Paul had given a wapTags presentation at the MoMo demo night on Monday, so I had seen a basic overview of what they’re up to. So of course I spent a decent amount of time playing around with it Tuesday. I like the ideas in general – community “moderation” of a sort by bubbling up popular links, profiles, search by clicking instead of typing. That all fits very well with mobile. There’s definitely a bent toward mature content up at the top of the ranking right now, but I refuse to call it spam at this point. People like porn, it’s a big industry. Someone must be looking at it.
There’s also the typical content quality and compatibility issues, I do tend to get a bunch of failures on the different devices I tried it with. I thought this could be a pretty cool site for wifi connected handheld devices in particular. But the PSP threw errors on lots of the pages, and the 770 doesn’t understand WML. I’m still looking around a lot to see how people are using the service (my profile is at http://mp.waptags.com/miker if you want to see what I’ve been checking and marking) and I’m still getting a feel for that. Given the growth rate they’re seeing it’s worth learning how that community works I think.
Twitter is a free mobile service for publishing and subscribing to friend’s status info via SMS. Biz explained it as extending that little status area from IM into a more general and functional system, and mobile messaging is pretty key. It reminds me a lot of Dodgeball, with the stuff that pisses me off about Dodgeball taken out. It’s not tied to geographic region, which is cool. My friends aren’t all in Palo Alto, they’re not even all in the Bay Area. Of course I have to convince them to actually sign up for Twitter in order to try it out, we’ll see how that one flies. My friends are already pretty jaded when it comes to me trying to convince them to sign up for another mobile social tool.
Twitter does include mechanisms publishing your status info out to your blog or other webpage, and they have all the main functionality such as managing your friends list available through the SMS API. I like that a lot. Even more I like the API they apparently just released this week. That’s definitely an interesting candidate for some hackery.
Russell had already written up TextMarks so I was familiar with the service. I went to the TextMarks website and created an AdMob shortcode to return the total number of ad views so far. In some senses it’s a lot like 411Sync, but with a much lower barrier to experimentation. And of course having the 41411 shortcode is pretty sweet. It really makes the usage that Russell talks about of linking through a shortcode effective (much like Mozes does with their shortcodes).
I really like the subscription and group messaging options in there as well (I’ve mentioned that in a post before). An SMS “publishing platform” only really takes it half way until you include subscriptions. Sure, getting to info via SMS query is sometimes more convenient than pulling it up in a mobile browser. But some of the SMS toys I’ve been seeing popping up use SMS to send a link that really does little more than introduce what would be an unnecessary step if URLs were just a little bit more manageable. However, if you can subscribe to something interesting and keep getting updates directly to your handset, now that’s actually using the strength of the medium. I’ll have to fool around with that subscription end of the service.
AdMob total ads served TextMark