Mobile: General Conference experience

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barkeraj
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Mobile: General Conference experience

Postby barkeraj » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:54 am

Short version: We are thinking through how we can best use mobile devices to experience general conference. Any suggestions?

Long Version: A little more detail on the who,what,where,etc

Why make general conference available for mobile devices?
- Increase the availability of the words of the prophets
- Provide immediate spiritual comfort, guidance anywhere you are, when you need it. Not an hour later when you get home.
- Strengthen one's testimony of the Saviour.
- Allow for the remembrance and recollection of the words of the prophets.

How could it be presented? Video, Audio, Text
Video - For the short term we have decided that this isn't supported well enough. iPhone aside, other phones that support video usually use the given carriers proprietary system. In general, there just isn't enough devices out there yet to warrant the effort.

Audio (mp3) - Kind of similar to Video in that while a decent number of devices are technically able to handle it, delivery methods are often proprietary to the carrier. Again, not currently worth the effort.

Audio (phone call) - We realized that first and foremost a mobile device is a phone. Having a system that users could call into to hear conference talks (in whole or in part) is available to any mobile phone.

Text - Within text we have two subsets. 1 - SMS/Text messaging (has that pesky 140/160 char limit). 2 - A mobile website (not as many users have mobile internet as they do sms/text).

Who should we target?
Options include
- General church membership
- Those without access to church magazines
- Those without home computers
- Those without either of the above
- Those who are not able to view conference via stake centers, tv or streaming online

What should we publish?
- Full archive
- Quick summary/highlights

When would you access it?
- Immediately following conference (remember a quote, etc)
- First 7-14 days after (reminders sent to you, etc)
- During a lesson
- While preparing a lesson
- Spare time (bus, waiting in a line, etc)
--------
The above is a quick synopsis of some of the situations we have been pondering on. In the end we would naturally love to take care of all of the above. But for now we are looking for what would be the best things to get out first.

If you could have one thing what would it be? Would you rather have all talks archived (a mobile device makes it kind of difficult to read a whole talk) or just summaries? Or would it be nice to have an LDS Gems-esque daily reminder of topics or stories via SMS to keep conference fresh in your mind for the weeks following conference (when we so quickly forget what we just heard)? Do you feel you have enough access to conference already, so we should focus on those who don't have TV's, internet or magazines... but do have a mobile device. This may be their only real way to get to hear/read conference.

I've put enough thoughts in your minds. Give us some of your own!!

Thanks!!
Aaron Barker
Front-end Development Lead for LDS.org (content portions, not apps) and Ward Executive Secretary.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:13 am

Interesting ideas. I'm probably not the one to say since I just have a basic phone but use the web heavily. But some random thoughts:

- Email access. I think email is a fairly universal mode, particularly for people and places where web access is still iffy.

- I think your target groups would be:
  • youth and collage-aged adults. They are highly mobile and use their phones heavily. They also like to travel light and can be more discreet about their religion.
  • smart phone/PDA users. They are used to using their devices on the go.
  • less developed areas of the world where phones are available but web access is limited


-For audio/video presentations, I'd want a easy ability to pause, one or two backup modes for something I may have missed and the ability to control playback speed. My mind wonders too much if all I have is normal playback speed. I like to increase it a bit to keep my attention.

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Postby jdlessley » Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:04 pm

I didn't see a reason why you are trying to do this. When most large scale plans are put into action there generally is a reason for it. Once the issue is identified then there is a goal to which success can be measured. In this case I would presume that there is a concern that not enough of the Church membership is able to view conference when it happens and/or that there is a population of members who need conference information after-the-fact.

Somehow I think that there already has been discussions about this and that the idea of mobile being a good candidate to solve an issue (not identified here) should be pursued. If we had more of the background of the issue then the target would be clearer.

If my assumptions above are correct then I would find out how the population of members who do not view conference when it is scheduled use mobile technology. And for the population of members who need conference information after-the-fact I would want to know for what purpose they use mobile technology to view conference information.

Unfortunately I do not use mobile technology for various reasons and can't help here.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:50 pm

For those in the US, I think the idea of dialing into a live audio feed is interesting. Many people do not have unlimited data or text available on their phones, but DO have unlimited nights and weekends for voice, which is when Conference usually airs. Even a non-800 number would work with today's unlimited nation-wide calling plans. Just my 2¢.

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barkeraj
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Postby barkeraj » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:51 pm

jdlessley wrote:I didn't see a reason why you are trying to do this.

Woops... I forgot to put in the "Why" section. That is now added in the first post.

Something to keep in mind is that there isn't one correct answer. A daily "remember ___ from conference" SMS doesn't help someone who needs to look up something, but can keep the words of the prophets fresh in our mind.

Inversely, an archive of talks doesn't help me keep the words fresh since it's not "in my face", but helps me to look something up when I need it.

In the end the main goal is to make the words of the prophets more readily available.
Aaron Barker
Front-end Development Lead for LDS.org (content portions, not apps) and Ward Executive Secretary.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:37 pm

Given your updated "why", I can see two level approach:

- A quick "thought for the day" type of thing. A short inquiry will result in a quote via SMS, or a short talk via voice. It might have categories, but the end selection is mostly random. The point here is to provide immediate uplift without going though a burdensome interface.

- A mobile web app that allows more powerful features such as searching.

Oh, and whatever you do, please, no music via a phone call. The codecs make the result anything but uplifting to me.

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Postby cannona-p40 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:21 am

RussellHltn wrote:Oh, and whatever you do, please, no music via a phone call. The codecs make the result anything but uplifting to me.


Great point. I doubt that there is much danger of that happening, however. :)

I personally believe that mobile conference is likely to be more popular outside the US, as mobile web browsing doesn't seem to have caught on here as much as it has in other places.

Aaron

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Mobile Safari

Postby Scofield Boy-p40 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:38 am

cannona wrote:
I personally believe that mobile conference is likely to be more popular outside the US, as mobile web browsing doesn't seem to have caught on here as much as it has in other places.


I'm not sure about that...I'm using mobile Safari in my iPod touch as I speak.

How about a way to stream LIVE on mobile Safari? Remember it dosen't (yet) support Flash.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:42 am

Scofield Boy wrote:I'm not sure about that...I'm using mobile Safari in my iPod touch as I speak.

How about a way to stream LIVE on mobile Safari? Remember it dosen't (yet) support Flash.

Even an audio stream would be a nice start.

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:01 pm

There are already ways to access podcasts via telephones, including both land lines and cellular.

Webcasts can be accessed via iPhones now, there's an application that costs six dollars at the Apple store and you can listen to any of thousands of web streams, and BYU Radio is one of those that provides Conference that way along with many other stations that broadcast conference over the air, so this is a practical reality now.

I'll dig this stuff up and post what I found about it later, it will appear in this thread.


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