.Mobi – The Birth Of A Mobile Internet Revolution?
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September 28, 2006
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The recent announcement that .mobi domain names had been released for
general sale caused very little stirring on the Internet. It has been
heralded as the dawn of a new era for the mobile Internet but many
believe that once the initial land rush for domains has passed, it will
become just another top-level domain like all others. .Mobi domains
have already been purchased by a lot of companies. Initially, from May
of this year, trademark holders from within the mobile communication
world were given the opportunity to secure the domain associated with
that trademark. Then in June, all remaining trademark holders were
given the opportunity until finally this month, September, domain names
go on general sale.
Why Has The Mobi Domain Been Introduced?
The principle behind the mobi domain name is that it will make
finding websites designed for use on mobile or cell phones easier. It
is also hoped that the release will herald a new age of mobile Internet
with the inclusion of industry standards. Above all else, though, the
hope is that mobile Internet browsing and surfing will become as
commonplace as the cell phone itself.
Guidelines And Suggestions
As well as having to apply and adhere to guidelines before you can
register a domain name, the .mobi domain raises certain questions in
terms of accessibility, design, coding, and optimization. Style guides
have been released by mTLD that contain a combination of enforced
guidelines and advised best practices. Again, though, this only
accounts for a portion of the user experience.
The Rise Of The Mobile Internet
Running a .mobi website could potentially be very profitable. So far
the mobile Internet simply hasn’t grown as many expected. While this
has partially been because of the high and difficult to understand
tariffs it is also because the mobile Internet offers very little in
the way of a valuable user experience. There are very few sites with
mobile compatibility and even those that have attempted have struggled
because of a lack of well-worked guidelines.
Mobile Search Engines
As you can probably imagine the main focus of all guidelines
concentrates on ensuring that websites load quickly and accurately and
that the content and site is easy to navigate. The major search engines
already have mobile search engines in some cases; probably the most
notable expectedly being Google’s own addition.
.Mobi Sites Should Be Short And Succinct While Still Offering Value
From a user perspective, the most important thing is having quick
access to relevant data. Humans do not have the capacity to read as
quickly off screens as they do off paper. When writing standard website
content it is important to reduce the size of pages, the length of
paragraphs, and the structure of sentences. When transferring this onto
a mobile screen, which is potentially very small, the need becomes even
Some General Guidelines
Among the mTLD guidelines there are several important factors you
must look at when creating page content for a .mobi domain. These rules
are enforceable and this means that if you are found to break them you
could potentially lose the right to use the domain name. A lot is
fairly common sense. If you use color elements on your page, ensure
there is a non-color equivalent. Limit the amount of content to
specific details regarding the user’s requirements. Limit the amount of
graphics that a page uses and ensure that the graphics themselves are
not too large. These are just some examples.
Specific Text Content Guidelines
There are actually surprisingly few guidelines that look
specifically at the actual word content of the .mobi page. Use clear
and simple language, use introductory and relevant text before you
progress a subject, and keep the number of keystrokes to a minimum. It
really is quite basic stuff and more care should be taken to ensure
that you really are giving your users the most valuable experience.
Accurate And Informative Page Content
Every page should be tightly channeled towards the topic it is based
on. A cell phone screen is not the place to be injecting surplus words
or sentiments. Similarly, just because the page will be read on a cell
screen doesn’t mean everyone can understand “text talk”. Only very few
sentences should be used per page and each must provide value.
Being Part Of The Revolution
The mobile Internet is virtually untapped and even though a land
rush to register the most popular domains is predictable it doesn’t
look likely to be as popular as similar releases like the .eu domain.
However, as the price war wages between mobile Internet providers and
the quality of the mobile network increases, there is a very real
chance that the majority of the population that owns a cell phone will
start to regularly access the Internet through their cell phone
browser. You could be one of the first to take advantage.