I’ve noticed an annoying phenomenon as of late regarding e-mail newsletters. I, like I assume many, view most of these newsletters on my phone. These HTML newsletters often contain links to feature articles on a website.
Mobile Page not found image from SPIN magazine
Lately, I’ve noticed a disturbing web presence trend for these newsletters to automatically force me to a mobile friendly site[I'm calling you out SPIN magazine]. This isn’t a problem if you bring me to the actual site. The problem I’ve noticed recently is that often the url forces me to an m.yoursite.com and then I get a page not found page because an equivalent mobile friendly version of the article doesn’t exist. While in this case there is a view the page on our full website link, it doesn’t always work on first click. If you’re not going to develop either a responsive site altogether or provide equivalent content (especially feature articles) then don’t bother forcing me to your mobile site. This is a quick way to lose me as a customer / reader.
This also is a highlight of the importance of not just mobilizing or making responsive your homepage(which is another trend lately) but making sure that your underlying content pages are responsive or mobile friendly. I’d argue that it’s possibly more important from an effective marketing standpoint to make news, events, stories/ call to action pages mobile/responsive than it is to make your homepage responsive due to the other channels(e-mail newsletters, social media, and online ads] you’ll be energizing through this effort. Creating a unified user experience via mobile should be the goal rather than just getting your top/home pages responsive.
This article by Luke Wroblewski got me thinking that the cellphone of the 2010′s is the digital equivalent infrastructure to the brick and mortar shopping mall of the 80′s.
In the 80′s we went to the mall to:
- Socialize with friends,
- Play games at the arcade, and
- Shop for things we wanted.
The mall was the social center of a young persons life in the 80′s. You met your friends there, hung out, and much of your social life centered on who you were going there with or meeting at the mall. Many people had relationship started or ended at the Food Court at the mall (at least you did if you were popular – not that I was, but that was the societal norm).
The Arcade was the entertainment hub of the mall. Most people got a few bucks and changed it to quarters and entertained themselves by playing or watching their friends play video games or acquire bouncy balls or other trinkets through tickets earned playing skee-ball.
We also shopped for clothes, toys, and other essentials at the mall.
In the 2000′s and beyond the cellphone has become that hub of our social and shopping interaction. Facebook itself could probably be seen as the new digital mall in the fact that all of the 3 items above other than shopping are done there.
Maybe Mark Zuckerberg needs to get on that Facebook Gifts thing and expand it out a true full on shopping experience.
I remember playing Bezerk, Spike, Pole Position and many other great games on this odd ball little Vectrex arcade system. It was a cheaper version of Atari or Intellivision and allowed you to have a somewhat portable display and controller all-in-one unit. What other game systems do you remember playing?
This week is National Board Game and Puzzle week - in honor of that, I thought I’d pose the question of what was your favorite board game growing up? I have to give my top 5 given that I had so many favorites and the games that fired them, given that most of these were really simple:
- Risk (which I’ve moved on from since it takes so long)fired by Summoner Wars(my son and I love this game).
- Monopoly(which I don’t care for anymore now that I discovered Acquire)
- Othello – enjoyed playing this game with my little sister before school. This is fired by Blokus for abstract category.
- The Game of Life (loved all the little parts), fired by Carcassonne as a family friendly game with great parts and artwork.
- Run Yourself Ragged – and oddball marble obstacle course game – my sister and I used to love to get ‘high scores’ on this game. Still looking for a replacement for this one as I don’t own this one, but might have to buy it again. Maybe Pitchcar(which has peaked my interest lately).
I’m starting a new posting tag – Wayback Wednesday in honor of the many comments on previous retro posts on my Facebook Timeline. This week we celebrate the release of the 25th anniversary deluxe edition of Peter Gabriel album So. So raise your boomboxes in the rain and angst along with me – What was your favorite song off this album – mine = Red Rain – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/9616157/Peter-Gabriel-So-25th-Anniversary-Edition-exclusive-album-stream.html #WaybackWednesday
This year, I made a New Year’s resolution to end as many contracts as possible. Many of the monthly contracts we had were around telephone service. The first one we was able to drop was home phone service. We already had dropped a physical land line service a while back by switching from Verizon to Vonage. I decided to make this move after Vonage decided to once again up its rates for 3 month service. By dropping Vonage Voice Over IP (VOIP) service and porting my home phone over to the OOMA telo service I was able to drop my monthly bill for home phone from $25/month down to $5 a month(basically just taxes and standard fees you always have to pay). There is an upfront router cost of $149 but after that you have $5 a month phone service for life with unlimited minutes to the Continental U.S.
The next contract I was able to cut was my cellphone one. We were paying $70 a month with Verizon for 500 minutes shared on a family plan with two dumb feature phones but had no data plan and were on a 2 year contract as well. We switched over to Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk plan and now have two smartphones and 300 minutes each phone for the same $70 a month including unlimited text messages and data(throttled at 2GB, but still unlimited). No major savings here, but we did get smartphones and unlimited text and data for the same price and also have no contract anymore.
The final telephone upgrade was not a drop of a contract, but an upgrade of cordless home phones. I picked up a VTech DS6522 3 handset system fro $45 at Costco(this model is no longer on their featured phones on their website but this one is similar DS6421). This system allows you to do a Bluetooth connection to your cellphone from your home phone – Connect2Cell feature. This allows your home cordless system to ring when your cellphone rings while at home. I am looking forward to not missing calls to my cellphone in the evenings when I usually put my phone in a corner and forget about it. Instead of just buzzing(since I keep mine on vibrate constantly) it will now ring the home phone. The other benefit is a synchronized address book list from your cellphone copied over to your home phones.