These days, it’s all about the Internet. But the Age of the Mobile has dawned and all roads lead to an emerging Golden Age. A lot of tech pundits predict an explosion of mobile technology and software, especially Mobile Web, in 2008. Mobile trend forecasts for 2008 include the rise of the mobile social networks; mobile video blogging; and mobile search. Business Week also came up with its Five Mobile Trends for 2008:
- A push on data
- Device convergence
- Mobile 2.0
- Mobile Web explosion
These are not baseless predictions, as proven by developments in the field. The number of mobile phone users continue to rise rapidly each year. In the US alone, there were an estimated 200 million mobile phone users in 2007, with more expected in 2008. Mobile Web is becoming increasingly popular, brought about by faster connectivity speeds and 3G networks, providing greater access to content; the introduction of WAP 2.0, which allowed graphics and enhanced user experience; and better handset functionality leading to more data services.
One of the gold mines of the mobile revolution is mobile site development. In the past, those who want to publish their own mobile sites have to hire programmers or third-party developers to set up a mobile site for them. This tends to be more expensive, especially for small-to-medium scale businesses and individuals who are hesitant to shell out money for this. Maintaining and keeping their mobile sites up to date is also another issue altogether. The good news is that recent innovations now allow ordinary users with no programming skills to create their own mobile sites – the next frontier of mobile technology. But what are mobile sites?
Mobile sites are mini-websites formatted for viewing through mobile phones and other mobile devices. Mobile site owners can use their mobiles sites and explore a new arena to promote themselves, their works or their products and services. Imagine a wide audience out there just waiting to be tapped. Mobile site owners can reach them anytime, anywhere they may be and at the exact moment that they want.
This concept has been around for some time and is more commonly termed as ‘WAP sites’. However, the old WAP sites are limited to static, plain text content. The solution to this is an entirely new mobile site platform that lets users create interactive and visually attractive mobile sites that contain static pages with images and text wrapping; polls; forms; guestbook; comments; and enables file sharing. Some mobile site platforms also provide an emulator that lets users see how their mobile site will actually look like when viewed through a mobile phone. All users need to access these tools is a PC with an Internet connection. All these features have made it easier and more fun for users to create their mobile sites. The significant development of advertising on the mobile web is also another cookie to lure regular Internet site owners to finally go mobile.
There are already several mobile site providers out there so users have an increasingly larger player field. The key is to choose the best one suited to their mobile site needs. The mobile explosion is off to a great a start and it will be interesting to see how it develops and how the technology and the software will continue to evolve.
Leah Forteza is an experienced writer who has previously worked with a magazine and a graphic design agency. She is currently connected with Mobilemo, a mobile site platform that lets users create their own mobile sites through simple and easy-to-use interactive tools. Mobilemo seeks to minimize the difference between the World Wide Web and mobile web by providing an almost web-like quality to mobile sites.