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Mobile changes everything. Just as it did for Pandora and Open Table, it’s changing us, too. About three months ago, we launched our new iPhone & iPod Touch app, which has been download by thousands of our readers. I wrote at the time,
The app…essentially offers a unified experience of all our various properties — from our blogs to our paid subscription service to our events to our real-time Twitter feed. One brand, one app!
Little did we know how that app would change everything. It brought home a series of lessons about how people view and interact with our content. One of the biggest lessons of the iPhone app was the extremely high amount of time users spent per session, thanks to us unifying the content from all our sister sites into a single stream. It made us realize one basic fact: the readers appreciated the diversity, depth and deftness of our content, regardless of which network blog it came from. On an average, those who use our iPhone app spend over 15 minutes per session, with a couple of sessions daily. And that is with all the notifications turned off.
That data (along with other metrics) prompted us to rethink the branding and overall design of the network of sites. As a result, we’ve made some changes, with a small revision to the design we first launched in November 2009.
For instance, we’ve redesigned the navigation across our network of sites to make it consistent. It helps us introduce you to the other writers we work with, and expose you to stories from across the network of sites, giving us a chance to have meaningful discussions more often.
Of course, many of the industries we obsess about– online video, mobile devices, collaboration, cloud computing and clean technologies among many others — are converging and are influencing the outcomes of others. Mobile devices redefine the meaning of collaboration, just as data centers for cloud computing drive up need for power, including clean power.
So what we’ve done is build a back-end system to showcase content from across the network, each one picking out the pieces that meet the needs of their unique set of readers. Our objective is to give you a more-frequently updated, more in-depth, 360-degree view of the technology business we so obviously love.
Obviously these are not the only changes; our app and evolution of mobile continues to teach us new lessons. We’re working on developing an HTML5 version of the site optimized for the iPad and Android-based touch-devices. With these new devices will come new lessons!