University Business - February 2010 - (Page 17)

INTERNET TECHNOLOGY Websites Gone Mobile More institutions exploring—and succeeding with—mobile web By Karine Joly T’S 2010. DO YOU KNOW where your mobile web visitors are? If your college or university hasn’t managed yet to provide an online presence for this growing section of its target audience, it should probably have been named a New Year’s resolution. e days where desktop computers—or even their little brothers the laptops and netbooks—were the only important devices in web town are over. e year of the mobile web has finally dawned upon us, and there is no turning back. As reported by e Nielsen Company in “Global Mobile—Strategies for Growth,” a white paper published in October, the number of U.S. smart phone subscribers during the 2008-2009 Q2 period jumped 72 percent to 26.1 million users. Gartner predicts smart phone sales will account for 46 percent of all mobile phone sales worldwide by 2013. Since smart phone users also account for half of all active mobile internet users, Nielsen’s Jon Stewart, research director for technology and search, and Chris Quick, mobile media analyst, foresee an upcoming explosion in mobile web usage. eMarketer’s August 2009 report “Mobile Users and Usage: It’s Personal” predicted a jump in U.S. mobile users accessing the internet from 73.7 million in 2009 to 134.3 million (43.5 percent of mobile phone subscribers) in 2013. Whether they are students, alums, or friends, many more constituents will soon carry smart phones (or Wi-Fi-enabled small devices like the iPod Touch) in their pockets. And they will expect your institution to meet their needs on this I Ohio State officials wanted to offer the best view of its news, way-finding, and promotional content on smart phones. form in the same manner it already does when they sit behind their computer. Need another sign of this perfect mobile web storm? An increasing number of colleges and universities have started to take into account this upcoming shift in web consumption by integrating the mobile web in their overall strategy and launching new mobile websites. A lot has already been written about iStanford or Duke’s implementation of Blackboard Mobile, the application suite designed by recent BlackBoard acquisition TerriblyClever. However, it isn’t the only solution being implemented by institutions anymore. e mobile web landscape in higher education has started to diversify over the past six months. EARLY SUCCESS In the latest technology survey Columbus State University (Ga.) does every year with its students, more than 70 percent indicated preferring to use a cell or smart phone to communicate with the university regarding their student information. “We wanted to have a way to reduce the long lines that result prior to each term within our enrollment management area,” recalls Bob Diveley, executive director of operations and infrastructure for CSU Information and Technology Services. e university launched Mobile Apps at the end of September 2009, providing instant access to academic, financial aid, and event information. Working in partnership with Google, CSU employed a group of current computer science students to develop—under the lead of a senior programmer on staff—a comprehensive mobile application using Google’s Android Open Source Mobile Apps operating system. A month after the launch, a daily average of 7,000 people were using the application. “Our ultimate goal is to duplicate all of the services that we now provide to students through our university portal,” says Diveley. e Ohio State University launched its mobile website targeted to smart phone users in August 2009. e institution has had a mobile presence optimized for small screens like the Razor for six years, but officials wanted to offer the best view of its resources, news, way-finding, and promotional content on smart phones. Karine Joly is the web editor behind www, a blog about higher ed web marketing, public relations, and technologies. She is also the founder of the professional development online community www.higher February 2010 | 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - February 2010

University Business - February 2010
Editor’s Note
Behind the News
Internet Technology
Independent Outlook
Universities Go to School
Leveraging Technology to Increase Enrollment, Capacity, and Revenues
Meet Me Online
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
What’s New
End Note

University Business - February 2010