mobile web initiative

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main standards-setting body for the networked world we live and breathe, recently launched the Mobile Web Initiative. From the press release:
“Many of today’s mobile devices already feature Web browsers and the demand for mobile devices continues to grow. Despite these trends, browsing the Web from a mobile device — for example, to find product information, consult timetables, check email, transfer money — has not become as convenient as expected. Users often find that their favorite Web sites are not accessible or not as easy to use on their mobile phone as on their desktop computer. Content providers have difficulties building Web sites that work well on all types and configurations of mobile phones offering Web access.”
The web is moving further and further from being exclusively a desktop system. What began essentially as a set of interlinked brochures, to be read sitting down, has evolved into a dynamic, social multimedia space, increasingly connected to the world around us. I often think of the history of industrialization as a story of estrangement from the physical world. Cities swell, smog billows and the haze of electric light washes out the stars. Mass media forms naturally emerge from the concentration of industry – economies of scale that favor homogeneity, the sweeping gesture. At first, the new media seem to take this estrangement further, confining us to “virtual” spaces. But quite to the contrary, the web is taking us back into the world, not out of it. Even something as simple as Google Maps suggests this return. But to become fully unmoored from our desks, standards have to be set in place to ensure that the web is readable in smaller formats, and that we have faster, more reliable access when we’re on the move. Plus, the devices need to emerge that offer the convenience of a cell phone with the power of a notebook computer. The future of personal computing lies more with cell phones (see the new Sidekick II), iPods and Play Station Portable than with the latest desktop from Dell or Apple.

3 thoughts on “mobile web initiative

  1. Guitef

    Revue : Le Web mobilité

    • Mobile web initiative (Ben Vershbow) Répondant à la croissance fulgurante du sans fil, le World Wide Web Consortium lance le Mobile Web Initiative, un regroupement des leaders de la technologie sans fil, dans le but d’apporter de la cohésion…

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  2. eIT

    Nice article, thanks
    On a side note, the dotMobi mTLD (mobile top level domain) has just been released and is in the sunrise registration period…the promise of dotMobi is to ensure that those sites with dotMobi extension will be tuned to mobile browsing…it is thus expected to make mobile browsing a far more enriching experience.
    One can expect a number of .mobi web sites – those that conform with standards for mobile browsing – to be online starting Oct 2006…while opinion is divided whether dotMobi will revolutionise mobile browsing or would be just another flash in the pan, when one considers that there are four mobile phones for every PC on earth, it certainly appears worth trying out a separate TLD…and it is also indeed true that accessing many web sites over mobile today is not exactly a pleasant experience…so who knows!
    More info on dotMobi can be found at Mobinomy.com – the Dot Mobi Directory, this site also plans to start a dotMobi directory soon
    Ec from IT, Software Database @ eIT.in

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