Monday, October 08, 2007

MoMo London (Oct 2007) - The Mobile Web

London's Mobile Monday event last night was on the mobile web - hosted by the W3C Mobile Web initiative. (Photo: Dan Applequist)

Very interesting it was too, especially if you believe that access to the web is/will be big on mobile phones.

It was a year since the last momo on mobile web (October 2006) and there was lots of debate around whether mobile web is taking off / has taken off a year on and of course the well publicised Novarra / Vodafone decision of transcoding web for mobile devices and other perceived barriers.

Anyone in the mobile industry is familiar with the Client vs. Browser debate and it's often a crucial decsion for mobile startups. Real-life war stories abound with startups that choose either or both and the implications of that decision. Thus, one of the most interesting points for me came from Flirtomatic's Mark Curtis and why they ditched **their J2ME client** early on (but still after wasting loads of development money and far too late in the day to his chagrin) - they burnt their sacred cow as Mark describes it and it was a painful lesson.

Number of page views on WAP is 4 times that on fixed web and increasing. Their advertising + value added service business model was proving profitable with (virtual gifting / currency like Habbo Hotel and Cyworld) and advertising revenues being split 50/50 by end of year.

Mippin was demo'd live and it looks interesting from the perspective of accessing RSS content on the mobile (news stories,blog posts, alerts multimedia content). Mippin makes this content available via the web browser, rendering it for the optimal user experience on a per-device basis. There's tons of RSS content available on the web and that which is not (yet) RSS, is easy enough to convert... Voting / community , personalisation and serendipity elements distinguish the service from your standard smartphone RSS reader bundled on the device..

Scott Beaumont also mentioned the important lessons they learned from Mobizines and have taken forward into Mippin.

As a side note, using RSS is becoming prevalent in my fixed and mobile web usage behaviour ... I'm aggregating several RSS feeds from different web services into my jaiku master feed eg. from Facebook / Flickr / Shozu uploads / Last.FM the moment I'm keeping my RSS blog reader (Bloglines) separate from my LifeStreaming apps but at some point it may make sense to merge them.

I expect more web services will adopt exporting the content via RSS in the near future.

Mippin goes live at the end of the week.

You can listen to the podcast of all the speakers here (give it a couple of days to be published).