Mobile devices are the next frontier of the Internet. Where companies and even governments are now battling it out over the desktop, it is the device you can fit in your pocket that will be the next place they will be after. Where those reading this who live outside of the US are very in tune with this, folks here are not so much aware of this, namely as mobile devices are now crossing over from being simple phones to smartphones.
Now I will step off my soapbox and talk about practical applications, which is the path to the success of conquering the mobile frontier. When I recently happened upon Mippin, a service that will format your blog to display on a mobile device, I had to try it out. By creating a free account and entering my blog’s URL, it created an optimized version of The Hot Iron for a mobile device. You can see this for yourself by clicking the widget above or click this link. You are sent to a page to display it on your device, whether by entering a URL manually of scanning a QR code. As it is a Web page, you can display it in a standard Web browser as well.
Eventually I plan to build my own mobile-optimized version of The Hot Iron, but for now this is a good stand-in for it. I welcome your input on how this mobile format looks and works for you.Blogging • Mobile Technology • QR Codes • (1) Comments • Permalink
One of the great features of blogging is comments. Getting feedback from people who read what you write, where not always on your side, is important to having a conversation. Not all blogs allow comments, though, for whatever reason. One reason often mentioned is content spamming, where people who don’t care what you write and are only interested in getting links on your site is their reason for leaving a comment. Where spam is a reality of life, it is unfortunate if it stifles a dialog on your blog. But do methods to prevent spam also stifle conversations?
A medium for some blog owners is to require someone to log into their blog to post a comment. By doing so, the commenter has identified themselves which “legitimizes” the comments they post. The login account a commenter creates may be specifically to that particular site or to a particular blog platform, such as WordPress. There are also many third-party authentication and blog comment services, such as OpenID and Disqus, which some blogs use. And in some cases, you can even use your Twitter or Facebook login to identify yourself prior to posting a comment.
Any type of login or authentication, in general, will prevent people from interacting with you. This doesn’t apply to blogs only, but any other Web application including eCommerce. If you take a look at adding a login to a blog from the user’s perspective, you could be in essence blocking people from commenting on your blog. The need to create yet another login account to add to the burgeoning list they already have will prevent some people from doing so to leave a comment, especially if they are reading your blog for the first time. Even using the third-party services I mentioned previously, some users don’t understand how those work, and by creating an account with them is adding to that burgeoning list even more.
By requiring people to log in, you are blocking anonymous comments. Some people may wish to contribute something to the conversation on your blog, but they may not want to identify themselves. Whether they simply choose not to identify themselves or are concerned with their name being attached to what they are saying, anonymous comments can be legitimate comments. Think in real-life how you may have a chat with someone in passing, whether at a bar or on a subway car? You may never know who they are, but what they had to say was a contribution.
I present this opinion not only to initiate a conversation, but also to easily pass along my opinions on requiring blog login the next time I run into one. Comments are open, no login required.Blogging • Technology • (3) Comments • Permalink