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Summary:

So the public can officially start buying “dot mobi” domain names for wireless Internet sites today. . . Not excited? You mean you haven’t been anxiously waiting for this day for weeks? We haven’t either. There’s a lot of skepticism and division over the dot mobi […]

So the public can officially start buying “dot mobi” domain names for wireless Internet sites today. . . Not excited? You mean you haven’t been anxiously waiting for this day for weeks?

We haven’t either. There’s a lot of skepticism and division over the dot mobi plan, including doubts from web creator Tim Berners-Lee. When I spoke with Neil Edwards, CEO of DotMobi, a joint venture to promote the mobi domains, a few months ago, he said the purpose is to ease the consumer’s mobile web browsing experience. Fair enough, but we’re not sure the domain name is the best way to do it. Like Berners-Lee says this could fragment the mobile web more than help it, since the content should be smart enough to format to the device.

The WSJ says only 13,000 dot mobi names have been signed up through the previous months when the system was open to just wireless companies and trade name holders. Far below the 25,000 expected. We think we’ll hold off on gigaom.mobi for now. Any one buying these things?

  1. Glad to see the roll out of Dot-Mobi. What’s very interesting is that many of the registrars purchasing great domains are located in Canada, e.g. Vancouver, Ontario, etc. Also, Pool.com has done very well indeed. They’ve acquired Cities.Mobi, Shows.Mobi, Shops.Mobi, and Leisure.Mobi. I suspect Pool.com has purchased many other premium domains as well. Wonder how they did it.

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  2. Part of the problem is finding where to buy these… here’s a list for those interested: http://pc.mtld.mobi/switched/findaregistrar.html

    If it was easier then maybe people would be more inclined to buying their own .mobi…

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  3. I just purchased 20 .mobi addresses this morning. I got a good handful of popular addresses. I figured it is money well spent for the potential return.

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  4. If web standards were enforced from the get go, then we wouldnt need .mobi. Better yet, if manufactures stopped short-changing people with browsers that half-support standards (IE is big here, but pic a browser, really any one).

    If web usability was an issue from the get go, maybe we wouldn’t have the web that we have today either (immersive and incredible). However, the lack of discipline on innovation has led to unrealistic expectations towards mobile websites that .mobi cannot fulfilly until all phones and mobile devices have enough horsepower to support the most graphical and immersive of websites.

    Personally, I dont see many companies using .mobi as any more than a redirector to the mobile sites that they already have up (fixed to meet teh .mob terms of course).

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  5. I like dotMobi, but only because of it’s marketing appeal. In addition to that, all websites which have a version for small screen, should always detect the clients (browser/user-agent) and show the page accordingly.

    I hope to see .mobi addresses in every advertisement one day. Whenever there’s a .mobi address, the consumer knows that s/he can browse the site on phone. Nothing more, simple as that. As about 99.7% of internet sites still don’t have a mobile version, how would they know otherwise?

    So how does this differ from wap.domain.com or m.domain.com? It doesn’t, except there’s currently no universal standard and wap as a word is kind of passé. Yeah, it’s a kind of rip-off. But what ever makes the media companies and internet superstars go to mobile, it’s all good.

    Juhani

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  6. Im a webdesigner and I havent had a single client ask me to create them a cell phone freindly site yet. But, knowing how many people will eventually be surfing the net via a cell phone compared to a home computer it seems to be a huge deal. I’ve tested a few of the sites I created in the last few years on the .mobi emulator and none of them worked really at all http://emulator.mtld.mobi/emulator.php
    I purchased a few of these high dollar domains last night. Im hoping they will be a good investment down the line…

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  7. I reluctantly purchased a .mobi site for my site wampad this morning. I’m very much against the idea of .mobi. As a fledgling site and due to recent news, I felt I needed to grab my domain to secure it. It sucks to have to pay $80 for something that you feel you need to without getting any real benefit in return. Maybe one day they’ll make a movie about the mobi racket called the Untypeables.

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  8. I decided to purchase a .mobi domain because my company name (Padpaw) is comprised of “1st tap” letters which makes it easier to enter the web address using a mobile’s keypad.

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  9. I’m a mobile web and app developer — I’m one of the dissenters; .mobi is maddeningly wrong in a huge number of ways. It’s been rehashed very much, but Berners-Lee and everyone else is right — it’s confusing, the wrong solution to the problem, and even if that weren’t true, it’s really hard to type on a phone. How could it possibly be for the good of the mobile web? This TLD is just a greed-fueled license to print money.

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  10. We bought ours but have no plans to market it. We have it purely to protect our brand. Our dot-com site is already equipped with smart content serving technology, so dot-mobi adds no benefit to us.

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