Mobile is different but people want a unified world

Mobile Monday New YorkThis week’s Mobile Monday gathering in New York on April 28, 2008 on the topic of Social Search and Mobile Analytics gave some interesting insights on what’s shaping the mobile web and what’s important for businesses:

1. Design for the mobile web – sites designed specifically for mobile web are so much better even on handsets like the iPhone.  There was a debate whether Sprint’s new transcoding would have a positive effect on user experience and it was too early to say.

2. Mobile search needs to be different from desktop search.  Steve Ives at Taptu gave an illustration about Google using linking to other sites as value in search relevance.  This isn’t really applicable in mobile search because mobile sites don’t link to each other as frequently as on the desktop web.

3. Existing desktop analytics don’t work on mobile as JavaScript isn’t supported well.  Adding Google analytics code to a mobile website creates huge problems for people trying to download a mobile web page as it adds such a heavy piece of code.

4. Businesses want a unified world.  Dan Mason from ESPN said he needs a single analytics tool for both desktop and mobile and how important it was for them to be able to get information about handsets and carriers but also to be able to uniquely identify users.

5. To uniquely identify users you need a persistent user ID.  I said that Bango was the only company to provide a persistent user ID, other analytics vendors discard the cookie based ID after 30 days but it’s important to offer enhanced personalize the user experience this isn’t discarded.

6. Long tail in mobile search is here.  Bryson Meunier asked for examples of long tail search in mobile and I said that an excellent example of it happening is bango.com/live, where we see lots of customers’ sites being viewed by users in other countries so they must have been found in mobile search.

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