Thursday, April 09, 2009


There are very few things that exist in the digital media space that I would put in the category of being a pet peeve of mine -- but this is definitely at the top of my list, and my rant on this has been a long time in coming.

In all the years that I've observed and been involved in the mobile web (aka WAP for you industry aficionados), I have never understood why any company/brand/publisher/media company would use anything other than the traditional ".com" top-level domain their mobile web destination URL. As we've all seen, there have been a whole host of mobile-specific top-level domains and URLs that have been, and continue to be, employed and marketed to consumers with web-enabled mobile phones -- for example:

* (e.g.,
* -- (e.g.,
* -- (e.g.,

For those of us in the mobile space, I ask you -- isn't the ultimate goal here to educate the consumer public that the web is the web is the web -- regardless of whether you use a PC, a mobile phone, a game console or a TV to access it? Doesn't the mere presence of different URLs just add to the confusion rather than address and remedy it? I definitely think it does. And from a business perspective, I'd prefer to funnel all my web traffic, regardless of where it comes from, through one domain so that I can get credit for the audience and also better monetize them.

Sure the visual experience for the consumer will be different across these screens, but as true convergence continues to become a reality through increased proliferation of smartphones with a more robust web experience as well as the promise of Internet to the TV screen, those differences will continue to diminish. And in the meantime, let's all agree that the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid!) approach is probably the best one here. Just use your existing ".com" URL for your mobile web site -- and make sure to ask whoever is helping you develop it to make sure an put in that one line of code on your web server that automatically detects whether someone is trying to access your site from a mobile phone so that that the correct site is rendered. It's that simple!

So say YES to ".com" and NO to everything else -- who else is with me?!

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you!

    I almost hate to let this get out, as I am an independent consultant whose livelihood depend on organizations paying me to either bring them fish or teach them to fish, but there's almost no reason not to redirect to a more device-friendly version (or, ideally, versions).

    Device detection and redirection... simple:

    Even if you have to build by hand a few pages that play to the strengths and weaknesses of non-PC devices, subsequent content can be mobilized quickly and easily if you build mobile versions into the workflow. If you're using an even remotely extensible CMS... dead simple.

    You're right, Chris. No excuses.

    -Tom Chamberlin

    P.S. Glad you're back to posting!