Famous in Korea!

François Daoust of W3C and I were interviewed by the Korean press about the work of the W3C Mobile Web Best Practices working group.  Unfortunately,  the article hasn’t been translated so I have no idea what they said about us, but hey — any publicity is good publicity, I suppose.

Posted in Mobile Web, W3C Tagged with: , , , , ,

Why am I Going to Korea?

Picture out the window of the Korean Airlines Lounge in Narita AirportI’m sitting in the Korean Airlines lounge in Narita (Tokyo) airport after an 11 hour flight from London, watching a seemingly endless succession of JAL 747s taking off. When I arrived, there were no promised uniformed agents showing me the way. All the doors marked “international connections” were closed. In the end, I had to find my way through a very forbidding looking corridor and I was sure I was going to be turned back and possibly detained, but the airport staff I eventually found were very helpful and guided me to the checkpoint I needed for my connection. So, here I sit, stealing WiFi from the Northwest lounge next door.

In an hour I’ll be on another flight on my way to Seoul, South Korea. I don’t speak a word of Korean, I have no local currency and I’ve most likely packed the wrong plug adapters. But on Monday morning, I will convene the next face to face meeting of the W3C Mobile Web Best Practices working group. After that, I plan to participate in an event called W3C Mobile Wednesday, a kind of east-meets-west open conference-style event bringing together people working in mobile Web standardization and those working on the sharp end of the mobile Web in Korea: people from manufacturers and operators, yes, but also entrepreneuers, bloggers, developers. It’s all thanks to the Korean Mobile Web 2.0 Forum, ETRI, and the people at the W3C offfice in Korea. I’m very excited about this event and this whole week. Besides making some real progress on the work of the Mobile Web Best Practices group, I hope to get a real flavor for how the mobile Web (and other digital services) are being delivered in Korea, a place that showcases (according to Jim O’Reilly and Tomi Ahonen in their book Digital Korea) the “Convergence of Broadband Internet, 3G Cell Phones, Multiplayer Gaming, Digital TV, Virtual Reality, Electronic Cash, Telematics, Robotics, E-Government and the Intelligent Home”.
That and enjoy some good kimchi.

Posted in Mobile Web, W3C Tagged with: , , , ,

I got vlogged at Mobile World Congress!


I got “video blogged” at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week by Dennis Howlett. Dennis captured me talking about the landscape and future of the mobile Web. Unfortunately, he edited out the bit where I was talking about the W3C Mobile Web Initiative, which was kind of the point of the whole thing (from my perspective). The material that made it in was some scene-setting for why we created the Mobile Web Initiative and developed the Mobile Web Best Practices and MobileOK, both of which were being showcased at the W3C booth at the congress.

Posted in Mobile Web, Mobility Tagged with: , , , , , ,

If it’s Monday…

Global Peer Awards Logo…it must be the Mobile Monday Global Peer Awards! I’m sitting in the speakers’ lounge watching people file into the Espacio Movistar here in sunny Barcelona. Last year, we had 23 start-ups from 23 cities around the world presenting on stage. The atmosphere was electric. This year, with an even bigger venue and more start-ups, I’m even more excited to be here and to participate on the judging panel. This is also where the global Mobile Monday community is coming together – to network and to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship in the mobile space.

Posted in Mobile Monday Tagged with: , ,

Around the World for the Mobile Web

Singapore Airlines Airbus A-380I’ve just had confirmation that, for my flight out to Beijing for the upcoming WWW2008 conference in April, I will be flying the first leg on a Singapore Airlines Airbus A-380 “superjumbo.” The flight will be London to Singapore on the 18th of April and will kick off a round the world trip that I will be taking that week, first hitting Beijing for the W3C Advisory Committee meeting and the WWW2008 conference (where I will be co-chairing a workshop on advanced mobile Web applications) and then flying on to San Francisco where I will be speaking about the Mobile Web and Mobile Ajax at O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo event. It’s going to be a very exciting week, tackling two very different Web conferences and helping to bring a mobile flavor to both, while simultaneously circumnavigating the globe and hopefully taking in some more sights than just hotel rooms and airport lounges along the way. But clearly, one highlight (for me) will be getting to fly part of the way on the A-380. I have to admit: I’m a bit of an air travel nerd, and I’ve been following the saga of the A-380 ever since it was announced by Airbus.

Posted in Mobile Web, Travel Tagged with: , , , , , ,

W3C Releases Mobility / Accessibility Draft

In June 2005, I wrote in these pages about an issue I knew we were going to have to grapple with in the Mobile Web Best Practices group that we were then kicking off. What is the intersection of mobility and accessibility when it comes to Web content? In fact, the initial approach and early work of the group that set the foundations for the Mobile Web Best Practices and for MobileOK was based on the work of the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative, and specifically the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines document.

This week, we have followed up the release of MobileOK with a new document that details exactly that: describe the relationship between Mobile Web Best Practices and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Why should you care? If you’re trying to provide a service on the Web, you need to care about both accessibility and mobility. Both of these topics require some investment in skills, tools, and development time, so understanding where the overlaps are should greatly help to reduce development costs and time to market. At the end of the day, it’s also about maximizing the potential audience for your service, regardless of a user’s disability or the device used to access that service.

Posted in Mobile Web, W3C Tagged with: , , ,

The Industry Event Formerly Known as 3GSM

This year I’m more excited than ever about Mobile World Congress (née 3GSM). But the excitement at this year’s event won’t be at the event. It will be at two amazing side-events: the Mobile Monday Global Peer Awards happening on Monday the 11th and the Mobile Jam Session on the 12th.

At last year’s Global Peer Awards, we had 23 mobile start-ups from 23 Mobile Monday cities around the World presenting on stage. We had companies like Skyhook Wireless (which has recently achieved some fame as the technology behind the location awareness function in iPhone), RealEyes3D (which went on to be selected as a Red Herring top 100 companies in Europe as well as other accolades), and MobileComplete (which was also selected by Red Herring and took the world by storm with their DeviceAnywhere product). A full list of 2007 participants is available here. This year, it’s your chance to see more early-stage companies and innovative mobile services – before they become famous and stop returning your calls.

The Mobile Jam Session will be a unique industry event, bringing together a spectrum mobile developers for a kind of un-conference that will combine a “code camp” style with a creatively driven workshop structure. After hearing who has so far signed up, I’m more fired up than ever about this event.

W3C will also be out in force at the conference itself, promoting the release of MobileOK as a “Candidate Recommendation” and the release of an open source code library that allows content developers to more easily test their content for mobile friendliness. If you’re at the conference, go visit them in Hall 7, stand 7D56 and get the real deal on MobileOK and the future of the Mobile Web. We’ll also hopefully see W3C folks at the Mobile Jam Session.

See you in Barcelona!

Posted in mobile 2.0, Mobile Web Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

The State of Mobile Blogging: It Ain’t Pretty

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So I’ve been doing some research on mobile blogging, trying to find the best solutions out there. The situation is pretty dire. So far, it looks like the best solution out there is actually from Windows Live (née MSN) Spaces. Windows Live actually lets you register, create a blog and start publishing it all through the mobile browser.

In contrast, Blogger has some information on mobile blogging that involves a convoluted “email to post” (which only works with U.S. carriers by the way — HELLO PEOPLE – THE WEB IS GLOBAL). TypePad claims “industry leading” mobile features but doesn’t seem to have any way to sing up or create a blog from the mobile and it’s also e-mail based. You can use Nokia Lifeblog with Typepad but you need to have a Nokia phone to do this. WordPress is likewise a wash. Vox doesn’t have obvious mobile support either.

What’s going on here? It’s pretty easy to write a Web form that accepts a blog post. Even Microsoft can do it! I thought we were further along here, as a society I mean. Am I missing something? Are there other turn-key solutions out there for mobile blogging?

Posted in Blogs, Mobile Web Tagged with: , , ,

Notes on Le Web 3

LeWeb3 StageSo unfortunately I wasn’t able to get out a timely blog post on Le Web 3 last week. Others have said a lot already but I just thought I’d write a brief post on it. It was a really great event and Loic and team deserve massive kudos for putting it together so well. First I have to rave about the near-flawless execution. The food deserves special mention because it was fantastic. Of course – what did I expect? This is Paris, after all. The production of the event itself, especially on the main stage, was fantastic, with a camera crew and staff that kept scurrying around keeping everything running smoothly. There was a fleet of BMW cars, sponsored by BMW, taking speakers back and forth from the conference site to the hotel. Very nice touch. The conference site itself was laid out very nicely with a chill-out “networking” lounge (where local artists were also working to add a bit of color). There were the usual sponsor booths but lots of space. There were a lot of people at this event but it never felt crowded. It was well produced but also managed to maintain a good community feel – no mean feat.

IMG_0234.JPGThe speaker line-up was really an all-star cast. I won’t go into too much detail here. I was lucky to be asked to participate on a panel on Mobile-Web convergence (chaired by Ouriel Ohayon) which was notable not only because I was on it, but because it was really well attended. I was a bit worried that the non-sexy name of the panel might put people off but we really packed the room – clearly an indicator that the mainstream “Web” community is eager to hear about mobile. We had a really good discussion on stage as well.

Apart from the panel thee was a lot of mobile interest at the event. French mobile widgets company Goojet won the start-up competition. Echovox’s Zong was out in force as a sponsor and David Marcus, Echovox’s CEO, was a great addition to the mobile panel. Of course, Nokia had a great presence there.

Other highlights?

Martin Varsavsky of Fon – a very entertaining speaker. Much more so than his appearance at Web 2 summit where he was incongruously sandwiched between Google and Verizon.

Jason Calacanis on why blog spam and paid search-engine “optimization” is destroying search in the same way that spam destroyed usenet. I especially enjoyed this presentation because it reinforced my view that trust and identity are going to have to play a role in the future of the Internet if it’s going to remain a useful medium.

Floor near the main stage at Le Web 3Talking to Scott Beaumont and Prashant of Refresh Mobile and hearing about their experiences deploying Mippin. Sounds like things are going really well!

Tom Raftery’s talk on green data centers and power demand management – though it was slightly far a-field for a Web conference. :)

Getting a demo of Mobiluck, a mobile social network. They are doing a great Web-based UI and they “get” what mobile adds to the social networking game. Must do a post on them later.

Meeting Lisa Sounio, CEO of Dopplr. If you’re not on Dopplr, go there and join.

Hanging out with my good friend Rudy De Waele.

Running into Paul Walsh wearing Sam Sethi’s badge.

Unfortunately I missed Philippe Starck’s presentation which I regret because it sounds like it was really good.

Lots more I won’t go into here.

There were a few negatives. Shahram Izadi from Microsoft research presented the Microsoft surface concept but I felt like I didn’t really see anything new here. Janus Friis talked about Joost but I really didn’t feel that he presented it in as good a light as Mike Volpi did at Web 2.0 Summit. Also, he kind of brushed off Paul (BT) Downy’s question about the proprietary nature of Joost (vs. the Web) which I think was a shame. He might have said (as Volpi did) that they are working on a browser-based version.

The Wifi was a problem. Wifi is always a problem at these kinds of events because it’s so easy to underestimate need. At Mobile 2.0 we got Swisscom to come in and build out a custom Wlan which was great and nobody complained. We only had 300 people there though. Le Web 3 (where Swisscom also did the wireless lan) was about 1700 to 1800 people – different kind of scale. And how many of those people were using iPhones as well as laptops? Plenty.

Marc Canter at Le Web 3Marc Canter had possibly left his lithium on the plane because he was even more rabid than usual. This had both positive (entertaining!) and negative (shut up and let someone else talk!) aspects.

So. All in all, it was a great way to spend two days. Great speakers. Great networking. Great city. Great work, Loic and team. Looking forward to next year!

Posted in Web 2.0 Tagged with:

What Time is It?

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Dali Clock

Why, in this day and age, when they can send a man to the Moon, is it so frickin’ difficult to tell what time it is? Specifically, what makes it so seemingly difficult for mobile devices, which are connected to a public network, to tell what time it is? Surely mobile connected devices should be our most trusted time sources. The network they’re connected to is constantly pumping out a time-sync. So what is the problem? Three examples:

I normally carry around a couple of devices. Most recently, these have been consistently unreliable sources of the time. The Blackberry has two time-sync options: network and “blackberry.” Neither of them ever yield a correct time (as measured by my Mac, whose time-sync works flawlessly when measured against the BBC).

The N73 also has a “network sync” option which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. I have often found that the time is wildly off – by as much as a few hours. It also doesn’t help matters that a change of this setting requires a reboot.

I have to manually set the time zone on the Blackberry but the Nokia N73 somehow can figure that out for itself.

I just came out of the other end of the Channel Tunnel and my iPhone hasn’t picked up the fact that I’m now in Central European Time – so it’s still showing an hour behind.

In this fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever for your device to know the correct time. This becomes especially important when you’re sharing media (as, for example, a number of people are contributing camera-phone images into a photo pool which you then want to be able to view sequentially). I constantly find myself on conference calls with multiple people in different time zones and knowing the correct time can be extremely important in such situations (and don’t even get me started about how most software just does not know how to deal with meeting planning that happens across multiple time zones or meetings that are being scheduled in a time zone other than your own – the software on Blackberry is a rare exception – I often find myself using the Blackberry to schedule a meeting even when the PC is right in front of me). So what’s going on here and how do we fix it? I’m open to suggestions.

Posted in Mobility, Travel Tagged with: , , , , ,

Who is Daniel K. Appelquist?

I'm an American Ex-Pat living in London. I'm a father of two and husband of one. I am the Open Web Advocate for Telefónica Digital, focusing on the Open Web Device. I founded Mobile Monday London, Over the Air and the Mobile 2.0 conference series.

The opinions expressed here are my own, however, and neither Telefónica nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

My books:
Mobile Internet for Dummies
XML and SQL

For more info, see my Linkedin profile.

More (probably than you ever wanted to know) about Torgo.

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