No, I’m not at MWC (Mobile Web Congress), the huge mobile industry trade show in Barcelona. I’m following it closely on Twitter and with a Topix search feed that picks up most of the press releases and will be covering the mobile web news from the show. Subscribe to the Wap Review RSS feed for reports and commentary on major mobile web related MWC announcements.
First up, DotMobi has released Instant Mobilizer which I believe is based on the Mowser transcoder. It’s designed to give small business owners and anyone else with a web site an instant mobile presence. The service is available now and is free with the purchase of a new .mobi domain from a number of domain registrars and hosting companies. It does the usual transcoder optimizations like re-flowing pages into a single column, resizing images and paginating large pages. It also does a couple of things most transcoders don’t; making all phone numbers click to call and adding a link to a Google Mobile Map for all addresses.
I’m not a big fan of transcoding thanks to the abuse of mobile publisher’s content by several transcoder vendors. However Instant Mobilizer is different, publishers have to specifically opt in to have their sites optimized. Instant Mobile sites also offer users a link to visit the original full-web content if they desire and their browser is up to the task.
I don’t believe a transcoded full-web site can ever provide as good a user experience as a site designed from scratch for mobile. What Instant Mobilizer does is to give publishers a very inexpensive and low-risk way to test the mobile waters. If an Instant Mobilizer site shows decent traffic it should motivate the content owner to spend the money and develop a real mobile site. I think Instant Mobilzer is a smart move by dotMobi that will promote and grow the .mobi domain and the mobile web in general.