Play the tape machine
Make the toast and tea
When I’m mobile
Well I can lay in bed
With only highway ahead
When I’m mobile
— The Who
Pete Townshend and the boys couldn’t have envisioned what “Goin’ Mobile” would mean 40 years after that song was penned, but they clearly had a feel for the importance being mobile.
Today, for us, it means coping with the inevitable – an ever-more mobile readership. Only “readership” doesn’t really cover it, does it? We read news stories, play games, watch videos, send photos wherever we are. Hell, some of us can do all that while driving. (Don’t try this at home, kids!)
Our own Jim Keyes noted the implications inherent in an increasingly mobile world in an email earlier this week. I won’t repeat it all, but you might want to read it again. …
Recently, USA Today was honored for its mobile products and that occasion prompts many of us to wonder what that newspaper with all the color does right in the mobile space.
World News Publishing Focus did the heavy lifting for us by listing 13 takeaways from the USAT experience. Taken together, I find them a bit overwhelming. For example, while people read all day and all night on mobile, the biggest traffic comes early in the morning, at noon and then at night – tablet time. They read long-form things and short bits, but apparently not mid-size news stories like those that have been our bread and butter. Mobile content has to cater to different platforms; USA Today mobile experts say consumers behave differently on iPhone than they do on Android.
Perhaps that is so. There is a lot to learn to play at the USA Today level. And we need to get there. Let’s start by acknowledging that our mobile audience is the fastest growing segment of our audience.
Please read the WNPF report and think about the ways you use your own cellphone and tablet. How has that changed in, say, the last five years? How will it change in five years.
We have work to do.