Mobile Web Page Thoughts

Here's the reality that keeps me up at night: Very, very, very soon, more people will be accessing the web via their mobile devices than from their PCs. It's a fact. 100%. It's going to happen. Sooner than later.

Now, the question is, when do I start thinking about mobiles as the primary audience for a website? When I throw up a website now, I immediately think of PCs and browser apps as the audience. Index.html speaks to a browser and maybe is for the multiple device - or I do some sort of controller which detects the device and the displays the proper page. But the default is always the web, at least in my mind, and the phone is the "alternate" view.

That's going to change. And I'd rather not wait until others are already thinking like that before I do. Imagine someday soon where your PC browser is secondary. It'll all be XHTML, but the primary focus and use of the website will be the phone. Isn't this how things are in Japan right now where iMode is so insanely popular? It seems an obvious thing - websites focused only on mobile browsing.

Think about it... someday there'll be some newbie. He'll register a domain, throw up a bunch of mobile web pages and then someone will hit the site from their PC and get an error... "Oops! I totally forgot about the PC!" Will it happen? Hmmm. Probably not, right, since that newbie will probably be making the web pages from his or her computer, so they'll obviously try the site from their PC.

Ahhhh. So that's the key isn't it? Mobile Web Pages will be the norm when you can create a complete mobile website from your phone without help from a computer. It's like the web equivalent of a OS bootstrapping. Until you can do everything from creation to consuming from your mobile, there'll always be a PC in the way, and thus the mindset won't change (at least for me).

But writing markup from my mobile? Hmm... Well, if you think about how works, it writes the markup for you, and posts it to your website. There's no reason why they can't do that for mobiles *from* a mobile. In fact, with a Series 60 phone you can already do this for your photos: Yellow Computing's PixoMat allows you to publish your photo album, formatted HTML and all, no special moblogging server needed, everything is posted via FTP.

Now this has been a bugaboo of mine for a while. Creating and consuming via mobiles... but I'm suddenly realizing that it's more than just for media or photos, it's really an alternate web that's going to be developed, one focused on mobile devices where PC access is definitely secondary.

Most webloggers already sees their web server as an extension of their identity. It holds all the public data associated with that person, thoughts, pictures, resumes, and more. I think we're going to see that even more with mobile phones.

I wonder when the first mobile phones will be launched with server space already allocated? There's no reason that can't be happening now with SyncML, etc. If I were a carrier in this portable number world we now live in, I would make phones just an extension of an online data repository, and make it as seamless as possible for that person to create data and store it online, some for public consumption and other for private data. When someone gets their phone, they should first be thinking "Ooh, I better set up the web page that goes along with this..."

I've been playing with MMS from AT&T Wireless. Did you know you can use MMS (on this carrier) to send to an email address? Many MMSCs support it (all?). When you receive the email, it comes from the phone number at ( The MMS should also have a link at the bottom where people can go to and see your public web page, no? And that web page should be completely editable via a phone, no?

When that happens - and it will - that's when the change will come. I think for me, someone who's trying to create that future, it's time to think that way now.


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