Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The Mobile Web - Just the Beginning

Searching Google for Le Web Mobile or "Le Web Mobile" you'll find some interesting though contradictory results: people claiming the mobile web is dead, explaining why it sucks, pleading to keep it open, selling software to make an application mobile web-friendly and finally also me: blogging on the web, on mobile technologies, being mobile and mobile entrepreneurship.

What is it then, this controversial mobile web? Tony and Ajit over at Open Gardens define it as follows:

"Your experience of preferred services on a restricted device."

Check their site for an in-depth explanation of what they mean. Interestingly, the appreciation of this experience, since they wrote this piece in 2006, seems to have changed drastically: on April 23rd Russell Beattie of Mowser, a service that renders websites for use on mobiles, in a highly discussed interview, said that "the traffic never showed up, and what did show up was of questionable quality at best... It's not there now, and it won't be". (source).

What I believe: change just didn't come that quick. We are seeing the beginning of an incredible uptake and distribution of mobile web usage just now (research here and here).

  • Being able to access the Internet with more and more phones
  • where you can actually use the web "as is" or have a dedicated application and
  • the new set of browsers like Opera Mobile as well as
  • website providers using mobile stylesheets
are just starting to give users beyond the earliest of adopters a good experience when trying it.
IMHO, the majority of people (crossing the chasm) just started to tinker with the idea.

Add the advantages that we will be able to take of spatial information and analyses of what people need, can do and actually use on the go to the basic preconditions of compatible hardware, browsers and mobile stylesheets and I can't see the end of the mobile web, I actually see the beginning.

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