Betavine (Vodafone R&D’s developer community portal), with some help from the inimitable folks at Carsonified, have laucnhed a new blog dedicated to Mobile Widgets and Web Apps.  The idea is to get as much information out as possible about what Betavine and Vodafone are doing in the widget space and what’s going on with the latest widget standardization efforts. We’ll also be featuring information on upcoming events, like the W3C widget camp at WWW2009 in Madrid next week and the upcoming Vodafone Mobile Widget Camp in Amsterdam on May 2nd. We’ll also be posting on Twitter on @MobileWidgets on Twitter. Stay tuned!

I’m here at SXSW in Austin this week-end working on getting the word out on mobile widgets and mobile Web and talking about mobile web in the developing world on a panel on Tuesday. Meanwhile I’m using Qik to cover the conference and have some conversations with people here about mobile and other topics. Follow me on Qik or on Twitter to get updates and if you’re here in Austin, come by the Driskill hotel tonight at 5 for Betavine Beers West.

One of the most exciting projects I’ve been involved with this year has been the launch of Vodafone Betavine. Betavine is a collaborative portal for the developer community focusing on mobile and communications apps. Although mobile operators have launched developer sites in the past, Betavine is different because it’s aimed at individual, small company and student developers – the real grass roots. It’s also the first Vodafone group Web site to feature a blog, user-generated content. Betavine is now launching three exciting features: student competitions, APIs and the open source zone. The competition offer students the opportunity to win up to €5000 just for developing and uploading an innovative application in one of four categories (Social Networking & Communications, Information & Entertainment, Office & B2B and Social Impact). Very cool stuff. The API section (which will be previewed at JavaOne next week by Stephen Wolak, the pioneering soul behind the Betavine initiative) will feature, well, APIs. APIs into network functions, such as location and messaging functions, have been something small company developers have been asking about for years. The Betavine APIs will be initially provide SMS messaging, WAP push and access to Betavine itself (to allow for Betavine mashups). Watch the site for the launch and to find out more details. Finally, the open source counterpart to Betavine has now launched: Vodafone Betavine Forge. This is a fully functional open source community site featuring CVS, bug tracking, etc… the whole shebang. Along with the launch of the site are three internal Vodafone open source projects that …

Betavine Continues to Ripen Read more »

I’m off to Austin Texas tomorrow for the South by Southwest Interactive festival next week. Good to see that the South by Southwest organizers put together a mobile friendly site at, but it’s pretty bare. I’m starting to get really excited about the rich potential of this medium. My experiences presenting at Future of Web Apps and other places only reinforce my view that developers want to start exploiting the potential of the mobile Web platform. I’ll be presenting on a panel on this topic at 14:00 on Tuesday. I’ll also be attending all the panels that Arun is on and making comments from the back row. Of course, I’ll be evangelizing Vodafone Betavine to anyone who will listen, as well as talking up the work we’re doing in Mobile Web Initiative. Leave a comment here if you’re going to be around and you want to talk to me about these topics or anything else!

Today we launched something that we’ve been working on for a while here at Vodafone. It’s a developer community portal called “Vodafone Betavine.” The idea of the site is to be a resource to the developer community, especially individual or small company developers working on mobile and communication-oriented applications across a range of platforms. There are other developer portals out there, but they tend to be either platform specific or otherwise tied into a commercial process. Vodafone Betavine is an R&D effort and as such is pre-commercial in nature. It’s aim is to stimulate the developer community and thereby encourage growth of the whole ecosystem. Stuff that gets uploaded to Betavine remains the property of the contributor. It’s a place to get people to download your applications, test them, comment on them, etc… Likewise, we hope it will become a place to go to find great, innovative apps that you’ll want to download and test. The site itself is still in the Beta phase, but will continue to improve over time as we keep rolling more featutes into it. This project is being run like a Web 2.0 startup within a big corporate. As such, continual releases and improvements as well as direct feedback from and communication with the site development team will be a key aspect. This is something new for Vodafone and we’d all appreciate your support with making it a success. If you’re a developer and you have an app that’s in some way related to mobile or communications, go to the site, …

Vodafone Betavine Launches! Read more »