Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

WAP Pinboards...idea #33/100...

There are not enough WAP ("Mobile Internet") sites, says Berners-Lee. I commented yesterday on his interview. But, I don't like to wave hands and theorize. There's enough of that already...

I spent a good hour yesterday (regrettably) reading various blog threads on the question of "what is community?" Nowhere could I find a simple example, or an application for the answer, even from the new breed of "social design consultants". We need more reality...

Why aren't there more WAP sites? Tools, or the lack of, is definitely a problem.

Berners-Lee cast the problem in the light of web designers not doing their bit to make sites mobile-accessible. Sorry Tim, but that's not the real problem at all. Perhaps the people who could derive benefits from building WAP sites don't see themselves as "site designers" at all, so you're talking to the wrong audience...

Take sports coaches, for example. I know, from a very distant athletic past, that coaches set individual training schedules for all their trainees. Every week, I used to be given a slip of paper with my schedule on it.

These were followed and then thrown away. A possible metaphor here is the pin board. At the start of the week, everyone gets their "note" from the pinboard. They take it down, use it and discard it.

Imagine then, a pin-board on the PC. The user creates notes, writes on them and then pins them up. They then assign who the note is for, which is simply a mobile phone number. The user receives the text message indicating a new note has been published (or updated). This is a WAP-push to the note.

At no time did the trainer think they were creating WAP pages. At no time did they think they were a site designer. In fact - there is no publishing concept whatsoever. Simply creating the notes and assigning a phone number is enough to make it all happen.

There are probably hundreds (thousands?) of uses for such a tool. Then we might see more WAP sites and more "mobile communities" (whatever they are).

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