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Summary:

The Wall Street Journal has a PR-friendly story about dot mobi addresses. Other than when I’ve researched dot mobi I’ve rarely met a company that is focusing efforts on these — more just buying them in a defensive move. M:Metrics says that there are no dot […]

The Wall Street Journal has a PR-friendly story about dot mobi addresses. Other than when I’ve researched dot mobi I’ve rarely met a company that is focusing efforts on these — more just buying them in a defensive move. M:Metrics says that there are no dot mobi sites within the top 50 of the most popular domain names accessed with mobile devices.

  1. It’s certainly true that a large amount of .mobi activity we’re seeing right now is at a grass-roots, local, and small-business level.

    It’s possible that, as a technology journalist, you don’t often meet companies like that :-)

    (But they’re still quite a suitable class of company to benefit from delivering services for the mobile context, so it’s pretty exciting to see nevertheless).

    It would be helpful to know when the mMetrics study was undertaken and whether it included on-deck domains (which will of course score very highly whilst many walled gardens remain).

    And .mobi domains have only been generally available for about 6 months or so. So yes, expecting widespread consumer adoption is probably premature.

    Right now, we (as a company) are focussing a lot of our effort on helping the domains owners get content out there first – through resources like http://dev.mobi and http://ready.mobi for example.

    Of course, I canalso rattle off a list of well-known brands that have already launched .mobi sites. There’s a showcase at http://mtld.mobi – but those are probably ones that you’ve already come across during your research :-)

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  2. Vanguard (The Vanguard Group) uses it:

    http://vanguard.mobi/

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  3. We just went through discussions on what tld and/or subdomain to use for our http://winelog.mobi. We decided to go with the .mobi for a few reasons.

    (1*) I believe in allowing our users to decide when they need the mobile version of the site and when they need the full site. Some websites have code to detect what browser is being used and to show the “appropriate” site based on what is detected. However, as phone screens get bigger and laptop screens get smaller, it becomes very tricky to decide what version of the site is best for the user. Our solution? Let the user decide. WineLog.net if you have a big screen. WineLog.mobi for a small screen or phone.

    (2) Okay, so why not m.winelog.net or winelog.net/mobile? A lot of the arguments for those urls is that they are smaller and easier to type on a phone. This is not necessarily true depending on what phone you’re using. And since we forward those URLs to winelog.mobi anyway, you can still use them if you want to save the extra keypress.

    (3) Why it’s own tld specifically? I think there are more benefits to separating the domains of the main site and the mobile site (mostly for tracking). And while people aren’t adopting the .mobi as fast as some might have thought, I think it will eventually be at least as common as .org or .edu domains. I like how it says something about the site before you even get there.

    Sidenote: For SEO in particular, it might be beneficial to use that .com/.net karma to help your mobile site, but I’m guessing that .mobi’s might get precedence of their own on searches focused on mobile sites. I don’t really know enough about the SEO of this to make a decision… an interesting thing to look into more.

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  4. Also, RE the top 50 mobile sites list:

    I agree with James above. I’m guessing that most of those top 50 sites have been around longer than the .mobi domain (or at least had started development before then). I wouldn’t expect an established site/URL to change to .mobi after they’ve already launched, especially considering a lot of those websites get the majority of their traffic from links embedded in the phones themselves.

    BTW, do you have a link to that list?

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  5. Jason I assume Katie is referring to top 50 sites based on Traffic so I’ll refer you to alexa.com for traffic rankings ;)

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  6. Wow, the dotMOBI PR hucksterism has hit the comments big time. It’s a completely superfluous domain and will likely go the route of .info and .tv and be a minnow in the .com ocean.

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  7. Go to the world’s leading grassroots voice of Dot Mobi for more information.. it is a forum at http://www.namepros.com

    My user name there is WorldRadio.mobi

    I can help you with anything, I consider myself a Dot Mobi consultant..

    Kind Regards,

    Yelo

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  8. Per Jason’s comment…

    “I believe in allowing our users to decide when they need the mobile version of the site and when they need the full site. Some websites have code to detect what browser is being used and to show the “appropriate” site based on what is detected. However, as phone screens get bigger and laptop screens get smaller, it becomes very tricky to decide what version of the site is best for the user.”

    This arguement is illogical in that a .mobi website would need to have code to detect what browser is being used via which handset / convergence device. Since you need to have this coding irrespective of the entry process (.mobi or .com), why not skip the .mobi step alltogether and simply apply it to the original .com site?

    Chances are that the big sites will still continue to bring in .mobi while applying recognition coding to all their entry points. Hedge your bets rather than forcing people to utilize device-specific domains. My belief is that the advent of .mobi has forced sites to begin developing .mobi in order to protect their domain names. This behavior is often mis-interpreted as true adaptation of the .mobi concept.

    .mobi may not be a logical solution to accessing mobile content – especially since device and browser recognition software / coding has already started to to make the domain name irellivant. Key here is that strong marketing among users could (?) make it stick and that much of the .mobi adaptation is simply hedging behavior.

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  9. This argument I have seen been used many times. The fact of the matter is “what if I don’t want to be forced redirected to a smaller info version on the .com, but want to see the whole full site info .com on my PDA but with scrollbars?” Don’t force me to a lesser content mobile version if my device is capable of seeing the full version. Let the user have choice.. no forced redirects.. as it is, .com’s exist.. now, keep the full info .coms preserved for on the go access.. do the device detect and redirect on the .mobi!

    Also, .mobi standards ensure that a site can be seen on the lowest end phones.. which mostly exist today worldwide..

    Also who wants to remember wap.domain.com or domain.com/mobile?

    Plus, corporations are using their dotmobis now on a torrent pace for a 6 month year old baby.. nba.mobi foxnews.mobi statefarm.mobi .. more and more are coming every day..

    Look at DotMobi’s elite business consortium and who supports it.. Visa just joined the board..

    Also, it’s not what technology says that decides if DotMobi or any domain is adopted.. it is what becomes HOT in the mainstream, usage and awareness by the masses that ultimately decides if Dot Mobi is successful and adopted..

    ..and if you look more closely, Dot Mobi in its 6 month microcosm, has been exhibiting a global, viral spread..

    It’s an honor that the Dot Mobi rep has posted here for us..

    Kind Regards

    Yelo

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  10. James, all, the press release by M:Metrics about the top 50 domains visited from the phone are based on statistics available on MeterDirect.
    As the press release says, calculations are made on real device usage, MeterDirect is based on a client installed in smartphones. Currently the panel is active in the UK and US only.

    See the press release:
    http://www.mmetrics.com/press/PressRelease.aspx?article=20070326-meterdirect

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