I Am the Web Service (pt.1)

Over the past weeks I’ve done a good bit. I’ve acquired several mobiles. Relaunched into using a mobile web server for personal needs and a presentation. Jumped into a “dead” mobile platform. Pushed further away from a few conventional services, and started going down rabbit trails towards doing a bit more of my own services. Maybe I should blame folks such as Dave Winer, Russell Beattie, Nigel Scott, Henri Bergius, and a few others. I don’t think we are doing mobile or web right. And I’m ready to try harder to prove it.

What Do You Mean Not Doing Mobile Right?
Many of the folks that I come across these days who think about mobile start and end with smartphones and applciations. I get it. Heck, I was with a few people who saw it coming in 2007 when we all knew that Apple’s entrance would be significant – though I will admit that I didn’t see what Apple has become. And as I’ve talked about several times on this blog, and before this blog when it was something hosted on my phone, applications are great if they are a means to make life better – not just for the developer or the company’s platform, but for the people using it. Platforms like Android and iOS are a canvas, and there’s not a lot of painting going on for all the noise.

You ask people about doing something more with their mobile, such as using Bluetooth to send contact cards or calendar entries and get blank faces. I used to get those blank faces when taking notes on my mobiles in school or churches. Or, you go to technology conferences and the organizers hand you folders of papers that have things like conference schedules which quickly fall out of date. You sit in groups talking about collaboration and no one bothers to open Google Docs, SharePoint, or similar environments with which to do those famed collaborative activities. Its almost like this whole idea of being mobile is more Pharisaic (false and limiting) than renewing.

Can A Better Behavior Come Forward?
For better or worse, I’ve been trying to reinvent my own behavior in light of this. 12 years ago when I got my first PDA, the proof that PDAs were re-inventive to education was to ditch paper, sync with Outlook, and instigate my professors to think about information being shared and created at the point when they made the assignment (live mobile-only as much as life and tech allow).

Many years later, that became purchasing the Nokia N800 from Ricky Cadden, becoming a SharePoint subject matter expert in the company that I worked, then ditching the corporate behavior of using MS Office for leveraging SharePoint, custom lists and workflows. In that one, it was amazing what little work needed to be done once you programmed the environment to respond to your needs for you.

Then there was a few weeks ago at the Mobile Ministry Forum, and taking the lessons of the previously mentioned behaviors, plus a couple dozen others, and creating a knowledge-building environment that was much less presentation, and much more mind-sharing and tech demonstration.

I think that the tools and opportunities are right here in front of us to reinvent things. In Part 2, I’ll explain.

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