think the the­ses are about half wrong. … I’ll run through his the­ses one-by-one. But first, I think our dif­fer­ences cen­ter on two things; one that’s pre­dictable giv­en who I am, name­ly the cloud. The sec­ond is per­haps sur­pris­ing: Whether key­boards mat­ter.

After trying to come up with my own tally of who was more correct, I would go further than Tim and say that their backgrounds account for a lot of the apparent difference. At the risk of over-simplifying, Benedict is an analyst from the telecom market which now includes client computing products, and Tim is a developer with deep involvement in web, mobile and enterprise systems. In any case, you’ll want to read what both have to say. Read More

Rating the Crowd-Sourced Marketing Software Review Sites

What began as a whimsical “landscape of landscapes” led me to realize crowd-sourced review sites are the most common type of vendor directory, accounting for 15 of the 23 sources listed in my original graphic. This begged for a deeper look at the review sites to understand how they differ which, if any, could replace the work of professional reviewers (like me)…

Marketing technology consultant and analyst David Rabb helpfully checks out his crowd-sorting competition and happily finds a role for experts like himself and crowd-sourced reviews. Read More

Is Facebook Driving Less Traffic to Publishers’ Sites?

Recent data from content measurement firm SimpleReach… said Facebook referral traffic to a group of 30 publishers’ sites dropped 32% between January and October… The 30 sites analyzed were those in SimpleReach’s network deemed most reliant on Facebook for their traffic… But online analytics firm Chartbeat… aggregated information from 100 “major news and media” sites … found Facebook referral traffic remained relatively consistent between January and October.

A third firm saw a slight increase in Facebook referral traffic in the same time frame.It seems it depends who you ask. We’ll be learning more in 2016. Read More

“Why not be all the way in?” How publishers are using Facebook Instant Articles

The quote above is from the enthusiastic Washington Post, who doesn’t seem to need any help with the speed of its site these days. Read More

You can also see what some other publishers, including the New York Times and Harvard Business Review think about Instant Articles in the video of the recent Gilbane conference session on New Frontiers in Digital Content Distribution.

Why Facebook Still Worries About Android

Yes, even Facebook has platform fear. The Information’s Amir Efrati reports…

This summer, conversations between Google and Facebook sparked concern at the social media company. The issue: whether Google would eventually ask Facebook to pay for various app requests made by Facebook users on Android smartphones. … These app requests included Google Maps information viewed within the Facebook app and app-related push notifications to be delivered to the phone. Google’s servers handle such app requests before they are passed on to the network provider and end up on an Android phone. … Google doesn’t charge mobile app developers for such standard services. But on Android, Facebook is the top user of such API calls, … And handling those calls costs Google money. Read More

What is Facebook doing about it? Lots… 

Facebook’s Android Contingency Planning

Facebook has been secretly preparing contingency measures to allow its apps to operate on Android phones without going through Google’s app store, … Facebook’s goal is to be ready in case it has an intractable conflict with Google … over future rules governing how apps can function on Android. Read More

Short takes

Summary with handy links… Gartner, IDC and Forrester on the Future of Digital Transformation via What’s The Big Data?

Insight on AMP in interview with Richard Gingras… Inside Google’s plan to speed up the mobile Web via Poynter

2016 predictions for mobile marketing, by a newly discovered business-savvy developer via Mobile Dev Memo

The management tool everyone has been waiting for?… Introducing Guesstimate, a Spreadsheet for Things That Aren’t Certain via Medium

You need to read to understand why a post with such a title actually delivers. How to get rich in tech, guaranteed. via Startups and Shit 

Biting, funny, and true… How to Swallow $200 Million Accidentally via Medium

Slippery slope… 350 Words — Ad — 150 Words via Medium

Why is social media failing? Because The Consumer isn’t a Moron, at least in general. via Medium

Bet you didn’t know that Email Is the Best Way to Reach Millennials via HBR

Handy for getting started with some IoT market research… Internet of Things (IoT) Market Ecosystem Map via Medium

Hiring help… Identifying the essential skills for data scientists. Beyond the Venn diagram via oreilly.com

Digital Asset Management Round-Up, December 2015… SAP hybris / CELUM, Canto / inMotionNow, and some predictions for 2016 via Digital Clarity Group

Updating Our Search Quality Rating Guidelines includes a link to a major revision of Google’s rater guidelines. via Google Webmaster Central Blog

E-Commerce Round-Up: November 2015… Multichannel challenges at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Target, service provider ambitions at Zalando and Farfetch, and Mercadolibre growth. via Digital Clarity Group

CMS, etc. corner

WCM market share estimates… Web Content and Experience Management – Industry Maps via Real Story Group

What’s New for You This December in Open Source CMS… Liferay, Hippo, Typo3, Telerik, Enonic, dotCMS, eZ Systems, Jahia, Magnolia, Umbraco, Xoops… via CMSWire

What’s New This January in Open Source CMS… Composite C1, Enonic, Joomla, Hippo. via CMSWire

WordPress or No? WCMS – the WordPress problem as we have experienced it via diginomica

About

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year. You can also subscribe via our feed.

The Gilbane Conference on Content, Technology, and Customer Experience helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and computing technologies to produce superior customer experiences for all stakeholders.

The future of tablets

[Note: This was posted elsewhere on May 6, 2014, so is obviously a bit dated. I’m re-posting here because I want to test the new Medium API, and to encourage me to write more about tablets given Microsoft’s new Surface Book.]

The future of tablets isn’t what analysts thought a year ago, or even last fall

The market for PCs continues to decline (but at a slowing rate: IDCGartner), yet tablet growth is also slowing forcing many analysts to scale back their forecasts. Smartphone growth is slowing as well.

There is a lot of discussion, mainly from an investor point of view about why: saturation, price points, supplier market share, etc., that are relevant for both business and consumer markets. Recently the focus has been on iPads because of Apple’s earnings call but the trend is not limited to Apple.

Why aren’t tablets taking more share away from PCs?

Given the phenomenal growth of tablets the last few years, their computing power, and the large overlap of general use cases shared with PCs (email, browsing) it did seem that tablets were on track replace PCs in large numbers. But the use case overlap was not large enough to support the forecasts. Tablets are tweeners, fighting for space between the superior communications of smartphones and greater productivity of PCs. Being in the middle is not normally a desirable spot for a product, but tablets excel at information and entertainment consumption and this middle is a pretty big and happy place to be.

What do we use PCs for? For years we have been using PCs for some combination of productivity, information / entertainment consumption, and communication. PCs were largely designed and most useful for productivity, whether business or personal, and that’s why we bought them. As PCs evolved and became capable and appealing for information/entertainment consumption and communication we bought more of them. And at some point whatever motivated us to buy a PC, our actual use of them flipped – we now spend a higher percentage of time using our PCs for information / entertainment consumption and communication than we do for productivity. And of course this is the domain of tablets and why they have taken as much of the PC market as they have.

But tablets are simply not as good as PCs for a large number of productivity applications. Until they are this will act as a governor on tablet growth and allow for a shrinking but still large market for PCs.

In The iPad Is a Tease Jean-Louis Gassée points out that:

So far, Apple’s bet has been to keep the iPad simple, rigidly so perhaps, rather than creating a neither-nor product: No longer charmingly simple, but not powerful enough for real productivity tasks. But if the iPad wants to cannibalize more of the PC market, it will have to remove a few walls.

I would say Gassée’s post is from the point of view of a user who would like to replace his PC with an iPad but can’t, that this is a larger cohort than enterprise users or even power users, and that this is the best way to think about the productivity penalty portion of slowing iPad sales.

What would make a significant dent in the iPad’s productivity penalty? Microsoft Office support alone is necessary but not sufficient. A better solution for text entry than accessory keyboards, smooth and rapid app switching, and easy file access would each make a big difference. See below for links to other thoughts.

There is also a maddening and ironic side effect of using iPads for industry applications where they are productivity enhancers. For example, I used to be able to choose between an iPad (mostly research and entertainment) and a laptop (mostly work) for most trips, but a couple of my current projects include working with apps that only run on the iPad. I can’t be productive without having both an iPad and a laptop. Even in the office I often need both within reach. Unfortunately this situation is likely to get worse as more iOS, (and Android!) productivity apps appear.

Watch out for smartphones

Benedict Evans suggested another avenue for inquiry in a tweet:

.@asymco @gassee posit: slow iPad sales are worse news for the PC market: implies phones can take the greater share of PC use cases

— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) April 21, 2014

I don’t know Benedict, but I picture him smiling devilishly as he composed that tweet. As well he should have.

The more types of computing devices there are the more complicated figuring out use case fit is going to be.

The future of tablets

The future of tablets seems promising in the near term since neither PCs nor smartphones can match their information and entertainment consumption experience and tablets will get better at aiding productivity. The better they get the more market share they’ll take. And of course we haven’t seen all the new industry apps where the tablet form factor and interface is a net productivity advantage.

On the other hand, the right kind of user interface – perhaps a high resolution holographic interface not dependent on form factors for projection – would free us from our quaint categories of PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, glasses, and be truly disruptive. Once computing power and user interfaces become independent of physical size all bets are off.

Further reading on iPad growth:

The iPad’s Curse — Ben Bajarin

iPads and Tablet Growth – Benedict Evans

Don’t Give up on the iPad – Ben Thompson

How Apple Could Continue to Own the Enterprise Tablet Market — Tim Bajarin

The Astonishing, Disappointing iPad – MG Siegler

Know about deep linking?

We are close to completing the program for this year’s Gilbane Conference and have some topics we still need another speaker, or possibly panelist, for:

  • Mobile and web deep linking / app indexing. What do these do for customer experience? What do they mean for content apps? What do you need to do about deep linking and app indexing, why, and when?
  • Marketing technology stacks: strategies and experiences.
  • Digital multichannel strategies: mobile, web, responsive, social, IoT, pages vs cards, etc.

If you have a well-informed opinion to share on any of these email me at speaking@gilbane.com.

Keep in mind our audience is a combination of marketers, technologists, and content strategists and managers.

Of the almost 300 speaker proposals we will be able to include less than 100 so we welcome additional proposals on the topics above. Note that we will be notifying proposed speakers slowly over the next 2-3 weeks.

Speaker Spotlight: It’s more than just making a website responsive

As we did last year we’ve posed some of our attendees’ most frequently asked questions to speakers who will be at this year’s Gilbane Conference. Today we’re spotlighting Arjé Cahn, Co-founder and CTO of Hippo. You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event.

Arje Cahn headshotArjé Cahn

Co-founder & CTO, Hippo

Follow Arjé @arjecahn

 

Given that there are more smartphones than PCs on the planet and both will be important for the foreseeable future, how should organization’s content delivery priorities and technologies change? How is yours changing?

Firstly, of course: mobile is the priority. Period. This means organizations need to really rethink the context in which visitors are coming to their site. Relevance based on geolocation is relatively simple to implement: will they be on the road? at home? at a competitor’s store? These factors should tailor the contextual experience. It’s about more than just making a website responsive. That’s step one, but it’s not what the visitor expects when they use their mobile device to come to you. They expect to be welcomed with an experience that resonates with where they are and what they’re doing. Organizations should carry out top task analysis to identify visitors’ main objectives when visiting their mobile site, and build an experience around it. Ultimately, mobile should seamlessly connect the “online” and “offline” customer experience. With new sensor technologies like the iBeacon and Viewsy, we can use insights from both online and offline to enrich continuous and seamless customer experiences.

Marketing is the most talked about discipline that needs to take on more responsibility for technology to be effective. What can other departments learn from the discussion around marketing technology and marketing technologists.

Marketing is changing. The rise of content marketing really demonstrates marketing’s role as a facilitator of an overarching business strategy. If you look at the businesses with the most successful content marketing strategies, you’ll see that content creation is a collaborative process that is internally sourced, and leverages the subject matter expertise within other departments. As technology becomes a greater part of all business processes, other departments should take note: content has an increasingly prominent role in driving business. Personalized and relevant digital experiences need strong content; an engaging eCommerce site needs immersive and engaging content; good customer service requires relevant content. Therein lies marketing’s responsibility: as a catalyst and facilitator for telling an authentic story that the entire organization buys into and resonates with visitors..

Catch up with Arjé at the Gilbane Conference:

Track C: Content, Marketing, and the Customer Experience

C7. Building Next Generation Web Content Management & Delivery Experiences – Vendor Panel Discussion
Wednesday, December 3: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Register now to hear more from Arjé and all of our speakers.

See our complete conference program for more details.

HTML5 is now a W3C Recommendation

While HTML5 has been in use for a few years, the fact that it wasn’t a full W3C Recommendation (in layman’s terms, an official release of the next version of HTML) provided leeway for browser developer interpretation and understandably hindered more widespread adoption. All standards need to continuously evolve to remain relevant and useful so this is not the end HTML development, but now there is a stable specification that will help normalize browser support and encourage reluctant app developers to invest more fully in HTML5.

From the W3C press release:

“Today we think nothing of watching video and audio natively in the browser, and nothing of running a browser on a phone,” said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. “We expect to be able to share photos, shop, read the news, and look up information anywhere, on any device. Though they remain invisible to most users, HTML5 and the Open Web Platform are driving these growing user expectations.”

HTML5 brings to the Web video and audio tracks without needing plugins; programmatic access to a resolution-dependent bitmap canvas, which is useful for rendering graphs, game graphics, or other visual images on the fly; native support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and math (MathML); annotations important for East Asian typography (Ruby); features to enable accessibility of rich applications; and much more.

For more details read the full release.

Web Applications on Mobile: current state and roadmap

The W3C has published the July 2014 edition of Standards for Web Applications on Mobile, an overview of the various technologies developed in W3C that increase the capabilities of Web applications, and how they apply more specifically to the mobile context.

A deliverable of the HTML5Apps project, this edition of the document includes changes and additions since April 2014, notably a new section covers the emerging field of integrated payments on the Web, following recent work started by W3C in this space. Learn more about the Web and Mobile Interest Group (WebMob).

If you think you have figured out your strategy for mixing and matching support for web and mobile channels, keep in mind that this is not a a one-time project but an ongoing affair. There is always discussion about this at our conference, but this W3C activity is a good way to keep up with details minus the bias and hype. Of course the W3C promotes their standards, but that is not a bad thing.

Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider – Multi-modal interface essential to mobile customer engagement

In another installment of Speaker Spotlight, we posed a couple of our frequently asked questions to speaker Frank Schneider, VP of Customer Experience Solutions at Creative Virtual USA. We’ve included his answers here. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

Frank Schneider | Gilbane Conference

Speaker Spotlight: Frank Schneider

VP Customer Experience Solutions

Creative Virtual USA

 

Is there a “Marketing Technologist” role in your organization or in organizations you know of? Should there be? What should their responsibilities be?

As technology becomes the backbone of every organization, it forces the cross pollination of roles, especially now between marketing and IT. With a shift towards data-based marketing and new relationships forming between marketing, sales and customer service, the advent of the “Marketing Technologist” is real. This shift is fueling the need for marketing automation, sales enablement, content management, knowledge management and even translation. Marketing Technologists have emerged as the perfect conduit between platform adoption and management, and the traditionally non-technical roles of sales, marketing and customer service.

With customer service becoming the new marketing and marketing’s ability to directly influence the sales pipeline, Chief Marketing Technologists are sprouting up as the perfect solution to balance a variety of needs including marketing and CRM software, content marketing, social and mobile, data and analytics, web and app development, ad networks and customer engagement programs. From social media monitoring to SEO analysis to translation management and ecommerce, Marketing Technologists are fast becoming the “must have” in every organization that is competing in a global economy.

Do you think “web content management” should be the hub of digital experience management implementations? If so, should it have a new name to match an expanded role? If not, what should be at the center?

Content marketing is evolving to become the center of digital strategy. Consequently, every organization should endeavor to employ the new role of Chief Content Officer or some derivative thereof. Managing the ebb and flow of content and messaging via multiple channels has created the need for a more comprehensive content strategy across departments and media. Channel management between web, social, and mobile have not only created opportunities to deliver messaging, but an urgent need to provide fresh material for public consumption.

Organizations must take cues from traditional publications hiring copy editors, writers and reviews to constantly curate fresh content that furthers the company’s mission, corresponds to the marketing goals and satisfies the needs of their audience. However, you do need someone leading the charge – a person that understands the mission of the content team, rallies the resources and takes ownership of getting it done. Furthermore, they need the tools to get it done. Now more than ever, technology will play an ever increasing role in how content is aggregated, curated, manage and delivered.

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

A proper macro level strategy for content delivery across multiple channels should be comprised of several key elements.

  1. Consistency. Whether it be call center agents looking for an answer or policy or a customer checking a web page, the right answer, right messaging, and proper branding should be pervasive and consistent, no matter the medium or device. Nuanced variable can be in play in regards to format, UI, and design, but at the end of the journey, customers need to feel that your content delivery allowed for a seamless experience.
  2.  Correct and Compliant. Along the lines of the first element, “correct” can mean many things. First, the item must incorporate content that is not just correct in regards to the answer from a company perspective, but answer precisely the question the customer has (in regards to what began the content search or inquiry). Furthermore, this correct answer must incorporate personalization factors; in other words, the answer must be particularly right for that customer or that profile of customer. Lastly, content must be compliant… from HIPPA, to SEC guidelines, to CPNI… content delivery must adhere to compliance guidelines will protecting the interests of both consumer and business.
  3. Automated and seamless. Content delivery across all channels must be deployed with a strategy towards, and enabled by technology and tools for, automated cross pollination and management of content. The idea of multi-channel strategy, that is, the ability to deliver in multiple channels (web, mobile/tablet, call center, IVR, social/community, branch), must mature from brainstorming strategy to refined omnichannel capability. An ominichannel content delivery system allows for authentic smart delivery of content, no matter the channel or modality.

Catch Up with Frank at Gilbane

Track T: Re-imagining the Future: Technology and the Postdigital Experience

T1: Are You Leveraging All the Mobile Technologies Required for Competitive Mobile Engagement?
“Come As You Are: Multi-Modal Interface is Essential to Mobile Customer Engagement”
Tuesday, December, 3: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

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HTML5 Definition Complete, W3C Moves to Interoperability Testing and Performance

HTML5_Logo_128The W3C announced today that the HTML5 definition is complete, and on schedule to be finalized in 2014. This is excellent news for the future of the open Web, that is, all of us. If you were involved in discussions about mobile development strategies at our recent conference you’ll want to check out all the details at http://dev.w3.org/html5/decision-policy/html5-2014-plan.

Moving right along, the HTML Working Group also published the first draft of HTML 5.1 so you can see a little further down the road for planning purposes. See http://www.w3.org/TR/2012/WD-html51-20121217/.

From the W3C newsletter…

W3C published today the complete definition of the “HTML5” and “Canvas 2D” specifications. Though not yet W3C standards, these specifications are now feature complete, meaning businesses and developers have a stable target for implementation and planning. “As of today, businesses know what they can rely on for HTML5 in the coming years, and what their customers will demand,” said Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO. HTML5 is the cornerstone of the Open Web Platform, a full programming environment for cross-platform applications with access to device capabilities; video and animations; graphics; style, typography, and other tools for digital publishing; extensive network capabilities; and more.

To reduce browser fragmentation and extend implementations to the full range of tools that consume and produce HTML, W3C now embarks on the stage of W3C standardization devoted to interoperability and testing. W3C is on schedule to finalize the HTML5 standard in 2014. In parallel, the W3C community will continue its work on next generation HTML features, including extensions to complement built-in HTML5 accessibility, responsive images, and adaptive streaming.