I attended a talk yesterday about Apache HTTPd on cell phones. We selected the talk because the abstract seemed fascinating, and the idea of a mobile website was intriguing.
The talk started a little slow, with lots of heavy technical details, but then it got into uses and ideas for future use, and I was really glad we had selected the talk. Utterly fascinating.
The idea that caught my attention was websites that are 1) mobile and 2) on-demand.
Imagine carrying your website with you. Your website knows where you are. Folks can look at your website, and it tells them where you are, and, via bluetooth, your phone locates other websites (phones) that are in the same general vicinity. A website is “linked” to other websites by virtue of geographic proximity. And using a camera phone, you can take photos so that your website is very context-sensitive.
The on-demand idea was even more interesting. Click on this link to request a photo of where I am. The phone-holder gets a message on their phone, and takes a photo, which is then sent as the response to the HTTP request. Viola. Content that didn’t exist before the request was made, and doesn’t exist after the request is terminated. On-demand web content.
It does mean that things like search will have to be rethought a little bit.
This was all presented as a technical project, of great geeky interest. However, I am now *certain*, that in the next couple of years, someone will find a way to make this easy to use, and will find a way to charge for it, and you’ll see thousands of mobile websites (“mobsites”) springing up and becoming a huge percentage of web content.
Strangely, this makes twitter seem slightly interesting too, if it can be brought into this kind of a model. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I am sure that someone will figure out what that means and do it.