Carnival of the Mobilists No 260 (@themobilists)

Welcome to the 260th iteration of the Carnival of the Mobilists (@themobilists) and the past week’s stanzas of some of the best in mobile writing on the web. Per the usual format, there are some snippets to wet your interests, a few additional reads, and then this host’s declaration of the post of the week. After that, some instructions towards how you can be a part of the Carnival of the Mobilists. With that said, let’s jump into things with the first group.

Volker on Mobile starts this week’s carnival with a piece talking about the lack of mobile revenues within Facebook’s recently announced IPO:

…the challenge is then to successfully marry user experience on a small(er) screen with revenue-generating activities. And, alas, the latter are so far mainly display ads of various sorts. How successful will those be? My guess is not very much. It is likely one reason why Facebook so far has shied away from using them: it might just destroy the user experience to an extent that its users would be seriously upset…

Sticky Smartphone brings us another perspective on the situation RIM findsitself in reference to the BlackBerry’s dwindling influence in the (media?) marketplace:

…By spreading themselves out, they lost focus on how the smartphone world changed causing delays in execution…

Given that perspective, its probably a good thing that Mobile Industry Review highlighted that RIM did seem to do quite well (in the UK) over the holiday season. Perhaps, all isn’t lost for them just yet.

…The BlackBerry® global subscriber base grew 35% year on year in December to 75 million. The UK customer base is going from strength to strength with over eight and a half million active subscribers by the end of 2011…

Belen Pena’s entry for this week’s carnvial focuses on the schemas and contexts for usability testing for mobile software:

The moral to this story is that handset usability affects test results. A wonderfully designed website will feel difficult and cumbersome when used with a phone plagued by usability issues. Not that feature phones are badly designed (some are, some aren’t), but they are probably not optimised for web browsing or application usage. Similarly, not all touch-screen phones are built equal, and some of them will perform better than others.

David Olsen gives us a review of the book Head First, Mobile Web:

…The book includes hands-on lessons with each chapter (including code you can download) and useful “case studies” to make it clear how each technique should be used. By covering the latest trends like Responsive Web Design and HTML5 APIs and some old school techniques like device detection and CSS-MP “Head First Mobile Web” makes a great resource for anyone looking to get into mobile web development or, like myself, looking to brush up on their skills…

Ajit Jaokar comes to this week’s Carnival with a perspective of the local mindset towards mobile and connected services in the MENA region:

…One of the more interesting applications I saw at this event was a social learning application based on Facebook.
Social Learning application is like any other facebook app.
Conceptually, this works like the Khan academy but leveraging the power of facebook as a social platform…

Peggy-Anne Salz from Mobile Groove contributes notes from this week’s M-Pulse, which features GigaOm’s Kevin Tofel:

…Kevin, a gadget guy and tech aficionado, doesn’t just write about technology. He lives it. His enthusiasm for smart homes and wearable computing (the top two predictions on his thought-provoking list) is based on real-life road tests of smart devices (which he shares in his interview), as well as insights drawn from interviews with industry movers and shapers. Kevin’s take: Watch for wearable computers (specifically those related to monitoring and communicating information about our heath and wellness) to become more mainstream…

We have a contribution from Mobile Advance with their summary of the 2011 Mobile Ministry Forum Consultatiion (which I was a part of):

…50 mission strategists representing 40 organizations* participated in the second Mobile Ministry Consultation sponsored by the Mobile Ministry Forum (MMF). Presentations and discussions addressed a wide variety of issues critical to the use of mobile devices in ministry (see the topic list below). Collaborative outcomes of the consultation include plans to develop training resources to equip ministries and local believers to implement mobile ministry, publish online courses in “feature phone” formats, develop a taxonomy for mobile ministry, develop a Smartphone app for SMS crowd-sourced broadcasting, and a hold “hack-a-thon” competition to develop an evangelistic app for mobile devices…

Finally, there’s my contribution for this week, just another one of those rants about the state of mobile in the USA, based on two conversations seen online:

…I kind of liken it to purchasing a car and then being told that despite the fact that any gas provider or road will do, that you are now contractually limited to using just BP’s fuel, and just interstates. Sure, you can purchase any car you want, but the nature of the regulations and market means that you always purchase something more limited than the technologies allow. And then you’ve got to deal with the service charges brough on by the [probable] myth of (bandwidth) scarcity. Yea, we indeed have a very advance use of mobile…

Late Entry/Add: I missed this submission, so James Coops gets into this weeks fray a bit later with a piece about the profitability of Android app advertising:

When it comes to market share, Android has been surging ahead of all of all other platforms for months now – it currently accounts for 48% of the global smartphone market. But questions still remain on just how much money developers can truly make on the Android platform – is there really revenue there to match the users or are you still better off focusing on the iphone platform if you want commercial success?

Now, there were more writings on mobile I found throughout the week, and I am not even sure some of those folks know about the Carnvial. Nevertheless, they were some good reads and I’d deem worth of an appendix to this week’s contributions:

  • Kent Nguyen talks about the work it takes to build an iOS app
  • GigaOm has a report from Mobilizing Mobile by Igor Faletski, CEO of Mobify
  • Wes Allen talks about a culture of being ‘always on’
  • Forum Oxford (a great place to discuss mobile) has unveiled its forum redesign (to differening opinions)
  • Nigel Scott asks if Facebook is disrupting Windows (in light of talk of its IPO effects)
  • Ray Kurzweil asks if bypassing the Internet is where innovations in mobile/social should focus
  • Martin Sauter speaks on why the USA needed to move to LTE before Europe
  • Tomi Ahonen digs into Nokia’s selling of their mobile ad unit, with insight towards installed-bases and ecosystem development in mobile
  • Mobile Active talks about how the Mobile Learning Toolkit can enable effective mobile-interactive educational experiences

That’s a lot of entries this week. Enough really to see that there is a lot happening in mobile no matter what your perspective is towards the effectiveness of mobile to enable, empower, or just outfit change the way folks were thinking before.

If I had to choose a post this week, it would be Belen Pena’s entry. Effectiveness in building mobile apps and services is hard enough, Pena gives a very well laid out map to get from an idea to an implemented product. I’d probably put Mobile Active’s piece not far behind it. We need these kinds of effective toolsets and demonstrations of mobile to make Pena’s observations best applicable.

Well, that’s it for the 260th edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists. Thanks for taking the time to read and consider the opinions in this edition. Next week the Carnival will be hosted at Camerjam.

If you would like to contribute to the next Carnival of the Mobilsits, shoot an email to Mobilists (at) gmail (dot) com. Make sure that you send a link to your post as it is on your website, sending an attachment to that email address makes it a bit more difficult for the host to add it to the week’s collection. For those who contributed at least three times, do consider hosting – its a great way to get some extra traffic to your website, and really serves as a neat means of link-networking. Find out more and check the hosting schedule at the Carnival of the Mobilists website.

Well, that’s about it. Thanks again for visiting. You can follow the Carnival of the Mobilists at the Twitter handle @themobilists. Feel free also to kick feedback to me directly via Twitter as well (@arjwright or @mobileminmag). Until next week, keep your mobile charged, and make mobile into a magic wand to help somone else.

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