Tag Archives: mobile site

Econsultancy: Independent’s mobile site reviewed

Econsultancy’s Graham Chorlton takes a look at the Independent’s newly launched mobile site:

“The look and feel of the site is fine, with the gold and white colour scheme echoing that of the main site. It does lack the visual appeal of both The Guardian and FT.com mobile sites, but keeping it simple is fine for a mobile site that people will use on a variety of handsets and connection speeds.”

Full review at this link…

Guardian mobile; Daily Mail targets US audience on Kindle

Guardian.co.uk will be available as a new mobile site from March, a release from the publisher has confirmed.

Specific versions of m.guardian.co.uk will be available for iPhone and Blackberry handsets will be released. The decision to launch a dedicated mobile site follows growing mobile traffic to the Guardian, Adam Freeman, commercial director, said in the statement.

Distribution deals for mobile content have been signed with 3 and Vodafone. The site itself will be ad-supported.

Meanwhile the Daily Mail is planning to make its content available on the US version of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, according to a report from NMA – part of a push to capitalise on the Mail’s growing US audience. The site previously told Journalism.co.uk that its commercial focus remains on the UK, but perhaps this marks the beginnings of an overseas push.

PPA Magazines 2008: Channel 4’s Big Art Mob

Adam Gee, commisioning editor for Channel 4‘s new media factual division, has explained the broadcaster’s Big Art Mob project to delegates at the PPA’s annual conference.

According to Gee the project is the first catalogue of public artworks ever collated and the first use of moblogging on this scale by a broadcaster in the UK.

The project asks users to submit photos of public artworks. These, alongside art projects from the Big Art Mob, are mapped (see below).

Screenshot of Channel 4’s Big Art Map

The site also pulls together bloggers from the mob and galleries of the artworks and has its own mobile site.

The map and feed showing live updates from the site’s users allow Channel 4 to see where and what they’re community are talking about, says Gee.

The site is entirely self-moderated, says Gee, and in the past 12 months has had only two ‘dodgy’ postings.

@BtPW: Golden age for mobile news sites is ending – well, in Japan

It’s hard to feel sorry for a newspaper company that boasts sales of eight million for its morning and four million for its evening editions, so when Atsushi Sato took to the stage at the Beyond the Printed Word conference, in Dublin today, to say that his company’s mobile sites were suffering and that newspaper circulations were down, there weren’t too many tears shed.

Sato, deputy manager of the digital division of Japan’s Asahi Shimbum newspaper company, told delegates that the Golden Age for mobile news sites, in Japan, was on the way out.

Most of delegates are still waiting for mobile news in their respective markets to move out of the primeval swamp and climb into a clattering carriage marked ‘destination: the Gold Age of Mobile News’, so it was something of a surprise to hear that the problems that rancour some in Europe and are keep their mobile operations down to a very minimum are the very same reasons, according to Sato, that the Japanese Golden Age is coming to an end.

And what’s the problem? Why the mobile operators.

Sato said that the machinations of shifting price tariffs amongst the three mobile companies that run the Japanese market – NTT Docomo (53 per cent market share), VIDDI (30 per cent) and Softbank (17 per cent) had caused many Japanese to switch operators and thus break the subscriptions through which they pay for access to mobile news sites.

He added that operators had been developing free content portals, which had been deflecting more and more traffic away from the paid-for services, and operators were also, effectively, blocking links to his paid-for sites with their portals.

The reticence of young people to pay for online content and people viewing free web pages designed for PC viewing on mobiles was also adding to the problems.

Sato did, however, outline the strategy that has brought Asahi such great success. The first mobile site, Asahi NikkanSports, was launched in 1999. It now boasts 700,000 to 800,000 subscribers.

The company’s strategy was to then spin similar satellite sites off the successful site, using its own content and that gleaned through partnerships, then link and promote from the original.

So spawned – amongst others – Asahi Lifeline news, for emergency and traffic news, using 15-second video stories, Nikkan Geino for entertainment news and a site dedicated to supplying electronic books and comics.

Asahi Shimbum operates 12 mobile websites, he added, with around one million subscribers paying monthly for access to one of the sites – with each site being run by a staff of six.

This contributes to the digital division of Asahi Shimbum making $33 (US) per year – a whopping one per cent of total company sales.

Oh, how the other delegates yearned for his millions-of-mobile-dollars problems…