There's been some talk on prominent weblogs about the value of having a mobile version of your weblog, so, ever the follower, I introduce a not yet perfect mobile version of Just a Gwai Lo. I'm on the hook for other how-I-did-this-in-Drupal articles, so we'll just add this one to the pile. Let's just say that this took longer than the 10 minutes it took to think I had it right.

I have some questions, though, part out of ignorance of how big the mobile market is in North America (to say nothing of other markets like Europe and Asia and Africa), and part out of befuddlement, because some of this seems like extra work. Note that I'm priced out of the mobile Internet market, and couldn't get connecting my Nokia N70 to my Powerbook's Internet connection via Bluetooth to work, so I literally don't know what the fuss is all about.

  • shouldn't there be a hosted service that just does this, using RSS feeds, through the browser on your mobile device?
  • shouldn't your existing site degrade gracefully for phones, PDAs and various whatnots? I've seen this site in Opera Mini, and it looks really great. I heard a friend reads this site on his hiptop while commuting to work, without complaint.
  • if it can't degrade gracefully, can't we hack something together with browser-sniffing or setting cookies, so that people don't have to bookmark separate domains. (To the people who have "mobile" as the subdomian, you know how much extra typing that is, right?) I have the mobile version of my site set to NOINDEX and NOFOLLOW because it just doesn't seem right to duplicate my own content on a separate domain. And yes, I've already thought of the objection that is technically a different [sub]domain than

Again, I'm priced out of the market, so as legitimately I have these questions, having a mobile version of your site won't do me or very many other people any practical good until there's flat rate, around $50/month, reliable-if-slow mobile Internet for the masses.