Office Hours: Mobile Websites & Feeding Trolls

Office Hours: Mobile Websites & Feeding Trolls

July 11, 2012 by

Every week I hold online office hours and answer questions from folks like you. This week we’ve got a question about mobile websites vs. apps and how to get rid of trolls when your church comes under fire. Take a look and be sure to join me every Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. CDT for online office hours!

What’s the difference between a mobile app and a mobile website? Which is more important?

My answer:

The main difference is this: Mobile websites are designed to fit inside of a mobile browser, regardless of platform. A mobile app is (typically) platform dependent, e.g. iOS, Android, RIM, etc.

Mobile-optimized websites are going to get you the effect you need most of the time. Apps are very expensive to build (good ones, anyway), and have to be converted to different platforms.

Hope that helps. Great question. (If you want more info, check out this post.)

We have an issue with a lot of horrible character attacking reviews on yelp as well as Craigslist and anywhere else. Every week it keeps getting worse and worse. Can you give me some advice on how to handle these?

My answer: 

This is a tough one. But, thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help your situation. I’ll focus on Yelp!, but you can use these same methods elsewhere:

  1. Do not overreact. Yes, bad reviews can be troublesome to read, but it’s more important to focus on the overall picture your reviews are painting. If you have a lot of negative reviews, then it might be time to look at the criticism carefully. Otherwise, most people know the difference between a legit negative review and a dimwitted troll.
  2. Respond to the review with an apology. The person leaving a review may be imbalanced, but responding with a sincere apology will help show that you’re engaged and you care. Don’t be trite or dishonest, but thank the person for their review and take the feedback, however skewed, into consideration.
  3. Follow up directly with the person. Use this one sparingly, but you may want to follow up with the person privately to get the full story. It’ll show you care and you may be able to resolve the situation out of the spotlight.
  4. Flag the review. Again, use this sparingly, but you may want to consider flagging a repeat offender’s negative review. Yelp! has a tool built-in for this—a little red flag at the bottom of every review. Flag too many negative reviews and Yelp! will lay the smack down. Proceed with caution.

Let me reiterate: don’t get too bent out of shape. Trolls (people who post pervasive, negative comments) are looking for attention. Obey the age-old Internet adage: don’t feed the trolls!


Thanks for the great questions everybody! Hopefully this information will help you get from where you are to where you want to go. See you next time in the office!

Post By:

Justin Wise


Justin Wise lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife and son. He likes coffee, reading, running and blogging.
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2 Responses to “Office Hours: Mobile Websites & Feeding Trolls”

  • Jim Julius
    July 11, 2012

    Mobile apps have some added functionality that is not available by accessing even a mobile-friendly website. Functions such as such as GPS location – using your phone to find the church or scanning QR codes for loyalty coupons, or the camera function.

    Mobile is a very personal and highly targeted way to reach people. Churches have an opportunity to take their message outside the pews and into the pockets of current and future members.

    Apps can be affordable for churches starting at around $500 for design and $79 per month for hosting.

    Jim Julius
    CEO & Chief Marketing Wizard
    Mobile Up Now, Inc.


  • Matt
    July 28, 2012

    What would you say to pastors is a good internet marketing budget (monthly)?

    http://www.heavenshealthplan.com



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