I told Stewart awhile back that he should implement m.flickr.com instead of flickr.com/mob. Google does this with m.gmail.com, and I think all sites that offer mobile versions should adopt the same convention.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: Molly.com (YC W18), Uber, Google.

7 thoughts on “—”

  1. Why not just leave it as www. and use user agent detection to shunt you to the m. or /mob site?

    m. is like /mob or .mobi – It adds more complexity to people who don’t know where to go url-wise.

  2. Well, to begin with, not all sites support this kind of detection — nor do the clients. For example, on my Blackberry, various sites, especially news.google.com, don’t pick up on the limitations of the client — so going to something like m.news.google.com would be a handy (and consistent) way to solve this issue.

    Furthermore, sites like Fandango use mobile as their prefix — and so I’m proposing the instead of /mob, mobile. or any other solution, we simply standardize on .m — less to type, less to remember!

  3. Less to type and remember is very true.

    I guess I come from a mass market mobile point of view thinking about the people getting 3G handsets and knowing google or yahoo or flickr but not knowing about the mobile specific services.

    It also depends on the view of whether there is a single mobile service for all “mobile” devices such as Nokia phones, Blackberries, Sony Ericssons, etc. all of which have differing client capabilities or more annoyingly browsers. e.g. some 3G handsets handle background images and some don’t.

    The clients themseleves shouldn’t have to understand the detection. It is true that the sites need to support the detection and services such as WURFL help in this regards although they are far from perfect.

    Maybe step 1. is going with a m. for your mobile service and step 2. is now that the site has invested in developing a mobile specific service which to a greater or lesser degree has been customised for a mobile or series of mobile clients, user agent detection be implemented.

  4. Ben, I can agree with the steps you outlined — now we just need to get folks to adopt it! 😉

    And yes, Kevin, I also use Technorati Mobile everyday — it’s a great example of a mobile-focused site implementation.

  5. Chris – I’ve been thinking about this a lot last night and was wondering if in your experience your set of contacts/friends/experience would be a blackberry carrying crowd or sidekicks or treos which I will group into PDA/phones vs Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson phones which for the moment lets dump into the smart phone group??

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