minimizing the .mobi debate

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kylewill

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This is my attempt to minimize the .mobi debate. I have been developing websites for clients and myself since the 90's, and have been involved with hundreds and hundreds of client perspectives since then. Some small, others fortune 500 companies. .mobi is obviously all about marketing, and promotion. Every day business owners are starting to hear about it, more so than I ever noticed with .biz and .info. However, it is also about the user experience being easiest.

Here are the two most significant points I keep seeing brought up in this forum...

  1. Mobile devices are getting better, why create custom sites for mobile devices if the future means navigating normal sites just fine?
  2. Standardizing a sub-domain and using detection gets the job done. Sites don't need to brand a new domain, they can just redirect to mobile.site.com.

The reality is, mobile devices will always be small. The best user experience is developing a custom site specifically for mobile viewers. This means more mobile-only features like cutting down on certain design aspects that are appealing for large screens but not small... etc. The interesting thing is, there is no ONE way to do things here. Some sites are perfectly fine viewing on an itouch, others are still annoying. It all depends on the goals of the business. Does the mobile web matter? User interaction? Maybe the mobile site only needs to have a map, about us info, and contact information? Maybe your mobile site needs a forum, ringtone advertising, secure email?

This is where .mobi has its place, in branding and creating mobile only sites. While you could also use a dot anything for your extension, the .mobi provides a marketing incentive that is memorable and gets your users interested.

The goals of a business considering a mobile application will outline what type of mobile design/marketing route is needed.

Johnny's Movie Theater should have a mobile site, but it doesn't need user interaction. Redirecting to mobile.johnnysmovies.com makes the most sense, providing some simple information on movie times, location map, phone #, etc.

Jim's Free Ringtone Forum needs two versions. A full featured forum for desktop users, and a mobile interactive version. However, does the mobile interactive version need to have all the bells and whistles of the desktop version? No matter how good mobile devices get, displaying the same site where users have to zoom in and side scroll isn't efficient. Yet again, mobile.johnnysringtoneforum.com is probably best.

Google wants to launch a new web product called, ATMFinder.mobi. This is giong to be an elaborate product primarily for mobile users. Desktop users can of course view and use this, and maybe Google would have the .com as well. But their goal is to target people who are out and about who need to find a quick ATM supported by their bank. When they advertise and promote this, having the ".mobi" can provide some marketing hocus pocus to make it MEMORABLE and spread faster virally.

While writing this, I thought it was important to point out the differences in perspective related to .org (in the US at least). In the US, .net is kind of the ugly duckling. If the .com is taken for a commercial entity, then that business may pursue the .net. But it is never that desirable. If you were starting up a true non-profit or informative organization, there is no question that using a .org is a great route to go. You may also grab the .com to protect your brand, but you would then redirect this to the .org, making this your desired identity.

The logic above using a .org to better promote your company's goals can be applied to .mobi.
 

dagersh

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Wow, the silence is deafening after such a well thought-out post.

As you say, the branding aspect is exactly what will make .mobi so valuable. I don't understand why that's so hard to grasp.
 

Ehsan

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hahaha i couldn't care to reply because in the end the topic will be not be discussing .mobi bu rather ............ nop i am not gonna say my lips are sealed.
 

acc

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This is my attempt to minimize the .mobi debate. I have been developing websites for clients and myself since the 90's, and have been involved with hundreds and hundreds of client perspectives since then. Some small, others fortune 500 companies. .mobi is obviously all about marketing, and promotion. Every day business owners are starting to hear about it, more so than I ever noticed with .biz and .info. However, it is also about the user experience being easiest.

The reality is, mobile devices will always be small. The best user experience is developing a custom site specifically for mobile viewers. .....

This is where .mobi has its place, in branding and creating mobile only sites. While you could also use a dot anything for your extension, the .mobi provides a marketing incentive that is memorable and gets your users interested.

.... When they advertise and promote this, having the ".mobi" can provide some marketing hocus pocus to make it MEMORABLE and spread faster virally.
..... If you were starting up a true non-profit or informative organization, there is no question that using a .org is a great route to go. You may also grab the .com to protect your brand, but you would then redirect this to the .org, making this your desired identity.

The logic above using a .org to better promote your company's goals can be applied to .mobi.

Kyle - GREAT insightful post - You obviously "get" it.
.com is for computers - .mobi is for mobiles
.
 

maroulis

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Kyle - GREAT insightful post - You obviously "get" it.
.com is for computers - .mobi is for mobiles
.

maybe .car will be for cars.... pla. for planes...etc..

You guys keep drinking the snake oil :)
 

iDName

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maybe .car will be for cars.... pla. for planes...etc..

You guys keep drinking the snake oil :)
You can put a computer in a car or in a plane! You can take a mobile hand-held device with you in a car or in a plane or anywhere you want!
 

hugegrowth

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It is a well thought out post - .mobi is about marketing, having a memorable name, minimizing site content for the mobile experience, etc. Good analogy to .org as well. Going on two years now and .mobi is far from dead, in fact there are a dozen or so more premiums in the Traffic auction in May, so lets see how those do. For every company not using a .mobi for their mobile site, there seems to be one or two others that do. I still don't see many .mobi's in everyday advertising (tv, magazines, newspapers, etc), but so far .mobi seems to be slowly catching on, and won't become the next .biz
 

maroulis

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You can put a computer in a car or in a plane! You can take a mobile hand-held device with you in a car or in a plane or anywhere you want!

did it really take you that long to come up w/this intelligent response?
 

MobileDesigner

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i dont care what the extension is. if its ".whogivesaratsbutt", ill buy it if I think it can make money. I dont need negative opinions cause i have already seen the money that it brought me. I simply laugh in your faces if you say that .mobi is dead or useless. obviously your claiming that .mobi is dead is just BS. Keep posting negativity. you just make yourself look like a butt.
 

hugegrowth

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We can debate our personal opinions all day, but the facts are that many companies are using .mobi's for their mobile sites, and .mobi's are still selling every week on the aftermarket. Mobile internet is in early growth stages in North America, and good .com's are taken or out of reach. So what does the new guy choose if he wants to build a mobile site with a decent name? The .com selection will be even worse five years from now.
 

maroulis

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i dont care what the extension is. if its ".whogivesaratsbutt", ill buy it if I think it can make money. I dont need negative opinions cause i have already seen the money that it brought me. I simply laugh in your faces if you say that .mobi is dead or useless. obviously your claiming that .mobi is dead is just BS. Keep posting negativity. you just make yourself look like a butt.

Let me frame this so we can revisit at a later time :)
 

MobileDesigner

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hahaha! too late. most of mine are already sold. :smilewinkgrin: Still saving Texan.mobi for you hehehe :lol:
 

katherine

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I still don't see many .mobi's in everyday advertising (tv, magazines, newspapers, etc), but so far .mobi seems to be slowly catching on, and won't become the next .biz
Even .biz is growing, yet most people will agree that it's just another TLD if you get my point ;)
 

MAllie

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Kyle - GREAT insightful post - You obviously "get" it.
.com is for computers - .mobi is for mobiles
.

I found this statement interesting because I am old enough to remember a time when people said, 'But what's the point of having a computer at home? What's the point in having websites, when we only have to go down the road to the shops to buy what we want?' Now everyone's talking about dotcom as if it were something that was always around and always accepted. The fact is, everything was new at some time, even the wheel, and people had to be convinced as to its value. I can imagine stone-age guys standing around scratching their heads and saying, 'But what's the point of that funny circle thing, when we have legs?'
 

iDName

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I found this statement interesting because I am old enough to remember a time when people said, 'But what's the point of having a computer at home? What's the point in having websites, when we only have to go down the road to the shops to buy what we want?' Now everyone's talking about dotcom as if it were something that was always around and always accepted. The fact is, everything was new at some time, even the wheel, and people had to be convinced as to its value. I can imagine stone-age guys standing around scratching their heads and saying, 'But what's the point of that funny circle thing, when we have legs?'
:cool:
 

akcampbell

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I don't think kylewill does the .Mobi sceptic's viewpoint justice. He also misses some obvious technical points.

The owner of domain.com doesn't need to redirect somebody to mobile.domain.com. He can just set his CSS code to recognise whether somebody is accessing the site from a PC or a handheld device and style the output sent to the browser accordingly. Future browsers will recognise what device a user is using and convert content accordingly without any additional site code.

Google and other related companies develop .Mobi occasionally to promote the concept of a mobile internet because if they can convince people to do things on their mobile, it will increase their profits.

Mobile phones will do as much to change Internet usage as portable TV's and DVD players did to change people's TV and movie viewing habits. It will be a nice to have for people who travel alot, the vast majority will wait until they get home and use the Internet in comfort.

Talk of making mobile only sites is as ridiculous as making TV programmes just for portable TV's or movies just for portable DVD players. You don't have to be a Luddite to come to that conclusion, just a realist.

There were 13 reported .Mobi sales on dnsaleprices.com in April 2008 compared to 18 for .TV, 25 for .Info and 39 for .Org so .Mobi is hardly setting the world alight as an alternative extension.
 

dn-101

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The real issue is that the market doesn't budge.
There's practically no traffic to even the best generic premium mobis.
 

kylewill

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I don't think kylewill does the .Mobi sceptic's viewpoint justice. He also misses some obvious technical points.

The owner of domain.com doesn't need to redirect somebody to mobile.domain.com. He can just set his CSS code to recognise whether somebody is accessing the site from a PC or a handheld device and style the output sent to the browser accordingly. Future browsers will recognise what device a user is using and convert content accordingly without any additional site code.

Obviously this is the case.. there is no argument there. You and I have a core difference of opinion regarding mobi only sites, which is why you're trying to make a point out of what all would understand and agree to (regarding css design changes for mobile browsers).

Google and other related companies develop .Mobi occasionally to promote the concept of a mobile internet because if they can convince people to do things on their mobile, it will increase their profits.

My example regarding Google was completely hypothetical. Your statement is true, my example had nothing to do with Google in particular. I could have said Billy Joe Jim Bob wants to develop ATM Finder.mobi.

Mobile phones will do as much to change Internet usage as portable TV's and DVD players did to change people's TV and movie viewing habits. It will be a nice to have for people who travel alot, the vast majority will wait until they get home and use the Internet in comfort.

Talk of making mobile only sites is as ridiculous as making TV programmes just for portable TV's or movies just for portable DVD players. You don't have to be a Luddite to come to that conclusion, just a realist.

Another fundamental difference of opinion. Comparing tv and movies being watched on a smaller device to interaction with the Internet on a smaller device is a horrible analogy IMO. I 100% disagree with this. The only thing I can do is share a list of mobile only site ideas, which I will work on and post here.
 

accent

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Mobile phones will do as much to change Internet usage as portable TV's and DVD players did to change people's TV and movie viewing habits. It will be a nice to have for people who travel alot, the vast majority will wait until they get home and use the Internet in comfort.

Talk of making mobile only sites is as ridiculous as making TV programmes just for portable TV's or movies just for portable DVD players. You don't have to be a Luddite to come to that conclusion, just a realist.
You almost get the point here.

Making mobile-only (or more likely mobile-directed) websites is going to be a really big thing, IMHO. But not websites for detailed research like the PC is good at - mobile users need a different sort of information:

You are at the mall. Who has your brand of shoes?
What restaurant within walking distance has tomato soup today?
A bar code on your screen will serve as your airline ticket.
Need a taxi? GPS will tell him exactly where you are.
The store you are walking by can broadcast it's sales coupons right into your telephone, if you want.

And all would be better promoted on a .mobi.
 
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