The information being generated about mobile communications continues to grow; in response, I have created a second blog page for articles I find helpful.
As noted by Jeff Patrick of Merkle, “mobile is arriving with the oncoming force of a freight train.”
I couldn’t resist posting the photograph above right of an art installation that was part of the Texas Sculpture Association exhibition at ALoft in Dallas (summer, 2012). Roger Belveal created three large “iPhone” sculptures with a variety of intriguing “apps.” Click on the photograph to reach his website. Clearly, mobile is affecting everyone these days, including artists!
- Christine Smith of Techi has posted an article aimed at businesses, “The Mobile Takeover” (July 12, 2012). She notes, “If your website is not optimized for mobile use it will not only take longer to upload on the users device, it will be harder to navigate and harder to view in general.” Good advice here for nonprofits, too.
- From an international perspective, the World Economic Forum has produced an informative report (April, 2012). William Davidson notes regarding the Global Information Technology Report 2012: Living in a Hyperconnected World, “With more than 6 billion connections worldwide and $1.3 trillion in annual revenue, mobile telephony has become the largest information and communication technology (ICT) platform in history. The global scale of mobile telephony and its economic impacts are well understood by industry participants and governments.”
Further, “Mobile broadband is already changing the way people across the globe access the Internet. It promises to drive even stronger economic growth and change the way in which we live, learn and work. This, in turn, is driving seismic shifts across the communications and computing industries. Perhaps most importantly, it provides unprecedented opportunities to empower individuals across all socioeconomic classes.” To read more of William’s analysis, see Forum.
- Pew Internet & American Life has published a report, “Mobile is the Needle, Social is the Thread: How Information Today is Woven Into Our Lives” (March 15, 2012).
Another Pew Internet & American Life report, “Just-in-time Information through Mobile Connections” (May 7, 2012), notes:
“The rapid adoption of cell phones and, especially, the spread of internet-connected smartphones are changing people’s communications with others and their relationships with information. Users’ ability to access data immediately through apps and web browsers and through contact with their social networks is creating a new culture of real-time information seekers and problem solvers.”
- “Mobile Data Growth and What it Means for You” from The Next Web Mobile (April 4, 2012) has posted a terrific infographic.
“The infographic charts the exploding and varied ways mobile devices are now being used to connect:
- 792 mobile apps are downloaded each second.
- 29 million mobile users streamed music in 2011.
- Video content accounts for 52% of all mobile data traffic.
- Facebook hosts 1627 mobile status updates per second.
- Twitter boasts 13 million mobile users.
- Instagram reported a 1,900% increase in the number of photos posted in a single year.”
- “You’re Now More Likely to Find a Computer in Your Pocket Than on Your Lap,” by Andrew Tarantola of Gizmodo (January 26, 2012), reports: “It’s official. A study released by Google yesterday shows that mobile devices, and smart phones in particular, are now the dominant means of Internet connectivity in five key global markets.” Nonprofit organizations need to be paying attention!
- Artez Interactive has produced a report you might enjoy reading, “Mobile Fundraising: Research Paper” (April, 2013). “What’s the impact of mobile technology on peer-driven fundraising campaigns? We examined the success of 83,866 participants in a variety of fundraising campaigns to help answer this question.”
- MobileActive’s blog is one you might consider reading now and again. “MobileActive.org connects people, organizations, and resources using mobile technology for social change. We are committed to increasing the effectiveness of NGOs around the world who recognize that the more than 5 billion mobile phones provide unprecedented opportunities for organizing, communications, and service and information delivery.”
- You might be interested in a report from Kristen Purcell of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “Half of adult cell phone owners have apps on their phones” (November 2, 2011).
In brief, “The share of adult cell phone owners who have downloaded an app to their phone nearly doubled in the past two years – rising from 22% in September 2009 to 38% in August 2011.”
- FOX Business has posted a video interview with Dave Boyce of Fundly, “Helping Non-Profits Become a Fundraising Success.”
Mobile donations are expected to increase by 35% over the next few years, in part because mobile donating is so easy. “Fundly has rapidly become the largest online social fundraising platform in the United States. Individuals and organizations raising funds for non-profits, charities, politics, schools, clubs, teams, groups, and others, have raised over $230 million using Fundly’s social fundraising platform” (February 27, 2012). There are a growing number of charitable donation apps, but I found Fundly to be a good place to start.
- Jakob Nielsen of Alertbox writes an interesting post, “Mobile Sites vs. Apps: The Coming Strategy Shift” (February 13, 2012). Jakob charts the current popularity of apps, and suggests we will be moving toward mobile sites rather than apps. This is a trend worth watching, but not everyone agrees.
- USAID has posted an infographic, “Mobile Phones Tackling Poverty” (March, 2012). Simply but effectively stated, “Mobile technologies empower the poor to take hold of their future. They fundamentally transform the way people in the developing world interact with one another and their governments, and access basic health, education, business and financial services.”
- “Maximizing Mobile” is a report produced by The World Bank (July, 2012). It notes:
“With some 6 billion mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, around three-quarters of the world’s inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone. Mobiles are arguably the most ubiquitous modern technology: in some developing countries, more people have access to a mobile phone than to a bank account, electricity, or even clean water. Mobile communications now offer major opportunities to advance human development—from providing basic access to education or health information to making cash payments to stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes. The developing world is “more mobile” than the developed world.”
You can download the report here. Does this help nonprofits working in developing countries realize how important mobile communications are in their work?
- Not long ago, it was noted that many of the world’s most affluent prefer using BlackBerry mobile devices. Nellie Day of Eldergadget posted, “Study: The Wealthy Use BlackBerries” (September 25, 2011). While many wealthy individuals may still prefer BlackBerry, we’ll have to wait and see if that will still hold true over time. I personally do expect the company that makes BlackBerry, Research in Motion (RIM), to return to prominence, but it is taking some time to do so.
- Seth Fiegerman has written for Mashable, “BlackBerry’s Secret Weapon: Women” (February 1, 2013).” It seems RIM is getting back on track, with an important realization. “The two most significant words that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said during the company’s big launch event this week may not have been “BlackBerry 10,” but rather “working moms.”
Regardless, as those of us developing apps for nonprofits must keep in mind, how the app actually looks on mobile devices is critically important (and they do not look the same on all mobile device brands). Caution advised, especially when seeking to communicate with wealthier donors and prospective contributors. Francisco Enchauste has written for Design Instruct, “Responsive Web Design for The Enterprise” (February 8, 2013). “As you begin to look into what it means to make a website responsive, you’ll find there’s a lot of talk around how to transition your current site and content so it can be more flexible. A lot of times, this discussion goes into the techniques on how to make a site ‘mobile ready/friendly.’”
Another article you might find helpful is by Andrew Fort for npEngage, “Thinking Mobile in 2013 – Being Responsive” (January 30, 2013). “By combining audience analysis and analytics to the responsive design question, you can determine how your audience is currently interacting with your site via mobile.”
- Natasha Baker, Reuters, posted an article on April 2, 2012, “Wealthy smartphone users less likely to play games, tweet.” The article cites a new study by The Luxury Institute. “As you get older and have family and significant others, aging parents, and a lot more assets and investments, you’re going to need apps for far more relevant things than playing games and chatting with your peers,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO.
- The Luxury Institute has produced an informative research report that you must request permission to download from its website. “Wealth and Luxury Trends 2012 and Beyond.” One section of note is, “Luxury Mobile Applications Become Relevant, but Commoditized.” To quote at length (keep in mind this concerns commercial products rather than nonprofit donations):
- Here’s a helpful article from Seth Porges of Mashable, “8 Things You Should Know Before Building a Mobile App” (February 2, 2012).
- Greg Sterling of Marketing Land has written a helpful article about a recent study, “Google Survey: What Users Want From Mobile Sites” (September 25, 2012).
- Joe Waters in Inspiring Generosity (Razoo) has posted a helpful article (February 14, 2012), “17 Smartphone Apps Every Fundraiser Should Use.”
- The Enterprise Mobility Foundation has posted, “The Three Cs of Enterprise Mobility: Convenience, Control and Co-existence” (July, 2011). “If there is one word to summarize the value proposition of using mobile devices, many would agree it would be convenience.” The report speaks from a corporate perspective and discusses the security issues involved in managing mobile communications, which I found helpful for nonprofits as well. The report acknowledges that the explosive growth of mobile communications shows little signs of stopping. If you visit the Foundation’s main website, you will also find links to a variety of other interesting research papers on “enterprise mobility.”
- Matt Hamblen of Computerworld has written a terrific article, “Mobile giving grows up” (December 2, 2011). “Since the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, mobile giving has moved beyond disaster aid. Now, people make all kinds of charitable donations and pledges through wireless smartphones and tablets – and the donations don’t have to be done by text, according to industry officials.”
Matt discusses advances in the Salvation Army’s 2011 holiday campaign, and also cites religious organizations, “Nonprofits have moved beyond being the cutting edge early adopters with mobile …. They are becoming leading edge, and there’s a higher [mobile] adoption rate in churches where the young people are the early adopters.”
- For those interested in the state of mobile technology development generally, you might enjoy Matthias Galica of ShareSquare’s, “What to Expect from Mobile Marketing Tech in 2012″ (Mashable, January 12, 2012).
In addition, Anthony Wing Kosner writes a telling article in Forbes, “Tablets Will Take Over Sooner Than You Think: Five Telling Trends” (March 4, 2012). Tim Cook of Apple has reportedly noted, “I truly believe, and many others in the company believe, that there will come a day that the tablet market in units is larger than the PC market.”
- While I am on the subject of tablets, you might enjoy, “16 Ways Advisors Are Using iPads to Improve Their Business,” by Matt Iverson of Boulevard R and four other savvy executives (June, 2012). “Financial planners are adopting the iPad as a business tool four times faster than the next fastest industry, business and professional services.”
- John Koetsier has written for Venture Beat/Business, “Tablets will outsell laptops 6 to 1 by 2017″ (May 6, 2013). “This year, we’ll buy more tablets than notebooks for the first time ever. But by 2017, we’ll buy six times more tablets than laptops, according to market researcher NPD.”
- Here’s another persuasive article by Jeff Bullas, “22 Reasons Why Your Business or Blog Need an iPhone App” (November 7, 2011). In short, “it’s about convenience.” I would suggest that many of the arguments Jeff makes apply equally to nonprofit organizations!
- I enjoyed this blog posting by Stowe Boyd, “Why Apps Are the Future” (December 14, 2011). Stowe argues with a colleague who does not see a strong future for apps. Stowe’s opinions are well considered, and he offers some interesting predictions.
- Greg Jarboe of Search Engine Watch interviews Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff of Watch.tv in the article, “How to Make Videos for YouTube Mobile” (June 4, 2012). Mark makes an insightful observation: “Mobile vs. desktop search is a far different beast. The mobile experience is centered upon immediacy and consumer-driven content. At home, I most likely have more time to poke around than I would on the go and the obvious luxury of more screen real estate. On my mobile device, especially if I’m paying a premium for bandwidth, I want my search results optimized for the best return at the top of my screen.”