Friday, June 24, 2011

Is your blog ready to go mobile?

A few weeks ago I went to a seminar for small businesses and individuals that want to build an online presence through a web site or blog.  The speaker had a nice Powerpoint slide show and I took a couple of pages of notes.  He asked how many of us in the room had a blog, and several raised their hands.  Then he asked, "Is your blog WAP mobile enabled?"

Huh? I put my hand down and made a note of it.  We moved on to other topics and I never got around to asking the speaker to explain.  So I did a little research and learned that web sites that may work fine on your computer may not work correctly on your phone.  So for all the readers out there who blog or maintain a web site for their business, this could be a real problem.

An article by Deanne Chance on searchmobilecomputing.com defines WAP this way:  "WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is a specification for a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular telephones and radio transceivers, can be used for Internet access, including e-mail, the World Wide Web, newsgroups, and instant messaging."  WAP uses Wireless Markup Language (WML) to create pages that your phone can read.

The four most popular free blog providers I know of are Blogger, Livejournal, Typepad and Wordpress.  This article by Dennis Bournique states that Wordpress and Livejournal support WAP, and that Blogger began to support it in January 2011.  I don't know if Typepad does--I searched their site and knowledge base but couldn't find an answer.  If someone knows about this, perhaps you could leave a comment?

Bournique's article tells Blogger users how to turn on the mobile option for their blogs by going into the Settings and choosing the Email and Mobile tab.  This feature strips down your blog to make it easier to display, and supports iPhone and Android, but not Symbian, Windows Phone and Opera.

He supplies a neat little hack to fix this.  Add "?m=1" to the URL address, and the site should work on your phone.  I haven't tried this yet, but if you do, please leave a comment and let the rest of us know.

I plan to look at this option for chimpwithpencil because I'd like people to be able to read it on their phones, and I realize that as smartphones become common, more people will view web pages via their phones.

Out of curiosity, I checked my Blogger stats and found some interesting statistics.  The operating systems used by people who visit chimpwithpencil include 80% Windows, 7% Linux, 6% Mac, 4% iPhone and less than 1% Android.  The browsers were 57% Internet Explorer, 18% Firefox, 12% Chrome and 9% Safari, with the rest being in single digits.

Not a lot of people reading chimp on their phones yet, but your blog may be different, and I think it's worth looking into.

(I found the pic of the droid here.)

2 comments:

  1. Great info, Mark. I've heard it said that if you want to know what will be hot in technology here in the USA tomorrow, look at what Japan is doing today. Just about everyone there mostly uses their cell phone to access the Internet.

    On another note, how do I subscribe to your blog? Is there a widget to do that on your home page?

    On still another note, I see you like monkeys. Do you have the Slingshot Flying Monkey? If not, check it out at http://www.slingshotflyingmonkey.com/
    Video: http://youtu.be/M3fKgZUmLhs

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  2. Hey Judy, thanks for commenting. I don't have an RSS feed widget, but maybe I need to add one? Is this what you meant?

    I do own a Slingshot Flying Monkey! Those things are great fun.

    Thanks for reading. I'm glad the article was useful.

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