When the DC earthquake shook earlier this week where were you, and how did you find out about it?
If you were close to the epicenter you probably grabbed your smartphone. In the DC area, one trusted source for news is the Washington Post. They undoubtedly saw a lot of mobile Web traffic leading us to wonder how the user experience was impacted.
It took a mere 24 seconds for Twitter reports to begin, reaching an impressive 5500 tweets per second. A good measure of the near 11 million "affected" by the shake quickly took to their mobile devices to either look up information about the news or Tweet about this un-natural East Coast occurrence. In a matter of seconds this was national news and where did people around the country turn to learn more? The most likely went to trusted news sources known for their DC coverage.
Social and mobile media has clearly sped the communication chain, but what about when we aren't able to get access through our mobile devices? Whether it's problems with the network or the mobile site, for consumers, frustration sets in. This can mean the difference between sharing information between hundreds or millions of people. This is precisely why leading mobile news sites, portals and social media sites monitor their mobile performance to ensure that users can get the best Web experience possible, whereever they are. Monitoring the mobile end user experience enables them to share and access important news and information, as it breaks.
This week Keynote Systems and Wireless Week announced its new mobile performance index for news and portal sites, providing mobile performance data and insight for many of the most popular US websites. With the same index data that went into the charts above, Keynote saw that the DC earthquake caused leading mobile news websites to drop as much as 20 percent in availability and 26 percent in speed (from noon to 4 pm ET) on August 23rd, in comparison to the same time the day before.
Is your mobile website prepared for the next big event? What will it take to keep your mobile website up and running smoothly when something big hits?