View any site on a cell phone

One thing that is a pain is on many phones looking at a full Web page is painful. MSN has a neat little search feature that lets you look at a Web site reformatted specifically for viewing on a phone. Just go to MSN Mobile Search, put in the site’s URL that you want to visit, and click “mobile” next to the result.

For instance, TechCrunch really sucks on many phones (you have to scroll to see the content and the page takes a long time to load up). Sorry Mike, but it’s true.

Looking at TechCrunch this way makes it a lot nicer on a cell phone (although TechCrunch could help even more by moving its content DIV on top of its navigation DIV).

Climbing the RSS Summit

Another RSS conference has sprung up and I’m speaking at it: The RSS Summit at Hyatt Regency Cambridge in Cambridge, MA.

The marketers are still trying to figure out why RSS took off and how they should react. They see that even major news sites like the BBC are getting into RSS (nice new site, by the way) and that Microsoft this year will release a browser with RSS built in and they know something is up, but don’t know why, or how.

The geeks who invented this stuff probably will find these conferences not worthy, but that’s OK. RSS is crossing the chasm and now different kinds of conferences are needed.

I am gonna yell at their marketing team, though. That site is particularly lame. No RSS. No blog.

If you’re doing a conference you NEED an RSS feed and a blog. At minimum. Check out the Mix06 site, for instance.

Digitial lifestyle, movie reviews style

Yesterday Dave Winer, Patrick, and I were at the Metreon and said “let’s go see a movie.” But, we had no idea what we wanted to see. So, we went to the movie theater that’s inside the Metreon in San Francisco and started looking at what was playing. That we all did in “meatspace.” Er, by looking at the board. But, we couldn’t decide between a couple of movies. So Dave asks me “can you look up the reviews on your phone?”


I know that Google shows movie reviews right at the top of the search. So, I go to Google and type: last holiday. Of course it works. We look at the reviews, realize it’s a comedy, see that it’s rated OK and that it probably doesn’t have too much that would be inappropriate for Patrick to see.

It works AWESOME on my new Cingular 2125 phone. Having a readable screen makes all the difference.

You know, there’s a lot of heat and fire about the Microsoft and Google competition, but, seriously, who is the winner here? Microsoft made a few bucks by making the operating system for my cell phone. Google made a happier customer. Sounds like a win-win combination.

By the way, the cell phone didn’t come with the best two search engines loaded in favorites. I find that funny. Even Microsoft’s own mobile optimized search engine wasn’t loaded. That’s a nice and fast page to load.

By the way, MSN, Yahoo, and Google have special mobile services. It’s going to be interesting to watch these three to see who gets used more on cell phones:

MSN Mobile
Google Mobile

Yahoo Mobile

By the way, Shel Israel bought the same phone I have and said “it’s the first cell phone I’ve ever used that works in my own house.” When I was there I showed him mine had four bars and his didn’t even have a signal, even though we were both on Cingular. This phone rocks.

Anything else cell phone users should try while walking around?

Update: here’s a site that has various phone themes so you can make your phone look even cooler!

Facebook adds new timeline feature

Facebook and Myspace don’t get talked about much on the blogs I follow, which is interesting since these two services are VERY popular (MySpace is something like the fourth most visited Web site and Facebook is used by a large percentage of college students).

Anyway, I’ve become more interested in following these two and today I see that Facebook just launced a cool social timeline feature. Where did I learn that? Over on Noah Kagan’s blog. He works for Facebook as a product manager.