I've simplified my thinking about the Mobile Web. After years of hating everything about cellphone companies, subscription "plans," half-baked "standards," slow connections, crappy phone software and inept vendors, it's all becoming clear:
- There is no Mobile Web. There is only one Web, and it is the real Web. All the pseudo-Webs and WAP-services and walled-garden fakery are dead.
- Mobility is about interests and utility, not technology. Feeding your crappy old shovelware website is not a mobile strategy. Easy mobile access to the entire Web opens a broad field of opportunity. Pursue it.
- Your old website should Just Work. This is not a contradiction of the last point. When someone wants to use your website from a mobile browser for whatever reason, including following a link that someone sent them through Twitter, it should detect the user's browser and deliver an appropriately formatted page.
- There is a new baseline. Forget about everything below the iPhone - Blackberry Curve - Palm Pre - Google Android layer. Lesser phones are irrelevant and are going to be "accidentally" dropped into the sink before long anyway. The arrow points up, not down.
- Broadband changes everything. Did we not learn this when cable modems arrived in our homes? We're going to quit fighting slow connections, and if AT&T can't keep up, most of the places I go have free wi-fi already.
- We are mobile people. There is no Mobile Web, but in our mobility we will expect simple, direct, easy tools that meet our mobile needs. Those who provide them will win.
- People, not programmers, are what's important. Every programmer seems to want to build a downloadable app. It's an ego trip. Forget it. Make the Web work for people.