Don’t call me DOM


21 August 2007

Blue Sky Mobile Web: Connected Personal Information Management

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If I had a magic wand...:

My Personal Information Management system on my mobile device is Web connected, and it makes all the difference.

My phone shows the picture of the person calling; that used to be of limited usefulness, but now that I can associate a picture from my social network directly to my phonebook, I can hardly live without it anymore!

Am I wondering what's up with this friend I haven't seen in a long time and with which I am scheduled to meet? His entries in my phonebook has already downloaded his latest posts on his blog, and I'm reading them as I'm going to meet him.

Do I wonder when I can schedule a meeting with my colleague? My mobile device can check her homepage, finds a link to her on-line free-busy iCalendar, and presents me with the various options available to us.

The distinction between my phonebook and my social network is in fact so thin, that it may not be relevant any longer...

8 August 2007

Blue Sky Mobile Web: Music surfing

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If I had a magic wand...:

My portable music player is Web connected (probably through a bluetooth connection to my phone, or because it is my phone - the jury is still out on whether devices should include as many features as possible, or do just one thing very well).

This allows me to learn more about the artists biographies and musicographies while I listen to them; I had never been able to remember who was singing what, but now that my music player displays this information on demand as soon as I want, I certainly look much more knowledgeable than I ever did!

Plus, being able to read the lyrics and their translations, downloaded directly from the Web, while I listen to the music makes it finally possible to enjoy fully my music collection, even the parts of which I never quite grasped.

Also, my player now keeps up to date my social network records of what I'm listening, and sure enough I'm starting to discover new titles from my friends records.

But my favorite feature is how my music player compares my listening habits to other people's, and suggests titles and artists that I might like: I end up buying and downloading the selection more than half the times, and the more it goes, the more it finds stuff I had never even heard about before.

Blue Sky Mobile Web Series

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The Mobile Web Initiative is working hard at fixing interoperability issues, setting foundations for better content adaptation mechanisms, documenting how to work around or avoid the limitations and constraints of the current user experience on mobile devices, which I think are critical to the development of the Mobile Web.

But all these work items are targetting incremental enhancements to the situation, in a step by step approach in which it is sometimes difficult to envision the promises the Mobile Web holds. It's easy to focus only on the contraints, and forget about the great advantages and potential that mobile devices proposes.

So, in this Blue Sky Mobile Web series of articles, I will try and describe some of the mobile-specific applications of Web technologies that could change our lifes in little or big ways. I'm taking a "blue sky" approach, that is to say I'll only focus on what we could wish for, without dealing at all with how we can get there, at least for time being: my goal is first and foremost to have some possible goals to start discussions, and identify which are really relevant. That said, I'll try to stick with technologies mostly available today, but for which we still lack proper integrations and standardisation.

If and when needed, the discussion on how to achieve these goals, with whom and in what timeframe can happen later.

I'll also try to take as much as possible a end user perspective: it is easy to get caught up in developing new technologies for the sake of it, and while my articles will have some technical discussions, I'll try to at least root them in the needs or expectations I perceive from real users.

All the articles in the series will be linked below as they get published. Also, I'll be watching Planet Mobile Web and trying to link to others who would want to "blue-sky" with me...

  1. Music Surfing, August 8
  2. Connected Personal Information Management, August 21st

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Picture of Dominique Hazael-MassieuxDominique Hazaël-Massieux ( is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Staff; his interests cover a number of Web technologies, as well as the usage of open source software in a distributed work environment.