By Wes Meltzer, Orlando Sentinel
The mobile and tablet landscape has changed a lot in the last year, since Denver. It changed since last week! At a panel discussion, Steve Yelvington of Morris, Chris Courtney of Tribune and Ray Marcano of Cox took a look at where we are, what’s next, and, as Courtney put it, “how the hell we got here.”
Here’s a brief recap of what the three panelists had to say:
Steve Yelvington, digital strategist at Morris Communications
- It’s not just about the tablet. In fact, it’s mostly not about tablet; the tablet is primarily used by men in the 35-54 demographic. Everything is still about mobile.
- Android is the dominant OS. Don’t think about just iOS.
- It’s not all about the apps. You don’t have to serve every platform, but why reinvent the wheel for every platform? The mobile web is still there.
- Don’t obsess over vendor solutions.
- Understand that mobile devices are not just another distribution mechanism. Think hard about what you want there, and focus on that.
- It’s not just about news. Broaden your horizons.
- Be interoperable with the rest of the Web. You have to be prepared for people to use your content in unexpected ways.
- Think creatively about how you can serve marketers and readers at the same time.
Chris Courtney, mobile product manager for Tribune Media Group
- Only build what you would actually use. This will make your approach to app design (and content) more compelling.
- Don’t create something just because it will sell. In fact, if that’s the reason you’re doing it, stop!
- “Intrapreneurship” is king. Look inside for your resources; try to bring start-up culture to your business to keep your best people. We’re getting our lunch eaten by start-ups.
- Media organizations are still too big. We need half the people we have. Then we won’t still have vice presidents for strategy and the like holding things up.
- Why reinvent the mobile Web? If you already have that product, why try to create that a second time?
- Have a Web-for-all strategy. Stop reinventing what you’ve already solved.
- Make your Web site touch-optimized on the front end. If you start with something that’s touch-friendly, it’s also going to be desktop-friendly. It doesn’t go the other way.
- Release aggressively and set aggressive deadlines.
- Fail. Fail again. You’ll only learn by failing. I want you all to fail on something in the next month.
Ray Marcano, Sr. Manager for Strategic Initiatives, Cox Media Group’s digital and strategy team
- Think outside the software and hardware box with your development strategies.
- Put some effort into understanding your contracts. Make sure you know your rights to syndicated content (or you’ll get hurt): is “tablet” the same as “mobile”? Are you sure you and your content providers are on the same page?
- If your vendor promises you everything you’re asking for in 30 days, run for the hills. Find a new vendor.
- Decide your focus. Figure out what you want your app to be. What kind of content do you have?
- Make sure you have someone who understands your CMS inside and out. And you don’t just have one CMS; you probably have dozens. You need someone who understands what’s going on under the hood.