.mobi is not the answer to mobile content

.mobi is not the answer to mobile content

Summary: The .mobi initiative may seem like a good way to get more people using the web with their cell phones, but ultimately it is going to fall short. RIAs give mobile users an unprecedented level of control over how they view content. It also gives content providers, advertisers and marketers a rich platform with which to hook users.

TOPICS: Mobility
Limited registration is under way for the .mobi domain and this article in the Wall Street Journal describes the goals behind the .mobi domain as trying to make the browsing experience in cell phones more pleasant. While this may seem like a good idea, (and at $140-$45 a pop for a .mobi address, there is money to be made), it's a step backwards and it isn't going to catch on.

mobile_treo.jpgThe .mobi domains have a good set of rules in place. By eliminating popups and making the pages easily viewable on a mobile screen, they're trying to make it all work better. However as much as people like text, and I think text-based content is the most important part, a mobile device is simply not set up for web browsing. While phones with QWERTY keyboards are more and more common, most of the world doesn’t have them. Phones were simply not made for browsing the web and anything that tries to refine that experience is simply a hack.

mobile_nokia.jpgMobile is obviously white-hot and everyone is trying to figure out how to monetize it. Initiatives like .mobi are going to be normal growing pains as people figure out what works and what doesn't. However companies that embrace the idea of delivering their mobile apps as RIAs will have a big first mover advantage. Using technologies like FlashLite, you can take web content and customize the experience so that it works seamlessly with the phone, not as a glued-on piece. Content providers are going to want to start delivering multimedia, advertising, and branding their content in ways that just isn't possible with a mobile browser.

Mobile RIAs can take the content, and give mobile users full control over it. Content is king, but content rendered in a mobile browser is not as good as content delivered over a mobile application. The browser is simply too limiting to meet the needs of the content providers and marketers. Until they realize the solution is out there, mobile users are going to stay away from their content.

Topic: Mobility

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  • Long tail is the reason for full Web on mobile

    Half of all browsing is in the "long tail" -- the millions of sites with small amounts of traffic. When you search, usually the 2nd or 3rd result is in the long tail.

    One reason why WAP has been a disappointment is users expected "The Internet" on their phone -- and limited mobile content is not what they expected. They want to go to their favorite site, be it a friend's blog, a hobby site, or a search result providing the answer to a bet in the bar.

    New full Web browsers on mobile are changing the story. Think 10 years ahead: the Web will surely be in everyone's pocket. Question is, will it be 8 years? 6? 4? And remember, there are only 1 billion PCs, and next year over 3 billion mobile phones. Mobile Web will be many people's first and only Internet experience.

    Somehow the Web will make it to your phone. The first real step in that direction is already here, e.g. http://s60.com/browser or other full-Web capable mobile browsers.
  • dotMobi is worth the try

    Nice post and thanks for sounding out your doubts...most of them are valid...

    But let's also look at the positives...the fact is, it is very difficult to foresee how society would accept certain products and innovations...can anyone be 100% sure that dotMobi will not make it easier for people to surf online content...i bet no one can be...perhaps one could be 50% sure, 60% maybe, even 90%, but not beyond that...

    Given the fact that there are four mobile phones for every PC, and the amount of time a mobile stays with an average user is multiples of times (say 4-5 times the amount of time, at least) higher than that for PC, you are really talking about 25-30 times ( that is about 3000%) higher access times for mobile than for PCs...I think most would take a 10% chance of success for such an opportunity...I know I make it sound very optimistic, but consider this a positive perspective!

    Some more inputs on dotMobi available at Mobinomy.com @ http://www.mobinomy.com . The site also plans to come out with a .mobi only directory soon

    From Ec @ BPO Database - http://www.ebpo.in