SMS: Is the .mobi domain extension completely a dead issue with the iPhone and the “one web” approach gaining traction?
Cindy: The dot-mobi domain was conceived to help companies who wanted people to be able to reach very limited versions of their site on a mobile phone. At the time, the phones could only render very simple text websites, and then only if the website was coded in a language meant specifically for mobile phones called WAP. Even before the iPhone, mobile browsers had improved to the point that the separate domain and coding language were no longer necessary.
In the United States and Europe, I think the dot-mobi is pretty dead, though in Asian countries, I think it will be slower to die. The culture around mobile phones is slightly different, but in the long run, I think it just won’t make sense for most companies to maintain two versions of their website.
SMS: In your presentations, you also talk a lot about the need for a device-independent design. Please explain what the concept means and why it is becoming so important.
Cindy: As we move into the future, more and more devices will be web-enabled, and they will all have different screen resolutions, and different input devices. Soon enough, not just phones, but all MP3 players, game systems, and GPS units will be web-enabled too. We will not be able to develop a new programming language or protocol for each web-enabled device, and we won’t want to. The overhead to create and maintain just two sites that do the same thing is too high. Instead, it will be important to create web content that works well across a whole host of web-enabled devices.
SMS: If you do take your main domain onto the mobile environment, what options can you suggest in terms of site architecture that can help if its appearance is less than desirable on the mobile platform?
(To Be Continued in Part 3) …
Cindy Krum is the Chief Executive Officer of Rank-Mobile, LLC. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, speaking at national and international trade events about mobile web marketing, social network marketing and international SEO. Cindy also writes for industry publications, and has been published in Website Magazine, Advertising & Marketing Review, Search Engine Land, ODG Intelligence, and quoted by many respected publications including PC World, Internet Retailer, TechWorld, Direct Magazine and Search Marketing Standard.
Cindy also served as the co-chair of the SEMPO Emerging Technologies Mobile Web Task Force, and is an active member of the search community. Cindy is passionate about bringing creative online marketing solutions to clients, and working with clients to develop high level mobile and international marketing strategies.