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Posts Tagged ‘Mobile Computing’

Muskegon Public Schools New Social Media Policy an Unenforceable Slap in the Face to Employees and Students

November 29, 2011 2 comments

The Muskegon Chronicle (“Personal drinking photos could get teachers fired in Muskegon”) and Michigan Education Report (“More districts eye social media policies”) have reported that the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District has adopted an extraordinarily-restrictive new social media policy (available here courtesy of the Muskegon Chronicle).

The policy implies consequences (ie firing) if any content appears online that shows “use of alcohol, drugs or anything students are prohibited from doing” (students are prohibited from using profanity – so apparently if you tweet the F-bomb that can get you canned). The policy was crafted and adopted at the advice of at the advice of the MAISD legal counsel (which should be the first sign that the policy is problematic; lawyers and social media don’t mix).

Here are some specific problems with the policy (which is very reminiscent of the ban on contact that the Missouri Legislature just repealed):

1. We Don’t Control What is Posted Online Read more…

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Too Legit to Quit QR Codes (Don’t do it Just to do it)

May 10, 2011 Leave a comment

[This post is featured at Grand Rapids Social Diary as a guest editorial for May 24, 2011!]

Hammer ... err ... QR Code Time!

QR or “Quick Response” codes have been around Asia since 1994, and a few years ago they finally started to pop up in the US.  There was a brief period a couple of years ago where they were a fad (a way for the tech savvy to show off).

Sadly, just like the ascot or Hammer Pants, that time has passed.  If you want to use QR codes now, you’ll want to have a very specific, well-defined strategy that makes use of their unique properties.

Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself: Read more…

The Case for Investing in the Mobile Web Continues to Build

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Students Accessing the Web

Too many resources are sucked up by the process of designing and re-designing our websites.  We’re wasting valuable time poring over navigation, color palettes and spiffy Flash animation.

None of those aesthetic flourishes matter for a great many of the people who actually visit the site, because they do it through aggregators or on mobile devices:

How grcc.edu Shows Up on a Blackberry Curve

How grcc.edu Shows Up on a Blackberry Curve

PRSA Tactics had a brief (“Survey: Blacks, Hispanics are Most Active on Mobile web” by Kyra Auffermann) in the “Diversity Dimensions” section that cited Pew Research Center numbers that reinforce the case for everyone (but especially higher ed institutions given the dramatic increase in minority enrollment during this economic downturn) to do more to invest in making information and services available to the mobile web.

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Among the findings (which continue to show that mobile phones are the primary connection of minorities to the web):

  • Rate of Cell Phone Ownership:
    • African Americans & English-Speaking Hispanics: 87%
    • Whites: 80%
  • Rate of Wireless Internet Use:
    • African Americans & English-Speaking Hispanics: 46%/51%
    • Whites: 33%

The days of establishing a hub and forcing people to make a pilgimage to it are in the past.  The new dynamic is reaching people where they are, on their terms.  Increasingly that is on social networking platforms, and increasingly that is mobile.

Innovation? – There’s NOT an App for That

January 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Save your organization some money: don’t create an app for the sake of creating an app.

As an attempt at innovative thinking, that idea is well past its shelf life because the novelty has worn off.  They’re the digital equivalent of a pen with your logo and address on it.

Unless you’re truly providing something that people demand, something of value (ie something they can’t get any other way), or using an app in a unique way – you’re wasting resources.  This is particularly true if you’re developing an application for regular web use (as opposed to a mobile platform where computing power and bandwith are scarce and something compact/convenient is itself a benefit … for now).

Rather than letting fans vote on the contents of your beverage, find out what color alert we’re on, or telling a naked woman what to wear/sing in the shower – consider these questions:

  • Does your brand already have a community built around it and can you enhance that community with an app?
  • Is the nature of your product/service such that customers benefit from interacting with it while on the go?
  • Would you like to provide special access/benefits to a select group of early adopters and ardent fans?

If it’s not meeting those criteria – you’d probably be better off putting the money into beefing up your customer service operations.