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"Mobile Web 2.0" – How Web 2.0 Impacts Mobility & Digital Convergence

Ajit Jaokar Asks a Series of Questions Based On His Understanding of Web 2.0 and Mobility


There appear to be two early origin points for Web 2.0. Firstly, a business week article: It's A Whole New Web And this time around it will be built by you.

and secondly... a conference (Web 2.0 conference created by a discussion between O'Reilly publications and MediaLive International (a technology conference company – if you want to put a label around it)

Currently, there is a lot of hype around Web 2.0. But also a lot of cynicism. Predictably, the VCs are excited

Like the Web 1.0, it even has a ‘bible book’ - just as we had the Cluetrain Manifesto for Web 1.0. For Web 2.0 it is Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series) (Hardcover)

And finally .. it has an odd ‘new agey’ feeling to it...with words like ‘collective intelligence’, feng shui and morality being bandied about in the context of Web 2.0 - starting with Nicholas Carr’s The Amorality of Web 2.0 And Kevin Kelly’s we are the web and finally Tim o Reilly’s response to Nicholas Carr’s article.

Some Questions to Think About

The mobile device has the potential to act as a significant reporter of data rather than a mere consumer of data. The Web 2.0/mobility interplay needs more thought. Consider principle two from the list of seven principles (harnessing collective intelligence).

Functionally, we must be able to –

a) collect intelligence unique to being ‘mobile’
b) share that knowledge
c) enable others to comment on that knowledge
d) Ensure that the enhanced body of knowledge so created can be shared with the community.

This leads to more questions - What type of information can we collect when we are mobile (location, pictures(MMS)), How can it be shared?, How can it be enhanced?

Some initial questions which come to my mind:

1) If a web 2.0 service is treated as an amalgamation of data and enabling software, which data elements are unique to mobility (for example location feeds)?

2) How are these data elements captured?

3) What are the pitfalls associated with accessing(sharing) these data sources

4) Will the mobile web 2.0 be seamless as we all hope? If not, what are the options and choke points in extending web 2.0 ‘anywhere anytime’?

5) The impact of IMS. As per wikipedia


The aim of IMS is not only to provide new services but all the services, current and future, that the Internet provides. In addition, users have to be able to execute all their services when roaming as well as from their home networks. To achieve these goals, IMS uses open standard IP protocols, defined by the IETF. So, a multimedia session between 2 IMS users, between an IMS user and a user on the Internet, and between 2 users on the Internet is established using exactly the same protocol. Moreover, the interfaces for service developers are also based on IP protocols. This is why IMS truly merges the Internet with the cellular world; it uses cellular technologies to provide ubiquitous access and Internet technologies to provide appealing services. (By the way, IMS is the topic I am looking to commence my PhD in this year.)

6) How does the network effect work within the mobile data industry ?

7) How does network effect work in terms of user contributions(i.e. can small contributions created by users be shared easily across to the larger body of users) ?

8) What are the examples of harnessing collective intelligence / peer production on the mobile data industry ?

9) Contrasting the iPod/itunes models with other models of sharing data in the mobile data industry

10) Which companies are leading the way in this space ?

11) How will search be affected by ‘anywhere/anytime’ ?

12) Airwaves are not free i.e. there is a cost of transmission over the air through a telecoms network. Will that impact the wider deployment of web 2.0?

13) Impact of dual mode phones(WiFi and 3G phones)

14) IP /IMS does not mean ‘open’. Does openness matter ? If information can be accessed via a browser(and initiatives like the t-mobile web-n-walk initiative are already under way http://digital-lifestyles.info/display_page.asp?section=cm&id=2658 ) – what’s the impact of the ‘walled gardens’ ?

15) What type of data can be captured on a mobile device(music, video, images) and how can it be enhanced(tagged, shared etc) ?

16) What services can be mixed and what new services can be created ? Any examples of these?(citizen’s reporting, real time traffic monitoring are obvious examples)

and so on ...

Continued on Next Page...

To understand web 2.0, I am going to mainly use Tim O Reilly’s original article alongwith other references from the web as linked.

More Stories By Ajit Jaokar

Ajit Jaokar is the author of the book 'Mobile Web 2.0' and is also a member of the Web2.0 workgroup. Currently, he plays an advisory role to a number of mobile start-ups in the UK and Scandinavia. He also works with the government and trade missions of a number of countries including South Korea and Ireland. He is a regular speaker at SYS-CON events including AJAXWorld Conference & Expo.

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Most Recent Comments
Thoughts Aloud 03/22/06 10:45:47 PM EST

Trackback Added: The Challenge to Mobile Content Providers as Internet Companies Go Mobile; While Yahoo and Google further go mobile, talks between such internet giants including Microsoft and the telcos are still in progress regarding sharing the cost of operating broadband networks or ‘paying for the pipes’ telcos have invested ...

Thoughts Aloud 03/22/06 10:45:35 PM EST

Trackback Added: The Challenge to Mobile Content Providers as Internet Companies Go Mobile; While Yahoo and Google further go mobile, talks between such internet giants including Microsoft and the telcos are still in progress regarding sharing the cost of operating broadband networks or ‘paying for the pipes’ telcos have invested ...

RogerV 01/15/06 11:31:20 AM EST

Until AJAX has a standards-based graphics API that is pervasively available it won't be of much use to games programmers by and large. Forms widgets and image files are too limiting.

At any rate, I'm the first person to use AJAX in mobile application development and blog about my experience here:

my AJAX web app experience in the early days of DHTML

Leonid Iakovlev 12/30/05 08:21:08 AM EST

Btw Ajit - be sure to check that post http://blogs.zdnet.com/ip-telephony/?p=813 from Russell Shaw - will give you some relevant hints.

Leonid Iakovlev 12/29/05 05:22:36 AM EST


There is a big difference between Skype and Google in that sense. Skype *does* have already a useful application widely used across varied platforms (mobile ones including), and that application *already* provides an API for secure application to application messaging/presence/identity/profile. Google as of now just has a potential to follow similar road.

Ajit Jaokar 12/29/05 04:23:25 AM EST

Many thanks Leonid. I shall take your comments on board when I write the next version

I agree with your comment on skype. My bets are also on google for the same reasons you mention. More soon kind rgds Ajit

Leonid Iakovlev 12/27/05 10:38:28 AM EST

I want to point out (and to ask a question at the same time) that for mobile Web 2.0 to happen we need to have some prerequisites that are almost here but not yet. Those prerequisites are needed to ease the relevant application developments and make them complaint. Prerequisites are:
- Unified (available on all major hardware/OS platforms and for all major software development languages, e.g. Win32/Linux/Symbian/PalmOS/WinCE/J2SE/J2ME/C++/Python/etc.) message exchange protocol and secure message delivery framework including message interpretation protocol
- Universal global carrier independent (or dependent on some really global players) presence/profile application framework including identity certificates
- Universal location information framework/provider/portal
I see now Skype as quite good a candidate for providing messaging/presence/identity infrastructure (mobile devices including; having Paypal under same eBay umbrella should help as well). Navizon meanwhile emerges (using kind of CDDB/FreeDB model) as a potential provider of location information - for cellular as well as for WLAN networks. I believe we will see the fruits of those (and similar) developments as soon as next year.

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