Going mobile: Extension IT offers site for smartphones

North Carolina Cooperative Extension has gone mobile with the launch of a new website designed specifically for smartphones such as the iPhone, Palm, BlackBerry and Android. The site, at http://m.ces.ncsu.edu, features staff directories for NCCE and N.C. State University and maps to county centers. Users can also reach news feeds from Extension Online News and eXtension.

Ray Kimsey, senior information strategist with Extension Information Technology, developed the site. “It didn’t make sense to duplicate the whole site. The goal was to make a site that was useful for someone using a phone,” he said.

From the field, users can call up a county center map and get directions via GPS. And from the employee directory, they can automatically call or email staff members.

Kimsey said the site is a work in progress. He’s currently turning the so-called mail label program that county staff members use to keep track of their clients into a password-protected contact database that agents could reach from a smartphone. And he wants to hear ideas from Extension staff members on what other things they think would be useful for the mobile site. Email your ideas to EIT at webmaster@ces.ncsu.edu.

-D. Shore

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