Mobile Friendly Websites

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About a month ago I talked about the need for an alternative to a laptop that can be used to read blog fiction sites. One thing that I started using is my cell phone. It's something that I always have and is usually in an area that offers "mobile" internet access. What's neat about it is that if I find some down time I can always whip it out read the latest posts from my favorite sites. That's the advantage to using a cell phone to read blog fiction.

However, there are also disadvantages. Text is really small on a cell phone. Depending on your location and service, "Mobile internet" isn't necessarily available. The biggest problem is the small screen can really screw up the layout of a blog. It is that last disadvantage that brings me to the point of this post.

Using my phone, the EnV VX9900 from LG,, I went through the entire blog fiction list and rated how easy each site is to use on my cell phone. I have 3 categories.

  1. Navigable: This is the most favorable rating. This means that not only can you read the latest posts, but you can easily navigate through old posts or even start back at the beginning and read the whole thing on your phone.
  2. Readable: This is a "satisfactory" rating. It's easy to read the latest posts. Good for catching up on a blog that you haven't read for a bit. However, it's not easy or maybe not even possible to navigate to older posts. Therefore you can only catch up with the sites you're already reading.
  3. Unusable: The worse rating. There are 2 ways that a blog fiction site can get on this list. The first way is if the text is hard or impossible to get to and read. An example would be sifting through 200 lines of links and ads before getting to any content. The other way to end up on this list is if a blog is "readable", but is no longer updating. If a blog is finished and you can only read the latest posts than really, it's not going to be very readable at all.
Obviously, not everyone's phone is going to be like mine. That means this list isn't the final say. It's only a survey of these sites according to what my phone can view. I would love to know how some of these sites look on other people's phones.

One other thing before I get to the results. If you're a blog fiction author and your blog is on the "unusable" list, don't over react. Don't start optimizing your site for cell phone traffic yet. Especially not if it's going to harm the layout and functionality of site for normal visitors. Right now, I consider this list for readers who might be stuck somewhere boring (an opening music act, nephew's T-Ball game, or niece's dance recital) and need some entertainment. Know that your entertainment could be only a cell phone away. I'll be issuing updates to this list as needed.

Navigable
Action Figure Diary*
Yanni's Block
The Adventures of Daniel Walters
Curly Gibson

Readable
Anonymous Lawyer
Captain's Log
Undead Man Blogging
The Professional Pet
Peep This Diary
Mexican Year
Renal Failure
Fate's Acquittal
Space Haggis
Giant Girl Rampages
Charlotte
Fake Steve Ballmer
Death's Blog

Unusable
Ten-Sided
Wilf's World
Atyllah The Hen
Confessions of a Blogger
Transplanted Life
Lord Likely
Fleet Commander
Diary of a Killer
Up and Onward: Confessions of a Super Hero
The Cranky Product Manager
Horton's Folly
The User Pool
Under Odysseus
The Star Islanders
The Darth Side
Blog Paige

*Action Figure Diary was easy to read and navigate. However, the comic pictures were condensed to a point where I couldn't make it out. I suspect that not everyone will have that problem with their phone.

8 comments:

tashabud said...

When you use your cell phone to follow your fav blogs, wouldn't you be using up a lot of your allotted minutes?

Tasha

JZ said...

From what I understand, it's not so much the minutes that you use up as much as the cost per unit of data. Fortunately there are programs for most cell phones that allow you unlimited data.

With regards to the larger topic, I've been amused to find people viewing my site via iphone and treo on occasion.

I've made no effort to make my site accessible via mobile phone, so that surprised me a little.

I don't know how well it works for other phones.

DustinM said...

Like most stuff, it depends. Some give unlimited internet. Some charge extra per minute. Some deduct the minutes from your allotted minutes. Mine charges for the time it takes to download each page and deducts it from my phone minutes. I would suggest every check their phone plans before taking a couple hours to read their favorite blog.

Lethe said...

Dustin,

I looked for your email and couldn't find it anywhere. I wanted to extend an invitation to you to the complete Part One of Lethe in Vegas for the Novel of Life. When you reviewed the layout of my blog, I was just a neophyte . . . things have changed and I'd love for you to check it out.

http://lethebashar.wordpress.com

Lethe

DustinM said...

Lethe,
If you click on my Blogger profile, you'll see my email address.

When I get a chance, yes, I would like to check out your site again and give my opinion. Once it's done, I'll shoot you an email and let you know when to expect a review to be published.

Lethe said...

Wow, Dustin . . . I would be truly grateful for a review . . . thanks.

Justin said...

Hi there,

sorry to barge in but thought I could perhaps help with some information about a mobile service that actually mobilizes blogs, but then offers a whole lot more.

Its a service called Mippin Mobilizer and what it offers is a mobilizing feature, with the option to then customise the branding around the mobilized edition as well as insert advertising to generate ad revenue (if you're so inclined).

The cool thing about Mippin is that once you've mobilized your blog, it joins a much wider community of content, people, blogs, news, video and more at the mobile site:

http://mippin.com (on a mobile browsers.)

For your own Fiction Blog blog you can get your own mobile URL to promote to friends, readers and so on, but the cool thing about Mippin on mobile is it has one of the largest mobile audiences in the US and UK, so you'll also get new readers too. And because Mippin users can be automatically connected around similar interests, you'll find yourself discovering new book blogs too.

If you want, go to the PC site first to mobilize your blog and see a demo:

www.mippin.com/mobilizer

I reckon you'll like it, and that's NOT fiction!

DustinM said...

justin,
That sounds like a promising service. By the way, do you work for the site?

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