The second digital transition: to the mobile space – an analysis of Europeana
Abstract:According to industry estimates the mobile device (smartphone and tablet) will soon be the main platform for searching the Web and yet our knowledge of how mobile consumers use information – especially scholarly information, and how that differs from desktop or 'tethered' users – is imperfect to say the very least. This article aims to correct this through an analysis of the usage logs of a major cultural, multimedia website, Europeana.eu, which started tackling the mobile challenge in 2011. The challenges of identifying mobile use – no easy matter – are described. The information behaviour of 150,000 mobile users is examined and compared with that for desktop users. The main findings are that mobile users are the fastest-growing user community and that their visits are very different in the aggregate from those arising from desktops. Mobile visits are information 'lite': typically shorter, less interactive, and with less content viewed per visit. Use takes on a social rather than office rhythm, with use peaking at nights and weekends.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2013-10-01
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