There are days when I wake up to the same blase stream of information filling my feed reader, and then there are days when I am genuinely excited about what’s flowing through the web of tubes known as the internet. Yesterday was one of the latter category.
You see, along with the many various hobbies I entertain, I’m a self-proclaimed gadget geek. Full blown. I read somewhere that my Myers-Briggs personality analysis explains my need to have a new shiny gadget in my pocket at frequent intervals; thank you, whoever managed to connect psychology to my gadget addiction. I now effectively have a doctor’s note to wave around at loved ones who wonder why I can’t stick with a cell phone for more than a year (at most) at a time.
With that said, I’ve been somewhat disenchanted with mobile web browsing until just recently. The iPhone was the very first device that actually made me want to use the internet on the go. I don’t have an iPhone, though. All the folks who browse the internet on Palms, Blackberrys, HTC devices or any other smart phones probably can relate when I say that mobile browsing can be a bear.
That isn’t necessarily the fault of the handset or operating system manufacturers. The biggest problem is that there really aren’t really any rules or established guidelines for websites to follow when it comes to designing mobile-friendly pages. Text can appear all jumbled up, you have to scroll every which way like you’re playing a game of Snake to navigate — no rules usually translates as anarchy.
I said a quiet prayer of gratitude yesterday when I read that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) finally laid out its first set of guidelines for creating mobile websites. Anthony Ha of Venture Beat writes, “The consortium, commonly known as the W3C, is the primary international body that develops standards for the web, and now it’s turning its attention to the mobile world. The idea is to have a set of guidelines that developers can follow so that their sites can be viewed without difficulty on any device.” If that doesn’t excite the pocket warriors amongst you, I don’t know what will!
With standardization of rules that demand mobile websites be accessible by any web-friendly mobile phone, more consumers will get on board with mobile browsing. As more consumers become connected on the go, there will finally be the boom of users necessary for mobile social networking to really take off. The scope and potential is huge! With browsers being packed into every purse and pocket, we’ll see a huge boost in dependence on mobile social communities, and you can bet your britches it will change the way we think about mobile social networks and the devices we choose.
If, at this point, you still haven’t quite grasped how exciting this is (at least for me in my gadget-driven geek frenzy), I suppose you could imagine me doing an Irish jig in my office. That’s not something I necessarily recommend.