FIR On Technology, Episode 4 - How To Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

FIR On Technology logoHow do you make your website “mobile-friendly”? Given Google’s impending April 21, 2015, deadline to start using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for mobile search results, what can you do both in the short-term and in the longer-term to both provide the best experience for mobile users - and also retain your Google search result ranking?

In this fourth episode of “FIR On Technology” Dan York explains what you need to be thinking about with regard to “responsive design” of your website, outlines some of the resources Google offers to help, and explains several of the options you have to make your site mobile-friendly.  During the episode Dan discusses the following sites:

Get this Podcast:

The music for the intro and outro is “Early Warning” from Mark Knox and is used with his permission.

Sharing Your Comments

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype:fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at [email protected]. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

NOTE: This podcast announcement was originally posted on the For Immediate Release (FIR) website.


FIR On Technology Episode 3 - Understanding Markdown

Firontechnology 300What is the Markdown language all about? How is it being used on sites like Ello, Github and in the Jetpack plugin for WordPress? Why should communicators and others involved in PR or marketing careabout Markdown? How can it help more rapidly create content for the web?

Those are all questions I sought to answer in episode 3 of FIR On Technology with Dan York that I published last Friday. The podcast is now available for listening directly on the FIR website or in iTunes or the podcast RSS feeds.

On the episode web page I also provided a list of links for people wanting to know more about Markdown, which I'm reprinting here: 

I've found using Markdown to be extremely helpful in rapid content creation. I've naturally been using it on Ello (where I also wrote about this FIR On Technology episode) and on Github, but I'm also starting to use it for some posts on a couple of my WordPress sites courtesy of the Jetpack plugin. As I note in the episode, Markdown is not something necessarily new... after all it first came out in 2004... but it has seemed to attract more interest in recent years.

One point I forgot to make in the episode is that Markdown is not the only "lightweight markup language" out there. There are definitely other similar languages, each with their own take on how to make markup simple. An example I've used on several sites in the past is Textile. However, my interest these days has been in Markdown, and there seems to be a good bit of momentum behind the language... and so hence this podcast.

Anyway... I hope you find it useful and helpful. If you do, or if you have other comments or ideas or suggestions about Markdown, please do leave a comment here - or over in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

Enjoy!


P.S. I also recorded a The Dan York Report episode providing a preview of this FIR On Technology episode:


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10 Years of FIR Podcast Coming Up on January 5, 2015 - Suggestions?

Unbelievably, the For Immediate Release (FIR) Podcast to which I contribute is coming up on a TEN YEAR anniversary! As co-host Neville Hobson recently wrote in the FIR Community on Google+:
On January 5, 2015, Shel and I will be recording episode 789 of The Hobson & Holtz Report.

That episode will mark a very special milestone for us and for our community of listeners and friends as it will be the episode that starts our eleventh year of podcasting.

So on January 5 next year, we will have completed 10 years of The H&H Report almost to the day - episode 1 was published on January 3, 2005.

A rather amazing run for a podcast! I remember quite well way back in early 2005 as the whole world of "podcasting" was this new and fascinating space. It was something like February or March 2005 when I stumbled across FIR and started listening... and then, of course, shy person that I am, almost immediately started sending in audio comments.

Over time those audio comments evolved into reports and sometime in the fall of 2005 I was officially named a "correspondent" into the show.

And ever since those days in 2005... pretty much every week I've sent in my 5-7 minute report. I've missed a few weeks, but over all those years it's only been a few weeks. Even as I write this post, I'm also writing the notes for what I'm going to talk about in my report into tomorrow's show (that I'll record in the morning).

I'll save some more reminiscing for that actual show #789 on January 5, 2015 ... but in the meantime I'll relay the rest of Neville's request:

We have in mind a few things we plan to say in episode 789 to mark the milestone. One thing we definitely want to do is highlight the journey from that single podcast in 2005 to the FIR Podcast Network you see today, and our plans in 2015.

Is there anything that you would like to say or contribute or suggest for that episode to celebrate 10 years? All ideas most welcome!

If you do have ideas... I would encourage you to leave them as comments inside the FIR community on Google+. You can also contact Shel and Neville through one of the various contact methods in the sidebar of the FIR website.

It's pretty amazing to think of FIR being around - and consistently published for 10 years - I'm looking forward to joining in the celebration on January 5, 2015!


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My New Podcast: "FIR On Technology" Episode 1 About Google+ Hangouts On Air

Firontechnology 300What are Google+ “Hangouts On Air” (HOA) all about and how can communicators best use them? How does a “Hangout On Air” differ from a “Hangout”? What kind of technology do you need to know to use them? What are some tips and tricks for working most effectively with a Google+ HOA? What is the linkage to YouTube? How do you get started?

Those were all questions I addressed with my guest Randy Resnick in the first episode of a brand new podcast I'm down doing called "FIR On Technology with Dan York". You can listen on the episode page (where there are also links to HOA resources) or here:

The interview was fun to do and from comments in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+ has already been a help to multiple listeners.

As I noted in the introduction post on the For Immediate Release (FIR) website, the goal of the overall "FIR On Technology" podcast is to answer questions such as these:

How can communicators best use new tools such as, say, Google+ Hangouts On Air to tell their stories in new ways or to reach new audiences? Are there tips and tricks they should be aware of? What is new in the latest release of WordPress? Why should someone in PR and marketing care about something like IPv6 or HTML5?

For close to 9 years now I've been contributing weekly reports into the regular For Immediate Release (FIR)podcast hosted by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson. Now, with the creation of the "FIR Podcast Network" and the launch of new shows, it was logical to launch a technology-focused podcast where I could do a deeper dive than just the 5 minutes in the regular FIR episodes.

Please do note - my regular weekly FIR reports WILL continue!

Nothing changes there... it's just that these "FIR On Technology" episodes will allow for more time to get into specific topics at a higher level of detail.  I'd love to hear your feedback about this episode or the overall idea either as comments to this blog post or via social media or email: 

In particular, if there are any topics you'd really like to see me address on future episodes... or if you want to pitch me on why it might be interesting to interview you or a client, I'm open to that as well.

The "FIR On Technology with Dan York" podcast will NOT be a "regular" podcast in that it will not be on a specific interval, i.e. weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. It is instead "a periodic podcast" meaning that the episodes will come out whenever I have time to record and produce them. I'm aiming for at least monthly, but there may be more at different times.

If you'd like to follow along, you can:

A subscription option via iTunes will be available soon.

I'm greatly appreciative of the FIR podcast community who has been very supportive of me doing this podcast - and of course I'm deeply grateful to Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson for their support and continuing to involve me in the growing world of "FIR".

Please do join in and follow along... there is a LOT of technology and tools out there to talk about with communicators!

P.S. The music I am using (with his permission) for the intro and outro comes from my friend Mark Knox in Ottawa, whose music can be found on his SoundCloud account.


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FIR Podcast Hits Episode #700 - Publishes Special Interview With Shel and Neville

As most readers probably know by now, I'm been a weekly contributor to the "For Immediate Release (FIR)" podcast since back in 2005, and all those years later I continue to find the FIR episodes extremely useful ways to stay up on what is going on with social media, marketing, PR, podcasting and the intersection of all of those topics along with technology and business.

Last week Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, the FIR co-hosts, passed the tremendous milestone of FIR episode #700. It's a pretty remarkable achievement to publish 700 instances of anything... but of a 60-90 minute podcast, week after week after week, is pretty amazing.

Shel and Neville tried to keep the actual FIR episode #700 to be fairly "regular" in terms of content, but at a suggestion from the FIR Google+ Community, they did allow themselves to be interviewed by Donna Papacosta about the show. Both the show and the interview are well worth listening to, in my opinion.

Congratulations, Shel and Neville, on publishing 700 episodes of FIR! Now I'm looking forward to the next 700 episodes...


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My Report Into FIR #678 - Facebook Mobile Sharing, Barriers To Blogging, and Social Media with Israel/Hamas

In this week's For Immediate Release episode #678 on Monday, November 19, 2012, my report covered:

If you are a FIR subscriber, you should have the show now in iTunes or whatever you use to get the feed. If you aren't a subscriber, you can simply listen to the episode online now. There is a TON of other great information in the weekly episode relevant to those involved with PR, marketing and other forms of communication, so I'd encourage you to give it a listen.


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My Report into FIR #675 - Hurricane Sandy, Moscow and the Supreme Court

In this week's For Immediate Release episode #675 on Monday, October 29, 2012, my report covered:

If you are a FIR subscriber, you should have the show now in iTunes or whatever you use to get the feed. If you aren't a subscriber, you can simply listen to the episode online now.


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My Report into For Immediate Release (FIR) Podcast #646

In this week's For Immediate Release episode #646, my report covered:

If you are a FIR subscriber, you should have the show now in iTunes or whatever you use to get the feed. If you aren't a subscriber, you can simply listen to the episode online now.


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My Report into For Immediate Release (FIR) Podcast #632

In this week's For Immediate Release episode #632, my report covered:

  • Congratulations to Shel and Neville on 7 years of FIR! It's insanely easy to start something like a podcast, but extremely difficult to keep it going... and 7 years is quite an accomplishment!

  • Text messaging is declining in some areas as people move to using other messaging systems working over the data network.

  • Codeyear.com provides an easy way to learn a little bit about "coding" if you have ever been interested in dipping your toes in and understanding some of the allure of programming.

  • A gentle plea to experience the moment rather than focus on capturing moments to share on social networks.

  • My 3 Words for 2012.

If you are a FIR subscriber, you should have the show now in iTunes or whatever you use to get the feed. If you aren't a subscriber, you can simply listen to the episode online now.


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My Report into For Immediate Release Podcast #623 - Oct 31, 2011

In this week's For Immediate Release episode #623, my report covered:

And if you listened to the very end of my report you would have heard an additional contribution from a "helper". :-)

You can, of course, listen to the episode online now.