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Thread: Will dotMobi shut down?

  1. #151
    Administrator Andres Kello's Avatar
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    There is no greater evidence of a sinking ship than to see its captains bailing out (regardless of the reason).
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  2. #152
    Founding Member Scandiman's Avatar
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    In today's work culture, especially in tech, turnover is ever present. I'll certainly miss many of those who have departed but I'm more curious today about who is filling their shoes. Unfortunately I've heard very little, actually nothing, from either of these newcomers:

    Jo Rabin Chief Technology Officer



    Catrina Sheridan, Vice President, Products & Marketing

  3. #153
    Administrator Andres Kello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post
    In today's work culture, especially in tech, turnover is ever present. I'll certainly miss many of those who have departed but I'm more curious today about who is filling their shoes.
    Although turnover is indeed common in the tech industry, losing 5-6 relatively "senior" and well-known execs in such a short time-frame at such a small company is not only unusual, but rarely a sign of a healthy business on the "right" track.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman
    Unfortunately I've heard very little, actually nothing, from either of these newcomers:

    Catrina Sheridan, Vice President, Products & Marketing
    I had the pleasure of meeting Catrina in Dublin last May and she struck me as a warm and capable person.
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  4. #154
    Founding Member Scandiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    I had the pleasure of meeting Catrina in Dublin last May and she struck me as a warm and capable person.
    Have you heard from her outside of that meeting? Maybe I'm missing something but it seems like us who pay close attention to the activities of mTLD would hear on occasion from the VP of Marketing. Or maybe her roll doesn't at all involve actual PR, I don't know.

  5. #155
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    .mobi sure does seem to be going the way that many predicted. I'll chalk this up to live and learn.


  6. #156
    Administrator Andres Kello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post
    Have you heard from her outside of that meeting? Maybe I'm missing something but it seems like us who pay close attention to the activities of mTLD would hear on occasion from the VP of Marketing. Or maybe her roll doesn't at all involve actual PR, I don't know.
    I haven't heard from her since, and I agree that it would have been helpful to have heard more from the VP of Marketing, and even the Director of PR, or heck, anyone from the company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim
    .mobi sure does seem to be going the way that many predicted. I'll chalk this up to live and learn.
    It's a tough pill to swallow, but one many of us have been forced to digest in recent months. It says a lot about a company when it begins to lose its most loyal fan base and core group of supporters. Apple, for example, would be nothing without their loyal customer base.
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  7. #157
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    We all know that a great product / service marketed poorly will always underperform a mediocre product / service marketed well.....

    The key to dotmobi isn't so much linked to it's board of directors as it is their choice of marketing & promotion over the next couple of years.... I'm not suggesting that there is anything mediocre about the products or services offered by mtld... but I don't believe that they have been marketed / promoted particularly well so far....
    Staff turnover may be high but maybe we should welcome fresh blood - they could bring about positive change & new ideas?

    (a glass half full approach! ;-)

  8. #158
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    It's a tough pill to swallow, but one many of us have been forced to digest in recent months. It says a lot about a company when it begins to lose its most loyal fan base and core group of supporters. Apple, for example, would be nothing without their loyal customer base.
    Without sounding all victim and everything-is-someone-else's-fault-ISH, I feel manipulated and not just by official members of mTLD. But ultimately it was me who clicked the pay button and I take responsibility for that. I think .mobi is dead dead dead. I think dotMobi is not a registry anymore but a software company posing as a registry.

    What I'm left with

    I have a handful of names that I am going to keep out of the several hundred I have ****** away money on.

    I have an expensive script I hope to modify to accomodate other affiliates aside from Amazon that f'ing s hit of a company.

    I have shed crapfest.np from my day saving me literally hours a day.

    I have developed a healthy obsession with mobile technology and may one day do something with it.

    Overall, I lost just a couple of hundred dollars, but having mTLD prove those s hits over at crapfest.np right makes me sick to my stomach. Way to go mTLD - you suck donkey balls.


  9. #159
    Mobility Regular pilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    There is no greater evidence of a sinking ship than to see its captains bailing out (regardless of the reason).
    As alarming as this might be, we shouldn't jump to conclusions. Andrea Trasatti is absolutely brilliant and to see him leave and others that left before him is morally deflating. On the flip side, I've worked at major corporations my whole life and I've seen this happen all the time. Truth is, sometimes the talent that comes in to replace those people that have left is sometimes better. Trasatti's shoes would be extremely big to fill and not because of his physical characteristics.

    Realistically, mtld is a small company and when you make a splash as they have, you get noticed by bigger companies with bigger wallets that have more funds to pay healthier salaries. The money here is one scenario and there could be a whole host of other reasons including relocation, personal conflicts, etc.

    Having said that, it would be nice to hear from the execs at mtld.

  10. #160
    Senior Member DomainTalker's Avatar
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    You've gotta be in it, to win it...


    All along, these mTLD guys have barely been 'in it' - let alone doing what it takes to 'win it'.

    .

  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by pilot View Post
    Trasatti's shoes would be extremely big to fill and not because of his physical characteristics.

    .
    word on the street is, now Ron Jeremy has retired, Andrea has changed 'industry'
    the money's awful but the 'perk's' are great

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pred View Post
    word on the street is, now Ron Jeremy has retired, Andrea has changed 'industry'
    the money's awful but the 'perk's' are great
    my message to mtld right now and the 'hangers on' over there
    get some f*cking work done. and i don't just mean turn up to work and take a wage.


  13. #163
    MobiEnthusiast coast's Avatar
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    I am sorely, sorely disappointed in the deafening silence in the blogosphere other than people saying you don't need a .mobi and the occasional "yes you do" from Vance.

  14. #164
    Senior Member noonoo1's Avatar
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    Perhaps Andrea Trasatti has done his job, they have the instant mobilized built, device atlas built. The main jobs left are selling 1 and 2 character names and pushing the premium and reserved names. Just take time out and think of all the companies that are using .mobi, I think you will find apart from there main pc tld and country cctld .mobi is there. Most of this negative feeling does come from the fact that heavy investors in .mobi have temporarily lost a value in their names. The value will come back.
    Last edited by noonoo1; 11-30-2009 at 09:15 AM.

  15. #165
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    a) how do you know the complete loss of value of .mobi will rebound?, oh and WHEN
    b) why do you think there has been a complete deflation in value?
    c) why do you think so many people still misspell the dot mobi name?
    d) do you really think that the two or three hundred big companies that have mobi sites, some just promo sites btw, will carry the day?

    I know you are trying to be being positive, but even Holly has dropped her pom poms, Nigel.
    Quote Originally Posted by noonoo1 View Post
    Perhaps Andrea Trasatti has done his job, they have the instant mobilized built, device atlas built. The main jobs left are selling 1 and 2 character names and pushing the premium and reserved names. Just take time out and think of all the companies that are using .mobi, I think you will find apart from there main pc tld and country cctld .mobi is there. Most of this negative feeling does come from the fact that heavy investors in .mobi have temporarily lost a value in their names. The value will come back.


  16. #166
    Administrator Andres Kello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pilot View Post
    As alarming as this might be, we shouldn't jump to conclusions. Andrea Trasatti is absolutely brilliant and to see him leave and others that left before him is morally deflating. On the flip side, I've worked at major corporations my whole life and I've seen this happen all the time. Truth is, sometimes the talent that comes in to replace those people that have left is sometimes better. Trasatti's shoes would be extremely big to fill and not because of his physical characteristics.

    Realistically, mtld is a small company and when you make a splash as they have, you get noticed by bigger companies with bigger wallets that have more funds to pay healthier salaries. The money here is one scenario and there could be a whole host of other reasons including relocation, personal conflicts, etc.

    Having said that, it would be nice to hear from the execs at mtld.
    The thing is, I don't believe the conclusions (e.g. reasons) matter. Regardless of how it gets spun, for a relative "startup" to lose 5-6 of its top talent before it has even made it "big" is never good news.

    One top talent lost? OK, no big deal, these things happen. Two? Probably just a coincidence. Three? Hmm, is something happening? Four? Something's definitely up. Five? What the heck's going on over there?? Six? SELL!! SELL!! SELL!!

    I don't think many people realize just how small a company mTLD is. I've been to their headquarters, and they are tiny, a lot smaller than I expected considering their backers and how they present themselves.

    The point is, people want to work at and be a part of a company they think will experience explosive growth, and if they honestly believe their company will grow tremendously, they will often times make personal arrangements and sacrifices, give up higher immediate salaries at a bigger company, and do whatever it takes, to stay. Why is that? Because, for example, if Andrea truly believed mTLD could become the next billion-dollar mobile company (I'm exaggerating to make a point), then having gotten in so early virtually assures him a much higher salary and more powerful position in the future than anyone could offer him today.

    But if an employee no longer believes the company they work for has such a bright future or that it will experience the kind of growth they originally anticipated, then making those personal arrangements or salary sacrifices just isn't worth it. In other words, the expectations of an employee regarding the company they work for always factors into their personal cost-benefit analysis of whether to stay at the job.

    Fair enough, not all employees will be willing to make those sacrifices regardless of how big they think their company will grow, but when 6 of your best do (at such a small company), then regardless of the reasons given, I equate it with insiders cashing in their chips and selling their shares, and that rarely happens when expectations are big. And who knows what's going on inside the company better than those on the inside?

    Of course, maybe they didn't quit, maybe they all got fired, but that's just more evidence of the company being in disarray. Also, let's assume that was the case and that they were replaced with more capable personnel, have we noticed any tangible improvements since their departure?

    But let's be realistic, Andrea (together with Luca) was the driving force behind WURFL, so there is hardly anyone in the world more capable than him for DeviceAtlas. Therefore, I doubt he got fired.

    So again, no matter how it gets spun, it's never good news. That's the way I see it, at least.

    Folks, many of us have been among the biggest supporters of this extension and company, and several of us have invested a significant sum of money that has ended up directly in mTLD's pockets, so we are all indirect shareholders if you will. Therefore, I think we have a right - scratch that, an obligation - to ask tough questions, take nothing for granted or at face value, and discuss and debate every detail of this company to attempt to paint the most accurate picture of what is happening in order to draw conclusions about where our investment is headed so that we can make the most informed decision possible about how to manage it.

    Quote Originally Posted by noonoo1
    Most of this negative feeling does come from the fact that heavy investors in .mobi have temporarily lost a value in their names. The value will come back.
    Here's the problem, there is virtually nothing to suggest the massive loss of value in .mobi by up to 90% is "temporary", and even worse, there is little to no evidence that any value will ever "come back". That's just more speculation at this point.

    So bearing that in mind, why would someone owning hundreds or thousands of .mobi's continue to pay 4-to-5 figures in annual renewal fees while hoping things will turn around "someday", when the only apparent evidence about the trend this extension is heading in, is down?

    If you still want to play the .mobi game as a domainer, I think it makes a lot more sense to get rid of the bottom 90% of your portfolio and keep the best 10%, so that renewal fees are a lot easier to swallow (and justify) while still having the potential for upside on your absolute best names.

    Also, I don't think a lot of the heavy investors you're referring to are completely abandoning the extension (I'm certainly not going anywhere), but I do believe they're done "domaining" in .mobi for the most part. The fundamentals just don't support it. So I don't think you will see them buying more .mobi's regardless of how "good" the deal might seem unless they plan on developing it, and that will no-doubt drive prices further down (at least in the short-term). Less big-pocketed speculation with effectively no end-user support results in lower prices by definition. Who knows, though, maybe that's precisely what .mobi needs to attract more end-users.

    At this point, however, I equate domaining in .mobi like investing in penny stocks with the added disadvantage of renewal costs. Development is where it's at.

    Needless to say, all of this is just my humble opinion.
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  17. #167
    Mobility Regular Accent's Avatar
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    I am not Nigel, but let me take a crack at these:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim
    a) how do you know the complete loss of value of .mobi will rebound?, oh and WHEN
    Of course I don't know the future - the polar caps could melt, a Viagra truck could crash into to Florida 's Everglades and we all would be up to our a$$ in alligators. Really - none of us know, but the worst case has already been avoided - many many large corps are using their Mobis, some redirect, true, but I am not a purist. If you can go to the Mobi version of a name and find the Corp then that is good enough for me. So there is a pretty good foundation out there NOW. I don't buy anything I would not consider holding for 5 years.

    b) why do you think there has been a complete deflation in value?
    Investor psychology (and global economics).

    This is taking a lot longer than people were expecting, DotMobi is no longer pulling rabbits out of it's hat every week (although they led the pack on one/two letter domains and IDNs, to their credit) and many resellers who bought before the economy tanked have burned out.

    We have to remember that domainers are not the extension. Our frustration with failed promises has no effect whatsoever on future end users. Indeed, one of the strong points of Mobi is the availability of great keywords at low prices. Compliance is gone, but that is not all there is to Mobi.

    c) why do you think so many people still misspell the dot mobi name?
    Considering the lack of public PR effort by DotMobi, I am happy if the general public is aware that it exists at all, and I would not say they are.

    d) do you really think that the two or three hundred big companies that have mobi sites, some just promo sites btw, will carry the day?
    That's a whole lot better than zero, IMHO (see Info, Biz, and US). And how do you define success for Mobi? The developers here seem to be doing OK, the idea of a website specially created for mobile phone use seems to work. That is a big deal, weren't there people who were saying that nobody would use the web on those tiny screens?


    3Character.com gives these minimum reseller prices for LLL domains:

    • 3-Letter .org - $190
    • 3-Letter .info - $90
    • 3-Letter .biz - $35
    • 3-Letter .us - $25
    • 3-Letter .mobi - Reg Fee
    This looks out of balance to me. The market has swung to the opposite extreme. I would feel much better with a LLL.mobi than with the same LLL.info.

    Don't you think that a percentage of those who are planning a website for mobile use will go for the Mobi? Godaddy and Moniker often plaster Mobi all over their home page. If nobody was buying they would not do that. The proposition Mobi=mobile has real value to a businessman planning a mobile-focused website. More than any other extension except Com - and really there too - for mobile, Mobi has the advantage in meaning and price.

    Coast's comments about professional developers ignoring Mobi expose a serious problem. I spoke to a just-out-of college pro developer recently, he said Mobi was not needed, but when I explained that it told the customer efficiently that the website is built for mobile he very quickly "got it". He was completely unaware of the development tools provided by DotMobi. There has been a lack of outreach by DotMobi to the developer community, I cannot explain it. A lot of the problem, though, is inertia - like anyone else, developers stick with what they are comfortable with.

    Investor psychology will not determine the future of Mobi - the mobile web will. As far as I can tell the predictions of mobile computing eventually outshining PC computing are still standing. It has not happened yet, and a lot of investors have hit the exits. That is a non-event for endusers.

    I have what I consider a juicy pile of Mobi domains, mostly reg fee from Landrush II (I dropped a lot of '07 regs). I can't predict the future, but if Mobi follows the arc of the last 3 years (in development - not reseller pricing) and given the expected exponential growth rate of smartphone use once we have $50 Ipods and cheap bandwidth, I hope to do very well.

    And yes, I have Coms, too.
    Last edited by Accent; 11-30-2009 at 12:38 PM.
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  18. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonoo1 View Post
    Perhaps Andrea Trasatti has done his job, they have the instant mobilized built, device atlas built. The main jobs left are selling 1 and 2 character names and pushing the premium and reserved names. Just take time out and think of all the companies that are using .mobi, I think you will find apart from there main pc tld and country cctld .mobi is there. Most of this negative feeling does come from the fact that heavy investors in .mobi have temporarily lost a value in their names. The value will come back.

    I'm with you on this noonoo, I'm not as confident as I was 12months ago though and I accept that this is not a one-way bet by any stretch of the imagination!
    However, things like todays news from O2 (UK network) that data demand is up 18x since they launched the iphone (& subsequently the risk is that data demand will cause a collapse in the network) all points to the need for keeping data demands down for the best mobile experience....

    Truth is we are all pretty much in the dark.... regardless of how much we believe we know (that goes for the pessimists and the optimists in equal measure).

  19. #169
    Mobility Regular pilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    One top talent lost? OK, no big deal, these things happen. Two? Probably just a coincidence. Three? Hmm, is something happening? Four? Something's definitely up. Five? What the heck's going on over there?? Six? SELL!! SELL!! SELL!!
    I understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    Therefore, I think we have a right - scratch that, an obligation - to ask tough questions, take nothing for granted or at face value, and discuss and debate every detail of this company to attempt to paint the most accurate picture of what is happening in order to draw conclusions about where our investment is headed so that we can make the most informed decision possible about how to manage it.
    Agreed. mTLD, you need to step up and become part of this debate in order to provide some facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andres View Post
    Needless to say, all of this is just my humble opinion.
    Your posts are always very informative and always appreciated Andres.

  20. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Accent View Post
    3Character.com gives these minimum reseller prices for LLL domains:

    • 3-Letter .org - $190
    • 3-Letter .info - $90
    • 3-Letter .biz - $35
    • 3-Letter .us - $25
    • 3-Letter .mobi - Reg Fee
    I remember when the LLL.mobis were selling on the forums for $200 at the least. Late 2006 was a good time. Thankfully, late 2006/early 2007 is when I sold all of my LLL.mobis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seanboy View Post
    I remember when the LLL.mobis were selling on the forums for $200 at the least. Late 2006 was a good time. Thankfully, late 2006/early 2007 is when I sold all of my LLL.mobis.
    and the funny part is there were people that thought they were going to continue to rise when there was clearly a huge ridiculous price bubble building.

    not to be cocky (okay, maybe)... but i knew all this would happen. *POP* goes the bubble... and its not coming back any time too soon and will likely never reach the sort of madness that was happening early on.


  22. #172
    Senior Member DomainTalker's Avatar
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    When a disproportionately high % of the talented people in a small organisation, leave that outfit over a relatively short period of time, it always means trouble.


    Small/young organisations are built on that talent. They depend on that talent in a way that larger organisations don't. Talent in small outfits is not relative. Its the very DNA of the place. Its loss - in numbers - destroys the guiding architecture of the enterprise.


    So, Dotmobi is very troubled, imo.


    The best talent sticks to success like a fly to flypaper - often not primarily for the money - but for the unique opportunities an organisation that is going places offers especially talented people to make their mark....A chance for their talent to truly make a difference....In this case - with the original conception of .Mobi - they could have been primary drivers in building & dominating a whole new Web - the Mobile Internet....And, what bright young minds wouldn't be turned on by that...?!?


    Their going says the dream is dead.


    Why is this so?

    Being part of a small support service company, offering tools to facilitate a generic mobile internet, isn't quite in the same trailblazing league as building the 'Google' of the mobile web, itself...


    When Dotmobi abdicated that early great & glorious ambition, it did more than modify a business strategy. It chose to be the 'Netscape', instead of the 'Google', in this sphere...

    ....and, the best and brightest didn't stay with Netscape...

    .
    Last edited by DomainTalker; 11-30-2009 at 02:39 PM.

  23. #173
    Founding Member Scandiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjnels View Post
    ... and its not coming back any time too soon and will likely never reach the sort of madness that was happening early on.
    It all is dependent now on solid business strategies using only .mobi by people who are all about .mobi. Not some half baked on again/off again, in the shadow of the PC site usage of .mobi but people who are all in. WebTel.mobi comes to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post
    It all is dependent now on solid business strategies using only .mobi by people who are all about .mobi. Not some half baked on again/off again, in the shadow of the PC site usage of .mobi but people who are all in. WebTel.mobi comes to mind.

    "Here, Here!" Well said!

  25. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post
    It all is dependent now on solid business strategies using only .mobi by people who are all about .mobi. Not some half baked on again/off again, in the shadow of the PC site usage of .mobi but people who are all in. WebTel.mobi comes to mind.
    http://siteanalytics.compete.com/webtel.mobi/

  26. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanboy View Post
    It's upside down!

    Playing devils advocate here; it isn't uncommon to have all the curtain twitchers having a look at a new site (i.e. being nosey) when a company launches and the recent promotion will have bolstered vistors recently! It's still very early days too.... but I can see why the graph causes concern; it looks like plotted flightpath of the jetman from last week!

  27. #177
    Founding Member Scandiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanboy View Post
    How's that traffic measured?

  28. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post
    How's that traffic measured?
    Curious myself. I am kind of out of the loop when it comes to these statistics so please excuse me if I am misinterpreting things. Just trying to learn how these things are done.

    I use Alexa a lot and they show a much different picture of Webtel.mobi:

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/webtel.mobi
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  29. #179
    Senior Member seanboy's Avatar
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    Yeah I just read that Compete only measures US data. So it would make more sense that the site does better in the UK.

    It still doesn't change the fact that .mobi is a sinking ship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by think View Post
    Curious myself. I am kind of out of the loop when it comes to these statistics so please excuse me if I am misinterpreting things. Just trying to learn how these things are done.

    I use Alexa a lot and they show a much different picture of Webtel.mobi:

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/webtel.mobi

    Alexa certainly gives more free data and more current too! Webtel have a good business model for that market sector that make international calls; a fairly narrow but still sizable niche!

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