Are these .Mobi Domains a good idea? It appears that FT.Com doesn't think so.

The problem with is exactly is where does it end?

.info, .biz, .mobi, .net, .org, .com.. then the list grows to massive amounts when we start factoring .ca,, .au...


Missed the Point

I think FT missed the point .mobi websites will be "light" websites designed and complaint to cell phones and other portable low bandwidth or slow devices. Being able to find things on a phone when you are out and about has major advantages for consumers and marketers.

As far as this quote:

However, web developers said there was no technical benefit to using "dotmobi", as websites could be designed to adapt to mobile phone screens.

Well technically you could drive your kids to school or soccer practice using an 18 wheel truck, however it's really not as workable as a mini-van or toyota camry.

Why do you consider it a

Why do you consider it a problem ?

Single domain = less confusion

Allow HTTP_USER_AGENT to determine the device rather than the end user. By having multiple TLDs and subdomains the typical user will get confused. Is it,,,

sunpost have you ever tried

sunpost have you ever tried to write a small screen device detection script ? Its notoriously difficult to get to work properly. There are just to many useragents and nonstandard browsers for small screens.

webprofessor, you are right

webprofessor, you are right it is a PITA. While ASP.NET has some nice device profiling ability, it is far from perfect.


by having a .mobi domain you are making the statement that your domain is mobile device compliant (it's a requirement for having a .mobi TLD). Doing redirects based on user agents is a good thing but being .mobi is like having a big sign outside your building saying your building is wheelchair accessible.

Um, how about...

...detecting the small screen itself - via the screen.width....whatever thingie? Or don't these things support javascript yet? In that case, count me out for another year or so :-)

what's wrong with

What's wrong with

Why open another shit storm of first level names...

This is the entire reason all these BS domain name registars are still in business.. forcing everyone to pay more to protect their trademark.

@Wit.. some do some don't..

@Wit.. some do some don't.. you just never really know.

@Founder: I disagree, lots of people actually want nice looking short names and don't care about not owning the dotcom version. Also new domainers snap these things up like crazy since they can't get dotcoms. So there is a demand out there that extends beyond extortion.


Webprofessor, I hate to disagree with you (who am I kidding) but mobile device detetion is trivial. You can easily detect that it's a mobile device with about 3 pieces of criteria, and one very reliable piece isn't even in the user agent.

However, you can get a list of known user agents, mobile units are identified as such, with specifics about the units capabilities, using Gary Keith's BROWSCAP.INI file to get the specs in a heart beat. The only thing not in his files at this time are screen dimensions, which any device with javascript support can easily give you, or you could add to the file based on manufacturer details.

Cool Bill I'm glad you

Cool Bill I'm glad you solved it. My solution which was working for all my regular visitors a little over a year ago is posted here.

You can see I was just using the useragent since I didn't trust using JS. I'm looking forward to seeing your solution.

btw.. cool link thanks for sharing it bill.

Maybe I'm Daft

Maybe I'm daft but I look at this from the other end. I'm a consumer and I don't know about all this browser detection mumbo jumbo and I wouldn't know javascript from a movie script. But I would know that will give me times movies start times and won't take foreva' to load on my motorola razr, however I have no idea if will work on mobile phone or not, so I have to gamble my bandwidth and hope they are up to date.

User Agent

I said you can only get JS enabled devices, which are few, to return the screen dimensions, all the rest you need to know in advance.

However, luckily for us many devices support the X-WAP-PROFILE in their header which points to the URL where a definition of the device can be found with screen dimensions and all sorts of extra goodies, like this Nokia 6230i profile.

Actually, there are several keywords common to almost all mobile user agents whether they support X-WAP-PROFILE or not, so instead of looking for brands I tend to look for things like "Profile/MIDP", " Configuration/CLDC", and/or X-WAP-PROFILE being set.

If you want to know more about the X-WAP-PROFILE, check out the docs on the Open Mobile Alliance.

another reason .mobi is bad...

I blogged back in June on how .mobi's implementation requirements were bad, due to their unreasonable restrictiveness.

Sunpost is really right -- the best approach is to use a central domain name, detect useragent string, and route the user to the optimal content.

Webprofessor's a bit right about too many conflicting flavors, but I think it's still better for the content provider to try to manage this, rather than using separate domains. Using .MOBI doesn't really solve the problem of the many flavors, anyway.

Wit, we'll have to count you out. Javascript doesn't work on most of these devices, I believe.

Founder, requires a user to type in even more characters! For that matter, so does Why didn't the .mobi people think that through?!? Typing in more characters on a phone where not necessary is much more of a pain.

@graywolf: I agree

@graywolf: I agree completely.

@bill: thanks. good info, I haven't looked at this area for awhile so it'll be interesting to read up on.

.tv and .info never really took off

Regardless of the technical issues, what could a company lose or gain with respect to their brand by using the mobi TLD?


But your average joe cell user most likely doesn't type in domain names often, if at all, as they probably find the site via a search just like most people do with a regular desktop machine, and bookmark it. Even if they do type it in ONCE probably bookmark it to avoid typing it in a second time.

What would be more important to know is if everyone bought into and adopted the .mobi would the search engines being used for mobile then reward those folks by pushing actual mobile cotent providers to the top of the list when a mobile device makes the search?

Then, and only then, does a .mobi make sense IMO as I could just as easily tag my site or individual pages as having alternative mobile content opposed to adding a new domain name.

I don't get whats

I don't get whats controversial about this. To me its just one more street being added to a city. Who cares..

More spam you mean

Just look at what most .info's are used for.

'Nuff said

Thats a pointless statement

Thats a pointless statement Bill. There is going to be more spam with or with out a new tld.

This is going to age me, but

This is going to age me, but do you guys remember that company that was selling domains with extensions like ".kids" for children's web sites?

Gosh it was *so* long ago. I wonder what happened to that company.

Pointless hell

They have a new batch of domains names that can be specifically crafted for keywords which seem to be candy for some search engines so it's not a pointless statement as the spammers will be all over those domains like flies on shit.

you really think that there

you really think that there will be less spam if they don't release the dotmobi tld ? You think that by not releaseing the dotMobi tld you are somehow stopping billions of spammers ?

Spammers will make pages & buy domains regardless of whether this existed or not.


The difference is, and my point still is, they will be able to get BETTER domains in the short term, until the lose 'em, and they have a whole new TLD to burn thru at this point.

Not that there will be any less, possibly a whole lot more.

Hard to say, just open the gates and see what happens.

Good idea.

You have a mobile, you want to look at the web.

You see a URL with .mobi on it - you know instantly that it WILL work on your mobile. Great!

These new domains will tie in with geo-location PAID services to offer you stuff based on where you are right now, starting with mapping, entertainment, food and drink, and then onwards with property for sale, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet.

Once users get used to the idea that .mobi stuff is almost guaranteed to work on their mobile it will get used a LOT. It will be slow to take off like WAP was, but I predict a faster rate of adoption this time around.

There are many sites that I just do not try on my mobile, as I guess that they will not be mobile compatible or will try to download such bloated pages that it will cost a fiver just to get a couple of pages of info.

If I know that I can get to a .mobi site for what i want, and know that it has a good chance of working then I'll use that over someone elses portal/translator through to some regular web page squeezed down to make it half usable on a mobile.

Dunno about the US, but web browsing on a 3G mobile, here in the UK, actually does work quite well now. WAP is almost redundant.


Is there any hope at all that the connection speed on phones will improve in the US anytime in the future?
Right now usability on mobile devices is atrocious, as is the connection speed. I don't know the technical details/restrictions so maybe somebody could enlighten me as to why this is still the case. Are the providers forcing restrictions because of technical constraints or for other reasons?

Why couldn't there be an industry-wide push for mobile subdomains such as It's shorter, doesn't require chasing new TLD's. Oh, right, there's no money in it.

@markus941 could be used, BUT the 'no money in it' hit the nail on the head.


New services will appear specifically for mobiles.... once everyone has the speed they need.

Widely available 3G stuff already gives a 300 kb/sec connection; very usable.

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