Saturday, April 19, 2008

Russell Beattie

This mobile guru has created quite a few ripples in the blogosphere this week. I have followed him on the web for about 2-3 years and he was one of the first blogs I subscribed to when I was originally using netvibes all those years ago. He's been through a lot over those years including working for Yahoo and getting divorced (you can read all this on his blog Anyway the development on his latest project, mowser (a mobile transcoder like skweezer, which basically makes full size web pages accessable on a mobile device) has been stopped. His reasons are both monetary and that he no longer believes in the mobile web. This last statement was taken out of context, particularly by zdnet, and two camps formed quickly on the blogosphere. My take on it is the same as Russell, he didn't mean there would be no mobile web, just that due to the rise in the availabilty of full browsers (read that iphone, opera s60 and of course the fantastic Opera mini) people who are going to browse the web don't need transcoders any longer. Good on you Russ for recognizing that early on and pulling the plug on something that (as he has quoted) was only a short term project. Unfortunately nobody could have foreseen the impact of the iphone and full browser combination. For those people in the camp that have criticized Russ for his comments and still believe that the web should have mobile versions are also looking at it with a short term outlook. I think there will always be a place for dedicated mobile versions of some sites (namely Google Reader for one), but to believe that the full web will go small is just plain silly. Russ Beattie has been round long enough to realize this!

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