Wick Communications

Is 2014 the year we go mobile?

In Online media on January 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm
Courtesy: Business Insider

Courtesy: Business Insider

There is growing evidence – anecdotal and otherwise – that a mobile information revolution is at hand. Some pundits (including the well-known media guru Alan Mutter, who compiled the stats below) are going as far as to say this is a rare second chance for those of us in legacy media companies to take the bull by the horns and fix what we messed up with the advent of the consumer Internet.

It’s hard to discount the numbers:

  • There was a 13 percent surge in online shopping in the fourth-quarter of 2013, much of it through mobile devices. (National Retail Federation.)
  • 70 percent of daily Facebook users report accessing it through a mobile device.
  • In this country, two-thirds of those with any mobile device at all have data-hogging smartphones, and tablet computers are in one-third of all homes.

Here’s a number for you: analysts quoted in Mutter’s blog post predict dollars spent on mobile advertising will triple in just four years. What’s more, half of that $20.7 billion spent in 2017 will be spent on “local media.”

Hey, that’s us! …

Before you pop the cork on the champagne, consider what you are offering now on mobile devices and what you need to offer to compete with the Buzzfeeds of the world.

Wick Digital Manager Jim Keyes is a mobile evangelist and has been preaching the need for a more robust offering for some time now. He suggests we all look at our site on a mobile device – smartphone and tablet – several times a day. For me, that is a sobering experience. I don’t see much in the way of art on my device. There isn’t an attractive, seamless way to share a story (other than copying links). I can’t find our local calendar at all.

To date, these have been relatively low priorities for most Wick newspapers. Publishers in smaller markets haven’t heard much from tablet users. A slow-to-develop broadband infrastructure has limited the use of smartphones in some locales.

This may be the year all that changes. Remember in the 1990s, when you had heard of the Internet but didn’t really use it? Remember the day you woke up and suddenly couldn’t live without it? Remember 2014. It may be a watershed year.

Clay

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