RrankK

Thanks to Sid for pointing me in the direction of RrankK.

He kindly created a new poll just for me and of course that was about mobile devices. You can see it on the sidebar of my blog (so if you’re using the RSS reader I suspect you’ll have to click to see it).

Make sure you cast your vote, we haven’t added all vendors, but you can easily add more.

UPDATE: I removed the links from the sidebar and added within the post. If you don’t see anymore, it means the poll has been deleted from rrankk. :(

First impressions about Nokia MOSH

I had just posted about Nokia MOSH and it’s a restricted beta, luckily I already got my password to access it. I created an account and uploaded my first content. I was really testing the site in parallel on my Mac and on my mobile phone.

Very first impression is that it’s an interesting new social site. It has all the common features such as upload a photo, invite a friend, exchange messages. The first question that comes to my mind is “So what’s new?”. Not very much I’d say, if you don’t consider that it’s made for mobile devices first and ALSO features a web interface. The main concept here is to be able to upload contents from your mobile device. This is nice and probably Nokia’s commitment is promising, but I don’t see it SO different from what Flickr Mobile has been offering for a while or even ShoZu.

But the very first question that came to my mind even before completing the registration was how they would recognize devices. The e-mail clearly stated that they will do their best to support all devices. Well, look at the image below and think…

I believe they are using WURFL. Not very hard to guess since it’s free and very well supported by many developers, but at the same time you might expect a different approach from Nokia. Are they using WURFL as-is? Did they patch and optimize the Nokia devices? Are they going to give back to the community?
How can I say it’s WURFL? If you look at the screenshot you can see a few things that hinted this to me such as “Research in Motion Ltd” instead of “RIM” or “Blackberry” that are much better known names than the complete company name. Another thing is the duplicated “Vitelcom” and “VITELCOM for Telefonica Movistar”, I remember adding those values and wondering if they should be merged or not. Then there are a few brands that you would not expect to be possible to be picked from a list of devices such as “W3C”, “WAPUniverse” and “WinWAP Technologies” (the first one is obviously not a device manufacturer and the other two are companies selling a browsing software). Also, if you look at the list of Sony Ericsson devices, you can see the “W810”, “W810i” and “W810c”, but the “W810” does not exist, it’s a virtual that device we defined in WURFL and the different localized versions (i for Europe, c for China and a for Americas) inherit from it most of their capabilities if not all.

Going back to the service, I liked that once I completed the registration it suggested to point the browser of my mobile device to a mosh.nokia.mobi. Accessing the site via your desktop browser provides the very same interface… Since they have a version optimized for desktop PC’s it would be good to be automatically redirected to the other version OR have a link. Nokia, if you are reading, I suggest you use is_wireless_device from WURFL.

One bug that I already found was that when trying to upload from the mobile, I could specify the tags. There was no mention of how to do it, so I used commas as on blogger.com, but this did not work, so the upload was not successful. Since I was using Opera, I could not pick a file from the filesystem, but I had to use the camera, so I had to take another picture and, even worse, some, but not all of the information I had provided was lost such as the tags (of course) and the content title. This one needs to be fixed.

Questions still open are:

  • is the site able to recognize the device while browsing and let me know which contents will be appropriate? Using Opera Mini it did not seem to pick it up correctly (but the pages looked very good).
  • how will they be able to keep out pirated contents. I have uploaded one image and it is now waiting for approval, but still I can’t imaging people at Nokia testing all the applications on any possible device.

Zooppa

Clicking here and there on a few blogs I ended up on Zooppa. It’s yet another social network with a slightly different aim from many others, they suggest a brand and a task and all members are invited to create some video content (a-la TV commercial) and to vote others’ creations. The top voted videos win a prize.

It seems like a really cheap way to get some ideas for commercials. I wonder how much this is really worth as it is not clear to me how much work is done to make sure the videos transmit the correct message to the end user. The communite votes the one they like best, not the one that really transmits the message in the best way which is an important value added that marketing and communication companies should add!

Anyway I’m posting this message for 3 reasons:
1) You HAVE to watch the videos that explain the contests. The guys speaking are certainly Italians and their accent is clear, at least for me! 😀
2) You might actually like it and I’d like to hear comments
3) They declare to be the first Italo-American startup. Actually the oldest I can think of is Funambol that’s been around for WAY longer and I don’t even think that they have been the first one. Maybe Funambol was the first to be a Silicon Valley-based company, so computers and new techology. Zooppa is certainly not the first.

PS: Zuppa (pronounced in Italian just like Zooppa) means soup.