Do Mobile Website Vistors Love Your Web Design?

Mobile internet use is growing rapidly, with about 205 million mobile data users in the United States1. In recent years mobile devices have become much more sophisticated, and frankly, much more useful. The mobile web is no longer a novelty.

Three years ago we took our first steps in making our own site “iPhone friendly” by adding an alternative to the Flash-based navigation, to be used when a browser doesn’t support Adobe Flash. This simple change made our site usable, but zooming and scrolling in two directions isn’t an ideal experience.

We’re usually so busy working on clients’ sites that our own site gets neglected, but recently we took the next step and created a simplified version of our site that’s optimized for mobile devices. If you go to www.consensus-technology.com on any of the popular smartphones you’ll be automatically redirected to this optimized site. It has the information we think mobile users are most likely to want, presented in a very straightforward way.

The footer of each page contains a large “View Full Site” link so users can easily get to everything, but the things they’re most likely to want are now much easier to find. For instance, the mobile contact page lets them ‘tap’ to call us, and includes a link that opens the Map application to find our location and get directions. (If a particular phone doesn’t have this feature then it will open Google Maps instead.) As we gather statistics on how the site is being used we may make adjustments to its content and design.

What Are People Saying About Your Mobile Website?

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The Art of Collaboration

2d or not 2d - art inspired by poetry exhibit at sharon arts center, peterborough nhProducing a website is an exciting time to engage in the art of collaboration and reaching consensus. Our focus in this post is on our client, the Sharon Arts Center , a non-profit organization, and their exceptional work in reaching their mission “to support and serve artists and craftspeople, to engage our community in the artistic process, and to foster the relationship between artists and the community through education, exhibitions, the promotion and sale of art and craft, as well as through special programs and events.”

Today’s opening of the exhibit, 2D or not 2D: Art Inspired By Poetry, is no exception. Not only does the Sharon Arts Center fulfill on fostering the relationship between artists and the community in exhibitions and the promotion and sale of art in this exhibit with their collaborative efforts, the exhibiting artists are also 2 different collaborative groups of local and regional artists.

The Left Bank artists include Evelien Bachrach Seeger and Kim and Scott Cunningham, all of Hancock, as well as Peterborough residents Sue Callihan, David Dodge, Soosen Dunholter, John Sirois and Daniel Thibeault.

Three Squared artists include Kitty Cloud, Lulu Fichter, Erick Ingraham, Colette Lucas, Erin Sweeney and Pashya White, all of Peterborough, as well as Leah Kristin Dahlgren of Temple, Marcia Herson of Bedford, Jordana Korsen of Harrisville, Jane El Simpson of Dublin and Thomas Meyers of Hancock.

If you live or are traveling through the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire from now through December 31, 2010, take time to visit this exhibit. You can also help the Sharon Arts Center by becoming a member and liking them on the Sharon Arts Center Facebook Brand page, created and managed by the Sharon Arts Center.

The Art of Collaboration in Website Design, Development and Marketing

Reaching consensus is something that is so important to our process; it is why I named my company Consensus Technology. After years of working in the corporate world where authority was mandated from above or you could kiss your job goodbye, I left that world. One key reason was that the customer’s interests were sacrificed. My goal was Read the rest of this entry »

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To Really Live, Learn and Thrive in Social Media

You Need to Understand When 2 + 3 = 25

metcalfe's law illustrates the exponential value of add new devices (in social media that would be followers) to the network

Graphical representation of Metcalfe's Law for networks

How does a business gain critical mass in their social media network and get a return on investment? Let’s start with understanding social media beginnings. In a recent interview¹ with Jonathan Gourlay at the Monadnock Ledger –Transcript, we talked about Social Media, when it began and how it relates to business. In electronic media there were listservs where professionals could easily interact in a group discussion via email. Then there were online forums where communities could discuss the topics of the day.

Really the change from traditional to social media occurred when communication was not just broadcast or printed for many individuals to hear or read. It started when the audience could interact with the originator of the content. When that happened we went from a one-way to a two-way conversation. Talk radio was therefore an early form of social media. But the real power in social media occurs when communications go beyond Read the rest of this entry »

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Independent Film Distribution Transitions and Social Media

IFP Independent Film Week 2009

IFP Independent Film Week 2009

Independent film is one of the passions that unite Gerard and I.

Social media has now for the first time made it possible for filmmakers to connect directly to their audience. This was not possible before. Our clients, Buzz and Kris McLaughlin and Aaron Wiederspahn of Either/Or Films made us aware of changes in film distribution in the spring of 2009. We had invested in The Sensation of Sight, starring David Straithairn, Ian Somerhalder and Jane Adams in 2006 for several reasons. We were aligned with the vision and mission of the Either/Or Films, it was being filmed in our town, and finally Read the rest of this entry »

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Security Awareness and Social Media

Should you use Social Media?

security considerations with social media - child and crosswalk with grandfatherOne of the many data security seminars I attended this year to stay current as a computer security specialist  (I can’t remember which or I’d give credit) included a good story as illustration…

Imagine this is 1989 and you’re a foreign intelligence agent tasked with identifying potential “assets” in a US aerospace defense contractor. You target female senior engineers, divorced, in their 40s. It might take months of research to identify individuals, and months more to find their interests and daily habits. All of this would be quite costly. Fast forward to 2009: you could find all this data and much more in minutes through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and similar sites. People tend to trust contacts they make through social networking sites so after a few dozen interactions, and almost no expense, they trust you. You know what their hobbies are, their likes and dislikes, and are well placed to recruit them. This is one of the many nightmares facing big business and government, and it’s one of the reasons Read the rest of this entry »

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Preface to Social Media: Confront who you are to your audience

Who are you in relation to social media?

representation of engaged social media audience

The very nature of social media is that it is a social interaction and not an advertisement. So before jumping in to new media conversations on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, your own blog, or the multitude of other social media networks, take some time to know your self and know your audience.

Who are you as an individual, a business owner, or part of an overall company? Who are you to your friends and family? Writing answers in a journal and reviewing your vision and mission statement will give you clarity in your communications and purpose. To add some entertainment into the mix, Read the rest of this entry »

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I am Alive – A Statement About Social Media Marketing

share this most popular social media iconsAt it’s very basic level participating in social media marketing is announcing to the world, communities in the world and individuals, “I’m alive,” I exist, I have something to say that may be of value to you.

Whether you are blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, Blipping, YouTubing, LinkedIning or using any of the other social media applications, the first thing to consider is “What is my social media strategy, and how does it fit into my overall internet strategy, marketing strategy, business strategy?”

First, a definition of strategic planning is in order. Strategic planning, according to Wikipedia, “is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people.”

We feel the time has come for our clients to include social media marketing in their strategic planning at some level.  We have added social media consulting services to our internet consulting offerings. Our blog will incorporate guidelines Read the rest of this entry »

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