My 10 Mobile Bookmarks

Mobile Web On A Budget

Virgin Mobile Kyocera WildcardI probably spend less than an hour a month on the cell phone. Talking, that is. Plus I usually just listen and say things like
"OK" and "Uh-huh" and on long phone calls I create these sweet doodles that I can never recreate at any other time. It is a tool to keep in contact with my wife and family. For anyone else, they can wait until I am near a land line because most of the time they are in close proximity.

I don't really speak that much at all. I am comfortable with that most of the time.

Well, I get service through Virgin Mobile. I never use 200 minutes in a months. I don't want a contract. I get unlimited texting. And the internet access is cheap and decent. No other service came close for the price. 

But on to the bookmarks. I did not really want to enter a new environment when I went mobile. There are certain social networks and sites that are specifically mobile. I was looking for sites that I already used now that had a mobile version, for the most part.

In the toss up between the Mokeskine and my phone, the winner is obvious. It depends on the purpose. My daily to do list is pretty short. I don't need a notebook for it, just a post-it note. The Moleskine is good for ideas. The phone mainly passes time and helps with daily errands.

A few notes first. These are in no specific order. I don't really feel it necessary to be this connected at all times. I mainly fill idle minutes with something at least semi-useful like typing 140 character anecdotes. There also seems to be no common location for a mobile version of a website.

Jott

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"239","height":"85","alt":"Jott"}}]] Jott is not a web address, but a phone number you can call, speak to, have it transcribe what you said and post your transcription wherever you want. I use it when I am driving. The limit on messages is 30 seconds.

I use it mainly for reminders because I remember the most random things when I am driving. When the bot asks "Who do you want to Jott?", I just say "myself", followed by what I need to remember. Then I say "yes" when I am asked "Do your want a reminder?". Then you just say when. You can use regular language like "tomorrow" and "next Tuesday".

I set up my wife's email in Jott as a novelty. It transcribes what I say and sends the transcription with an email with a link to the recorded message.

I have used Jott with Twitter a couple of times also. I just find the times I have the ability to use it are few but at those times it's good to have.

Now you can listen to feeds on your cell phone by saying "Jott feeds". I have yet to try this feature.

Jott's number: (866) 568-8123

Some more information on Jott:

Google Reader Mobile

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"143","height":"57","alt":"GoogleReader"}}]]

I have yet to get much further than browsing the headlines just to get an idea what's going on. It's better than reading three month old magazines in waiting rooms.

I have started to use the Mobile version of Google Reader in the sidebar of Flock. But for Flock, first you have to edit the about:config.

Google Reader's Mobile Address: http://www.google.com/reader/m/

 

Twitter

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"240","height":"88","alt":"twitter_logo"}}]] Twitter was my introduction to the mobile web. I tried to login to the standard page a few times. Gave up. And them found out there is a different mobile version. Now I fell stupid.

I use both the mobile version when I feel interactive and the text message to "40404" when I just feel like sending an update.

Twitter's Mobile Address: http://m.twitter.com

And Twitter's simple interface conceals it's potential complexity. Here are some resources that my show you some uses of Twitter you never thought of.

Ping.fm

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"200","height":"99","alt":"PingFM"}}]]

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"180","height":"240","alt":"pingfmservices"}}]]I just recently added this one. Ping.fm is a service that takes a blog post or status update and sends it to multiple service instead of just one.

For example, you could send a test message to the address that Ping.fm gives you after you sign up and it will post it to any or all of the services at the right.

Recently Profilactic, my preferred lifestream service support 186 social added the abililty to post content from within their site using Ping.fm.

Tell them to use beta code "tastyping" to sign up. I just tested their service asking the question "Do you see the world in categories or tags?".

I Google Mobile

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"182","height":"77","alt":"igoogle003"}}]] This is for the times I need answer to keep a question from bothering me. The other day I tried to text tweet a link by texting it to Twitter after I found it on my phone in the drive-thru line. But it grabbed the Google results page instead of the page I was reading. I gave up. I am bound to find other uses.

You can set up your settings for your mobile page here. Google will walk you through a wizard that will help you choose widgets which will work for the mobile version of the Google homepage. You can add weather, Gmail, and Google Reader among a multitude of other things.

iGoogle's Mobile Address: http://www.google.com/m/ig

FF2Go

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"200","height":"52","alt":"freindfeed-logo"}}]]

FriendFeed To Go gives you a lot of the features of FriendFeed on your phone. You can see a video of it in action here.

Friendfeed is lifestreaming with commenting and voting functions. In order to get the mobile version to work you must use your API key. It's a long key, but so far, I have remained logged in each time I have visited the site on my phone.

FF2Go's Address: http://ff2go.com 

BackPack

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"207","height":"60","alt":"backpack_logo"}}]] I have had a love hate relationship with BackPack. I used it for everything for a while. Then my pages and lists became so bloated, I took a vacation. I went to to do list's on Post-Its. If the list didn't fit, that's just the way it is. Anything else can get filled in ideas.

But this has worked for me in various capacities. I keep my project list for my day job on one page and I share this with other people at work. I keep the bills I pay and credit card balances on another which I share with my wife. I have Quicken, but Backpack is simple for quick reference.

I also keep long term lists like supplies for our bedroom remodel, software I want to buy, books we need, etc. All of these lists could be handy at the strangest times. And they are with me everywhere and easy to deal with.

You can also add items to BackPack pages by sending an email to the address listed at the bottom of each page. And pictures via picture messaging. Good for wish list?

You can get to the mobile version of your BackPack page by adding /mob to the end of your url.

GOOG-411

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"150","height":"55","alt":"goog411-logo"}}]] This actually the service I have been using the longest. I started using it right after hearing about it over a year ago. It's one way stone age GPS. If you know where you're at, you can call where you want to be and get directions. If you're lost, you're SOL. And voice recognition has come a very long way. You just call the number and usually get what you are looking for. And that number is 1-800-466-4411.

MobyPicture

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"109","height":"86","alt":"mobypicture-l"}}]] I figured MobyPicture would be cool if I accidentally stumbled onto something newsworthy. I could be the first one to have a picture a post it too Flickr. It hasn't happened yet. But it might. You never know.

I carry around a camera with me always now, thanks to cargo shorts and the camera on my phone only takes 1.2 MP pictures. But MobyPicture is almost instant. Take a picture. Send it to MobyPicture. And it's on your MobyPicture page and Flickr.

Plurk

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"130","height":"58","alt":"plurk"}}]] Plurk is another site I have joined recently. I've been in and out. There's a different dynamic than Twitter. I spend most of my time online in work mode. Plurk is a break, like the Stumbleupon forums. You're not going to get anything useful done but that's not why you're there. But like I said, I have only been in and out. I will have to investigate further.

Plurk's Mobile Address: http://www.plurk.com/m/

Some posts about Plurk:

 

A Plugin to Create A Mobile Version of Your Blog

And just in case you want to create a mobile version of your blog, Alex King has created Wordpress Mobile Edition. I have yet to install this plugin.

I will definitely be exploring the mobile web further. I am bound to find more uses. It's only been a month.


Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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