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Thread: The false economy of vanity apps

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandiman View Post
    On a side note I'm curious when you might write about .mobi at mobithinking?
    @Scandiman What do you mean exactly?
    What would you have us cover that wouldn’t duplicate what’s on the other dotMobi sites e.g. dotMobi, mobiForge, mobiReady, deviceAtlas, and goMobi? Each site has its own remit. mobiThinking’s remit is to promote the use of mobile Web (.mobi preferably) and mobile marketing among marketing folk, by sharing best practice and exploring issues. mobiForge promotes mobile Web best practice among developers and so on.
    All the sites are promoted as a family - mobiThinking links to them from every page (and visa versa). Every visitor to mobiThinking can explore (and usually does) any of the family of sites, or can check out any of the .mobi sites in the http://mobithinking.com/showcase, which I assume most of your sites have been submitted to?
    If you’re referring to us writing more about .mobi sites, then we do highlight any relevant .mobi sites as we explore issues, or profile agencies (lots of which use .mobi) and, when we have time and co-operation, we will do the odd case study of an interesting .mobi site. Also the showcase does a great job of showing off .mobi sites (exclusively) http://mobithinking.com/showcase
    As you see from seanboy’s comment above (which drew me into the conversation) mobiThinking – even here at mobility.mobi – is seen as being partisan, so I’m not sure if mobiThinking would benefit from being more .mobi orientated than it already is, though I am open to suggestions as always.
    Rock - mobiThinking - hard place

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobiThinking View Post
    @Scandiman What do you mean exactly?
    What would you have us cover that wouldn’t duplicate what’s on the other dotMobi sites e.g. dotMobi, mobiForge, mobiReady, deviceAtlas, and goMobi? Each site has its own remit. mobiThinking’s remit is to promote the use of mobile Web (.mobi preferably) and mobile marketing among marketing folk, by sharing best practice and exploring issues. mobiForge promotes mobile Web best practice among developers and so on.
    All the sites are promoted as a family - mobiThinking links to them from every page (and visa versa). Every visitor to mobiThinking can explore (and usually does) any of the family of sites, or can check out any of the .mobi sites in the http://mobithinking.com/showcase, which I assume most of your sites have been submitted to?
    If you’re referring to us writing more about .mobi sites, then we do highlight any relevant .mobi sites as we explore issues, or profile agencies (lots of which use .mobi) and, when we have time and co-operation, we will do the odd case study of an interesting .mobi site. Also the showcase does a great job of showing off .mobi sites (exclusively) http://mobithinking.com/showcase
    As you see from seanboy’s comment above (which drew me into the conversation) mobiThinking – even here at mobility.mobi – is seen as being partisan, so I’m not sure if mobiThinking would benefit from being more .mobi orientated than it already is, though I am open to suggestions as always.
    Rock - mobiThinking - hard place
    Wow, where do I begin? I think I'll focus on two words in your response, ".mobi preferably". How exactly is mobithinking.com explicitly working to make .mobi the preferred choice among the sea of mobile site naming conventions? It's not in the best in class use of .mobi via mobithinking.mobi (or the fact that the main site is a .com), it's not in the editorial (the latest blog mention of a .mobi website is from September being Uherts.mobi in a discussion about Charity and Education, and if there's a presentation about the clear merits of .mobi it's not easy to find). Is it the Showcase that is plagued with a technical issue of displaying the PC version of the site in that little N95 display? So where is it at MobiThinking that someone thinking of using a .mobi would be directly influenced to choose to use .mobi over the alternatives? This isn't to say the other content of the site isn't useful, to the contrary I am a regular visitor. I'm just not seeing where a marketer making a branding decision would be thinking about .mobi from the content at mobithinking. It's a mTLD website and the foundational product of the organization is .mobi, the very product that caused mTLD to exist is not getting the best representation. If the originators and purveyors of the product won't make the best case for .mobi who will?

  3. #33
    Senior Member seanboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobiThinking View Post
    @Seanboy – I wrote this editorial. While mobiThinking is a dotMobi site, I’m an independent editor and this article is my opinion only. You shouldn’t think this is necessarily the view of dotMobi.

    You have every right to disagree with me, but please don’t think that this article bashes all mobile apps. It just discusses vanity apps – the ones that make you ask “why did you bother?” Sorry if the article didn’t get this message across clearly.

    mobiThinking is not anti mobile app – though sometimes we think the money might be better spent elsewhere – I’d suggest there are more video case studies of award-winning mobile apps on mobiThinking, than you’d find on any other site. Take a look at the Guide to Mobile Awards http://www.mobithinking.com/mobile-awards and Guide to Mobile Agencies http://www.mobithinking.com/mobile-agencies-guide.

    If you don’t have time to read the article, I will try to paraphrase it for you:
    Many download apps are unsuccessful. And probably wouldn’t have been made if agencies were a little more objective with their clients, rather than just taking their money. Unsuccessful apps need a lot of promotion. Mobile ad networks are doing well out of this (as are all media outlets and media buying agencies). As lots of companies are promoting apps, most mobile ads are targeted at certain handsets, the iPhone particularly, and this skews those charts that mobile ad networks put out. These charts mislead journalists into thinking that iPhone market share is 40% instead of 3-5%, which is part of the reason that companies think they need an iPhone-only app, without thinking though the options… and so on. I feel there’s a bit of a false economy with these vanity apps – certainly not all apps.
    There’s a lot more to it than this: http://mobithinking.com/blog/vanity-apps

    I’d hate you to think that mobiThinking isn’t objective. It’s quite a popular site (considering the niche, budget etc) these days with around 6,000 visitors each week, so I assume that we must be getting something right. As always we welcome your opinions on how it might be improved. My email address is: editor (at) mobiThinking.com.
    Thanks for clearing your comments up.

    Nothing to do with you or mobiThinking, but as far as this forum goes, lately I've noticed a ton of anti-app sentiment around here, which I find to be completely ridiculous.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanboy View Post
    Thanks for clearing your comments up.
    No problem.

  5. #35
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    @Scandiman
    How visitors to mobiThinking find out about .mobi:
    1) The sales pitch for .mobi is probably more the job of the dotMobi site, which is one click away from every page on mobiThinking site.
    2) If you click on the About tab on mobiThinking, the arguments for .mobi are there in full. This is one click away from every page on mobiThinking site. As with all sites the About page is a first point of call for many visitors to mobiThinking.
    3) There are only two advertisements on mobiThinking one for premium .mobi domains names and one for goMobi. One or other of these are very prominently on every page.
    4) Some of the most popular pieces on mobiThinking contain lengthy reasons why .mobi is the right choice, such as: http://mobithinking.com/best-practices/mobile-seo-best-practices
    And .mobi has certainly been mentioned in more recent articles than the one you mention.
    5) Then there’s the showcase of the top .mobi sites, which is the only permanent feature on the homepage – sorry that you’re not happy with it.

    It’s difficult to know what else we could do. There are only so many articles you can write about why .mobi. So if we were to axe everything else from our content, I’d make myself redundant in a matter of weeks.
    But all the content that isn’t just about why .mobi attracts a wide audience to the site. Thousands of people a week come to look at the mobile stats compendium http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marke...t-mobile-stats or the ad network guide http://mobithinking.com/mobile-ad-network-guide as they score so highly on Google search. I would suggest that not many of these visitors will depart mobiThinking without knowing about .mobi for the 5 reasons above.

    The raison d’etre for mobiThinking is to educate the marketing world about the mobile Web (.mobi preferably) then we have to do that through the medium they currently use – so the site has to be .com. There is of course a .mobi version of the site if any of the audience is studying how to go mobile via a mobile.

    The other key reason for including material on mobiThinking that isn’t just about .mobi, is we want to help people who have .mobi sites like you be more successful.

    Sorry that you’re not happy with the .mobi showcase. Please can you send me an email detailing what is wrong with the showcase and I have someone look at it. If you have other ideas for compelling .mobi content that we haven’t covered previously then I’d like to hear that also: editor (at) mobiThinking.com

  6. #36
    Senior Member gogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobiThinking View Post
    Sorry that you’re not happy with the .mobi showcase. Please can you send me an email detailing what is wrong with the showcase and I have someone look at it.
    He's just told you in the thread. Rep + Scandiman. We have raised this repeatedly. I personally have raised it twice in threads with you. The problems are known, they just never get fixed and I can see why - new sites are not being added to the showcase.
    Last edited by gogo; 12-20-2010 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Rep +

  7. #37
    Senior Member gogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobiThinking View Post
    The raison d’etre for mobiThinking is to educate the marketing world about the mobile Web (.mobi preferably) then we have to do that through the medium they currently use – so the site has to be .com. There is of course a .mobi version of the site if any of the audience is studying how to go mobile via a mobile.
    So is Afilias an educational charity?

    we have to do that through the medium they currently use – so the site has to be .com.
    I think the medium they are using is the internet, which is extension agnostic.

    Is Mobithinking a vanity application?

    BTW I read they are cutting the minimum wage in Ireland. Will the Dotmobi CEO be affected?
    Last edited by gogo; 12-20-2010 at 08:04 PM.

  8. #38
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    @Gogo
    Sorry but I am not a techie so I don't understand what the problem is with the showcase, the majority of sites look fine to me.
    I have previously passed on exactly what i have been told, and assumed it had been fixed as I don't see the issues you mention nor have has anyone reported any issues since.
    I’d like to get it investigated, but I need to have an email describing what the problem is exactly, because I am unable to articulate a problem I can’t see or understand. You know the usual sort of stuff. What browser are you using? What sites are not rendering correctly? What do you see? Why do you think this is mobiThinking’s fault? What do you think can be done to fix it? That sort of stuff will help me make the case for getting it fixed.

  9. #39
    Founding Member Scandiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobiThinking View Post
    @Gogo
    Sorry but I am not a techie so I don't understand what the problem is with the showcase, the majority of sites look fine to me.
    I have previously passed on exactly what i have been told, and assumed it had been fixed as I don't see the issues you mention nor have has anyone reported any issues since.
    I’d like to get it investigated, but I need to have an email describing what the problem is exactly, because I am unable to articulate a problem I can’t see or understand. You know the usual sort of stuff. What browser are you using? What sites are not rendering correctly? What do you see? Why do you think this is mobiThinking’s fault? What do you think can be done to fix it? That sort of stuff will help me make the case for getting it fixed.
    I believe the showcase problem stems from the user agent of the visitors browser is being passed to the showcase sites servers rather than being replaced with the user agent of a Nokia N95 (which is the device being used in the showcase). So a visitor using a PC will be served the PC version of a site inside the Nokia N95 window, rather than the site version appropriate to a Nokia N95.


    As for the "About" link, thanks for pointing out the .mobi specific content located there, I was unaware of it.

    As for the ads, since I more often visit via mobile the only ads I've been seeing of late are dating ads from admob. Apparently Missy_18 is 1.89 miles away and wants to chat. I mentioned this to Vance in another thread, not quite understanding running admob on a corporate site but that's a different topic.

    Attachment 501

    My comments aren't an indictment on the site as a whole and I'm in no way saying that mobithinking should be entirely about .mobi, but for me .mobi is too often missing. With the practical abandonment of the trustmark, all that is really left is the branding decision to use .mobi and that is very much a marketing decision and if mobithinking is targeted at marketers then .mobi could certainly benefit from some more air-time. I'd love to read information regarding end users decisions to use .mobi, why they did so and what benefits they believe they have gotten from that decision. Blogs, case studies, best practices, rather than .mobi being a subtext in other topics it could benefit from being more forward, ie: instead of locating the why.mobi discussion in the About section it could be it's own menu item. I wouldn't consider it redundant but rather relevant to the decisions people are often dealing with when considering their mobile naming options which again is very much a marketing issue.

  10. #40
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    Thanks Scandiman,

    I’ll pass that on the info about the showcase.
    I’m very aware of the ads on the .mobi.
    I’ll try to get you some more case studies with .mobi sites for next year.

    @gogo “vanity app” – that put me in my place.

    Adios

  11. #41
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    One thing I've learned from network marketing business (I was out as it did not suit me.) is that if my product is X, I'll take every opportunity 24/7 to showcase X. It's a numbers game, I was taught.

  12. #42
    Mobility Regular morse's Avatar
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    Certain few dysfunctional sites which are still showcased on mobi showcase:
    ____
    MobiShowcase Main Page
    1 sedo listing, 2 server not found
    ____
    Brand Segment
    Subway hijacks three spots, and the second page is completely hijacked by pottyprint.mobi , cross site scripting (xss) loophole.
    ____
    The following is a list of sites which gave a server not found error:
    http://mobithinking.com/automotive/1seriesmobi
    http://mobithinking.com/financial-services/m4bankmobi
    http://mobithinking.com/node/543
    http://mobithinking.com/showcase-sites/lifesmobilemobi
    http://mobithinking.com/showcase-sites/spiramobi
    ____
    One site gave "Not Configured" Error
    http://mobithinking.com/node/475
    ____________________

    If Mobithinking is for the larger good of community then plz integrate a better directory system. It will be really helpful.

  13. #43
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    Thanks Morse. I will put in a request to fix this.

  14. #44
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    There was an article about apps on one of our newspapers a few days ago. This article made mention that unbeknown to the phone owner a lot of apps are taking phone owners private details .

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by namelot View Post
    There was an article about apps on one of our newspapers a few days ago. This article made mention that unbeknown to the phone owner a lot of apps are taking phone owners private details .
    http://blogs.computerworld.com/14568..._spyware_panic
    Such an exploit was present in earlier iPhone version, after it was patched, a lot of developers literally started crying about it as then they required permission of the user.

  16. #46
    Mobility Regular limomobi's Avatar
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    Laughwith.me, cherish.me, momtobe.me....
    Yes, this is a fun dot tld.

    Vanity apps.
    Vanity web

    Why not. We started with vanity phone numbers 1-800-flowers. So why not vanity apps, and web.

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