Brilliant Reads: mobile and the digital divide, mental health on Twitter and Instafax.

Welcome to this week’s Brilliant Reads, where we’re looking at how mobile is closing the digital divide, our new research on discussion of mental health issues on Twitter, and the BBC’s use of Instagram.

How mobile can close the digital divide (Karen McGrane)

In ‘The Mobile Content Mandate’ US content strategist Karen McGrane provides a brilliant example of the potential mobile has to close the digital divide.

She begins by showing just how wide the divide is: over the next decade 2 to 3 billion people around the world will come online for the first time, thanks to mobile. The divide isn’t just a problem in the developing world: 20% of Americans have no internet access, and 35% have no internet at home. (These numbers are even higher among socially disadvantaged groups.) However, 91% of Americans have a mobile device, and there are a significant number of ‘Mobile-Only Users’, who only access the internet using a mobile device. And yet 44% of Fortune 100 companies say that they don’t have a mobile site.

As well as those who are mobile-only by necessity, there are an increasing number of people who are mobile-only by choice. To serve both these groups, it’s not a good enough mobile strategy to trim down your content on the assumption that mobile users don’t read, or to just take everything on your site and shove it on a smaller screen. McGrane calls for more structure in content, to make it appropriate for mobile devices.

Our research on discussion of mental health issues on Twitter (Brilliant Noise)

Beth has just conducted this fascinating piece of research into the discussion of mental health on Twitter in the UK.

Using Brandwatch, Beth analysed over 200,000 tweets which used mental health-related keywords from the public, the media and mental health organisations.

Beth found that depression was the most discussed topic, followed by insomnia and anxiety. The research, which was conducted in December 2013, also looked at topics discussed alongside mental health  and found that Christmas was at the top, followed by stress, alcohol and food.

You can find out more about the report, including a Slideshare presentation with the full results and an infographic, in this post.

BBC brings news to Instagram (The Guardian)

The BBC has just launched Instafax, a new short-form video news service on Instagram.

In a month-long experiment, the BBC will upload three 15-second videos as a round-up of the day’s news.

Steve Herrmann, head of BBC News Online, said the trial was a response to mobile and tablet viewing figures overtaking desktop ones for the first time.

Planning content: slides and notes from our Charity Comms seminar

Katie and Antony spoke at the Charity Comms event Content rules: engaging a diverse audience through a coherent content strategy this week.

And finally…

UX Camp Brighton round-up

The recent UX Camp 2013 Redux event (co-organised by our resident UX-expert Patrick) had some fantastic speakers and insights. If you missed the event, this round-up by Luke Hay is well worth a read.

The gentrification of Reddit

This Wired piece has some lovely infographics showing how Reddit has evolved from ‘NSWF’ to ‘awww’.

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