WAP continues its life as the troublesome sibbling

I recently asked the MomoLondon thread what we should advertise:

wap.playtxt.net or www.playtxt.net/wap

As predicted it certainly caused a flurry of activity. The majority of opinions voiced, probably rightly sounded that http://www.playtxt.net should sniff the device and work for mobile -i.e. serve whichever page is appropriate for the device. However, sticking dogmatically to this view inevitably gets one in to trouble in the real world. For example, I don’t want to view the WAP (or mobile XHTML version) when I using my Mini-S over Wifi – I want the regular website thank you very much. Actually, even on 3G on my K800i, sometimes I want the regular website (and yes I’ll stomach the repurposed page).

Other times – yes even on my 14.1″ screened Thinkpad – I actually want the WAP site; because I’m connected in the depths of Italy with really bad signal over GPRS on my Samsung D500.

So the conclusion I’ve come to is to have a redirect in the header that sniffs for a mobile device, but then pushes users to a WAP page (lowest common denominator) to choose what they want; which by-the-way also includes a Java client should they care to download it! This solution should keep everyone happy. Then we advertise the main domain (that certainly makes sense) and keep wap.playtxt.net for those who know what they want or when sending out a WAP push (although even with the wap push, I suppose strictly speaking it should send the main domain in this case).

Two other quick inputs – while WAP might remind us of the original wap debacle, finally consumers are actually starting to know WAP means easily-browsable-mobile-site – even if actually technically its incorrect because the page being served is XHTML …. I for one am loath to discourage them.

The second contentious point is of course .mobi Were it a perfect world of course this would not be needed, but in the long run its probably a good idea because its not a perfect world and the vast majority of sites (including playtxt currently!) do not serve up for the right device from the main domain.

Finally, regards name.wap.com , I feel bad not to back up the Bango boys Trevor and Ray; but I’ve got to be honest and say this concept, which originated from their heritage in “Bango numbers” is flawed; even if you open it up to be completely free, you’ll have an uphill struggle to get it adopted, and I view it rather like the uk.com botch in the regular domain space; users are used to regular domain names, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. At least, from that perspective, it does no harm I guess……


One thought on “WAP continues its life as the troublesome sibbling

  1. If think name.wap.com with Bango is now free, you can have a free package with and promote your mobile site quick and easy within seconds – wwe.wap.com / bbc.wap.com / beyonce.wap.com / yahoo.wap.com. I don’t think it was ever intended as a true replacement for .mobi but it gives fresh new starters in mobile a real opportunity to promote an instantly recognisable ‘mobile URL’ in print, TV, myspace, YouTube etc. In addition there is the whole community aspect of http://wap.com where people from all around the world can share, add and recommend WAP sites easily.

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