1000heads: Co-creation. Mobile Web. Social Media.

Three different subjects, all intrinsically linked in a multitude of ways. However, today I wanted to share with you three slideshare presentations covering off each of these subjects in various forms.

If you’re a grade one newbie or a seasoned master in any of the above areas, these slides will be of use to you.

First up, co-creation.

This presentation, from the smart chaps at the Board of Innovation, came my way via Google Plus just over a week ago and it’s taken me that long to truly process all of the data available. It not only introduces the concept of co-creation, but also talks through the guiding principles and then goes onto benchmark TWENTY different examples.

Really, really interesting reading for anyone with even a passing interesting in Co-Creation.

How to kickstart your co-creation platform – 20 examples

Next up: the Mobile Web. Or, in this case, Selling the Mobile Web.

Hat tip to @CarlMartin for bringing these slides to my attention; this presentation speaks to me for a whole number of reasons. First and foremost, I have mobile in my soul and so therefore anything and everything that helps move the handheld revolution forward is alright in my book.

Second, this presentation is about the mobile WEB. Often forgotten in the today’s world of quick-win ‘let’s make an app’ marketing, the mobile web has been playing second fiddle to mobile applications for some time. If I’m honest, the two should easily be able to co-exist comfortably together. However, that is not always the case

This presentation has great ideas, theories and strategies for attacking your own mobile website. Definitely worth a look.

Selling The Mobile Web

Finally, and here’s the biggie, Social Media around the world, 2011.

The big take out from this monster, all 167 slides of it?


A truly astounding number. Admittedly, the research was conducted with ‘just’ 9000+ people so it obviously isn’t a complete look at the social networked world we live, however if you’re hungry for the latest stats and figures, this isn’t a bad place to start.

What are you waiting for?

Social media around the world 2011

Vodafone Live!, not available on the N86 [UPDATED]

POST UPDATED 12/10/09 – Scroll to the bottom of the article for the latest…

Vodafone, oh Vodafone, why do you upset me so?

Regular readers of my work will know that I have an ongoing love affair with Vodafone UK, or ‘Big Red’ as I affectionately call her.

A mini Voda-moan

We’ve had our ups, our downs and our fallings-out, but over the years we’ve grown to appreciate our mutual quirks and subsequent relationship demands. Lo and verily,  today we have another… hurdle to overcome.

Some of you may remember me wondering just where my handset of the moment, the N86, would land when it reached these shores. I speculated that it would be land on the lap of Big Red, but alas they passed and plumped instead for the N97.

Ah well.

So far, so what eh?

Being the Nokia aficionado that I am however, I wasn’t going to let a small thing like no carrier support prevent me from owning my handset of choice, so I promptly went out and bought one.

End of story, right? Wrong.

Thing is, among the myriad of reasons for me having been a Vodafone customer for the best part of 15yrs, one of them – today at least – is its home portal, currently going under the name of Vodafone Live!

It’s through this portal that I find music, games and mainly, my train times. I don’t drive and when I make plans, I keep them. I often plan my journeys with an almost military-like precision and Vodafone ‘My Trains’ is an invaluable service that I use pretty much every day, without fail.

From here I may choose to visit different parts of the Live! service… but this particular saved bookmark is nearly always my jumping off point.

Now, look at these two pictures….

Vodafone Live Vodafone Live on the N86

Something’s wrong with the one on the right, right? Of course there is.

Even worse though is this, the Vodafone Live Homepage:

Vodafone Live Vodafone Live on the N86

Both pages are from http://live.vodafone.com, both are connected using the Vodafone Live APN. The only difference is the handset I used; my old N95 8GB is on the left and on the right, my beloved N86.

I asked @VodafoneUK about a possible fix on Twitter, to which they replied (over three tweets):

Using the WAP access point will give you best chance of it rendering properly however it maybe a case of it not being Vodafone Live! compatible if it’s not rendering normally through the WAP access point. It may be worth posting your settings on the eForum to make sure everything is set up as much as it can be bearing in mind the N86 isn’t a phone we stock. Thanks.

The first part is fine. Naturally I’d check to make sure I was using VF Live as the default access point. I did. I am. The latter part, ‘bear in mind isn’t a phone we stock’… hmm. This was backed up and re-iterated by a couple of Vodafone staffers who also said ‘we don’t support phones we don’t range’.

This is also fine. A perfectly justifiable reason for not rendering your web pages. However, to me at least, this is EXACTLY the reason that you should be doing just that for these devices. Here I am, with a T-Mobile exclusive device (for argument’s sake) and I’m looking for a new network. I decide on Vodafone and sign on for a SIM-only deal. Then I discover that my phone isn’t supported on their webpages, so I decide to go somewhere else.

You see where I’m going with this, right?

The N86 is a similar screen size, build and design to the not-too-shabby (and Vodafone supported) Nokia N85. If it’s a simple case of switching the user agent* sniffer to present the N85 screens for the N86, then this is not a big job. Nor is it complex. Quick fix. Done.

*For the uninitiated, a user agent is basically the identifier string for the browser that you use when you browse the web (mobile or otherwise). For instance, the user agent string for the N85 looks something like this:

NokiaN85-1: Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.3; U; Series60/3.2 NokiaN85-1/11.047; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413

Whereas the N86 user agent string looks a little something like this:

NokiaN86:  Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.3; Series60/3.2 NokiaN86-1/10.086;; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/525 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 BrowserNG/7.1.13380

(Thanks to friend of Really Mobile Richard Hyndman, CTO at Mippin for that extra detail)

A final thought…

Back in my youth, while working through college, I had a friend who spent a his time working at a rather large chain of fast-food restaurants. The Manager of which had a policy that meant that for any food voucher or special offer coupon presented at the counter, no matter for which chain (be it for McDonald’s, Burger King, Wimpy etc), if they could fulfil it then they would honour the voucher.

As he told me at the time:

“It is better to please someone else’s customer who might come back another day than to tell them you’re not interested and never see them again.”

————- UPDATED – 12/10/09 ————-

A member of @VodafoneUK’s PR team has literally just been in touch to let us know that the Vodafone Live! pages have now indeed been provisioned for the Nokia N86.

Here’s a screen shot to prove it…

Huzzah! Its a-Live!
Huzzah! It's a-Live!

Congrats Vodafone, you’ve just earned 20 ReallyMobile points.

Keep it up! 🙂

MIR: Mobile Web 2.0 – What?!

Whatley here, reporting in.

Founder of Moblog.co.uk and all round friend of SMS Text News, Alfie Dennen, has set up a new blog in lieu of the Mobile Web 2.0 Summit which takes place in London next week.

The weird thing for me (for a start anyway) is the name “Mobile Web 2.0” – so weirded out was I by this in fact that I had ended up dropping a note to Alfie explaining my thoughts.

Well he went ahead and published it:

“When did we have Mobile Web 1.0?

What the hell just happened?
First up: If you ask ANY consumer on the street: Are you using Mobile Web 2.0?
They’ll probably look at you like you’re from Mars.

Second: These naming conventions genuinely drive me nuts. WAP. Mobile Internet. Mobile Web. Internet, made Mobile. Mobile 2.0. Mobile Web 2.0. ENOUGH ALREADY!

We may as well ask: Is this the year of the Mobile?

Just so we can tick every box (and seriously, that question is now, officially, a joke, you know it’s a joke because whenever anyone asks it these days the response is LAUGHTER).

It’s like when people carp on about Web 2.0. More often than not I find myself chiming in with something like: You know people just call it the web now right?”

And so on. You can read the full post here. There’s a whole bunch of great content up actually (not including my post ;) ), so yeah – head over and check it out!

The Mobile Web and the ‘mdot’ solution



Ok – on the back of yesterday’s announcement of the new Mobile Pownce (http://m.pownce.com) site, I thought I’d tackle a subject this week that I (along with quite a few others I suspect) have quite strong opinions on:

The Mobile Web aka The Mobile Internet aka WAP aka the Internet, made Mobile.*

*Delete where applicable or just insert your naming convention of choice.
(We’ll come back to this one later).

Having had a rather long (read: head-bangingly frustrating) conversation with someone yesterday about how… all mobile sites will become irrelevant within 12 months as the Operators all follow Vodafone’s lead, and introduce rendering engines [like Novarra], which will offer up the full internet experience to the end user’*… I thought now would be a good time to have a rant which has been boiling away inside of me since my days at Mippin.

*My reaction at this point, in case you’re interested was to walk away, screaming.

This issue is something that I absolutely, 100%, fundamentally disagree with. People (normobs — normal mobile users) do not want the internet on their mobile. They think they do.

But they don’t.

What they want is the information from the internet, optimised and perfectly formatted for their handset. They would never tell you this, because, as I said, they just don’t know.

Compressing banner ads and re-sizing images to give an out-of-context and screwed up version of the website the user is trying to view is SUCH a poor experience it’s not even worth talking about, especially when others have already hit the nail on the head so perfectly — read more about the Vodafone contoversy in-depth here.

It’s an old story back from September but it is still relevant as shown when it came up at the recent Future of Mobile event.

To quote from Mobile Internet site creators, Wapple who, at the event, commented:

“Vodafone (and other operators) are taking a best guess at websites and dumbing them down to the lowest common denominator to fit mobile screens. They do not understand that mobile users want to interact with information in entirely different ways than they would for web.”

YES. YES. YES. The mobile internet user is, by definition, a completely different mental model to that of an internet user. The same applies to TV and Mobile TV, (which I have equally strong opinions on).

Moving on…

I am a huge evangelist of the ‘m. solution’, that is: Educating end users to drop the ‘www’ and simply insert an ‘m’ into your phone’s browser will take you to the mobile version of the site you are looking for.

Facebook has done a shed load of ground work in this area by introducing m.facebook.com to the masses. To my mind, the ‘m.’ is slowly becoming the de facto mobile website standard.

Yes there are the guys from dotmobi (*wave*) who are doing a great job (in partnership with the W3C) in introducing Best Practices for Mobile Websites and anyone developing a mobile site right now would be foolish to not look at how these guys can help – but tell me this:
On a mobile phone, what is easier to type, remember and use?
http://m.yahoo.com or http://www.yahoo.mobi?

Now, putting all that aside and going back to my opening paragraph…

Just what is the correct naming convention for what this thing is that we are accessing through our mobile browsers?

Does it depend on what we’re accessing?

‘WAP’, for me, is a meaningless acronym which brings back memories of green and black screens on phones like the Nokia 7110. But still the word is bandied about within boardrooms as if it’s still cutting edge technology.

‘We need a WAP site!’
– ‘No. We don’t. We need a Mobile Website.’

‘WAP’, for me, is defined by the precursor wap. i.e.: wap.yahoo.com – there’s a WAP site for you. Two colours, basic text with a couple of links and that’s about it. WAP, for me, is the mobile equivalent of ‘Web 1.0’.

Internet made Mobile? See Vodafone’s poor attempts.

Failing that; for a meaningful attempt at taking internet content and making it mobile, try Mippin.

The Mobile Web? That’s where it’s at. Stick an ‘m’ in instead of the WAP or the W3 and see what you get.

If WAP is Web 1.0, then the Mobile Web is, to me, Web 2.0.

What say you?

Future of Mobile – Part 1

Liveblogging from The Future of Mobile – at the BFI IMAX!

Tony Fish of Open Gardens kicked off proceedings (see pic), very impressive presentation too..
Am sending most of my notes to my Jaiku and i’ll write them up into a larger blog post in a day or so..

Luca Passani of Admob taking the stage now to talk about WURFL, (but not before he unleashes at Vodafone and Novarra re: The Mobile Web).

As i said – Follow my Jaiku for live updates or come back later for an overall writeup…