Mobile Web 2.0 – the book : A synopsis and approach


In the last two weeks, I have had the opportunity of meeting many readers of Mobile Web 2.0 in the States.

In general, when people see the book, the first impression is : Its 335 pages! That’s a lot to write (and read!) on a relatively new topic

So, why was it written in the way it was?

Today, with the acquisition of YouTube by Google, Web 2.0 is truly on everyone’s radar.

But not so long ago, that was not the case!

When we (Ajit and Tony) first started writing about Web 2.0 and Mobile Web 2.0, Web 2.0 was still deemed a buzzword (to put it mildly!) . Thus, from our point of view, it was necessary to write a truly comprehensive work if we were to be avoid being labelled as piggybacking on a buzzword.

For us, Web 2.0 was great! It provided us a lexicon to understand the evolution of the Web from the Dot Com era to a new, user generated content, era.

Essentially, our approach has been to build on the foundation of Web 2.0 laid by Tim O Reilly in the seminal document What is Web 2.0 and then extend it to restricted devices (mobile devices)

In retrospect, this was not an easy task.

Extending Web 2.0 across mobile devices is not as simple as ‘browsing the Web from mobile devices’. You have to consider the unique elements of mobility (for example a restricted user interface) and other factors.

You also have to extend the idea of user generated content to mobile devices. In other words, when we are talking of Mobile Web 2.0, we are talking of applications tending to user generated content(and not traditional applications like games and ringtones)

All this took 335 pages because we assumed no knowledge of the Mobile data industry. This means we have to cover Web 2.0 from first principles, Define what is Mobile Web 2.0 , discuss the unique factors pertaining to mobility and finally use all of this to discuss new business models for the Mobile data industry.

Thus, the book comprises three parts:

Part One : Covering Web 20, The seven principles of Mobile Web 2.0 and user generated content

Part Two : Factors unique to mobile devices including Mobile TV, mcommerce, IMS etc and

Part Three : Covering business models

Similar to the seven principles of Web 2.0, we also captured Mobile Web 2.0 in seven principles

These include:

1) Mobile content and the changing balance of power (The power of user generated content)

2) I am not a number, I am a tag (The impact on the telecoms industry’s management of numbers)

3) Multilingual mobile access (The power of mobile phone to transform societies .. )

4) Mobile web 2.0 and Digital convergence (Mobile web 2.0 is a driver to digital convergence)

5) The disruptive power of Ajax and mobile widgets

6) Location based services and Mobile web 2.0 (LBS has never quite taken off. Will mobile web 2.0 help?)

7) Mobile search : Much more than Google on your mobile phone.

That’s the approach in a nutshell!

Any comments welcome and many thanks to readers who have blogged about the book and given us feedback


  1. Ian Delaney says:

    Hi there Ajit,
    I started reading the book this weekend – very good work – but 335 pages might take me a little while before I can give a proper review. Cheers, Ian