Great mobile application for Black Friday

I was sent a story idea for a mobile application call Zoomingo and I will say upfront that if someone pitches me an application or story idea I really have to like it to blog about it. This application fits the bill. I installed it and immediately found value with it. What is cool, as you can see from my screen shots below is you can get a glimpse into Black Friday deals.

Zoomingo tracks and displays Black Friday sales as soon as the information is available – the only shopping app that displays local sales and offers from more than 100 national retailers at more than 70,000 retail outlets throughout the nation.

What you get are weekly Ads for Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Macy’s, Forever 21, H&M, CVS & Kohl’s.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 3.36.15 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-19 at 3.36.36 PM  Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 3.37.08 PM

 

Tip of The Day: Mobile Simulation With Chrome

chrome-os-2odl-800Quick Tip of the Day – don’t have a mobile device? Then use Chrome to test your responsive design on many kinds of devices! I have used this technique specifically to test what the site will actually look like on a mobile device. Even though responsive designs “work” when  you resize the browser, sometime it’s not perfect.

 

Using IBM Web Mobile Push to turn anonymous into registered users

pushdev1In this blog post by Michael Bordash he shows how you can use IBM Web Mobile Push to turn the anonymous reader into a registered user. While this concept isn’t new, I think the simplicity of the IBM Web Mobile Push platform is what is key here. The Campaign manager and its ability to easily create custom events, logs, segments, and messages is what I think is so attractive with this solution. I have seen many platforms that allow this and very rarely is the administration of such campaigns so straightforward. In one of my earlier posts, “IBM Mobile Web Push in 90 seconds – The Sports Ticker App – Part 2“, I demonstrated creating a basic campaign in 90 seconds. Granted, I went pretty fast but I think you can see the value in the easy to use form and rules builder presented. I plan on creating more complex scenarios to show the flexibility and power of this platform.

You might want to also check out some of the premium options for the platform. Like Location – where you can dynamically create segments based on browser location and IP based location or the Weather based option which is a partnership with Wunderground weather service.

web-push-trial

IBM Mobile Web Push in 90 seconds – The Sports Ticker App – Part 2

90In this last video of the two part segment I show how I use the IBM Mobile Web Push in an application I am building by keying off of data feed events in the application and sending those events to the campaign manager. The campaign manager evaluates the data in the rules I created and decides whether to push an offer to the device. To illustrate how easy the campaign manager user interface is I attempt to do this in less than 90 seconds.

If you want to play around with the code and see how to interact with the campaign manager feel free to check it out on GitHub here. I built the application on NodeJS for simplicity and speed. The primary code is in usports.js, where I simulate getting the feed and sending events to my campaign manager for evaluation. The code snippet that calls into the Reactor Campaign Manager can be seen below in Listing 1. This is just one example of real-time marketing where I override the default “inbox” in the IBM Mobile Web Push user interface and use a jQuery popup instead. You can imagine that I could extend this application to hold all of my coupons or offers in a list and present a notifications number notification like many other mobile applications.

Listing 1
46 if (script[t_idx].data == "halftime"){
47
48     //Now send a notification to reactor
49     Reactor.reset();
50
51     Reactor.Client.setAttribute("game", "ncaa");
52     Reactor.Client.setAttribute("half", "first");
53
54     var newPage = new Reactor.Event("PAGE_VIEW", function(message){
55
56     });
57     Reactor.EventManager.fireEvent(newPage);
58
59 }

You can get started yourself by following the same path in the catalog here or click the advertisement below.

web-push-trial

You can watch the first video from the previous post: Getting started with IBM Mobile Web Push – Mobile Messaging for marketing – Part 1

 

New video: Testing your site on mobile devices

In this video I show how you can use the CoreMedia studio to test your site across different resolutions – specifically mobile devices like tablet (landscape and portrait) and mobile phones (landscape and portrait). This studio essentially helps making sure your responsive design implementation and content is behaving correctly on the specified resolution and device.

You can learn more about CoreMedia and their LiveContext for IBM WebSphere Commerce at their site, click here.

Responsive themes for WordPress, mobile, and JetPack

A while ago I switched to the Twenty Eleven theme and more recently I started using the JetPack mobile theme so my site looks very different in a mobile web browser. You can test my blog in your desktop browser and slowly shrink the window to see the responsive design in action. You gotta love WordPress and most of JetPack!

Here is a screen shot of my blog on an iPhone using JetPack:

IMG_3604

Why transcoders simply don’t work for your mobile eCommerce solution any longer

 

transcodingA very popular approach over the last five years was to hire a company to transcode your commerce site into a mobile experience. While this niche play was warranted five years ago it is no longer viable for a serious mobile channel presence. Today, most vendors, especially IBM and its business partners are building web applications with responsive design technology; so with a single code base you can target the different channels with the appropriate content for the specific device. This is a game changer for companies taking their mobile presence seriously. The latest WebSphere Commerce Feature Pack 6 is now compatible with Worklight. Meaning the responsive design and source code are being re-used on top of a services layer for optimal code re-use and content management.

Here are some key differentiation’s between a transcoder model and a responsive design model like Worklight.

Content

  • Responsive design model can have targeted content to a device that is optimized by the precision marketing engine on the commerce site.
  • Alternative screen layouts based on device, targeted specifically for a device and a mobile experience.
  • Precision marketing can now take into account things like device location, the person, and the device when recommending content and products.

Performance

  • Since the code is not going through a transcoder you should see a performance gain.
  • Because the code is running on the server and not being transcoded you can implement a clear caching strategy that is optimized for each device.

Management

  • Because the transcoder essentially “scrapes” the screen to create the mobile experience most eCommerce platforms do not have management tools to optimize the scraping methods. They are usually done at the JSP/Code layer – out of reach of a marketing person or business tool user.
  • Having the ability to target specific devices using business user tooling is key. A business user can define the rules behind the specific device and ultimately have total control of the mobile channel experience.

If you want to learn more about this make sure you sign up for the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Nashville or Monaco. There will be many demonstrations about the latest mobile technologies in the Smarter Commerce space.

Developers: 4Shared offers $5000 a month in contest!

4Shared, a Virtual drive and file storage company, is offering an integrated file management solution that allows users to access and save their content from their desktops and mobile devices.

4Shared users receive 15 GB of available space for free on their virtual drive, an amount considerably greater than any competitor. The space capacity allows personal and business users the flexibility to choose 4Shared as their secure backup drive for the storage of important data, photo, or video files. 4Shared Desktop is a browser-based user interface features a clean design that is customizable to fit user preferences. It features time-saving functions such as simple and fast drag-and-drop storage of hundreds of files at once.

4Shared is now offering a $5000 a month award to the most innovative application that uses their API’s. This sounds like a great way to get some extra money and create something cool for the web or a mobile device. The company is boasting its API’s (link here) to be used by developers to create applications for the masses. The API’s look very straightforward and their wiki has a lot of nice samples to get even the most novice developer up and running very quickly. On the main wiki page they have basic developer setup instructions for all of the major platforms (iOS, Android, Symbian, etc). My choice would be Android since you can pretty much start for free and Android is becoming more and more popular. They recommend using Eclipse and the Android SDK.

“Offering our API for use by developers allows us to give an even broader range of customers access to our secure and fast storage solution,” said Mr. Lunkov

File storage and retrieval are becoming very popular for mobile phones. While there are a lot of similar services out there today, I really think starting with the developer is a great idea – that is where innovation begins and what better way than to have a $5000 a month contest!

Fwd: IBM's mobile strategy: Anybody but HP or Microsoft

“But the format is a potentially a substitute for the PC in many cases. I’ve talked to CIOs who think they might be able to replace 20 percent of laptops with tablets over the next few years. So the hierarchy of Windows and Office that we accept as our environment will change,” he says. – Kevin Cavanaugh

IBM’s mobile strategy: Anybody but HP or Microsoft | The Industry Standard – InfoWorld.

Mobile Web versus native Applications

Heiko Behrens has an excellent article and a presentation (also below) he gave at Mobile Tech Conference 2010 on this subject – well worth the read!

I think it is very relevant to the Domino community, especially after the feedback from LoLA.  If you are a business partner or developer in the mobile and web space you should check this out.

POLL: Mobile development, native or HTML 5 based?

A timely post on InfoWorld made me think of a poll that would be interesting to see how the general community feels on the subject.  I do have my own opinions however; after playing with the Android SDK and creating some basic applications for the device.  In short, until we get JavaScript libraries like jQTouch for all major frameworks like Dojo and JQuery or HTML supports such API’s it will be hard to completely develop with HTML 5 and JavaScript alone.  However, I do think HTML 5 + JavaScript should be the right answer in the long run but today I would have to go with option 3 – both Native and HTML 5 for the development choice. The good news is most of the development for platforms like Android use Eclipse for both web and native so you can essentially learn and develop everything for free!

What do you think?

[poll id=”12″]

All web developers, please use "email", "number", and "url" types for input!

I can’t tell you how nice the custom keyboard on the iPhone is for sites that are using type=”number”, type=”email” and type=”url” on their forms.  You can check out this article I found that explains all of the different keyboards the iPhone supports.  I also found another good article that hits on a few more nice to knows in the mobile web space.