Thursday, May 28, 2009

From Internet to Mobile

Yesterday I was involved in a discussion about the future of what we now call "the internet."

Twenty years ago, the World Wide Web was new. People joined CompuServe and AOL with a unique name* that became their email address even though very few emailed in the early 1990's. Spam was non-existent and internet commerce had not yet begun. Those online at the time visited "meeting rooms" and spoke via chat-rooms. The rooms were organized by interests and ages. That seems a very long time ago. Over the years email became an accepted way to communicate. Now, we use spam filters to ward off pornography and unwanted solicitations. I seem to get a great deal of garbage (90%) and very little value.

We are now transitioning into a mobile society. No longer is it a luxury to own a cell phone, it is an accepted way of life. In fact, many Millennials do not have land (wired) phones where they live. They work off of their cell which brings up yesterday's discussion. What services are a flash in the pan and which will be around years from now? For the short term while everyone does not have mobile internet computing ability (or if they have it the browser speed may be questionable), texting appears to be the answer.

Today's websites and blogs are a bit heavy for our cell phones. One possible direction is the conversion to mobile sites. The only company I happened to have looked at was called Wirenode. I will be playing with my own blog to see if I like it or not. All of those years of inefficient programming are coming back to bite us in the side where the sun doesn't shine. I wonder if new markup will address this?

So, what are the options via texting? Yes, you can text your friends and family easily enough and now keep in touch with their every move via Twitter. There are SMS services available to the public, free or low cost, to answer questions. One that I found is ChaCha (text 242242). You can ask virtually any question and their 60,000+ guides will find the answer for you. Better than that are their "Thumbsavers". For Weather text W, for a phone number text 411, M for Movies, and so on. I'll do a comparison soon.

*Some of the names people ended up with are hilarious. We still have not conquered the name game. I believe on CompuServe I was Mabyn985. I cannot imagine there being that many Mabyn's worldwide!

Written by a Baby Boomer.