Mobile Fail August 13, 2012 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Some links are failing on mobil devices. Please be careful when you post.

This morning, two links central to two different posts on the blue redirect to generic search pages rather than the linked article when viewed on a mobile device such as an iPhone.

The Better Off Without 'em / Simon & Schuster link from the North/South thread.

The 50 feet / Bloomberg link from the Parking Lot thread.

There are two things we can do about this. First, check your links on a mobile device to make sure they actually work there. Web readership is becoming increasingly mobile. Second, if you are building a mobile web version of an existing site, don't do this. These search pages are no better than 404s.
posted by b1tr0t to Etiquette/Policy at 9:10 AM (89 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

First, check your links on a mobile device to make sure they actually work there

This is a pretty high bar to posting if you ask me, and something I've never done before. I only post from a desktop and checking every link on mobile as well before posting would be quite time consuming.

I think we're at a weird transition period where some big publishers don't know what to make of mobile devices and a few do horrible things like redirect to the front page of their mobile site or they link to their app or they do dumb things like link to search engines. As the person making a post, you can never know and I wouldn't say people need to run tight quality control on every aspect of their post, but instead do their best given the tools they have (only mobile developers would have a mobile simulator handy to check links on their desktop, typing in five links to your phone is kind of crazy to expect posters to do).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:15 AM on August 13, 2012 [42 favorites]


First, check your links on a mobile device to make sure they actually work there

No chance I'm ever doing that.
posted by empath at 9:19 AM on August 13, 2012 [42 favorites]


I feel you, but that's not gonna happen on the user side.

Better to contact the publishers and let them know they're driving off contact with their approach.
posted by batmonkey at 9:21 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


So you're actually asking people to purchase an iPhone or other smartphone and check their links on it before they make a post? That is not going to happen.

You are not entitled to having the axes of the earth shifted so that you can look at a link you want to look at before you get to a computer.
posted by koeselitz at 9:21 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


First, check your links on a mobile device to make sure they actually work there

I'm sorry, but I don't own a mobile device. I am thinking of making a post tomorrow though, so if you could swing by my pad to test everything out, that'd be great. Please bring decent beer.
posted by heyho at 9:22 AM on August 13, 2012 [32 favorites]


As someone who surfs the web (do people still say that?) on both my phone and my computer, a much bigger problem is people linking to the broken mobile version of a web site instead of the standard version. The standard version usually redirects or is useful on both platforms, but if the mobile version has its own URL, it's sometimes ridiculous on a desktop.
posted by grouse at 9:25 AM on August 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


Yes, that! (what grouse said)

Typed on my mobile phone.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:27 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


And it's pretty easy to tell what the mobile version is because the URL is usually something silly like mobile.example.com or m.example.com.
posted by grouse at 9:27 AM on August 13, 2012


Stop using Mobil devices. Devices from Shell are much better.
posted by Nomyte at 9:29 AM on August 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


two links central to two different posts

Unless I'm missing something, the first link is just to page that lets you buy the book mentioned in the post. That's hardly central.

Otherwise, asking people to preview links in a mobile device isn't a realistic option. Hell, the only time I've done this is when constructing a single link post from a mobile device. Otherwise, not gonna happen.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:40 AM on August 13, 2012


Coral Cache seems to bypass that problem:

Simon & Schuster link

Bloomberg link (didn't work on the printer view of the page, but works on the regular view)

Surprisingly, Readability didn't work. At any rate, once it becomes known that something is inaccessible via mobile devices, maybe someone can post a helpful Coral Cache URL (or other caching app that gets around the dumb mobile redirects), or the OP can ask us to add it to the post.
posted by taz (staff) at 9:41 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


This part of your web-readership is sitting with his backside squarely planted on a chair and two screens open for his work, and I will likely remain doing just this: When I make posts, I am checking every single of the links twice; once when I select them, and once on preview. I also check my typos and stuff, with intsersting results. Isn't that good enough?

Boy, this really makes me grumpy.

Sent from my GRARphone
posted by Namlit at 9:41 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would hate for this to happen in one of my posts, but I'll not be checking whether or not my links work on a mobile device. That's too time intensive and onerous, even for posts I put care into.
posted by OmieWise at 9:44 AM on August 13, 2012


Yeah, to the extent that this is an issue that is fixable with a replaced link, I think it's fine for folks to (a) mention the better mobile-friendly link in a comment and (b) drop us a line if it's a critical link in a post where the tricky link is actively causing problems. Beyond that, what Matt said.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:50 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


From an interview Matt did a year ago:

I just looked at our stats and, like, 12 percent of all our traffic’s on mobile devices. I thought it would have been 2 percent.

Out of curiosity, what's the percentage now?
posted by mediareport at 9:54 AM on August 13, 2012


As of last week or so we were at 21% mobile traffic for MetaFilter, and 32% for Ask MetaFilter.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:57 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some of us remain mobile-device free, also, so checking functionality on a mobile device is impossible.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there any way to tell how many people are posting comments from mobile devices, or is that what that number is?
posted by OmieWise at 10:01 AM on August 13, 2012


Is there any way to tell how many people are posting comments from mobile devices, or is that what that number is?

Too many.
posted by grouse at 10:03 AM on August 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Is there any way to tell how many people are posting comments from mobile devices, or is that what that number is?

Well it'd still come from the "full" site as there is no mobile ui for posting questions. It'd have to be read from the user agent: Safari x.x.x.x / ios x.x and so forth.

from my exp, though, posting replies and new questions using a mobile phone is a rather large pain in the rear. Only so much that it makes sense to do to cater (thus far) to the mobile demographic. I'll surf from a phone even if I'm in the same space as a computer (don't want to surf on someone's network, computer is compiling something, so on).
posted by tilde at 10:06 AM on August 13, 2012


Is there any way to tell how many people are posting comments from mobile devices, or is that what that number is?

You can tell by the number of inappropriate autocorrects and failure to correctly punctuate and capitalize.
posted by amro at 10:07 AM on August 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


heyho: I'm sorry, but I don't own a mobile device. I am thinking of making a post tomorrow though, so if you could swing by my pad to test everything out, that'd be great. Please bring decent beer.

Sounds good. I'll be by at about 7 a.m. but don't worry: I'll bring breakfast beer.
posted by item at 10:12 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is there any way to tell how many people are posting comments from mobile devices, or is that what that number is?

No, the numbers I posted are across everyone using the site, both members and non-members. We're not tracking what devices people are posting comments from right now.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:14 AM on August 13, 2012


21% mobile traffic for MetaFilter, and 32% for Ask MetaFilter

Damn, that's fast growth in one year. I can't help but think it's too bad, given the pinched nature of most mobile web-viewing, but it is what it is. And what it obviously will be. A bit sad.
posted by mediareport at 10:15 AM on August 13, 2012


MetaFilter is pretty well-optimized for reading on mobile (at least on Android and iPad). I don't think it's bad at all. Only when people try to comment without putting any effort into making their comments readable.
posted by grouse at 10:17 AM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Damn, that's fast growth in one year.

Yeah, it is. I'm sure mobile is growing extremely fast, but part of it might be Google Analytics. They're probably getting better at detecting mobile devices, and they've added a bunch of mobile features in the past year. I got those numbers from a report that didn't exist a year ago.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:18 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only so much that it makes sense to do to cater (thus far) to the mobile demographic.

Only so much that it makes sense to not cater (thus far) to the mobile demographic.

I may be a touch typist, but some days it's more like a touched typist.
posted by tilde at 10:25 AM on August 13, 2012


FWIW, the mobile pages for both links feature a "go to full site" link. It unhelpfully doesn't take you where you want to go, but if you click the links from Mefi again they'll then take you to the correct page on the full site.
posted by magicbus at 10:25 AM on August 13, 2012


Yeah, you can't really police this. Its up to the sites linked to to make it all work.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:28 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there an online service that lets you check if a link will work on Android? IOS might be hard but I don't see an issue with a bunch of VMs running Android loading a link and passing back a screenshot.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:35 AM on August 13, 2012


oxl
posted by eyeballkid at 10:38 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't help but think it's too bad, given the pinched nature of most mobile web-viewing, but it is what it is. And what it obviously will be. A bit sad.

Well if you have a better suggestion as to how I might waste time in the bathroom at work, I'd love to hear it
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:42 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well if you have a better suggestion as to how I might waste time in the bathroom at work, I'd love to hear it

I hope you're not actually expecting people to answer that on a family friendly website.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 10:50 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Damn, that's fast growth in one year. I can't help but think it's too bad, given the pinched nature of most mobile web-viewing, but it is what it is. And what it obviously will be. A bit sad.

Can you imagine what it must be like to be an audio mastering engineer who has to make most modern music sound plausible at least over a damn cell phone speaker? The miniature devices are shrinking content in all sorts of ways right now.

I don't see how if, even upon checking, a website that worked on a desktop but broke on a mobile device, could be fixed in a post. If a site has a mobile stylesheet, it'll redirect to the mobile version, anyway, right? What would a poster even do upon encountering such a broken link?
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:01 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


much bigger problem is people linking to the broken mobile version of a web site instead of the standard version

The mobile version of a YouTube page offers no valid non-mobile link that I've ever been able to find. Even the one in the Share area fails.

I have to literally go to a standard browser and get a URL from there.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:02 AM on August 13, 2012


People really aught not to be posting from phones. I mean, it can be done, but it mucks up pretty badly sometimes. I can't think of a circumstance where I had to make a post so urgently that I couldn't wait to get to work, or get home. I'd guess other people have different circumstances, like extended travel or whatever, but it seems best avoided.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:05 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


First, check your links on a mobile device to make sure they actually work there

Better yet, before buying a mobile device, first make sure it works with standard websites.
posted by DU at 11:08 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The mobile version of a YouTube page offers no valid non-mobile link that I've ever been able to find.

The "Desktop" link at the bottom seems to work fine for me.
posted by grouse at 11:10 AM on August 13, 2012




b1tr0t: "First, check your links on a mobile device to make sure they actually work there."

It would be nice. But it's worth noting that this might disqualify many of my 400+ posts from having been made in the first place, as there's no way to know if the links could be read on every popular mobile device with internet access.

For example: My old blackberry couldn't play youtube videos. My android phone can. iPhones and iPads can too. Uh... for now. ;) As long as a version of a given YouTube video has been uploaded that's compatible with that particular mobile device. Many YouTube videos don't even have that. Or they're not enabled for playback on mobile devices at all.

Can your mobile device read pdf files? Do they have to be limited to a certain size? Can it read scribd links? Word or Excel docs? Open image-intense pages without crashing? If someone links to the comments section of a news article, is it viewable?

I don't mean to attack your idea. I think it's a good idea. Better, more universal readability is a good thing that we should be striving for.

But unless there's a set standard established for mobile browsing, AND a tool becomes available which makes it easy to check such things (a mobile web browser emulator?) it seems unlikely to work.
posted by zarq at 11:18 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, Metafilter overall is a good example of how to make a site mobile friendly. It probably helps that Metafilter is mostly text and has few ads.
Better yet, before buying a mobile device, first make sure it works with standard websites.
In 2012, most mobile phones do a great job of rendering web sites. The iPhone has been mostly awesome from the beginning, due to Safari. It is a more recent problem that some sites are detecting your smart phone browser and then redirecting you to a much more limited "mobile" site. This is bad, and if you are involved in doing this, you should feel bad.

I think the real solution here lies with the websites themselves, not Metafilter.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:23 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Coral Cache seems to bypass that problem

Creates others though.
posted by flabdablet at 11:25 AM on August 13, 2012


Some mobile sites are just useless.

I had an issue with recently with Twitter while I was at a conference. Though my password manager assured me I was typing the right phrase, Twitter wouldn't let me log in.

Fine, so I'll just do the "reset my password" option, right? Except--and I know this is going to blow the Twitter developers' minds--when I travel, I don't take my desktop computer with me, or even my laptop. Usually, I've just got my iPad or my iPhone. Which is why I'm Twittering in the first place, because blogging is more of a pain without a full keyboard.

And Twitter, a social networking service, does not allow you to reset your password on a mobile device. Period. Even if you attempt to bypass the mobile site functions and get the full desktop site. The link sent to your email to reset your password won't work--it just comes up as a 404 error.

So, not the end of the world, I can live without Twitter. But the WTFness of that policy still rankles.
posted by misha at 11:25 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The only internet connection available for me is via my phone; the full site works well enough on my teensy screen that I don't use the mobile version. There's no budget in my foreseeable future for any other means of connectivity, so I will continue to be looked down upon by those who scorn my lack of proper equipment. This is all I have, OK?

The MetaFilter site design respects that I make a choice to use the full site as if I'm a valued user: I despise sites that detect a mobile user and send me to the minimal content mobile version, so I understand the frustration in seeing links to only the mobile version of a link that doesn't work in a standard browser. I see links all the time that don't work for me, but I still agree that the site needs to cater to desktop users.

*the above comment typed with one finger on an itty bitty phone. Not responsible for errors or omissions.*
posted by mightshould at 11:26 AM on August 13, 2012


Oooh, what were you testing, pb???
posted by Grither at 11:30 AM on August 13, 2012


The "Desktop" link at the bottom seems to work fine for me.

Let's see.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:31 AM on August 13, 2012


Oooh, what were you testing, pb???

Database stuff.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:32 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]



The "Desktop" link at the bottom seems to work fine for me.

Let's see.


So, yes then? I mean that works fine on my desktop.

Also, while it's not as pretty, m.youtube.com links do work on a desktop, so it's not quite what the OP was complaining about (and given Flash and other issues, there are some reasons to have a mobile version for video sites).

That said, if you ever want to "fix" a mobile YT URL all you have to do is replace m.youtube.com with www.youtube.com, watch page links use the same arguments either way.
posted by wildcrdj at 11:34 AM on August 13, 2012


» Stop using Mobil devices. Devices from Shell are much better - Nomyte

I was going to report you to the pun police, but it turns out they view me as an unreliable witness, therefore you're exxonerated. The earlier superfluous chevron was also intentional
posted by ambrosen at 11:38 AM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


This isn't a pony request, it's a magical flying unicorn request.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:45 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Either I'm getting more observant and crankier or people are making more typos these days, which I attribute to commenting from mobile devices. More and more, I see missing words and "their/there" type errors, which sometimes lead to sentences I can't parse. I wish people would take more time to read their own comments before posting.
posted by desjardins at 11:45 AM on August 13, 2012


desjardins: "I wish people would take more time to read their own comments before posting."

Me two.
posted by Grither at 11:48 AM on August 13, 2012


There's a wide Gulf between copying and pasta.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:50 AM on August 13, 2012


Mobile devices can be jerks. My iPad loves to "correct" its to it's, regardless of context. It seems not to think that "its" is even a word.

It also thinks that "ill" is "I'll" for some reason.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:02 PM on August 13, 2012


Is there any way to tell how many people are posting comments from mobile devices, or is that what that number is?

If it's The Whelk, you can tell because what he's typed looks like he's drunk off his ass, but he then asserts that he isn't drunk and blames his iPad.

Lame excuse, if you ask me.
posted by hippybear at 12:06 PM on August 13, 2012


I hate when a site pops up on my iPhone. Looks great. Then some script loads or something an redirects me to a site that looks like shit. "No, no, take me back to that one that doesn't suck!"

I appreciate the idea of a mobile site, but 99% of the time i think, "If I wanted to see the mobile site I would have bought something other than an iPhone!"
posted by cjorgensen at 12:16 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I've never posted to the front page, and this requirement would prevent me from doing so in the future. I browse this site on my phone, and favorite things I want to revisit later. The revisiting happens on my home computer.

May I suggest you try that instead? If you would rather use favorites another way, maybe Email yourself a link to the metafilter post?
posted by tulip-socks at 12:16 PM on August 13, 2012


cjorgensen: "I hate when a site pops up on my iPhone. Looks great."

This is one of the reasons I love the Dolphin browser on my (android) phone, I can set it so the website I'm looking at thinks I'm on a desktop!
posted by Grither at 12:19 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh sorry, in case it wasn't clear, you can set the browser so ALL websites think you're on a desktop, not on a per-website basis.
posted by Grither at 12:28 PM on August 13, 2012


Mobile devices can be jerks. My iPad loves to "correct" its to it's, regardless of context. It seems not to think that "its" is even a word.

I'd guess it's a naive best-guess approach. Specifically, it probably is regardless of context, since the autocorrect can operate a lot more quickly and with a lot fewer resources at a per-word level rather than trying to do some sort of syntactical analysis across the actual context in which the word is appearing.

So if you know that "it's" is a more common word than "its" by a big enough margin, you suggest "it's". Or if they're similarly common but one is harder to input (as "it's" certainly is on an iPhone), you suggest the harder one to type and the user can either accept it (because that's what they were hoping for) or reject it with one tap. 0-to-1 extra taps is less than 0-to-3 extra taps, on average.

The tricky thing is we notice when the suggestion is wrong a lot more than we notice when the suggestion is right.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:29 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there anything confirmation bias doesn't ruin? I'm so tired of it, I wish I could tell my brain to give it a rest for a bit.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:34 PM on August 13, 2012


I'm actually surprised how often auto-correct and auto-finish gets its/it's and other things right. That said:

desjardins: "Either I'm getting more observant and crankier or people are making more typos these days, which I attribute to commenting from mobile devices. More and more, I see missing words and "their/there" type errors, which sometimes lead to sentences I can't parse. I wish people would take more time to read their own comments before posting."

I know you're right when it comes to me (making more mobile mistakes). But if it makes you feel any better, I feel horrible every single time it happens. But I'm pretty sure that doesn't make anybody "feel any better."

Sidebar: because of my initials, I'm pretty fond of the letter M, so the sentence:

MCMikeNamara making Metafilter mobile mistakes.

is really making my day.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:21 PM on August 13, 2012


If you want a superior keyboard on your iPad, just install SwiftKey 3.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:27 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


21% mobile traffic for MetaFilter, and 32% for Ask MetaFilter

Ladies who are nursing babies love us some Ask Me.
posted by purpleclover at 1:28 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't own a mobile device and have no plans to purchase one. Sorry, Charlie!
posted by deborah at 1:42 PM on August 13, 2012


Is there anything confirmation bias doesn't ruin?

Not that I've noticed.
posted by jacalata at 1:46 PM on August 13, 2012 [15 favorites]


And Twitter, a social networking service, does not allow you to reset your password on a mobile device. Period.

It also won't let you approve people to follow a locked account, even from an iPad. Mobile site FAIL.

It's not reasonable to expect people to get links to work properly on all mobile sites given that it's hard enough to get them to work in all the desktop browsers. It's a nice thought, though.
posted by immlass at 2:52 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The metafilter mobile site is one of the best I've ever seen - clean, easy to read -- thank you!
posted by jb at 3:26 PM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


iNtitlement
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:12 PM on August 13, 2012


As of last week or so we were at 21% mobile traffic for MetaFilter, and 32% for Ask MetaFilter.

Is there a way to see if comment length has decreased over time in proportion to increased mobile usage? It seems like comment lengths on AskMe at least are getting shorter, but I don't know if that's true or confirmation bias.
posted by 6550 at 6:22 PM on August 13, 2012


The metafilter mobile site is one of the best I've ever seen - clean, easy to read --thank you!

I wouldn't know because I've never used it on my smartphone. Serious question here: both smartphones I've owned over the last 3 years have been able to render webpages very nicely. Is there really ever a reason to view a site's mobile page if you've got a device made in the past, say, 3 years? Why?
posted by item at 6:42 PM on August 13, 2012


Oh - is it a data usage thing? I've always had Sprint as my carrier and along with it comes unlimited data. Maybe this is why people look at simplified versions of sites on devices that can easily handle the full package?
posted by item at 6:44 PM on August 13, 2012

Is there really ever a reason to view a site's mobile page if you've got a device made in the past, say, 3 years? Why?
Metafilter's desktop formatting includes things like margins and a sidebar, which aren't very helpful on a tiny screen. The mobile version gets rid of all the unnecessary whitespace, and moves the top bar stuff down to the bottom. But it also adds a single link at the top that takes you to that nav, so it is really easy to get to, without getting in your way.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:51 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw, man, Mini McGee recently weaned so I'm not in the Metafilter Breastfeeding Mobile-surfing club! (But I still mobile surf during residual nursing insomnia!)

Sidhedevil, my Android always wants to correct it's to its. I hardly ever use "its." It's very aggravating. (And, yes, capitalization of "It's" makes it freak out completely.)

Also posting from my mobile makes me less, uh, wordy. You're welcome.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:59 PM on August 13, 2012


Yeah, Metafilter is actually a great example of a good, useful mobile version. Much easier to read on a small screen than the full site. On a tablet or larger I don't use it, but it's handy on a phone (regardless of the phone's capabilities, size is the issue).
posted by wildcrdj at 7:38 PM on August 13, 2012


Is there really ever a reason to view a site's mobile page if you've got a device made in the past, say, 3 years? Why?

It's useful when pages don't resize their content well and make you scroll left and right.

Have you tried reading the non-mobile Wikipedia on an iPhone? It's terrible. Non-mobile Metafilter is pretty bad on an iPhone too. Thankfully, both of those sites have good mobile support.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:46 PM on August 13, 2012


This is a pretty high bar to posting if you ask me, and something I've never done before. I only post from a desktop and checking every link on mobile as well before posting would be quite time consuming.

I disagree, unless you're talking about something like the Orbital post. Preview the post, highlight, copy, and paste into a mail client that does HTML email. Mail yourself the post. From your phone, check your email, and click each link in the post. It should take 10 seconds per link.

Like it or not, this is something you should be doing. Mobile readership is growing quickly.

I feel you, but that's not gonna happen on the user side.

It can happen on Metafilter if you want to make it happen. This is supposed to be a site where you take your time crafting posts with good links. Make mobile compatibility part of your vetting process for links.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:01 AM on August 14, 2012


If you own a mobile web browsing device, that is.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:07 AM on August 14, 2012


You can also spoof your user agent string to test even if you don't have a mobile device.

(I don't agree that this is something every poster should feel compelled to do.)
posted by SpiffyRob at 4:18 AM on August 14, 2012


Like it or not, this is something you should be doing. Mobile readership is growing quickly.

My question still remains unanswered, though. What could anyone actually do if they then discovered the sites they were including in a post worked poorly on a mobile device?
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:28 AM on August 14, 2012


¿Qué es un "mobile device"?


Devil's Rancher beat me to the punch with that question. I suppose we add a [NSFMD] tag?

I wonder if those advocating for Mobile accessibility ever preview their links in, say, WebbIE?
posted by Catch at 4:36 AM on August 14, 2012


Opera Mobile on Android has an option to switch user agents between mobile and desktop. Presumably the iOS version has a similar feature.
posted by helicomatic at 9:57 AM on August 14, 2012


What could anyone actually do if they then discovered the sites they were including in a post worked poorly on a mobile device?

If you discover that sites are redirecting mobile users, don't link to them at all. Using the examples in this post:

"Better Off Without 'em" - don't link to Simon & Schuster. Link to some place like Amazon instead.
Bloomberg - Instead of linking to the print-only link, link to the main article.

This mostly seems to be a problem with larger media outlets. You can usually find alternative links that work.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:24 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I s'pose if the same content can be found elsewhere, then that's a valid option. I haven't made a ton of posts, and tend to look for unique home-rolled stuff, so I rarely if ever link to content on big sites, other than the odd youtube video.

I think it's fair to say if I can link to the exact same content on either site A that doesn't support mobile devices, or site B that does, taking the extra step is going to be appreciated.

Print-only links though, are often a way around page view limitations, (to read the rest of this article, sign up now!!!) or endless 2-paragraph-per-page, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5... SEO ad load maximization bullshit.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:32 PM on August 14, 2012


What % of mefi users are reading on mobile devices while defecating? Can we get an info dump?

GET IT GET IT?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:48 PM on August 14, 2012


Never touch someone else's smartphone.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:57 PM on August 14, 2012


Sounds good. I'll be by at about 7 a.m. but don't worry: I'll bring breakfast beer.


Kentucky Breakfast Stout!
posted by slogger at 1:53 PM on August 15, 2012


Opera Mobile on Android has an option to switch user agents between mobile and desktop. Presumably the iOS version has a similar feature.

Yep, just tick "Request desktop site" in Android Chrome and both the mentioned links work. Does the iOS version of Chrome have this?
posted by markr at 11:55 PM on August 15, 2012


Even breakfastier: Rogue's bacon maple beer.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:01 AM on August 16, 2012


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