I suppose if I were really serious about the “Mobile Web,” I would start by making this site mobile friendly. Unfortunately, I tried to access it with my lovely new Sony Ericsson V800 and found it completely mobile non-friendly. I should, in theory, be able to rectify this using CSS media queries. More soon.
So on Sunday I went to something called the “Design Festa” at Tokyo Big Sight, an enormous expo center on the outskirts of the city. From what I understand, it’s a twice yearly event where hundreds of artists and designers from Tokyo come to display their wares, sell stuff, create art, etc… Everything from iron-work to painting to hand-made t-shirts to music was on display and/or on sale there. I got an artist to do this rendition of my two kids, Alex and Emily, from a picture I had stored in my camera. I’ll post some more pictures from the “Festa” soon.
Some anecdotal evidence of the shape of the Mobile Web in Japan:
- An advertisement with multiple URLs on it, each for access over a different carrier
- Every content provider has to code their service or application multiple times for different carriers (XHTML-MP, XHTML-Basic, CHTML, MML, etc…)
- Everyone is walking around using their mobile phone (no different than Europe, actually), but it seems to me that this is mostly for messaging
It seems there are some mobile Web problems in the land of the rising sun. The Mobile Web Initiative could help to tackle these problems by rallying the industry around specific profiles and standards.
I suppose as the owner of Torgo.com, I ought to have a brief explanation of who Torgo is. But honestly, I couldn’t possibly do it better than this guy who appears to know everything there is to know about Torgo, from the movie Manos, Hands of Fate. In fact, he may know a little bit too much. Creep-factor 10, captain?
So tomorrow I’m off to Boston for the W3C10 Symposium (which will be good fun) and the W3C Advisory Committee meeting (actual work). I’ve been doing Web (and before then publishing by email and FTP) since before there was a W3C — when an address with a “.com” was a rarity because most people connected to the Internet were at Universities or in the Military. But beyond all the old fogies recounting their Web war stories, I actually think this symposium is a good idea. Every so often, it’s important to look back at where you’ve been and how you got there, and I’m hoping W3C10 will be such an opportunity.
This report on the revolt of TV journalists in the Ukraine from BBC news online gives me hope for humanity. It’s the latest twist in what is turning into an edge-of-your seat story of politics on the brink. These people are putting despots on notice. More power to them.
They’re not only the best long-haul airline flying. They’re also really unfathomably cool and they have great customer service. As evidence, I submit the fact that even though my “gold” frequent flyer status had expired because I haven’t flown enough segments this year, they re-upped it anyway after I wrote them a very nice letter. Wow! But the real differentiator is Virgin’s new upper class seat, which just runs circles around anyone else’s business class. And Virgin’s “Upper Class” is business class — they don’t have a “first class” — which is another benefit because when you fly Upper Class on Virgin, you are top dog. When you fly business class on some other airlines, there is a whole group of people on the airplane that is more elite than you are, and that’s no good. This seat, though, is like a mini cabin — it’s a completely personal space. The design is great — everything is highly usable and comfortable — as are the materials and build construction. I’ve been flying Virgin since 1997 — when they were the first airline to include seat-back video screens, even in Economy — and they consistently manage to raise the bar each year, throughout the airplane. Another recent innovation is a video-on-demand service (again, available in every class) that’s invaluable when you’re traveling with a toddler.
So last week, I co-chaired a W3C workshop on the “Mobile Web.” It was really challenging bringing such a diverse group of companies together for this, but in the end it was a great success. Read the paper I wrote for Vodafone and see what I had to say about this, and read the papers from the other participants. Also, read the C-Net coverage! (Although, C-Net got the category wrong — it’s not “Web Services,” that’s something different. Sigh…)
An aspect of my job that I really enjoy is that I am actually passionate about these issues. I believe that working for a better mobile web would be a good thing not just because it serves the commercial interests of my company, but because I think it would be a good thing overall. I hate broken things, and the Mobile Web is broken right now. The industry collectively has a chance to fix things, but only if it comes together.
I’ll be working hard over the coming months to make that happen — leave a comment here if you have any ideas.
So every American should read this OSCE news releases. International observers (from the OSCE — Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) were monitoring our elections (invited by the U.S. State Department). This is a really good thing, because it helps to ensure transparency and fairness in the electoral process and it also sends a good message to the rest of the world. The news is actually pretty good, but the issues raised in their more detailed report are important ones to consider — especially allowing for greater access for international observers.