Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What's New on the Web for 2008

A new year is right around the corner, and some very interesting emerging technologies are poised to make a splash. Here are some of many examples of what to expect in 2008:
  • Mobile Websites: Over 75% of existing sites have not prepared for visitors who browse their sites from their mobile phones. 2008 will change that.
    • Regular websites do not render well on small screens
    • A mobile site is designed to display the most important information in large format
    • Mobile sites can be added as a supplement to a regular site
    • Website home pages can be set up to detect visits from mobile devices, and redirect them to the mobile version of the website.
    • Mobile sites generally cost less to create than traditional website.
Check out this iPhone demonstration - notice how most of the sites this man visits are very small, and not optimized for the mobile phone:

  • Mobile Advertising and Communications: Text messaging just got more fun, and annoying! Businesses will focus heavily on targeting their messages to an increasingly mobile audience. But the wrong message could hinder their business.
    • A great way to communicate with a younger, or tech-savvy audience.
    • Quicker communications and less talk-time...just get the message sent and you're done.
    • Use proper grammar: Don't abbreviate and add the correct punctuation.
  • Online Meetings: Products such as GoToMeeting will help businesses run much more efficiently:
    • Users can hold meetings right from their offices, reducing travel time and expenses
    • Seminars and trainings can be conducted with 1 to 15 to 1000 individuals
    • The meeting can be recorded for future use, as audio or video

  • Better video for websites: YouTube was just the beginning. Now, organizations are creating tailor-made video presentations to help their clients through the buying process, and training them on how to use products and services.
    • Products such as Apple's Final Cut Pro, Adobe's Premier CS3 make quality editing within reach of most tech-savvy workers.
    • Slideshow Pro helps to load video online in a higher quality and better resolution.
    • Websites can easily be set up to accept video in various formats, such as .flv, .wmv or quicktime.
Here are some ways you can capitalize from mobile and video web:
  1. If you already have a website, consider adding a mobile "minisite" with the most important information from your regular site
  2. Experiment with text messaging. Try it out on a test client, and see if you get a response. You'll soon find it a very efficient way to communicate when not in the office. (Be careful to not use it after business hours unless absolutely necessary)
  3. Purchase an inexpensive video camera, or phone with video capability, and take a few test videos of your products or services. Load them up onto YouTube and see how they look - then put them on a test page of your website, not viewable to the public. Send the page link to a few close associates and see what they think.
  4. Sign up for a trial version of online meeting software. GoToMeeting and WebEx are the two most popular, but I prefer GoToMeeting for its recording capability. Contact us if you would like help setting up the service for a test spin.

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