However texting can only do so much. Right? Wrong! I read an article yesterday about how people can leverage SMS texting to surf the Internet (Google), get email, even use Twitter and Facebook. Doing this allows you to stay in touch with events without relying upon your phone needing a decent data stream from a cell tower.
Personally, I’ve set up my Twitter account so I can text to it, and I have Selective Tweets on Facebook so any tweets with #fb also post to Facebook—it’s easier than texting both places to say I’m okay. :)
How Much Data Is Created Every Minute? [INFOGRAPHIC]
INFOGRAPHIC: U.S. Public Libraries Weather the Storm
If you want a depressing exposition of what you can and can’t do as a college student armed only with a mobile phone, read this article: Smartphones Bring Hope, Frustration as Substitute for Computers. It details all the limitations with smartphones as computers, a situation many poorer students with either no computer or no Internet access face. And let’s face it, without Internet access, a laptop might as well be a brick when it comes to research. Sure, many of us wrote numerous college essays on computers with no Internet access (and probably even some typewriters), but that was before most of the research material was online, back with journals and indexes were in print. With a wifi-less laptop, you could still do a lot of reading and writing, but finding and getting to that reading would be a lot more difficult. Imagine trying to all your college research and writing on a smartphone.
Context is the real-world situation you are in while using the website. The most popular belief about mobile context is that mobile users are distracted, on-the-go, browsing with one eye and one hand.
The problem is that this isn’t how people use their phones.
We can start with your own mobile use. If you are a smartphone owner, you probably use your phone to browse the web at times when you are not “on-the-go,” or distracted, or on a crummy connection. I do almost all of my web browsing on my iPhone, laying on my couch, sitting on campus eating lunch, or sitting in bed. At these times I’m focused, I’m stationary, and I’m on a fast connection. And I don’t know about you, but I was more than a little frustrated last year when I went to the Harvard Library site and was offered only directions and hours1.
But from this he draws the wrong conclusion, that we should continue making special mobile websites. I believe that special mobile websites is like sticking plaster over the problem; we generally shouldn’t have separate mobile websites, anymore than we should have separate screen reader websites. The reason many “full websites” are unusable on mobile phones is because many full websites are unusable on any device. It’s often said that your expenditure rises as your income does, and that the amount of clutter you own expands to fill your house however many times you move to a bigger one. In the same way, website owners have long proved incontinent in keeping desktop websites focussed, simply because they have so much room….
One of the aspects of information delivery that is overlooked by libraries is the user interface with which people interact with our digital resources, whether our website, catalog, or the content that we either create or purchase. The biggest shift in the past few years has been towards touch-based interfaces, driven by smartphones and tablets. We’ve had exemplars to follow in this area for a half-decade now. Nearly every major website has a mobile-and-tablet version that makes touch a more pleasant experience for users, with features like increased touch-target sizes, more scroll-based navigation , and other touch-specific flourishes. Amazon, Google, the New York Times, all have changed their websites to improve the experience for people using the iPad or other tablets.
How many libraries do you know that have designed a version of their website solely for patrons using a touchscreen?
First, a growing number of people are using mobile as the only way they access the web. A pair of studies late last year from Pew and from On Device Research showed that over 25 per cent of people in the US who browse the web on smartphones almost never use any other platform. That’s north of 11 per cent of adults in the US, or about 25million people, who only see the web on small screens. There’s a digital-divide issue here. People who can afford only one screen or internet connection are choosing the phone. If you want to reach them at all, you have to reach them on mobile. We can’t settle for serving such a huge audience a stripped-down experience or force them to swim through a desktop layout in a small screen.
Okay, so… I don’t know if this will be of use anyone but me, but I was trying to go over the Computers in Libraries sessions (both those I attended and those I didn’t) to find what I could of the presentation slides/handouts/blog posts and I was getting bogged down in links and files, so I made these lists of links. If anyone knows of stuff that could be on here that I missed, do let me know (use the ‘ask me anything’ link).
I don’t know if this will be of use anyone but me, but I was trying to go over the Computers in Libraries sessions (both those I attended and those I didn’t) to find what I could of the presentation slides/handouts/blog posts and I was getting bogged down in links and files, so I made these lists of links. If anyone knows of stuff that could be on here that I missed, do let me know (use the ‘ask me anything’ link).
In a video, IBM put it this way: “In our global society, the wealth of economies are decided by the level of access to information. And in five years, the gap between information haves and have-nots will cease to exist due to the advent of mobile technology.”
The digital divide (a term that refers to the gap between people who do and don’t have high-speed Internet access) is an increasingly important issue for the nation, the economy and the world. Without Internet access, it’s getting harder to apply for jobs, get an education, stay in touch with friends and family — and keep up with news that affects your life.
Still, it will probably take much longer than five years — if ever — for significant inequities in access to digital information and services to disappear entirely. The digital divide may look quite different in five years, but it will probably still be with us.
Argues against the long-term success of mobile apps over the mobile web based on computing history—a fascinating read.
eBooks have been the hot topic in libraryland for a few months now and with good reason. It seems like every other day there is some new revelation that makes us either jump for joy or groan in agony. While these conversations and revelations have been happening, there has been another revolution underfoot.
The Pew, Internet, and American Life Project released a report last month on the usage of smartphones. We have known that smartphone ownership was increasing dramatically, and that use was up among minorities, and this report confirms the trends.
Trouble is, the tracking data culled from your Internet searches and surfing can get commingled with the information you disclose at websites for shopping, travel, health or jobs. And it’s now possible to toss into this mix many of the personal disclosures you make on popular social networks, along with the preferences you may express via all those nifty Web applications that trigger cool services on your mobile devices.